Schmendrick

Part of the job requires faking civility to visitors determined to be the biggest assholes as possible. It can’t be helped. It’s in their nature.

Last week dumb luck pushed a beaut my way, in my grill. A Trump supporter, though from Gotham, didn’t know any better and didn’t care who knew.

He was an outer borough mook. Until Donald Trump revived it, a much discredited cliché about New York City residents outside Manhattan proclaimed they had chips on their shoulders. It was said that money-makin’ Manhattan residents looked down on them – though nowhere with the same haughtier as rubes living in New Jersey.

Seems Manhattanites once imposed inferiority complexes on the in bridge-and-tunnel crowd. Imagine that.

Thankfully we live in enlightened times. Both sides have matured. The other four boroughs can now bask in Manhattan’s glow.

Okay. Maybe not all of Staten Island.

Schmendrick and a bunch of his fellow boors visited Las Vegas for no particular reason. Be assured they were all neighborhood guys. After all, with whom else could they comfortably associate? They were in Vegas because it Vegas. Nothing more.

Much of what kept them tolerable, the comportment Eastern society demanded of uncouth, loudmouth, ethnic, white males, little of that existed in the Big Mayberry. They could rampage here and not worry about being called to account.

Each was of the mind that Las Vegas exemplified unfettered capitalism. Of course that was wrong. Schmendrick meant was as long as one possessed the wherewithal, the city catered to unleashed inhibitions in manners unique to America.

If it’s not a mutually agreed to exchange, but one performed under duress, then that’s exploitation. Often duress is a fluid concept in Las Vegas. A lot of times it gets mistaken for consent.

Money condones misbehavior here. Money forgives misbehavior.

Only when the act so foul or the cash had tapped out, did the general rules resume. After so much contrary behavior having been accepted one can only imagine the shock or disappointment of being forced to color within the lines again.

Compared to the rest of the country, “no” is infrequently uttered or heard in Las Vegas. That especially appeals to adults lacking control, maturity, patience, or empathy. All three were missing in Schmendrick. He reveled in vice, in guiltlessness. Here, he didn’t worry about others’ disapproval because everybody around him misbehaved.

Having lived in the Metropolitan New York Area, I recognized his default attitude as “fuck you.” Looking down on characteristics polite society valued, Schmendrick sought to exploit what he determined weaknesses. He attempted this through belittlement and intimidation.

Humiliating others must’ve been his favorite pastime. Particularly in Las Vegas where servility can reward quite well.

Hours inside cabanas or clubs or at the tables maintained his pallor. Schmendrick’s eyes darted though not from vigilance. Rather his orbs reflected the restless movement of a man looking to avoid exposure.

Opining loudly, incessantly, and profanely, he came across as a tool who couldn’t stand being contradicted. The effect was intentional. In our native New York such wouldn’t have carried him far. Not because New Yorkers are especially mindful but because responding to vitriol, no, lumping it with one’s own, is so common. Increased grievance rather than any advantage gained the result back East.

However, out West away from the Greater Northeast, among softer, less sharp masses, Schmendrick could and did let his beastly nature roam and roar. Before crossing me, who hadn’t I seen and heard him upbraid and dress down? No reasons necessary. If asked he might’ve commended the various personnel encountered, the services received, and the amusements indulged. Otherwise who or what didn’t he denigrate?

Yet all this was borne with as much grace as the targets of it could muster because Schmendrick applied the right salve afterwards. Money. He tipped lavishly. After flaming some staffer, he’d yank a horsechoke from his pants pocket and peel off a bill. Rather than see the gratuity soften his brusqueness the bills he mashed into palms further emphasized his disdain.

As a nation, aren’t we becoming more inured to money, its pursuit, its acquisition, permitting us to diminish our self-regard? Farther and fewer are instances of Americans being insulted by relative pittances for our abasements and refusing the minor amounts offered in return.

Disbelieving? Just cringe through reality television. While everyone has his or her price, aren’t the bargains being struck getting lower and lower?

Only professional comportment and a lifetime of growing up around such people kept me from joining the ranks of Las Vegans he’d flustered. Not like I concealed my New York roots, but Schmendrick never bothered asking. Just as well. While he admired how the Mojave served as a fine adult playground, he also sensibly asked who’d want to live there and clean up after people like him?

Like all Schmendricks this one was always right. Given a chance he’d browbeat listeners into accepting that black truly was white.

He wanted my view of President Scalawag. That was after the visitor had sung his hosanna to the real estate fraud.

It was easy seeing how Der Trump captivated him. Although the short-fingered vulgarian’s success is hollow, his bluster and bull in a china shop attitude won over Schmendrick. That’s who he wished emulating. It wasn’t so much Der Trump was genuinely respected. Nope. But that the bloated pig is obeyed. It will never cross Schmendrick’s mind that the resentment Trump-like figures engender ultimately hobble them.

Appearance and self-satisfaction comprised the hero’s sum total. Schmendrick needed yet lacked the insight to see the destructive nature and results of President Scalawag’s recklessness and self-absorption.

Schmendrick claimed Der Trump’s disruption of the old orders was just what the country, no, the world, needed. He parroted Der Trump party line with ignorant, blood-in-the-face, true-believer fervor.

Admittedly he once almost roused my direct ire. Having followed Der Trump’s strangling of facts with lies and absurdities, even casual listeners or readers of his tweets are aware of his absolute and all-encompassing hate of Muslims.

Similar to the blood libel heaped upon Jews, Der Trump wants to bind all believers in his quite personal fevered conspiracy of the bent forces precipitating the September 11th attacks. The vile pig has repeatedly claimed that from his office he witnessed Muslims in New Jersey rejoicing at that day’s destruction.

One can call his recollection into question because of these points: Trump Tower views narrowly upon Midtown Manhattan; knowing the possible blowback from curs like Trump and the mongrels sharing his opinions of them, no Muslims anywhere near Lower Manhattan delighted in the slaughter that occurred there, in the Federal District, or Pennsylvania.

Listening to Schmendrick’s slander, I wondered whether he, like his crooked idol, had ever met or seen any real Muslims. Real ones, not the sheiks or emirs who speak out of both sides of their mouths about Islam like too many evangelicals do about Christianity. Not the bearded, wild-eyed pistol wavers seen on an endless Fox News loop screaming “Death to [country/politician/artistic figure here]!”

Real Muslims, the ordinary kind, neighbors, people among us sharing our aspirations who strive hard to realize them. Our fellow Americans.

Since President Scalawag began soiling what should now be known as the Offal Office, Schmendrick declared our economy the best it’s ever been. Also, the world bowed to America again. In fact, no longer would “dinky, nothing, shithole countries” dare continue taking advantage of the United States.

His cited generalities demanded specifics. He had none. So used to his blather being swallowed, my request caught Schmendrick off guard. Watching him stumble into silence pleased me.

Reciting several of his Dear Leader’s most recent edicts, each of which has the likelihood of placing the United States in great disadvantage or great distress or outright peril, I wondered aloud how a self-professed, self-acknowledged, and self-promoting whiz negotiator could dismiss the one basic mutual tenet held by business and government.

Schmendrick was dumbfounded. He only saw rapaciousness in both entities. In business it was good; in governing, evil.

The term escaping him was “stability.” In real functioning life, governments and businesses crave stability.

In Der Trump, these steady, tried and true, proven methods through which we’ve advanced have been disrupted. His supporters have bought the alien canard that both systems needed shaking up. No. To resume and safeguard the nation’s progress both need shoring up – and fast!

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