Columbo Knows

That’s a heap of macaroni. (Monte Dutton sketch)

Clinton, South Carolina, Monday, July 10, 2017, 4:25 p.m.

Most of the time, I do my writing in the morning. It’s when I work the best. I get up, fix some coffee, take the daily meds, sip the coffee, wish everybody happy birthday on Facebook, fix breakfast, and settle down to work, most mornings at about nine.

There’s a background. Sometimes it’s a documentary or a movie. This year I started watching old sitcoms on Sundance: one day it’s M*A*S*H over and over, the next The Andy Griffith Show, then the Mary Tyler Moore Show, All in the Family, and Barney Miller every now and then.

Recently, I started watching Columbo on Hallmark from nine to eleven.

By Monte Dutton

Columbo is sort of opposite of Sherlock Holmes. The viewer knows who the murderer is right away. Then Columbo gradually figures it out. It’s always a near-perfect crime, concocted by a man or woman who is both very smart and doesn’t think Columbo is. Columbo is convenient. I’ll have CBS This Morning on, and I can set the timer to Columbo, and I won’t have to watch even a second of Let’s Make a Deal.

I keep tabs on Columbo while I’m writing about a character of my own. Or I’ll write a blog to work my way into fiction. Or pay some bills. Or work on book promotion. Afternoon baseball games are good backgrounds. The only trouble with music is that it makes me want to play some, and writing prose is a better use of my time. With some of that, I actually make money.

Lieutenant Columbo would not waste his time on Donald Trump because the President of the United States does not bother to plan anything. He makes everything up as he goes along, and, because he does so, everyone around him has to. Mister Trump is the best example of a kind of person with I have had many dealings over the years.

Captain of the Starship Twitter (Monte Dutton sketch)

Mister Trump is a bullshit artist. Forgive the language. The language has no other phrase that fits Mister Trump so accurately.

A long time ago – and a month is a long time in America right now – I wrote that I laugh uproariously right up until the time I start weeping.

This morning Columbo nailed Dick Van Dyke, who was acting like he was a devious photographer opposite Peter Falk acting like a devious homicide detective. When the photographer met the alleged kidnapper of his wife, he showed up late at the junkyard, where he killed the man he was setting up as the killer. Columbo reasoned that a man trying to save his wife’s life would not show up late. This was just a small part of the hints Columbo accumulated and processed.

Mister Trump was in the same hotel, while his son Donald Jr.; his campaign manager, Paul Manafort; and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner; met with a Russian lawyer. Donald Jr., once this meeting was uncovered and substantiated, said they were meeting over restoring the availability of Russian children to be adopted by American families. Who knew the campaign was so interested in orphans?

Then Donald Jr. said he had no idea the Russian lawyer was going to offer up “damaging information” on the Hillary Clinton campaign. Then he said what she offered was just crazy. It was probably related to that view most Republicans have that Secretary of State Clinton was an International Woman of Mystery, traveling around the world murdering her enemies in exchange for donations to her and her husband’s charitable foundation.

I mean, that’s why they call her “Killary,” right?

That very afternoon, Mister Trump, who didn’t know any of this was going on, even though he was in the building, made his tweet claiming that Clinton had destroyed 33,000 emails, undoubtedly the ones where, intent on world domination, she coolly planned her dastardly acts.

If Lieutenant Columbo rang the doorbell of the president’s Trump Tower penthouse, Mister Trump would dash to the freight elevator and hop a plane to Baja or somewhere.

Mister Trump and, by extension, his minions, who know no other way, just make it up as they along. I feel sorry for some of them. I wouldn’t trade places with Sean Spicer for three wishes from a genie. As the man I miss more than Barack Obama, David Letterman, said, “I wouldn’t give his problems to a monkey on a rock!”

Many years ago, a wise man made an observation to me about a powerful man after he fell: “His ego got so big that he thought he was invisible.”

The Republican Party is now officially soft on Russia. Thank God Senator Joe McCarthy didn’t live to see it.

Aw, muscadines! (Monte Dutton sketch)

Maybe the Russians didn’t win the election for Mister Trump. That sure is the way it looks. Mister Trump said he wanted to work together with the Russians on cyber security. What’s next? Harnessing the nuclear genie with Kim Jung-un?

It just beats me. It’s not uncommon for me to hear the supporters of Mister Trump make some startling remarks.

He’s the first politician I’ve ever known who tells the truth. I have almost never heard a truth, much less the truth.

So what if he colluded with the Russians? It’s not against the law.

That’s just fake news! In other words, Mister Trump’s enemies are making up everything.

The news was leaked! If it was leaked, it could not have been made up. It could not be fake news.

I do take exception when someone on TV says that Mister Trump is unpredictable. He’s as predictable as a traffic jam at rush hour. Everything he does wrong, he accuses everyone else of doing. Every day. Every way.

Lieutenant Columbo wouldn’t waste his time.

 

(Steven Novak design)

If you’d like me to mail you a signed copy of Lightning in a Bottle, or any of my other novels, you can find my address and instructions at montedutton.com. (montedutton.com/blog/merchandise)

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

I’ve written six novels and a collection of short stories. I’ve also written a number of books about sports, mostly about NASCAR. You can find most of them here.

The Kindle versions of my books, where available, can be found above. Links below are to print editions.

LightningBottle_CVR_LRG
(Cover design by Steven Novak)

Lightning in a Bottle is the story of Barrie Jarman, the hope of stock car racing’s future. Barrie, a 18-year-old from Spartanburg, South Carolina, is both typical of his generation and a throwback to the sport’s glory days.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

Cowboys Come Home is a modern western. Two World War II heroes come home from the Pacific to Texas.

I’ve written a crime novel about the corrosive effects of patronage and the rise and fall of a powerful politician and his dysfunctional family, Forgive Us Our Trespasses.

I’ve written about what happens to a football coach when he loses everything, Crazy of Natural Causes. It’s a fable of life’s absurdity.

(Melanie Ryon cover design)
(Melanie Ryon cover design)

I’ve written a tale of the Sixties in the South, centered on school integration and a high school football team, The Intangibles.

(Joe Font cover design)
(Joe Font cover design)

I’ve written a rollicking yarn about the feds trying to track down and manipulate a national hero who just happens to be a pot-smoking songwriter, The Audacity of Dope.

I’ve written a collection of 11 short stories, all derived from songs I wrote, Longer Songs.

Signed copies of Lightning in a Bottle are on sale at Emma Jane’s (see ad above). Signed copies of all my fiction are also on sale at L&L Office Supply in uptown Clinton, South Carolina.

(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)
(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)

Follow me on Twitter @montedutton, @hmdutton (about writing), and/or @wastedpilgrim (more opinionated and irreverent). I’m on Facebook (Monte.Dutton), Instagram (TUG50), and Google-Plus (MonteDuttonWriter).

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Sometimes I Feel All by Myself

Montreal, Quebec (Monte Dutton photo)

Clinton, South Carolina, June 13, 2017, 2:46 p.m.

Donald Trump has changed my life. To some extent, all presidents do. Normally, the sheriff has more to do with a person’s day-to-day life than the president, especially in a rural county, but President Trump has turned me inside-out.

I’m not referring to Russians, health care, golf, a son-in-law, a reince or even a priebus. Okay, Reince Priebus is one person, but no man should be allowed to put “e” before “i” in his first name and “i” before “e” in his latter. His full name is Reinhold Richard Priebus. I remember a major-league pitcher named Tom Phoebus. If I could create real names, as I can in fiction, he would be named Reince Phoebus Priebus. Uh, I might give him an uncle named Remus.

By Monte Dutton (John Clark photo)

President Trump has changed my habits, my inclinations, and the way I conduct my days.

For instance, last year an election campaign was going on, but I generally did work while either ballgames or old movies were on TV during the day. I watched the Red Sox with some attention at night, and when the game was over from Boston, I’d often watch the Dodgers just because of Vin Scully.

I still watch the Red Sox, though not as closely. During commercial breaks between innings, I don’t check on other games. I check on what President Trump has done.

This is not good. It seems as if every day brings developments that are alarming. I switch to a news channel, and it gets me down. I have to stay up for the late talk shows just so I can hear jokes about the latest bad news. That way I can sleep.

The president keeps saying all the criticisms are “fake news.” He says they are made up. Then he alleges that the stories are the result of leaks. They can either be made up or the result of leaks, not both. If the stories came from leaks, they are not fake news.

Gosh, I miss Vin. And David Letterman. And Craig Ferguson. And Jon Stewart. And Garrison Keillor.

 

(Steven Novak design)

If you’d like me to mail you a signed copy of Lightning in a Bottle, or any of my other novels, you can find my address and instructions at montedutton.com. (montedutton.com/blog/merchandise)

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

I’ve written six novels and a collection of short stories. I’ve also written a number of books about sports, mostly about NASCAR. You can find most of them here.

The Kindle versions of my books, where available, can be found above. Links below are to print editions.

LightningBottle_CVR_LRG
(Cover design by Steven Novak)

Lightning in a Bottle is the story of Barrie Jarman, the hope of stock car racing’s future. Barrie, a 18-year-old from Spartanburg, South Carolina, is both typical of his generation and a throwback to the sport’s glory days.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

Cowboys Come Home is a modern western. Two World War II heroes come home from the Pacific to Texas.

I’ve written a crime novel about the corrosive effects of patronage and the rise and fall of a powerful politician and his dysfunctional family, Forgive Us Our Trespasses.

I’ve written about what happens to a football coach when he loses everything, Crazy of Natural Causes. It’s a fable of life’s absurdity.

(Melanie Ryon cover design)
(Melanie Ryon cover design)

I’ve written a tale of the Sixties in the South, centered on school integration and a high school football team, The Intangibles.

(Joe Font cover design)
(Joe Font cover design)

I’ve written a rollicking yarn about the feds trying to track down and manipulate a national hero who just happens to be a pot-smoking songwriter, The Audacity of Dope.

I’ve written a collection of 11 short stories, all derived from songs I wrote, Longer Songs.

Signed copies of Lightning in a Bottle are on sale at Emma Jane’s (see ad above). Signed copies of all my fiction are also on sale at L&L Office Supply in uptown Clinton, South Carolina.

(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)
(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)

Follow me on Twitter @montedutton, @hmdutton (about writing), and/or @wastedpilgrim (more opinionated and irreverent). I’m on Facebook (Monte.Dutton), Instagram (TUG50), and Google-Plus (MonteDuttonWriter).

 

 

A Confederacy of Trumpets

The world is getting stoned.(Monte Dutton photo)
The world is getting stoned.(Monte Dutton photo)

Clinton, South Carolina, Friday, February 17, 2017, 11:15 a.m.

I’m tired, and I think it’s President Trump’s fault.

I should exercise, but, first, I need to be exorcised of President Trump. It requires too much exertion. It is an altogether futile assertion.

I don’t like the man, nor his policies, but he makes ideology irrelevant. He’s everywhere. I don’t need to follow him on Twitter. Everything he tweets gets retweeted by everyone else. I turn on any news channel, and there he is. I watch an old movie, and one of the characters reminds me of him. I watch a ballgame, and one of the coaches reminds me of him. I think of my late father, and he reminds me of him.

NASCAR’s Brian France already reminded me of him.

By Monte Dutton
By Monte Dutton

I was watching a rerun of The Mary Tyler Moore Show earlier this morning, and Ted Baxter awakened after dozing off and said he’d been dreaming he was mud-wrestling with Indira Gandhi. Tonight I’m going to be afraid to go to sleep. I might have to battle the Donald-Headed Dragon with a Swiss Army knife and a pack of firecrackers.

I’m unsure whether we are of him or he of us. Is he the result of an explosion, or is he pushing the plunger?

I’ve always believed the former. I don’t blame problems on the politicians. I blame us for putting them there. It’s not always fortunate that the system works. It’s our fault. We get what we vote for. Exactly. If big money calls the shots, it’s because we let it happen.

We elected Trump. By definition, we deserve him.

Trump will soon appear everywhere he isn’t already. I expect him to be telling me all about reverse mortgages any minute now. He’ll pop up selling storm windows, and rotisserie ovens, and offering an all-expenses-paid, Caribbean vacation, and all I’ll have to do is listen to a brief sales presentation.

(Monte Dutton photo)
(Monte Dutton photo)

God, we overreact. God, I’m overreacting right now.

I’ve been hearing the word “anarchist” lately, most often in reference to violent demonstrators who lay waste to the very communities they claim to represent.

Anarchism does not offer a fixed body of doctrine from a single particular point of view, instead fluxing and flowing as a philosophy.*

Just who are the anarchists here?

Russia is a ruse. The leaks are real. The news is fake. I notice you’re black. Could you set up a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus for me? I’ve been leaning toward a two-state solution, but the more I think about it, a one-state solution might be better, unless it’s not, and then I might consider a two-state solution again. Whatever’s best, that’s what I’m for, and I can assure you I know what’s best. I stole this ramble on Middle East peace from Groucho Marx, by the way. I’m not a bad person, you know. In fact, I already know everything. Of that, I can assure you bigly.

Mitch McConnell just said the president is “extra-discussive.” He beat NASCAR to that word, and that is hard to do. Let me return the favor. The election had “an encumbered finish.”

*Marshall, Peter (2010). Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism.

cowboyshome_fullcvr343-page-001

If you’d like me to mail you a signed copy of Cowboys Come Home, or any of my other novels, you can find my address and instructions at montedutton.com. (montedutton.com/blog/merchandise)

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

I’ve written five novels and a collection of short stories. I’ve also written a number of books about sports, mostly about NASCAR. You can find most of them here.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

The Kindle versions of my books, where available, can be found above. Links below are to print editions.

My new novel is a western, Cowboys Come Home. Two World War II heroes come home from the Pacific to Texas.

I’ve written a crime novel about the corrosive effects of patronage and the rise and fall of a powerful politician and his dysfunctional family, Forgive Us Our Trespasses.

I’ve written about what happens to a football coach when he loses everything, Crazy of Natural Causes. It’s a fable of life’s absurdity.

(Melanie Ryon cover design)
(Melanie Ryon cover design)

I’ve written a tale of the Sixties in the South, centered on school integration and a high school football team, The Intangibles.

(Joe Font cover design)
(Joe Font cover design)

I’ve written a rollicking yarn about the feds trying to track down and manipulate a national hero who just happens to be a pot-smoking songwriter, The Audacity of Dope.

I’ve written a collection of 11 short stories, all derived from songs I wrote, Longer Songs.

 

(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)
(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)

Follow me on Twitter @montedutton, @hmdutton (about writing), and/or @wastedpilgrim (more opinionated and irreverent). I’m on Facebook (Monte.Dutton), Instagram (TUG50), and Google-Plus (MonteDuttonWriter).

 

 

Things Could Be Worse, but It Takes Imagination

(Monte Dutton sketch)
(Monte Dutton sketch)

Clinton, South Carolina, Monday, January 16, 2017, 9:52 a.m.

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I write.

On Inauguration Day, I shall write.

Other than that, the bookends of the weekdays have nothing in common. Writing must be the tie that binds. Writing must be the salvation of sanity. I must find comfort in writing. It’s all I know and all I know to do.

Perhaps you’ve noticed that I’m a bit depressed. Were I not depressed, I would be out of touch with reality.

By Monte Dutton (What? Me worry?)
By Monte Dutton (What? Me worry?)

Obviously, many Americans will celebrate on Friday. The new president represents their hopes and dreams. My view is every bit as jaded as theirs. It won’t be as bad as I think. I pray it won’t. In my mind, the country has joined a fraternity, and part of the initiation is being paddled, bare-assed, by a man who loves sadism so much that, as he wields his diabolical instrument, demands that the poor initiate say each time, a la Animal House, “Thank you, sir. May I have another?”

Yow! Thank you, sir. May I have another? Yow! Thank you, sir. May I have another?

Okay. You have proved your loyalty. From here on out, things are going to be great.

There is humor. There is always humor. Laughter is the best medicine, as Reader’s Digest used to claim in  a regular section of jokes that seemed amusing when I was, oh, between eight and 12, getting a haircut. Reader’s Digest was once as ubiquitous as, oh, the new duly elected president whose landslide was an overwhelming minus-2.9 million.

Let’s set aside the politics. The new president’s politics is difficult to determine, other than the far right-wingers whom he has appointed to run the country while he doesn’t pay attention to his business interests. Or maybe his philosophy is simple. He believes only he can do it. He believes he is the best there ever was at anything ever done. He declares himself our savior. He just hasn’t capitalized it yet.

I understand that millions are in favor of what the new president wants to do. Millions are in favor of free vanilla ice cream to soften the blow of Mondays.

What I don’t understand is why people like him.

He’s mean. He’s vindictive. He’s humorless. He’s vain. He’s pompous.

In summary, he’s an asshole.

Captain of the Starship Greatness (Monte Dutton sketch)
Captain of the Starship Greatness (Monte Dutton sketch)

On the other hand, I am not humorless. I expect, if I have a chance in hell of making it through this presidency, it is humor that will save me.

Many of the same people who, for eight years, have insulted the two-term, duly elected president of the United States — who got millions more votes than his opponents — questioned his birth, his religion, his motives, his family, his work ethic, and, oh, I don’t know, his golf game, now scream that those of us who like him should give the new guy a chance. He and they demand our respect.

I respect the office. I respect that he’s in it. Beyond that, he’s got to earn it. Surprise me, please.

I didn’t agree with George W. Bush. The first sign this could happen was when he was reelected. I considered him inept, but I didn’t dislike him. I think I would have enjoyed chatting with him at a cookout. Every president of my lifetime has had a virtue I respected. For instance, Ronald Reagan would have been a fine grandfather for a little boy. Jimmy Carter would have been, and reportedly is, a great Sunday School teacher. Gerald Ford would have been a great football teammate. Lyndon Johnson would have been a great coach. I would have hated playing for him, but I expect we would have won.

There must be something I like about this man.

Thinking. Thinking. Thinking.

I got nothing.

Oh, oh, oh. Got it. He’ll be better than I expect. Yeah! He couldn’t possibly be worse.

cowboyshome_fullcvr343-page-001

If you’d like me to mail you a signed copy of Cowboys Come Home, or any of my other novels, you can find my address and instructions at montedutton.com. (montedutton.com/blog/merchandise)

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

I’ve written five novels and a collection of short stories. I’ve also written a number of books about sports, mostly about NASCAR. You can find most of them here.

Forgive Us Our Trespasses is on sale all January as a Kindle download at amazon.com.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

The Kindle versions of my books, where available, can be found above. Links below are to print editions.

My new novel is a western, Cowboys Come Home. Two World War II heroes come home from the Pacific to Texas.

I’ve written a crime novel about the corrosive effects of patronage and the rise and fall of a powerful politician and his dysfunctional family, Forgive Us Our Trespasses.

I’ve written about what happens to a football coach when he loses everything, Crazy of Natural Causes. It’s a fable of life’s absurdity.

(Melanie Ryon cover design)
(Melanie Ryon cover design)

I’ve written a tale of the Sixties in the South, centered on school integration and a high school football team, The Intangibles.

(Joe Font cover design)
(Joe Font cover design)

I’ve written a rollicking yarn about the feds trying to track down and manipulate a national hero who just happens to be a pot-smoking songwriter, The Audacity of Dope.

I’ve written a collection of 11 short stories, all derived from songs I wrote, Longer Songs.

 

(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)
(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)

Follow me on Twitter @montedutton, @hmdutton (about writing), and/or @wastedpilgrim (more opinionated and irreverent). I’m on Facebook (Monte.Dutton), Instagram (TUG50), and Google-Plus (MonteDuttonWriter).

 

 

Mister Trump Goes to Washington

The new Captain Kirk. (Monte Dutton sketch)
The new Captain Kirk. (Monte Dutton sketch)

It was a long week. Most of Tuesday was a sinking feeling. Wednesday was two lines from The Bridge on the River Kwai.

My God, what have I done?

Madness. Madness!

Most of the time since, I’ve been numb. Playing a few mournful songs on guitar. Washing dishes, or bagging trash, or folding clothes, partly because they needed to be done but mostly because it was menial and required little thought.

By Monte Dutton
By Monte Dutton

If Donald Trump got elected every week, I might not have a dump for a house.

But that’s a rationalization. I’m sure there will be more. Life, right now, is a rationalization.

Conservatives seem to be positive I’m out of touch. I feel they are. In an insane world, the sane are out of touch. As Tom T. Hall once closed a song:

I’ve often sat and wondered who it was converted who.

The last time an election hit me this hard was when Ronald Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter. That hit me hard. I still feel it. Fresh out of college, and Reagan was off to ruin America. I still believe he did.

I never disliked Reagan personally. He would have been a swell grandfather. I even read a long biography of him, trying to come to grips with his widespread acclaim. It helped.

Eight years of George W. Bush were worse than eight years of Reagan, but I didn’t dislike Bush personally, either. I think I’d enjoy drinking beer at a barbecue with him.

Trump? I don’t like him personally or professionally.

Sometimes I’m at a public event and start talking with someone who doesn’t know me, and, in passing, I say things I’ve gleaned from all these years writing about sports, mostly NASCAR, and they don’t know that, and, at some point, my mind realizes:

This fellow thinks I’m a real bullshitter.

I think Trump is a bullshitter. He’s a pure con artist. The saddest realization from this whole charade has been hearing one person after another saying of a man who lies sometimes twice in the same sentence, “I like him because he tells it like it is.”

He is pompous, bombastic, insufferable, and humorless, and that doesn’t even address his great hatreds. Or nouns. He is a braggart, a charlatan, a phony, and a snob.

I know more about ISIS than the generals do.

I have the greatest temperament ever.

I’d be a great basketball coach. A great pole vaulter. A great painter. A great poet. A great picker of pickled peppers. Better than Peter Piper. You can ask him. Or Sean Hannity.

I’m not wrong. I’m just overreacting.

I’m not going to point fingers and make excuses. I’ve little enthusiasm for hindsight. Trump won, electorally and square.

A recent blog expressed my view that the system works too well.

I’m not wrong about that, either.

I’ve written five novels and a collection of short stories. I’ve also written a number of books about sports, mostly about NASCAR. You can find most of them here.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

The Kindle versions of my books, where available, can be found above. Links below are to print editions.

My new novel is a western, Cowboys Come Home.

I’ve written a crime novel about the corrosive effects of patronage and the rise and fall of a powerful politician and his dysfunctional family, Forgive Us Our Trespasses.

I’ve written about what happens to a football coach when he loses everything, Crazy of Natural Causes.

(Melanie Ryon cover design)
(Melanie Ryon cover design)

I’ve written a tale of the Sixties in the South, centered on school integration and a high school football team, The Intangibles.

(Joe Font cover design)
(Joe Font cover design)

I’ve written a rollicking yarn about the feds trying to track down and manipulate a national hero who just happens to be a pot-smoking songwriter, The Audacity of Dope.

I’ve written a collection of 11 short stories, all derived from songs I wrote, Longer Songs.

 

(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)
(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)

Follow me on Twitter @montedutton, @hmdutton (about writing), and/or @wastedpilgrim (more opinionated and irreverent). I’m on Facebook (Monte.Dutton), Instagram (TUG50), and Google-Plus (MonteDuttonWriter).

cowboyshome_fullcvr343-page-001

 

The System Works Too Well

(Monte Dutton photo)
(Monte Dutton photo)

At least a dozen people today have told me they’re glad it’s about to be over, but it won’t be. The division of this country is at its peak. It won’t just stop when a president is determined.

Oh, no. The losers are going to try to get the winners impeached.

By Monte Dutton
By Monte Dutton

Maybe I’ve just been slowly deluded by a life of writing about sports. The problem is that Americans are so sports-crazy that they’ve turned politics into one. It’s not enough to disagree with a candidate. One must despise him or her. I’m for the Bears. You’re for the Bulldogs. I hate you.

A few minutes ago, I noted that a link to a story on Facebook was inaccurate. I didn’t mention a political issue. I just replied that it was generally a tip-off to a story being fake when the subject’s name was misspelled. Someone else replied. I tried to click to see what he said.

I had been blocked. I didn’t even disagree. I just pointed out the link was fake.

Hear no evil. See no evil. Vote evil.

Folks, the problem in our republic is not that the system is broken. The problem is that it works too well. A country that pays no attention to its government is a country that deserves the one it gets.

It’s not entirely the politicians’ fault. There’s plenty of blame to go around. We mold them. A public servant who sticks his or her neck out has to fight like to hell to stay in office. One who does what it takes to get elected spends all his or her time raising money and naturally gravitates to the interests the money represents. They’re all bums, except for our personal representatives. We rubber-stamp and encourage mediocrity every chance we get.

Politics is the art of the possible. We demand an art of the impossible.

The country has cast aside its idealism. It has become more selfish. It has lost its feel for the common good. No one is willing to accept a share of the blame.

I am. I’m going to do better. This election won’t cure what ails us. It just identifies the poison. It’s pretty easy. It’s always found in our hearts and minds.

I’ve written five novels and a collection of short stories. I’ve also written a number of books about sports, mostly about NASCAR. You can find most of them here.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

The Kindle versions of my books, where available, can be found above. Links below are to print editions.

My new novel is a western, Cowboys Come Home.

I’ve written a crime novel about the corrosive effects of patronage and the rise and fall of a powerful politician and his dysfunctional family, Forgive Us Our Trespasses.

I’ve written about what happens to a football coach when he loses everything, Crazy of Natural Causes.

(Melanie Ryon cover design)
(Melanie Ryon cover design)

I’ve written a tale of the Sixties in the South, centered on school integration and a high school football team, The Intangibles.

(Joe Font cover design)
(Joe Font cover design)

I’ve written a rollicking yarn about the feds trying to track down and manipulate a national hero who just happens to be a pot-smoking songwriter, The Audacity of Dope.

I’ve written a collection of 11 short stories, all derived from songs I wrote, Longer Songs.

 

(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)
(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)

Follow me on Twitter @montedutton, @hmdutton (about writing), and/or @wastedpilgrim (more opinionated and irreverent). I’m on Facebook (Monte.Dutton), Instagram (TUG50), and Google-Plus (MonteDuttonWriter).

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Last Night I Saw Ghosts in the Flags Behind Trump

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(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

I’ve written four novels and a collection of short stories. I’ve also written a number of books about sports, mostly about NASCAR. You can find most of them here.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

The Kindle versions of my books, where available, can be found above. Links below are to print editions.

I’ve written a crime novel about the corrosive effects of patronage and the rise and fall of a powerful politician and his dysfunctional family, Forgive Us Our Trespasses.

I’ve written about what happens to a football coach when he loses everything, Crazy of Natural Causes.

(Melanie Ryon cover design)
(Melanie Ryon cover design)

I’ve written a tale of the Sixties in the South, centered on school integration and a high school football team, The Intangibles.

(Joe Font cover design)
(Joe Font cover design)

I’ve written a rollicking yarn about the feds trying to track down and manipulate a national hero who just happens to be a pot-smoking songwriter, The Audacity of Dope.

I’ve written a collection of 11 short stories, all derived from songs I wrote, Longer Songs.

Most of my sports columns are at montedutton.com.

(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)
(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)

Follow me on Twitter @montedutton, @hmdutton (about writing), and/or @wastedpilgrim (more opinionated and irreverent). I’m on Facebook (Monte.Dutton), Instagram (TUG50), and Google-Plus (MonteDuttonWriter).

(Steven Novak design)
(Steven Novak design)

Coming soon: My fifth novel, a modern western, Cowboys Come Home. If you’d like to sample it, and, perhaps, nominate it for publication in Amazon’s KindleScout program, try this link. If you nominate it, and it is published, you’ll receive a free download in advance.