COLUMN: Fake Muse!

Harry Caines contributes a weekly column to CacheValleyDaily.com. Harry is a resident of Logan and an alumnus of Utah State University. He can be reached via email at hacaines@gmail.com. His column is a work of opinion, and does not reflect the views of Cache Valley Daily, the Cache Valley Media Group, or its employees. 

<em>“And nice guys get washed away, like the snow and rain.</em>

<em>There has been a lot of compromisin’, on the road to my horizon.</em>

<em>But I’m gonna be where the lights are shinin’ on me.”</em>

—from the song “Rhinestone Cowboy”, by Glen Campbell (RIP)

So much for August being a slow news month. If I was of the mind to scribe five columns this week, I could have done so on five different subjects. To allow these stories to be more fleshed out, I am going to use this week to allow my dozens of loyal readers to have their say by opening up the notorious CVD Mailbag.

Are these real letters from real readers? They are as real as the phone calls President Trump gets from world leaders praising his omnipotent masculinity.

<em>“I loved your letter about the Needham family profiting off of Logan City’s library plans. I wish you would have went farther. Why didn’t you mention that the properties the Needhams owned are blighted eyesores? Why did you ignore that Eugene Needham is a notorious slumlord?”</em>

—Bob, Logan.

Well, Bob, my original column was a much more scathing rebuke of the Needham family. Giving the eldest Needham has used his elected position to promote his religion’s values over the good of the entire city, I thought it fair at the time. But then I edited my column to stick with the issue at hand.

Mentioning the hypocrisy of the Needhams espousing “quality of life” issues whilst owning dilapidated properties would be just, but it would have been beneath my character. I simply do not need to go there. You, Bob, can say what you like.

<em>“If you hate Utah so much, move!”</em>

—Ezra C., Prague, Czech Republic

I loathe that reasoning. If I am upset that Utah is governed as a theocratic oligarchy that treats non-Mormons as 2nd class citizens, the answer is not for me to leave. The better decision is to stay, band together with like-minded individuals and to change this state by upending the political power structure.

Problem: That takes effort and I really do want to leave.

Any jobs in Prague? I heard many expatriated Americans live there happily. I already looked into Switzerland. Of course, my first choice is Philadelphia, but that might not be feasible. Heck, I may have an offer to move to Pleasantville, New Jersey in the coming weeks.

Ahhh, Pleasantville! This small hamlet not far from Atlantic City is joined with Paradise, Utah and Greenland as the three places on the planet with the most deceiving names. After a month in Pleasantville, I would find myself holed up at some dive bar thinking to myself, “You know, Logan really was not that bad.”

<em>“Aren’t you a Game of Thrones guy? Tell me what you think of the season so far.”</em>

—Dolph, Innsbruck, Austria

Do I have to put the obligatory (SPOILER ALERT) next to my reply? Should most people that are behind just suffer the consequences of not dedicating themselves to binge watch their way to the present episode?

My opinion is that Daenerys Targaryen is going through what is referred to in professional wrestling as a heel turn. She ends every sentence with “…if not, I will burn you alive.”

Her spotty record of leadership in Essos makes me doubt her managerial skills. And it certainly appears that Tyrion and Varys are starting to doubt her regency. Her father was The Mad King. Her brother was sociopathic. She is making bad decisions. She is starting to bully people. She is not going to be a benevolent ruler.

Trust me on this. I am an expert on crazy women.

<em>“I have seen you use the word Trumpkin. What does that mean?”</em>

—Lynette, Smithfield

It is a portmanteau of two words mashed together to make one word describing an object. Example: spork. It is a spoon and a fork. A Trumpkin is a Trump supporter who is a bumpkin. A bumpkin is a person from a rural area that lacks refinement.

Essentially, using the word Trumpkin is my way of calling his supporters intellectually inferior rednecks.

<em>“I see you on Facebook and Instagram a lot. Why do you hate memes so much? It is weird seeing you go crazy about something so funny.”</em>

—Frank Mc., Denver, Colorado

Memes are the tool of the willfully illiterate. Memes make no sense. Most people on both sides of the political spectrum use memes to attack those they disagree with. Why do that when attacking them with a perfectly worded snark-bomb is so much more powerful and artistic? And what is with the Willy Wonka memes? I saw the Gene Wilder movie 800 times. I love that film. Willy Wonka never said any of those things!

Social networking has been mainly responsible for the death of interpersonal communication. It is fine to argue with people. I might be the most argumentative person any of you will ever meet. But I intricately craft sentences and hurl them at the target of my disagreement. I engage.

Putting an insulting caption on a still shot of Ray Liotta and Joe Pesci laughing hysterically in the film “GoodFellas” is not thoughtful. It is lazy. Think up a truly great disparaging comment and put your name on it. Own it! 

<em>“I was hoping you would comment on The Mooch. But he was not there long enough. Who do you think will take his place as White House Communications director?”</em>

—Terry, North Logan

Andrew Dice Clay.

<em>“The Phillies suck!”</em>

—Tony D., Queens, NYC.

Astute observation there, paisan.

All the young players the Phillies have called up are not improving. The team is not spending money. They are destined for over 100 losses this year, and the worst record in Major League Baseball for the second time in three years.

It is very much possible the Phillies would be winless this year if they did not play the Braves. However, I cannot find solace in picking on Braves fans…because they don’t have any.

These are the dark days.

Back to the wonderful world of politics next week. Enjoy August, if that’s possible.

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