Tag Archives: Eric Robert Nolan

“Savior complainin’.”

It was interesting to hear Lev Parnas comment to Anderson Cooper today that he once had such “a shrine” to Trump in his home, and that he “idolized him” and “thought he was the savior.”

It exemplifies the apparently religious fervor that many of Trump’s most ardent supporters express.

I am loathe to give Trump credit for anything. But I am always surprised at his ability to instill loyalty in his base.

He truly could shoot someone in broad daylight and still retain his followers, as he once so infamously claimed. That’s why it’s naive to think they’d care about graft or election interference or collusion with foreign powers.

What is it about the man? He has zero charisma. He’s mercurial and confusing about his positions, he’s inarticulate, and he’s sometimes incoherent. He isn’t handsome. And his habit of attacking people seems to contradict every Dale Carnegie training course I ever heard of.

But watch footage of his rallies. The attendees devour his every word with elation.  I am a reasonably intelligent and likable adult.  And so, presumably, are you.  Yet we will never know such adulation in our lifetimes.

No matter how vague or dumb or muddled or ugly his message may be, he inexplicably induces euphoria in them. The psychology of that is blackly fascinating.

Recall, please, that Trump’s supporters (if not his base) comprise roughly a third of the American electorate.  How can so many people have brains that are so tragically wired like that?

The Age of Trump has me worried not just about him, or about his base, but about human beings in general.


Throwback Thursday: Masks from The Johnson Smith Company Catalog!

I found the picture below floating around Facebook — it’s part of the selection of masks advertised in The Johnson Smith Company Catalog, probably sometime in the late 1970’s.  (As I’ve mentioned a few times here at the blog, I cherished that catalog and anything I could afford to buy from it when I was a kid.)

If memory serves … these were more expensive by the time I got my hands on the catalog in the early 1980’s.  Maybe the prices went up by then?  (I thought the masks sold for $20 or $25.  I desperately wanted several of them, but my spending range capped at maybe $10 when I was a second or third grader.)

It was the monster masks that excited me.  (Characters like the “Dirty Old Man” or the presidents had their genesis in some kind of weird grownup humor that befuddled me as a kid.)  That “Skull” mask was one that I desperately wished for.  (I also remember some sort of screaming skull face with sharp teeth that I wanted even more badly.  It had a protruding mouth and a black cloth over its head, maybe?)  The “Werewolf ” also would have attracted my attention.

If you look closely, you can see that some of these masks aren’t all that impressive.  The “Alien” is probably a little less menacing than its designer intended, and “Santa Claus” feels problematic.  “Frankenstein” is just sad; he looks like Michael Myers fathered a child with Smurfette.  Oh, well.



Was “X-Men: Dark Phoenix” (2019) really so bad?

I rather liked it.

Yes, there were obvious script problems. This movie isn’t high art. And I’m generally a lot happier following adult super-powered characters than a bunch of saccharine, earnest teen do-gooders.

But Fox’s “X-Men” universe has always been edgier, weirder, meaner and less predictable than the more mainstream Marvel Cinematic Universe. I think of it as the MCU’s rebellious punk rocker cousin. That difference raises the tension and consequently holds my interest better. I’m one of those rare people who DOESN’T want this universe folded into Disney’s more family-friendly, relentlessly optimistic blockbusters. I don’t want Blade to be part of the MCU either, and I think Deadpool is fine right where he is. (If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.)

James McAvoy was awesome. Portraying Charles Xavier as fallible was a hell of a lot more interesting for me than yet another iteration of Sir Perfect Stewart. And I’ll always love seeing Michael Fassbender in the role of Magneto. He commands the screen every moment he’s on it.

The action and the special effects were just terrific, and the fight choreography was especially damned sweet. I was cheering during the climactic battle on the moving train.

My favorable X-Bias might be a factor here, but I’d rate this movie an 8 out of 10 for being a trippy, violent, guilty pleasure.



The Piker Press features “Lilac, Wine, Pomegranate, Black”

I’m pleased to see a short poem of mine published by The Piker Press — “Lilac, Wine, Pomegranate, Black.”  You can find it right here.

As always, thanks to Editor Sand Pilarski for allowing me to contribute to this terrific weekly online journal of arts and sciences!



Warmest regards.

I know this is perfectly strange (look who you’re talking to), but I have never once checked a day’s temperature in my life. I’ll check whether it’s going to rain, sure. But when it comes to the temperature, I’ve always relied on just sticking my head outside to “see what it’s like out.”

Anyway … the past few months have been bizarrely warm. A warm September doesn’t faze me much, because sometimes Septembers are like that.

But it was warm enough to wear a t-shirt out this past Halloween, wasn’t it? And maybe even shorts, depending on what you find comfortable?

Throughout December, my fellow Roanokers occasionally commented that it was like spring out. And I absolutely cannot remember a Christmas that was more unseasonably warm.

It is the evening of January 11, and it was too warm after nightfall tonight to wear a winter jacket. Even a heavy sweatshirt might have been pushing it. A light rain has cooled this evening somewhat as we are arriving now at 7 PM, which makes a jacket okay, I guess.

This post isn’t intended as a commentary on climate change or anything. I’m just saying the situation is pretty damn weird, that’s all.