• Blog
  • August 30th, 2019


By Joel M. Vance


I was born in Chicago, Illinois, and spent the first 14 years of my life on the south side of the city, never venturing farther north than the Loop. The only landmarks I was interested in were the Museum of Science and Industry and the Field Museum and it wasn’t until I was living in Missouri and in college that I worked one summer in Chicago and ventured north of the Chicago River once, to Wrigley field where I watched Stan Musial rocket a line drive off the right field wall so hard that it bounced all the way back to the second baseman and limited the great Stan the Man to a single.


I’m not sorry that I missed one north side landmark, a small park within which the city’s mentally deranged would gather to harangue whoever they could entice to listen to them, with dire predictions of the imminent arrival of the Apocalypse, the End of Times, and, in more optimistic diatribes the Second Coming.


They called the place Bughouse Square because of historic adjacent mental facilities. If you want to listen to outrageous predictions, deranged pronouncements, and outlandish goofiness, Bughouse Square was the place to go. Today, Bughouse Square is more of a tourist attraction than a gathering spot for weirdos. But not to mourn for a lost opportunity to listen to the nonsensical rantings of the mentally ill— just take a trip to the Nation’s Capitol and wait. Shortly, Donald Trump will emerge from the building housing the nation’s leader and proclaim himself the son of God, the chosen one, the second incarnation of Jesus Christ. I am not making this up. He’s already done it.


If this sounds like a recreation of Chicago’s Bughouse Square, so be it. If there was any lingering doubt (certainly, not mine) that Donald Trump is mentally ill, he dispelled that the other day when he glanced heavenward, and told a gathering of media people, that he is the Chosen One. I suspect, more than one of the assembled reporters scrunched up their shoulders, expecting a lightning bolt to fry the fat boy in his tracks.


Trump wasn’t even chosen to be president by the people, much less to be the second incarnation of Jesus, losing by more than 3 million popular votes. He was chosen by the outmoded electoral college system, which allows a president to be selected by a minority of the states in the union, fertilized by the generous donations of special interest donors. And I say “his” because we haven’t yet had the good sense to elect a woman to be our president.


Except maybe Edith Wilson, wife of the last overtly racist president, Woodrow, who basically ran the government for the last two years of her husband’s presidency, 1919 to 1921, after he suffered a debilitating stroke. But then, she was not elected. She just arbitrarily took over. She once threatened to refuse the credentials of a foreign representative unless he would dismiss an aide who had made demeaning comments about her.  She sounds like the precursor of Trump.


Trump now explains away his claim to holiness by saying it was meant as sarcasm. “When I looked up to the sky and jokingly said ’I am the chosen one’ at a press conference, referring to taking on trade with China, little did I realize that the media would claim that I had a Messiah complex. They knew I was kidding, being sarcastic and just… having fun.” Somehow, Trump’s idea of “having fun” seems remarkably like a four-year-old “having fun” by pulling one wing off an insect so he can watch it flounder about.


So we have a guy who almost daily demonstrates that he should be standing on a rickety orange crate in Bughouse Square spouting nonsense before wandering off into the who-knows-where, muttering to himself.


To support his declaration of divinity, Trump “reposted a comment” by Wayne Allyn Root who said, “President Trump is the greatest president for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world, not just America, he is the best president for Israel in the history of the world and the Jewish people in Israel love him like he’s the king of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God.”


An article in the magazine “Psychology Today” contains an interesting paragraph describing what they call “mission-oriented‘ serial killers. “Mission-oriented killers justify their murders as being necessary to rid the world of a group of people that they perceive to be undesirable. “Such groups may include prostitutes, the homeless or those who are different from the killer in terms of race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation.” Now I don’t mean to imply that Donald Trump is a latent mission-oriented serial killer, but think about that sentence for a while and think about the various groups against whom Donald Trump has demonstrated antipathy–African-Americans, Muslims, Latinos, LGBTQ,  makes one wonder (this one, anyway).


To deviate a moment from the mental instability of Donald J Trump, let’s examine the mental instability of Wayne Allyn Root. Root has not been a rooter (sorry about that) for other presidents. He called President Barack Obama “Marxist in chief” and described the Obama administration as “a gangster government.” I suspect Donald Trump would agree with that wholeheartedly–shitbirds of a feather flock together.


According to Root, Democratic members of Congress are “the druggie who has abandoned his spouse, kids and job to snort crack cocaine 24 hours a day.” The perigee of his ludicrous comments perhaps is his warning that men should not date a liberal woman who has cats because “She’ll cut your pee pee off, I promise you.” How the cats figure into this, I don’t understand, except that perhaps a virulent case of cat scratch fever, acquired when sometime in his muddled past, Root mistakenly dated a liberal woman and got crossways with her pet cat and it scrambled his brain. I won’t even speculate about what happened to his peepee.


Or maybe, like Trump, his brain ceased to develop in his early years in elementary school.


I recently watched a TV show about the discovery of King Tut’s tomb which said that the Boy King was only nine years old when he became pharaoh of the Egyptian Empire. The narrator speculated that, because of his youth, perhaps Tut’s mother did the actual running of the government because “who would choose a fourth grader to govern an empire?”


“We did.” I sourly snarled at the television set.


It’s not exactly comforting to realize that the president of the United States, rather than seeking counsel from wise men, those with long experience in government, those who have survived the rigors and perils of public life, instead hobnobs with, and takes his lead from obvious lunatics like Root. Never before has the warning (origin unclear but possibly from the weird movie “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari‘) that the inmates are running the asylum’ seemed so appropriate.


Trump’s diarrhea of self-aggrandizement is a bonanza for late-night talk show monologues and would be funny if it applied to almost anyone else, but coming from the leader of the free world, it is a lot closer to terrifying than it is to amusing.


Trump’s economic war with China where he fires a barrage of tariffs at China, and the Chinese launch a counter fire round of tariffs at the United States and the economy of both countries suffers as a result is yet another example of Trump’s chaotic administration. The latest Trump ploy is to demand that United States companies move out of China, an order which typically is more noise than possibility. Tough these days, to shop at almost any major retail outlet and pick up an item not made in China.


Whether you like it or not, that’s reality. What happens to those companies so dependent on their merchandise that to bar them from manufacturing in China would devastate not only them, but the American economy. It probably won’t happen anyway since there is no mechanism to enforce a ban on Chinese manufacturers and moving companies out of China to other countries is largely impractical and not likely. It’s just another Trump bluster like a fart in his windstorm of incompetence.


Satirists are having a ball suggesting that Trump’s next move will be to order Americans to stop eating Chinese food. Don’t count it out—that’s no more illogical than most of the harebrained ideas that Trump comes up with.


Nowhere is Trump’s lunacy been more obvious than it was in the wake of the El Paso and Dayton (not Toledo, you freaking moron) mass murders than it was when he visited the two cities, and especially the hospital in El Paso. “The people that were so badly injured that I was with, they love our country. And frankly, you want to know the truth? {An editorial aside—yes, you freako, we would like to know the truth for once if you would bother to tell it} they love their president. When I went to El Paso, and when I went into those hospitals, the love for me, and maybe as a representative to the country, but for me and my love for them, was unparalleled.  “Not only did they meet with me, they were pouring out of the rooms. The doctors were coming out of the operating rooms. There were hundreds and hundreds of people all over the floor, you couldn’t even walk on it.”


Where do you even begin to dissect that vomit of nonsense? Doctors leaving the operating rooms in the middle of surgery? “Here, nurse hang on to this scalpel while I go worship Donald Trump. No nevermind I’ll just stick it in the patient’s thigh.”


Not only did doctors and hospital personnel not scramble to kneel at the feet of the new divinity, but most of the shooting victims still in the hospital refused to meet with Trump, so he and his trophy first lady, Melania, hijacked a baby who had been wounded in the El Paso shooting so she could dangle the little kid for the assembled photographers. I had held slim hopes for Melania as a possible representative of the human race, but no such luck. She is just another Trump wife, past her due date.


Somehow I have gotten on the Trump-Pence reelection Facebook mailing list and being technologically challenged, I don’t know how to get off of it. But I was struck almost as dumb as Trump-Pence by a recent email that began “Will you tell me the truth?”  If ever there was a loaded question to ask me that was it.


The email began: “Joel, I know you are someone I can count on to tell me the truth…” Talk about having  an invitation to tell the truth, using foul language and inflammatory invective, this was it. Yes, Donnie, I will tell you the truth: you are an idiot, an incompetent disgrace to the human race, a bigot, a racist, and lots of other derogatory and defamatory things which in the interest of good taste I won’t go into. In summation, I hate your guts. Is that truth enough for you Donnie? If not, send me some more emails, and I will go into more detail, you fat, blathering nitwit.


Actually, I would be happiest if you would just send me instructions on how to delete you from my Facebook account.










Read More

Leave a Reply


By Joel M. Vance   I can testify from first-hand observation that George Washington does not have nose hair or nose boogers. There may be some granite dust and stray pebbles but I didn’t see them. I can’t speak for Donald Trump’s nose condition since I haven’t been present when allegedly the White House doctors […]

Read More
View the Blog »


By Joel M. Vance   There is a photograph in the Vance archives of a man, his back to the camera, standing ...


By Joel M. Vance   It is 1958 and a popular movie on the screens of drive-in movies all over America is ...