Penis Envy

President Trump being advised on his military raid by his financial advisers and son-in-law. Not shown: any military personnel.

Donald J. Trump, who ordered a missile raid on a Syrian airfield, supposedly in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad made on unarmed dissidents in a bitter civil war, killing 80 of them – many of them children. I say "supposedly" because Mr. Trump (who was apparently counseled on the attack by a strange mix of his economic advisers and his adoring son-in-law, although in the uncropped photograph there does appear to be one guy in uniform guarding the door) has been adamant that the U.S. stay out of Syria for years, even after Mr. al-Assad launched a similar chemical weapons attack which killed 1400 Syrian civilians. The U.S. raid was done entirely on Mr. Trump's authority as commander in chief, with no input from the United Nations or Congress, and since it was done it response to an action Syria took on its own people within its own borders, it made the United States aggressors in an act of war.
I'm not opposed to the U.S. intervening in Syria but I do wonder what Mr. Trumps's real motives were since this kind of military intercession into another country's internal drama is the polar opposite of what his political philosophy had been prior to the raid (he has tweeted against the U.S. taking part in the Syrian civil war for years). Some of the more conspiracy-minded of you might look to Russian president Vladimir Putin's denouncement of the raid and avowal that it will irreparably damage U.S./Russo relations and say it was all an elaborate scam to throw the scent off of Congress' investigation into Mr. Trump's Russian ties, but I'm not so sure. For one thing, I think Mr. Trump's shenanigans get too much credit as brilliant Machiavellian mind games when he's really just zoning out over Fox & Friends and composing smug tweets about The Apprentice reboot's crappy ratings. For another, with a macho shithead like Mr. Trump having his tiny fingers so close to the nuclear launch button, I'm guessing he got excited at all the shiny army toys at his disposal and took the Syrian atrocity as an opportunity to show the world how big his military penis is. But I would advise Mr. Trump not to go hanging any "Mission Accomplished" banners like George Bush did in 2003. When Bush decided to show off the size of his wang to Iraq, the U.S. wound up getting fucked for eight years.

Neil Gorsuch showing what he thinks of the essence of the law

Neil Gorsuch, who was confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court by the narrowest margin of victory in U.S. history. Judge Gorsuch's win was so narrow, in fact, that the Republican party had to permanently change the rules of Congressional voting in order to get their man through. Which brings up the question of what the Supreme Court, Congress and even the law itself really exists for. On the facade of the Supreme Court building there is a bas relief which reads "Equal Justice Under Law." But if the prevailing power sees fit to change the law specifically so that they will have a man who will permanently make sure that they remain the prevailing power, I fail to see the equality it that. By all accounts I have heard, Judge Gorsuch will be the most conservation justice in the history of the Supreme Court, and that the GOP's plan all along was to upset the court's balance in its favor for decades. That's some fancy political maneuvering but it also makes half the country – 170 million, the last time I counted – feeling like disenfranchised second class citizens. That's how civil wars get started. And if that happens and another country decides to launch a missile attack on a U.S. airfield with no other objective than to show that they can, Mr. Trump will have no one to blame but himself.

Lisa Glass shopping for shoes

The always-annoying Lisa Glass, who related to me an interminable story about her going to Macy's to get makeup and then being talked into buying some shoes that were on sale by being given a coupon for said shoes but not being able to use the coupon because the sale price negated the coupon price. I'm reasonably sure there was more to the story than that but I was distracted by visions of myself jumping off a roof while she was telling it. The thing yentas like Ms. Glass and her ilk must realize is that only thing men like myself are of use for inside the confines of a mall is uncomfortably holding their purses. We get our clothes over the Internet and scrounged from dead bodies we find in the park and we can no more relate to a story about indignities handed down by incompetent mall clerks than they can when I describe the horrors of my last prostate exam. But a yenta's mall story must be attentively listened to until its conclusion, because the wrath of a yenta is a horrendous thing to endure. If she's displeased with you, you might find yourself holding her purse inside a mall while she buys shoes. Frankly, I'd rather suffer through another prostate exam.

Winston modeling his cone

My beloved pug Winston, who is on the mend from the surgery on his diseased penis. Winston is forced to wear the dreaded "cone of shame" during his recovery to prevent him from chewing at his wang (if only I'd been forced to wear one during my teenage years, it would have saved me a lot of chaffing), which the animal hospital refers to optimistically as an "Elizabethan Collar." They advised me that Winston wouldn't want to poop until about four days after he got home and, as promised, he unloaded on my living room carpet right on schedule. The only problem was that with a four-day backup in his bowels, he didn't "poop." He took a human-sized dump the likes of which I didn't think was possible to fit in his pug-sized colon. I was philosophical about it as I cleaned my rug, deciding that that's probably how people defecated in Elizabethan times and he was just inspired by the collar. Either that, or he wanted to get back at me for making him wear that awful cone for two weeks. Either way, I'm in deep shit.

Jesse Melin as Salo in The Sirens of Titan

My longtime nemesis Jesse Merlin, who I saw give an astonishing performance as a pumpkin-shaped alien named Salo in Stuart Gordon's stage adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's novel The Sirens of Titan. Mr. Merlin was required to scurry around the stage while twisting his body into a tightly-wound pretzel to give a striking depiction of his extraterrestrial anatomy. Mr. Merlin's last collaboration with Mr. Gordon was his Ovation Award-nominated role as Dr. Hill in Re-Animator: The Musical, a surgeon who is decapitated and spends most of the show carrying around his own head. After seeing his contortions in The Sirens of Titan and remembering the warping of his frame in Reanimator, it dawned on me that Mr. Gordon's ultimate objective is to kill Mr. Merlin. I hasten to add that I think it's an admirable goal and I'm guessing it will take just one more part that requires him to twist his body into ungodly shapes. To finish him off, I suggest that Mr. Gordon next cast him as a circus clown who has to force himself into a tiny car with 50 other clowns on top of him. All he has to do is write a play about Donald Trump's cabinet.
To order tickets to see Mr. Merlin's miraculous performance in this wonderful production while he is still alive, click here.