Review of Joker, by Todd Phillips

The new Joker film is excellent. More than excellent, it is beloved. The dilemma facing me is that I haven’t read one review which accurately captures precisely why it is so beloved. But I know why. And I can explain it succinctly.

The new Joker film is so beloved because it surreptitiously names the elephant in the room, and consequently it offers the audience freedom to bathe in the joy which accompanies naked hope.

Our “culture” is inundated with the idea that “nurture” has won the nature/nurture debate. But not the Joker folks. Instead of pandering to what’s en vogue, they created the most brilliant safe space imaginable (the bleached white halls of Gotham’s legendary Arkham Asylum) and peppered it with a hysterical clown’s slippery, speedy, and blood-soaked footprints. We find ourselves tickled by how Joker gleefully stays one step ahead of the pursuing wet-nurses. But we aren’t empathizing with Joker’s claims of victim-hood, no. What we’re doing is enjoying the feeling of hope. We are basking in the sunlight which is the hope that his chaotic crimes will finally motivate someone to rise and defeat him and all his kind.

In other words, Joker is so beloved because it finally said what we all feel: It cannot be all nurture. Our blood has to have something to do with it. Joker’s blood must have something to do with his behavior. And Bruce Wayne’s blood, likewise, will have something to do with his behavior, with the reason that he becomes Batman.

One must not forget that Joker is the loser.

You’re Afraid of Women? Me Too!

Especially after my last two posts full of heroic bravado, I know my female faithful are longing to know what it’s really like to be my bride. Well, as luck would have it, I feel like pulling back the curtain a bit. The following back and forth occurred on the drive to see some houses. As expected, I lead. Enjoy!

****

“I’m just saying that I don’t think ‘how old a house is’ should automatically disqualify it.”

“All I think about is how much everything is going to break and any money that we save we will spend on fixing it.”

“Every house needs repairs. To me, and this may just be me, the key is having money for those repairs. Sure we could probably afford a slightly newer house, but we’d be signing on to not having that extra few hundred dollars every single month for the next 30 years.”

“I just want a nice house.”

“I know you do, Honey. Me, too. I just feel like you’re not seeing things the best way. So I’m going to keep trying to paint the picture I see.”

“I just would like a nice house.”

“I’m not saying we’re not getting a nice house. I’m mostly just saying we need to stick to a budget. That’s a good idea, right?”

“If we buy a house that’s one hundred years old, and then we need to sell it fast, who’s going to buy it?”

“We don’t know the future no matter what. We didn’t think we’d be moving again just three months ago. I don’t think the future should weigh so heavily in the decision.”

“You’re not understanding me.”

“That may be. But I am asking you to try harder to explain yourself then. (breath) The way I see it, even if you’re right–and we buy an old house and are stuck with it–it’s better to be stuck with a small mortgage payment, than a big one, no?”

“That kitchen was very small.”

“And I feel like I can imagine how knocking out one part of one of the walls would make it feel bigger.”

“But-”

“-And, sorry, I have a philosophy that small is better anyhow. In the future, there will be more people crowding together in that kitchen than in a big kitchen, I promise. I can’t explain it, but I have seen it. In my last house, it was small and I could fill it with people. Other houses I’ve been in weren’t like that. I can see the full, noisy kitchen now. There’ll be twenty of you in that little area chatting away and interrupting each other, saying, ‘Excuse me!’ ‘Pardon me!’ ‘Ha, where’d the … go?’ Everyone will love it.”

(Here, reader, I think it’s better to spend your time imagining the look I felt being cast upon me, than read any feeble description of it.)

“No? Well, I’m right. But I’ll try another way. How’s this? When you say you want a nice and big kitchen, what I hear is that you’d rather spend three hundred dollars per month to look at a kitchen, than on anything else. Is that what you’re saying? Would you say it like that? ‘I’d rather spend money to be in a kitchen than on shoes or clothes or A-‘s education or vacations?’ Is that what you’re telling me? If so, that’s easy. I agree. Let’s do it. But then you can’t complain in the future.”

“Did you just say that to me?”

“(Here see laughter coming out of my big, beautiful smile as I shake my head.) That’s not wrong to say. It’s helpful to say. It helps us communicate because as of this moment I still can’t figure out what the problem is. The way I see it, we have to pay a certain amount of money to live in a building. And anything above that is not smart. Why pay more than the minimum? I’m talking about flexibility. Sure, if we get an old house, it may have more problems. But as they come, we have options. We can fix them immediately. Or maybe never. Or sometime in between. But all the while, we can choose and rank how important every other thing is.”

“The bathtub was very short.”

“Let me put it this way. Would you rather have $300 a month or no money a month?”

“$300.”

“Then I win. I’m telling you that if we stick to the budget and get an older house, which perhaps will need more repairs, we will have $300 a month extra to spend on whatever we want.”

(Silence)

“What if I put it this way? What I’m saying is, if we get an old house, within budget, then every month you can go to the store and buy anything you want.”

****

Here, careful reader, the flaw in husbands and wives trying to talk to make decisions together manifests itself fully. The following questions remain:

Did my heroic, strong, brave, and incredibly intelligent self just get worn down to promising a blank check to my wife?

Was this her aim the entire time?

Did I, in fact, promise it? Follow-up: And, if so, am I bound to keep that promise?

These questions and more are now staring me in the face as I proceed down the path only found by those seeking marital bliss.

Continuing Crash Commentary of a Provocative Kind from One Professional Helo Pilot

Some days I wake up and have a lot to say. Today is one of those days. With an eye on poignancy, here goes.

One article collected and laid out the tragic history of sports figures and fatal aviation mishaps. Hmm. Who would we expect to be buzzing around Earth’s sky in heavier than air machines? The homeless? The destitute? Flying is and always will be an activity for the wealthy. There’s nothing surprising about aviation mishap victims having wealth or being renowned personalities.

The real catalyst for this post, however, is the report/advertisement that some Super Bowl commercial (please consider these words in their fullness–the “news” is about “advertising decisions”) has removed a scene with a helicopter from its Sunday ad. This has been done out of respect, they say. I say that they didn’t go far enough. I say that we all haven’t gone far enough.

Why not re-shoot all Super Bowl commercials involving helicopters in their productions? In fact, I do not think we should see an overhead shot of anything. Truly, we should just advertise using cartoons. But no sky shots! And for God’s sake, no clouds!

Additionally, the opening and closing of those super respectful commercials (they should be silent, since helicopters are noisy), should include the disclaimer, “No helicopters were used in the images, filming, or travel methods of any of the humans who had anything to do with this advertisement.” And I want a time stamp, too, like, “The last time a helicopter was used by anyone, including me, who had anything to do with this commercial was _______.” Let’s find out who really respects the victims of the tragedy.

Attention Professional Journalists: Let’s Chat About the Crash

My aim here is to give you the good stuff, the thoughts of a professional helicopter pilot who had to go to work the next day. Most of the following is criticism of your reporting of the crash, not my speculation about the crash. Listen up. You’ll learn a lot.

To begin, you journalists are doing a great disservice to language and how it works (not to mention your reputation) during your reporting. For example, the word “special” in, “He was on a special VFR clearance,” is nothing like “special” in, “Kobe was a special basketball superstar.” In other words, on any given day, every pilot in the sky could simultaneously be on a “special VFR clearance”.

Secondly, after completing every paragraph, reread it and ask yourself, “Is there anything in here which betrays that I have a complete misunderstanding of all things aviation?” If you answer affirmatively on any level, rewrite it. Specifically, pilots don’t ask for “flight following” because they are worried. When I’m worried, I hold my breath, I pace, I shake my head, I purse my lips, I mutter to myself, and I probably do a few other things of which I’m not even aware, too–no different than you. “Flight following” is meaningfully on the same level of flight safety as learning how to fly from someone else before flying solo. It’s absolutely unremarkable.

Thirdly, flying has so much drama inherent to it, or so much “organic” drama, that if you find yourself needing to add some, then you’re clearly not writing about flying. For instance, “Too low for flight following,” (Oooh!) has nothing to do with safety and everything to do with the capabilities of the sending and receiving technologies which have been tasked with “following” the flight. In other words, in Iraq, we routinely flew at 100 ft above the ground. This is much lower than Kobe’s flight, and yet our Operations Centers knew exactly where we were every second we were there.

Fourthly, reread your articles for general common sense blunders. Particularly ridiculous are your claims about the differences between IFR and VFR flying. To be clear, whether flying under “Instrument Flight Rules” or “Visual Flight Rules”, whether flying in clouds (fog is just a cloud at the Earth’s surface), whether flying under clouds, whether flying over clouds, or whether flying in skies totally free of clouds, all pilots fly by eyesight.

Do you copy? You’re not doing your job responsibly when you’re not doing your research or using your brain. Admit when you don’t know what you’re writing about. You’re embarrassing yourself.

What caused the crash? Poor judgement. Bad decision making. At some level, once removed, the weather can be called a factor. But clouds are merely invisible gaseous water vapor that has condensed into visible liquid water. They cause daydreams; they are the outward cause of lightning and its thunder. The condensation can occur strongly enough to cause itself to fall to the earth as precipitation. But clouds do not cause pilots to crash.

Pilots cause pilots to crash.

We know that.

That’s why we’re so special.

Seeker Friendly vs. Denominations–A False Dichotomy

This is more for so-called Church leaders than lay-folk, but feel free to engage it in either case.

At the seminary, I learned about high-brow, denominational Christianity’s generally negative view of “seeker friendly” churches. (For the uninitiated, this “seeker friendly” designation means “churches folks enjoy going to”.)

There was a feeling of, “‘seeker friendly’ is fine, and it has a place. But after conversion, the new believer will find themselves desiring something more than easy-to-repeat and easy-to-digest platitudes, encouragements, and affirmations.” Then, the thinking continues, at that moment, the mainstream denominations (the “churches folks attend begrudgingly Sunday after Sunday, Wednesday after Wednesday, painfully bad sermon after painfully bad sermon, while always stubbornly ignoring all signs that something is amiss if everyone keeps leaving”) will step in and save the day.

Subsequently, curiosity grew and I began going to “seeker friendly” churches, too. I have been back and forth between the two ever since.

Here’s an observation that I didn’t expect. Week after week, the “seeker friendly” churches say something like, “I grew up, like you, at a (insert mainstream denomination) church.” The leader will then add some personal anecdote about how “…only later did I realize the full freedom allowed by the Holy Spirit to break from tradition, conservatism, etc.” And in so doing, the “seeker friendly” leader, will have made his or her appeal to those who are seeking to go “deeper” or seeking greater “meaning.”

In other words, no different than the stoic, wise, and time-tested denominations, the “seeker friendly” churches were hocking that they are the place to find real, deep meaning. “The denomination gets you started, but ultimately fails to satisfy,” they say.

For this reason, because you’re both suggesting you’re the place to “go deep,” I confidently say, “You’re both wrong.”

I’ll add this. Two thousand years ago Paul wrote, in a letter to one particular church of his day, “I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly.”

Here, we have some options.

We can say, A: “Paul was talking only to that particular body of believers alive some two thousand years ago which was manifesting itself as ‘fleshly’ as opposed to ‘spiritual’ and his words have nothing to do with me.”

Or we can say, B: “Paul was talking only to believers who manifest themselves as ‘fleshly’ as opposed to ‘spiritual’, no matter what era they live in, including contemporary believers,”

Or we can say, C: “Paul’s admonishment, unbeknownst to him, was to all believers. (Period).”

(There might be other options too.)

I choose C.

I choose C for the following reasons.

1. It’s not A, because I wouldn’t have heard of the Gospel, Paul’s letter, or the Bible if Paul was only talking to his immediate audience. (There should be no surprise here. This is kinda inherent to a Bible-believing Christian’s view of Scripture.)

2. It’s not B, because there exists in all of us a shameful little thing called “pride”. The moment I believe that “I made it” (in this case, ‘I’m spiritual’), I, again, lost the battle.

3. It’s far more exciting and interesting to live a life which never summits. And, it’s a nearly impossible mental gymnastic to defend spiritual maturity, and simultaneously maintain that the Christian’s satisfaction and fulfillment is only found in actual (neoconcrete?) life with Jesus–after whichever happens first, the Second Coming or death.

In short, if you’re a Christian leader, please return the “I’ve got a secret” tactic to the get-rich-quick, make-friends-easily, persuade-people-now motivational guru’s you stole it from and pass the milk.

Home School Update

A co-worker of mine recently told me that her dad, in his eighties, still parries attacks when people find out he and his wife had 14 biological children. For crying out loud, leave the man alone!

That said, my first comment is that I have collected positive proof that homeschooling is counter-culture. Ergo, if you’re not strong, don’t do it.

In my case, it’s necessary because the boy, my 9 year old step-son, has essentially never been taught. I won’t list the things that he doesn’t know, but I will give you the punch-line. He has never, not once, been taught to think. When I first met him, I was fooled into thinking his laugh was genuine and displayed some amount of discernment. Since he moved in, I have come to the opposite conclusion. His laugh is only, and sadly, a defense mechanism. Somehow “pity” was the overwhelming view taken by the adults in his life. It’s a shame. At 9, he operates at a level that is usually reserved for infants. Consequently, and among afore-posted reasons, I won’t send him into the public school forum with the rest of your kids just so that he can come out “feeling” like he’s really doing it (living as a free man).

Regarding homeschooling, then, here’s a succinct “A day in the life.” (And if you earnestly want any info on the curriculum I use etc., then please email me. I didn’t invent the wheel here.)

After breakfast he does one lesson of Saxon Math, by himself. Well, almost by himself. He is the most undisciplined little fella I’ve ever come across, so I sit and time him on his “math facts” which is always part of Saxon’s “Warm-up”. Then, I stay with him a bit longer because he was missing the “patterns” or “problem solving” Warm-up word problem every day. It’s fascinating to daily observe his inability to recognize a pattern.

Despite never answering one correctly on the first try, every day–every day–he asserts that the word problem is simple. Then he totally misses the entire point of it. My function is merely as a broken record which sings, “Read it again,” until he begins to see that words mean what they mean, and not what he wants them to mean. Every. Single. Day.

Then he moves on to the lesson.

That’s math.

Whether he spends all day or only the one hour I expect it to take, he has to complete the lesson. And he does. Then he shows me the work, and I tell him he can go get the solution book and grade his work, fixing any errant answers along the way.

Next, the goal is for him to write a one-page essay, which I subsequently would edit for spelling/grammar. His English isn’t quite up to this task yet, so I have him copy two-pages worth of material out of something that I think is interesting or something he asked about or displayed uncommon ignorance about the day before. As you’ll see below, this is going well, and I’m planning to set him free this summer.

Lastly, he “free reads” for either the remainder of the five hour block which began that morning, or a minimum of two hours. In other words, if he drags his feet all day on math and writing, he still has two hours of reading. I have a “library” and he can read anything out of the library (as many times as he wants) , or his Bible, for the allotted time.

Because he is so behind, I also have him do one block game/activity thing every day, too. (Equilibrio.) I intended this to be a more-than-literal building block activity which slowly worked him up to the more mentally challenging and age-appropriate Architecto, but as fate would have it, this kindergarten level game has proven to reveal (and remedy) the boy’s terribly low self-esteem. In about 20 days we have gone from 1. A 9 year old throwing blocks across the table, 2. Crying, and 3. Responding to my inquiry, “Who, exactly, is preventing the successful completion of the task?” with, “The devil!” all the way to One Million: “Hey, Mr. Pete! Here’s tomorrow’s. Look. It’s easy. All you have to do is…” as he accurately describes a winning strategy.

****

Now for one humorous, self-effacing anecdote. The other day, A- told me about the time where he and H- and all of us where at an outlet mall and he saw a sign for “chocolate juice.”

I responded, “A-. They don’t make chocolate juice. It probably was for some kind of shake or something. What do you think? There is some kind of chocolate fruit? Like an orange? Which they squeeze juice out of?” (Wait for it.) I continued, “You know what? That’d be a good thing to look up in The Book of Knowledge today.” (This is in my Library. It is from the 50s, but it is a Children’s Encyclopedia that is absolutely wonderful for a child.)

A- opted out of the idea, more out of defiance than anything, and so days went by before he finally asked if he can write some of the entry on chocolate for his daily writing.

I agreed.

Next, I had him read what he wrote, both to highlight his copying prowess/weakness and to practice reading aloud. Together we heard the opening sentence, “Coffee is not the only one of our favorite beverages that comes from the warm tropical lands: cocoa, or chocolate, is another, and it was given to the Old World by the New.”

That was so odd to me that I essentially ignored it.

But I couldn’t ignore the words of one paragraph later which read, “Chocolate soon became a favorite drink in Europe…”

Please take a moment to really hear A-‘s relentless laughter. As if I didn’t have feelings!

If you listened closely, though, you could hear growth. And if you listened even closer, you could hear a fire being ignited.

You see, “Mr. Pete” was categorically shamed by his own method. And yet, A- has to admit into his reality (or his “felt experience” for those of you #trending) that the shamed “Mr. Pete” lives to fight another day. Previously, A- seems to have thought failure was forever and to be avoided at all costs–even if it meant abstaining. Now he is aware of something else. And this makes him a bit uncomfortable, a bit wobbly, and, most important, a bit curious.

In short, I couldn’t be more pleased with home school.

Vixens, Protectors, Iran, Bell Curves, and More–All Mixed Up by One Airborne Provocateur

I’ve mentioned before that I’m reading this delightful fantasy novel Kushiel’s Dart, by Jacqueline Carey. Oddly enough, Sunday has recently established itself as my day of reading fantasy, that is, my day of reading rest–given the amount of Bible reading I accomplish the other six days.

This afternoon, I couldn’t stop smiling as I read from this angelic gem. One particularly pause-causing line was the lead female’s (an adept/spy-who-specializes-in-serving-Naamah-by-satisfying-wealthy-and-powerful-patrons’-S&M-bedroom-proclivities) announcing, “By this time, I was suffering a tedium so deadly I would have gladly scrubbed the Marquise Belfours’ chamber pot, for the distraction of a scathing punishment at the end of it.” (Move over, Christian and Anastasia…)

At this juncture in the tale, the vixen is being protected by a smooth, sapient equivalent of the water held back by what we call the Hoover dam. His enemies pray the levee doesn’t break. And, if that doesn’t do it for ya, ladies, let’s just say that he knows his place.

And at that moment, the thought hit me: This is the perfect fantasy. In this fable, we have a woman being free to be completely enslaved to her wiles, as she is being protected by a man who is bound to exercise no restraint in the defense of the weak.

But today’s post is not merely marketing material. Today I want to begin to capture my thoughts on the blossoming peace in the Middle East. Today I want to finally write down how I am so happy that I will be able to tell my children what it was like to wake up after a night of waiting for a war that never began.

I had such mixed feelings that night. Iran–not elusively-defined terrorists but a real country–had attacked America. Every bone in my body was opposing itself as I read the news. Half of me wanted nothing but peace. “President Trump: Please just do whatever you need to make peace.” The other half wanted nothing but the end of the uncertainty inherent to this clash of civilizations that began long ago, but has been officially boiling over since 9/11. “President Trump: Put. Them. In. The. Ground. Sheol. The grave. Deep. Permanent. End it. Win. Please!”

Then the airliner was shot down. Huh? Could this be it? No way was that us. Plenty of chance it was Iranian incompetence. 

Finally, sleep.

Then morning came and with it a group of men declaring for the children-grown-older-in-power-positions-in-Iran that Iran, led by these incompetent imbeciles, was standing down.

What must that have felt like for the Iranians? And, unlike Canada’s inclusion of a turban-wearing man in their optic a few days later, we went with the truth. It was old, white men, though white-hat-less men, who, not just announced the fight was over, but, in the manner of the announcement itself, clarified that one backwards civilization in specific needs to just, “Stop before you hurt yourself!”

Who could have imagined it? In response to the pinpoint–and I mean precision on a level that is hard to imagine ever being produced with anything other than a scalpel held by a hand that was trained in its use for a decade–in response to the pinpoint killing of a small handful of men bent on orchestrating evil, in response to the pinpoint killing of a small handful of men by remote control aircraft half-way across the accurately mapped globe, in response to this, an Iranian version of a tween on the ground was so afraid (afraid of what? afraid of his own government’s response to him if he’s doesn’t shoot? afraid of America?) that he shoots a fire-and-forget 11 foot missile, itself built by another civilization, at an airliner! What?!

Peace. That’s what.

And manifested by who? The noisy and wily Squad? No. By the unapologetically fair-skinned President of the United States of America. Cowboy as all hell, but hat’s off.

She Scooped the Ice Cream

I remember that you welcomed me home from work with a hug. It was a Saturday night. I had flown one call.

I was late the night before and that made you worry.

The roads were better tonight–the ice near entirely gone.

Your son popped out of what I can only guess was another not-quite-discernibly chosen hiding place. He had had on his favorite basketball jersey, baring his skinny arms, as this time there was no t-shirt underneath.

I’ve been gone for too many long day shifts, I thought.

I told him I wanted to talk school work before he took his shower and went to bed. Then I began to take off my boots.

You listened patiently as I explained to him the “in’s and out’s” of following instructions and the particular importance of neat work.

Before my lecture was finished, you got up from the table. You opened the freezer. At the table, I continued to instruct and correct.

You walked to the silverware drawer and returned with the ice cream scoop in hand. It was the second one I bought for you. Do you remember how embarrassed we both were when I couldn’t stop myself from noticing that you had absentmindedly placed the first one in the dishwasher after all? Whoever would make rules for cleaning an ice cream scoop?

I was still teaching the boy as you set the spoon down beside the two bowls and put the ice cream back.

What’s the rush, I thought?

But I didn’t ask. Instead I hoped to guess right. I hoped it was his long-awaited bedtime.

I hoped my hands would soon feel your soft skin and find themselves bumping clumsily into your own as you removed your soft clothes. I hoped my eyes would see in yours that you were waiting for me to take you to our bed. I hoped my ears would hear and feel your impatient and impassioned breath. I hoped my lips would feel your tongue respond to my own. I hoped my body would press eternally into yours. I hoped.

I hoped.

One Interesting and Singularly-Themed Divination of Two Uncertain and Possibly Meaningless Instances which Occurred on the Road in Iowa

First up was the oddity that as I looked to see if there was anything to note about the passengers or vehicle passing me, I was surprised to be the recipient of a smile and thumbs up.

For an unknown reason, anytime I suspect that an occupant of another car is communicating to me, my heart skips a beat. I must be on fire, I think.

But, no. That’s not what was happening here. This was some sort of encouragement. But for what?

Was this Iowan so sheltered that my Colorado plates being in Iowa were simply exciting? As in, “Good for you! You got out!!”??

No. That just didn’t make sense. Plenty of people pass through this state.

Hmm. Not on fire. (Confirmed by the fact that another car has passed me–sans attempt to warn me of fire.) Not my foreignness. What could he have seen?

I know.

A- was in the backseat reading.

No tablet. No phone. No movie. No video game. Just a boy and a book. Yup. That’s it.

A smile and thumbs up from a stranger passing me on the highway. Why? Because I’m raising a boy right.

Secondly, I saw a bald eagle. It was just lazily riding the waves of the wind. At first I couldn’t be sure that it really was a bald eagle. But as I returned my eyes to the road, I saw a new scene. A blanket of red, white, and blue–47, 48, 49, and, yes, 50 bright stars to boot–warmed the wintry landscape. And I could tell that, even when I wasn’t looking, men and women were constantly sewing and mending this mantle by dim, fading candlelight in one great period of darkness.

Then I was sure of it. It was a bald eagle if ever there was one.

Dear Evangelicals, Now You Wan’ Ta’ Get Nuts?!

Dear Evangelicals,

“Now you wan’ ta’ get nuts?! Come on, let’s get nuts!”

You probably missed it, because the speaker was *shh* a Catholic, but the Pope just said, “We are no longer under a Christian regime because faith – especially in Europe, but also in large parts of the West – is no longer an obvious prerequisite of common life, and on the contrary, often it is even rejected, mocked, marginalized and ridiculed.”

As you know, the Bible writer’s believed you’d be persecuted for your faith in Jesus. But that’s not what the Pope was talking about here. No, he was talking about the world-over response of folks to people who say something that means nothing. Most recently, one example I believe he is talking about is Evangelicals’ political pronouncement: “God uses imperfect people.”

Evangelicals love to hide behind this statement. You seem to believe it is meaningfully a “mic drop of mic drops” with which to naturally conclude your squirming, vacillating defense of your loyalty to the idea that President Trump was a good choice.

But all the world over, if it has the time to spend on your ideas, only laughs at you. They reject you. They mock you. They marginalize you. And they ridicule you. And, in this case (among others), they are absolutely right to do so.

Saying, “God uses imperfect people” is the same as saying, “legless reptiles are snakes” or “large bodies of water are oceans” in response to, “I think it’s poisonous,” and, “Looks wet to me.”

You haven’t defended anything. That’s why so many folks think you’re irrelevant.

Defend Trump, I say. Defend him. Defend your choice. Defend your savior. Defend your vote. Defend your mind. Defend, defend, defend. That’s where you make your money. So do it.

Or maybe you don’t know how.

Pete