Friday, May 12, 2017

"The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things" -- what will it be for Trump?

"The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things", painting by "Hieronymus Bosch" (disputed), Public Domain,
How many days has Trump been in office? Only 100-something. It seems like a thousand. If it was a thousand -- we hope that day never comes -- we will all be dead or living on the streets. The policies put forth by Trump and his Republican minions amount to cruel and unusual punishment, which would be unconstitutional if we were imprisoned. How did we put our precious country into the hands of a madman? That's not entirely accurate -- and unkind toward those with mental illness. Trump may indeed be mentally ill. Or he might be one of those twisted leaders thrown up regularly by history.

Trump has many SM nicknames. Tweeter in Chief. Twitler, The Orange One. Twitler is a handy one as it evokes images of Herr Hitler. But then we are back to madmen again. Hitler was human, after all. My father's black and white photos showed him and his Signal Corps pals at Berchtesgaden in 1945. He also had photos of newly-liberated death camps. He knew what Hitler wrought. But, as he liked to say on occasion, "Even Hitler loved his dogs." Great quote from an accountant who loved to read actual books. It was too easy to label Hitler as a monster. He loved his dogs. Humans? Not so much.  Also, the quote is a cautionary tale for us kids. Sure, that person may love his/her dogs, but notice how they treat people. Is it with the same kind of affection? Or would they like to throw you into an oven?

My parents were kind. I've inherited their attitude toward people. I also like dogs and cats. I also am a fallible human being. I hate Trump as president because I believe he is unqualified. Would I like to toss him in an oven? No. Would I like to toss him out of office? Yes. I hate Trump because he favors inhuman policies toward me and my family. He is fallible in the way that all humans are fallible. They are born with original sin, as the catechism says. They also are subject to the failings of the Seven Deadly Sins:  Lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride.

Trump is a greedy bastard. He admits his lustful thoughts, or at least he admitted he did before Inauguration Day. Sloth -- too much golf? His political style shows much wrath. He envies Hillary Clinton's victory in the popular vote. Pride? Just look at his photos. And his figure exhibits gluttony, as do all of the photos showing him surrounded by gilded stuff, food included. His bloated body also shows signs of too much, too much.

Does this make Trump a monster? No, just human. Extravagantly human. Exorbitantly human. Does it make him president? Well, it did, according to the rules of the Electoral College.

Above is an illustration of the Seven Deadly Sins by artist Hieronymus Bosch.

Recently, Hieronymus Bosch became a script line in "Bosch" the Amazon Prime series. Actually, Bosch is always alive on the show and in Michael Connelly's Bosch detective novels. LAPD Detective Harry Bosch is known for taking shortcuts on the way to convicting the bad guys. The bad guys have failings in one or more of the Seven Deadly Sins. But so does Bosch. Is he a bad guy or good guy? When confronted by his partner, Bosch answers: "We do what we have to do."

The struggle is at the heart of most memorable detective novels and movies. Most novels, period. Sam Spade is having an affair with his partner's wife. His partner gets killed following up one of Spade's leads. Spade has to step in and find the killer which opens up "The Maltese Falcon," which contains most of the deadly sins. They are personified by the characters who show up in search of the falcon. Spade falls in love with Brigid O'Shaughnessy, the one who killed his partner -- Spade discovers this along the way. He turns in O'Shaughnessy and makes this confession:
"When a man's partner is killed, he's supposed to do something about it. It doesn't make any difference what you thought of him. He was your partner and you're supposed to do something about it. And it happens we're in the detective business. Well, when one of your organization gets killed, it's-it's bad business to let the killer get away with it, bad all around, bad for every detective everywhere." 
Bad for business. Nothing to do with right or wrong. We know it's just an excuse. Sam Spade is a cad. But he's also the avenging angel. He's somewhere in that Bosch illustration. As is Trump. As am I.

I have to sound a spoiler alert for the following.

I just finished watching the final episode of season three of "Bosch." It ends with Bosch sitting in the dark in an auditorium. At the podium, Mayor Ramos and Police Commission President Bradley Walker have just pinned the captain's bars on Irvin Irving. Walker, we have discovered through hours of binge watching, is guilty of the murder of Bosch's call-girl mother 30 years earlier. Bosch, we know from the look on his face and from reading many of Michael Connelly's novels, will get his revenge. He is the avenging angel. In the process, he may be cast into the fiery pit. By Captain Irving. By Walker. By L.A.'s notoriously fickle justice system. By Satan himself.

How will it end for Trump? Could it be one of "The Four Last Things?" They are

1. Death of the sinner
2. Judgment
3. Hell
4. Glory

Any one is possible.

God only knows.

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