Tag Archives: jigsaw puzzle

They don’t need Trump to trump democracy. The fight goes on.

Soooooo, GSA Administrator Emily W. Murphy has (finally) ascertained officially that Joseph Biden is the next President of the United States. And that represents the end of what is (hopefully) the last conceivably effective option at the current president’s disposal to override democracy and simply … install himself as an unelected second-term president.

No supporters of Donald J. Trump would view him that way, of course. They would quickly and cheerfully embrace whatever alternate reality that their president paints for them using his limited command of the English language. If he told them that Lizard People from Venus hacked into the voting machines via telekinesis, they’d follow right along.

So we in America have gotten a reprieve from madcap authoritarianism — at least until Trump runs again in 2024, or one of his children does. The latter is the worse option, I think — each of the Trump kids are just as shameless as their father, and each is profoundly less stupid. (Look at their Twitter feeds. They can speak English.) They might have better chances of reaching the White House and remaining there. (It’s been said by wiser men than me that Donald Trump could actually succeed in becoming a dictator if only he weren’t such a goddamned imbecile.)

Or what about some other opportunist who successfully targets Trump’s surprisingly broad demographic? This country has no shortage of foul-mouthed, egotistical, tough-talking white guys who lash out on the Internet and falsely claim to have all the answers. (Look at me, for example.) If we could export these assholes, they’d make up more than half of our gross national product.

We don’t need Donald Trump to end the American Experiment. We just need someone like him. All we need is another charismatic demagogue who can attract financial support, and who can lead bullshit, televangelist-style pep rallies and who (more importantly) can manipulate social media to spread disinformation.

American exceptionialism is a myth — at least as far as authoritarianism is concerned. The people of this country are no less susceptible to its appeal than people where authoritarians have seized power in the past — places like Germany, Italy, Russia, China and elsewhere.

And they don’t need Trump to trump democracy. The fight goes on, as all good fights do.

Because Trump’s defeat today still only gives us what Franklin told us we had when (apocrophally, at least ), he exited the Constitutional Convention in 1787 — “a Republic, if you can keep it.”

Throwback Thursday: H.G. Toys’ 1976 “King Kong” jigsaw puzzle

I can’t believe I actually remember this — the 1976 “King Kong” jigsaw puzzle produced by H.G. Toys.  I received it during a backyard birthday party on a hot summer day … either that year or 1977?  I guess that would have made me four or five years old.

I mostly remember the box occupying the disastrous floor of the bedroom closet that I shared with my older brother.  I’m pretty sure the pieces fell out; I never assembled it.  The target demographic for this 150-piece puzzle was well beyond my age group.  That didn’t bother me.  I had no interest in jigsaw puzzles — as a tot, I just liked examining the illustration on the box.

That is indeed a version of King Kong straddling the World Trade Center.  It depicts a movie poster from the truly forgettable, 70’s-awful version of the classic monster story — the one starring Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange.  The 1933 original, so beloved by my father and me, was far better than this version.  It even had better special effects.  (Ray Harryhausen’s stop-motion photography is still fun to watch; this stinker gave us a man in a gorilla suit.)

That illustration is still pretty cool, though, even if the fate of that bomber clutched in Kong’s hand is somewhat confusing.  (Is is just disintegrating?  Was it made of Legos?)

I never saw this “King Kong” in the theater.  My family didn’t do that much.  But I remember being excited to see the movie on broadcast television a few years later.

As I’ve noted before on this blog, jigsaw puzzles for kids were kind of a thing in the 1970’s and maybe early 1980’s.  (I have since never seen or heard of a child older than a tot playing with one.) Some of the 70’s puzzles, just before my time, were bizarrely sold in cardboard cans.  (I remember seeing those among my older brother’s possessions.)