A New Definition of Hell


From The Guardian, about Ted Cruz’s very bad day.

“You’ll find out tomorrow,” the Trump supporter said. “Indiana don’t want you.”

The Princeton alumnus and champion debater tried to engage. “The question everyone here should ask … ”

“Are you Canadian?” the voter asked, to titters from the crowd. Then: “Where’s your Goldman Sachs jacket?” an allusion to the employer of Cruz’s wife.

Always a lawyer – and one who has argued successfully before the supreme court – Cruz tried a different tack: an appeal to civility. “If I were Donald Trump, I wouldn’t have come over to talk to you,” he said. “Sir, America is a better country … ”

“Without you!”

“Thank you for those kind sentiments,” he said. “I respect your right to speak but I’m also going to say in America we are a nation that is better than anger and insults and cursing and rage. And I believe the people in Indiana have common sense and good judgement and want real solu – ”

“Woo! Vote Trump! Woo!” the voter screamed, followed by others in the crowd. Cruz spun on his heels and walked away.

Hell is not other people, per se. Hell is having to watch Ted Cruz, whose only applause line lately has been to paint transgender rights as nothing more than a crossdressing Rocky Horrorshow of his putrid imagination, pretend to care about civility as a way to lecture a hooting semi-literate Trump supporter, whose only knowledge of issues regard Cruz’s birthplace and his wife’s old job.

Being stuck in a loop of that is worse than any portrait of hell that the most Joycean of old Irish priests could ever dream up.

Indiana Tuesday: It’s All Over But The Guttural Howling of Diseased Sewer Rats

On most mornings, if I’m not feeling too lazy, I have the privilege of walking along Lake Michigan, up here in Evanston, where the southernmost portion of this vast and ferocious lake system begins its final curve. This morning it was incredibly clear and impossibly still, where there isn’t the slightest movement in the air, nothing to stop the rising sun from gently pushing away the final hint of the dawn’s early chill.

On a morning like today, Chicago’s stunning skyline looms in all its roaring glory. And past that, further southeast, where the lake curves, you can make out the hulking outline of one of the giant Great Lakes freight ships, leaving the port on the far south side. And beyond that, beyond what is usually hidden by clouds, you can just barely make out a puff of smoke rising from the sprawling industrial areas of Indiana, that bizarre and wrecked land where hints of ancient prairie still poke out among the post-industrial poverty, the rows of tumbledown houses and cracked roads, the cheap glitz of casinos, the belching smokestacks, and the sunshine, normally shrouded by haze, that glints and shatters on dirty rivers. It’s here, the far bitter end of the rust belt, where the American dream first crashed and broke, where the horrible forces of the global economy first poisoned then wrecked a land and people. And it’s here, in Indiana, where Donald Trump, the gaseous avatar of America’s inchoate anger, can all but clinch the most terrifying nomination in our nation’s history.


“Is this hell?” “No, it’s Indiana”

Read more about Indiana and the end of the line

Continue reading