What’s going on?

My last blog was about Mercury retrograding on my parade.а It kicked off a tirade that culminated in a rant about the scourge of Trumpism, which sentiment a mind-boggling number of my fellow Americans don’t seem to share.а Equally mystified friends of mine are gobsmacked that some otherwise reasonable people they know are Trumpers. What’s even more confounding is Trump’s response in recent days to the horrendous murder of 49 people over the weekend in an Orlando gay nightclub in what appears to be a hate crime and a homegrown terrorist attack. No expression of outrage and sympathy for the victims. Instead he repeated his call for clamping down on Muslin immigration. Never mind that the killer was born in the U.S.A.а And he sent out a tone deaf “I told you so” tweet, saying “Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism… “ а(Now sticking fingers down my throat.)

What's going on?

It has gotten to the point where I’m afraid to check the newsfeeds on the Internet, fearful that there’s been another monstrous tragedy. How did we get here? What’s going on?

That’s what Marvin Gaye asked in his soulful R&B recording in the early 1970s.а The song “What’s Going On?” was inspired by a police brutality incident during an anti-war protest in Berkeley in 1969 that became known as “Bloody Thursday.” It was witnessed by bewildered R&B singer and songwriter Renaldo “Obie” Benson, who went on to co-write the song with Motown songwriter Al Cleveland and Marvin Gaye, trying to make sense of the troubles of the day. It hit the charts and Rolling Stones ranked it the fourth greatest song of all time in 2004 and 2011.


Mother, mother

There's too many of you crying

Brother, brother, brother

There's far too many of you dying

You know we've got to find a way

To bring some lovin' here today, eh eh


Father, father

We don't need to escalate

You see, war is not the answer

For only love can conquer hate

You know we've got to find a way

To bring some lovin' here today, oh oh oh


Picket lines and picket signs

Don't punish me with brutality

Talk to me, so you can see

Oh, what's going on

What's going on

Yeah, what's going on

Ah, what's going on …


What’s going on? There’s a whole lot of fear and hating going on, and Trump and fellow travelers are appealing to this basest of instincts in our nature. If only Marvin was still around to do a reprise of this anthem and help us make sense of our current troubles. As he said, “we’ve got to find a way to bring some lovin’ here today …”

Or as Lin-Manuel Miranda said in his emotional sonnetаat the Tony Awards when he accepted his award for Best Score for Hamilton: ”… When senseless acts of tragedy remind us that nothing here is promised, not one day … remembrances that hope and love last longer and love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside.”

This takes me on another tangent. I don’t know how many of you are feeling just a wee bit anxious about the way things could go so wrong for us in November. I want to be more like my Chinese ancestors who supposedly take a long view of history. Our country’s 200-year experiment in democracy is a mere blip on Asia’s 5,000-year arc of events. Perhaps this brouhaha is just a pimple on the ass of our body politic, which will burst of its own accord. Or if it proves to be particularly stubborn, maybe we’ll have to take matters into our own hands and lance the boil to rid ourselves of the pain, pus and infection. This hate and discontent has been festering for a long while, and maybe in retrospect we will thank Trump for bringing the pimple to a head. Another way to look at it is that Trump is like the Renaissance court jester who was the only one who would dare tell the king what he didn’t want to hear: “The peasants are revolting, m’lord!” He’s our very own jester who is gleefully showing us what we don’t want to see – the big fat pimple on our collective ass.

OK. I think I’ve taken this metaphor far enough.

Finally, I hate to be so cynical, but here’s my current take on things: After getting over the shock of the Trump ascendancy, some Republican pols are holding their noses and supporting a Trump presidency. Self-interest is a powerful motivator. Some of them have made no bones about the fact that he doesn’t have the presidential chops to run the country, but that’s OK. They’re all lining up to be the puppet masters pulling the strings. They probably think he’ll keep the masses entertained while they go about the business of ruining а– Oops! I mean “running” – the country. Not if Trump has anything to say about it.


All this fear and hate.

“ … hope and love last longer and

аlove isаlove is love …”

ай Maya Leland 2014