book reviews, narcissists, politicians, politics, Trump

A review of Michael Cohen’s Revenge: How Donald Trump Weaponized the US Department of Justice Against His Critics

A couple of years ago, I discovered the very “New York” lawyer, Michael Cohen, who had served as Donald Trump’s “fixer” in the years before he regrettably became our 45th POTUS (though to me, Trump will always be more of a SHPOS). I read and reviewed Cohen’s book, Disloyal:  A Memoir: The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump. I remember liking Disloyal, as Cohen had a very conversational tone that pretty much spelled out what a shitty person Trump is, and why he was a terrible president. Cohen pretty much confirmed my suspicions that Trump is a malignant narcissist, and that makes him an inherently poor choice as a world leader.

Cohen on his book.

Cohen, who was once a very successful attorney with a beautiful wife, two gorgeous children, and a thriving career, went to prison for Donald Trump. I remember hearing him interviewed before he was locked up, and I liked what he said. He admits to being a bit of a shyster. In Disloyal, he even admitted to admiring Trump and wanting to be like him. He made the mistake of thinking that Trump might someday see him as an equal. Of course, because Trump is a grandiose narcissist, he doesn’t see anyone as his equal. People respond to his charm, and his ability to say the things that will spin up a crowd. But it’s all bullshit. Cohen didn’t find this out until it was too late. He paid dearly for working for Trump. I was grateful to him for sharing his story two years ago, even though I knew he did it, mostly, for self-serving purposes.

Lately, I’ve seen Michael Cohen making the rounds on YouTube. I’ll admit, he can be entertaining to listen to. He uses a lot of profanity, which I kind of enjoy… on some level. He has a thick New York accent, which somehow charms me these days. I used to like southern accents, because I am a southerner. Sadly, I no longer feel the same affection for the South, as I’ve seen Republican governments strip women of their rights to bodily autonomy, and I’ve watched salt of the earth people buying into Republican bullshit. It was as if living in Europe cleansed me of most of my appreciation for my home… even if I still love a good bowl of grits.

So anyway, this morning I finished Michael Cohen’s latest book, Revenge, which was just published October 11, 2022. I purchased the book five days after its release, so I was clearly eager to read it. And now that I’ve read it, I feel somewhat less satisfied than I did after I read Cohen’s first book. Revenge is informative, and Cohen is every bit as blustery as he was in Disloyal. But Revenge isn’t about what it was like to work for Trump. Instead, it’s more of a warning to people… as well as a good long vent about Trump’s misdeeds. It’s not that I don’t find venting entertaining sometimes. It’s just that sometimes, Cohen seemed just a little bit whiny in this book. Sure, I agree that he has every right to complain… to some extent. He paid a dear price for being loyal to Trump. However, he seems to think he has some deep insight into Trump’s character, or lack thereof. He doesn’t, really.

In 2016, when the news broke about Trump’s comments regarding women– how he kisses them whether they want him to or not, and grabs them by the pussy– I knew then exactly what Trump is. I knew then that he was not suited to lead the country. I am just a simple overeducated housewife, but it was plain as day to me that Trump is a toxic, abusive, autocratic wannabe. How is it, then, that people who are supposedly smarter and more successful than I am had to learn the hard way? Is it because they suffer a bit from narcissism themselves? In Cohen’s case, I think so… but Cohen isn’t in Trump’s league of narcissism. Thankfully, not that many people are.

I do like to listen to Cohen in small doses. He’s fun to listen to, because he comes across as personable and plain talking. However, I realize that if he hadn’t gone to prison, he’d probably still be loyal to Trump. It’s the same as the Republicans who are now turning on Trump. If he’d turned out to be the “kingmaker” he purported to be before the recent midterm elections, I know that people wouldn’t be turning on him now (and thank God they are doing that, regardless of the reason). If his candidates had won big in the 2022 elections, he wouldn’t be about to go down in flames. But that didn’t happen, so people are turning on him. Cohen, I’m afraid, seems to be in that group. He does what will ultimately serve him, and his best interests. Of course, that’s what most people do, when it comes down to it. I guess it just seems disingenuous to me that he’s now trying to come off as someone who is totally decent. I felt like in Disloyal, he was a bit more honest and genuine. In Revenge, he just seems angry, self-pitying, and hurt, and as rightful as I think he is to feel that way, it doesn’t make for the most appealing or engaging reading.

I do applaud Michael Cohen for turning lemons into lemonade. He’s turned his legal career loss into a new career. Now, he writes books, speaks on YouTube and late night TV, and offers his opinions on Trump and his cronies. I think it’s commendable that he’s picked himself up and recovered. If this shit with Trump hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t know who he is. So he did get something from his ordeal, as humiliating and awful as it was. But he got it because he reached for it, and not everyone would have been capable of doing that. The fact that, like Trump, he has a bit of a narcissistic streak, he was able to mostly shake off the ordeal. Except it’s obvious to me that he’s still kind of outraged and very offended. I’m still wondering how it is that someone as smart and successful as Cohen is didn’t see what, to me, has been very obvious for many years. And, I think that Cohen would be singing a very different tune if he hadn’t been one of the people Trump has fucked over so forcefully. But that’s just my opinion, of course. I could be wrong.

Anyway, I liked Disloyal better than Revenge. It just seemed like a better written, more honest look at what happened. Cohen freely admitted some of his own responsibility in that book, which tells me he isn’t a malignant or grandiose narcissist. In Revenge, he just seems to be looking for…. exactly that. Revenge. I would have liked to have seen a little more personal accountability from Cohen, and less ranting and raving. And, a lot of what is in this book can be found in many of the most recent YouTube videos Cohen is showing up on these days. To Cohen’s credit, though, amid the vitriol, he does offer some recommendations and potential solutions, which makes his book worth reading if you’re interested. Personally, I much preferred his first title, though.

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condescending twatbags, controversies, narcissists, politicians, politics, social media, YouTube

It was fun while it lasted… and pointless political conversations…

Yesterday, I noticed that someone hit one of my recent posts about H.G. Tudor and his YouTube channel about narcissism. H.G. Tudor is a British guy who says he is a narcissistic sociopath, and claims to provide a service to the world by explaining narcissistic behavior. Last month, he posted many videos of himself, reading Tom Bower’s book, Revenge, about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. I enjoyed listening to the videos, as H.G. Tudor mostly uses static images, rather than slideshows or video. He read aloud from the book, then explained his interpretations of (mostly) Meghan’s behaviors in an often delightfully saucy way.

Anyway, I often visit the posts that people click on, and when I did so yesterday, I discovered that all of H.G. Tudor’s videos were taken down. When I clicked on one of the absent videos, I noticed that H.G. Tudor had posted an explanatory video on one of his other channels. It seems that CBS Viacom, or whomever holds the copyright for Revenge, had issued a copyright claim. H.G. Tudor says he and CBS Viacom worked it out amicably, and he agreed to take down all of the videos regarding the book. However, in spite of having worked it out, and both parties having notified YouTube, they didn’t remove the automated mechanism that shut down his Ultra Narcissism channel. So, that’s why the videos on that post no longer work.

So this is what happened.

When videos go dark, and I am aware of them going dark, I usually take them down. I don’t know if I’ll do that this time, since I wrote a few posts about H.G. Tudor and I’m pretty sure I always included videos. And sometimes, the text doesn’t make sense without the videos. If I leave up the “ghosts”, at least those who read the posts will know that there used to be more there. I don’t know if I have the time or inclination to go back and edit a bunch of posts that aren’t particularly popular and might only get a few hits henceforth.

I do think H.G. Tudor puts out good content. It’s interesting, entertaining, and informative. And I agree with him that he probably is a narcissist, although he’s remarkably introspective for a narcissist. He may claim to have a severe diagnosis of narcissism, because as a narcissist, he no doubt wants to be the “best”… or the “worst”, as the case might be. It’s not unlike someone with an eating disorder wanting to be the sickest. If you’re healthy, you might think that sounds crazy. But, some people with certain eating disorders take pride in the behavior. Many of them see it as a badge of honor– a testament to their will power and level of control. I would imagine narcissists have similar issues, because part of being a narcissist means wanting to be above everyone else. I can see how the ones who know what they are would want to “worsen” their diagnoses, even if they don’t actually warrant a worse diagnosis. But personally, I have a hard time believing that he’s as severe as he claims to be, simply because he genuinely seems to care more than the worst narcissists would.

I am grateful to YouTube content creators who put out content about narcissism. I do think that listening to an actual narcissist is educational. However, I think I appreciate the therapeutic takes on narcissism more, simply because the people who make those videos understand the behavior and empathize. A lot of people who come into contact with a narcissist are left wounded and bewildered. The non-narcissistic therapeutic approach is edifying and uplifting, a reminder that it’s not the victim’s fault that the narcissist does what they do. It’s part of their nature. I still shake my head when I think of some of the narcissistic people I’ve encountered in my life, wondering what I did to deserve that kind of treatment. And now I know, at least intellectually, that I didn’t do anything to deserve that shit. That’s just how narcissistic people are. It’s their nature– just like the frog and the scorpion, or Lucy Van Pelt pulling the football away from Charlie Brown before he can kick it.

I’ve also learned that when you know someone is a narcissist, you don’t want to get close to them. You won’t be an exception. They WILL eventually do something hurtful or hateful, and deep down, they won’t care that you were injured by them. In their mind, it’ll be your fault, because it’s NEVER their fault. It can’t be. Narcissists believe they are above all reproach.

I’m not surprised there were copyright issues with H.G. Tudor reading the book on YouTube. As compelling as the videos were, the bottom line is, he was still reading a book to thousands of viewers who might not have decided to buy the book themselves. I did buy the book and read it on my own, which I’m glad I did, since Tudor didn’t read the whole thing. And now that I’ve read it, I’m reading to move on to the next topic.

Edited to add: I am now watching a video H.G. Tudor just put up, saying that his channel has now been reinstated. Glad to hear it!

Moving on…

A couple of days ago, a childhood acquaintance who happens to share my liberal proclivities posted about Jared Kushner. I try not to comment too much on his posts, since he has some pretty obnoxious Trump supporting friends. It doesn’t surprise me, either, since he lives in Roanoke, Virginia, and that’s close to where a lot of my relatives live… and they’re all Republicans. I’m sure it’s not easy watching Trump go down in flames, especially since they all believed in him, voted for him, and assumed that they were right to do so. For some reason, when it comes to voting for politicians, some people are willing to overlook a lot of stuff they would never accept in someone they know in person. Many people will simply vote for parties, and they trust that whomever their party has chosen to run for office is going to be the better choice for them than their opponent will be.

Of course, having studied narcissism and having been around for a few decades, I knew what Trump was when I saw him. I didn’t think he was as bad as he turned out to be, but I knew that when he proudly spoke about grabbing women by the pussy, and being ALLOWED to do it, because he’s a “star”, that he would NOT be a good leader. It had nothing to do with his political party. It was all about him. I knew he wasn’t a good husband, father, or boss, and that meant he would be a terrible president. So I didn’t vote for him.

Then I saw Trump’s acolytes coming out in the form of loudmouthed, ignorant, obnoxious, extremists, both in terms of politicians, and rank and file citizens. I knew I couldn’t vote for Republicans again. At least not until this current crop of miscreants is driven out of politics. I don’t agree with all liberal agenda. I’m more of a moderate. But, I do think the Democrats, for now, have put out candidates who are more acceptable to me. You’d think this would be my right to come to this conclusion, as a “free” American, right?

Well, I left my old childhood friend a comment, and sure enough, one of his Trump friends came at me. I could tell this guy was sucking hard on the Q Anon teat, as he kept trying to tell me what a pervert Biden is, and how his family is “sick”. I told him I wasn’t interested in his conspiracy theories. He kept coming at me, so I asked him if he thought it was “effective” to try to engage in arguments with people he doesn’t know. How many people does he know who have changed their political beliefs because of anything he’s posted?

Do you really think it’s effective to argue with people you don’t know in comment sections? I get that you don’t like Biden. I don’t really care. 

As far as I’m concerned, Trump is the worst president we have ever had. He never should have been allowed to run, in my opinion. I have a lot of reasons for feeling the way I do, just like you have your reasons for not liking Biden.

Let’s just leave it at that. H and I are politically on the same page, so my comment was mainly for him, anyway.

He kept trying to goad me into a debate. He even wrote that he wouldn’t argue with me if I would just tell him why I prefer Biden to Trump. It was a request, or even a demand, to explain myself– which I didn’t feel inclined to do. I knew that explaining it would not change his mind, because he is already very convinced of all of the things he’s read and heard from far right sources. He strongly believes that his views are the correct ones, and all other perspectives are 100% wrong.

I finally posted this:

No, because if I do that, you will just tell me I’m wrong, and that will inevitably lead to an argument. I have a right to my opinions, just like you have a right to yours. Moreover, it’s a beautiful Saturday here in Germany, and I want to spend it with my sweet husband.

I would rather frost my pubic hair than get into a political conversation with someone whose mind is as made up as yours obviously is. It’s an exercise in futility, and liable to be more painful and pointless than chemical burns would be on my private parts. 

So I am going to fuck off of this conversation and go have a beer. Have a good one. 

It used to be that people could have different opinions. It used to be that politics and religion were taboo topics for polite company. Social media has changed that, of course, and now people seem to think it’s incumbent on them to change hearts and minds to whatever their political persuasion is. Like I said, I know that people have their reasons for their beliefs. I might agree or disagree with them. But, if we live in a free society, people should be allowed to vote their consciences. I wish that the parties who put forth politicians would put forth humane, ethical, decent people to lead. But those people are often seen as “weak” by a significant number of voters. So then we get charismatic, but cruel and incompetent, people like Trump to run. He has proven to be as corrupt as they come. Some people will never believe it, though. They can’t believe they chose someone who is so fundamentally awful… or they just don’t want to admit it. That’s okay… and it’s understandable, until they try to deny the rest of us the rights to come to our own conclusions.

I have a pretty good brain. I’m logical, reasonable, and sometimes even insightful. Some people don’t like me, or what I have to say, but few of them who actually know me would call me “stupid”. Those who would call me “stupid” are not exactly good judges of intelligence. I know some intelligent people who prefer conservatism. I’ve got no problem with that. I just wish they would champion conservatives who aren’t total narcissists. Because I know that real narcissists don’t care at all about anything or anyone but themselves, and that inherently makes them awful leaders. I won’t willingly vote for that, no matter how high gas prices and inflation get… and, by the way, those problems are global– they aren’t Joe Biden’s doing.

I don’t know if my friend’s right wing, Trump supporting, Biden hating friend is “smart”. I don’t know him at all. But I’ve had a couple of run ins with him, and he’s always beating the same fucking pro Trump/pro Republican drum. I suspect he does it to me because he has a penis, and I don’t. It’s like talking to my cousin, who thinks that his dick and his experience selling life insurance overrules my education and experience in public health/healthcare management. If I were a man, I doubt he’d be so insistent about correcting my “silliness”. For the record, I’m not in need of “special help” from a man who thinks his mind/viewpoint is superior to mine. Most of them quickly prove that’s not the case at all. And anyone who still thinks Trump is innocent and deserves another chance to be a good president is probably in need of some IQ testing themselves… or maybe a psych evaluation.

Well, it’s time to close this post and play some guitar. Hope y’all have a good Monday. Catch you later.

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Ex, narcissists, politicians, royals, Uncategorized, YouTube

Speaking the “Queen’s English”, doesn’t make you a Brit, Ex…

Recently, I read and reviewed UK journalist Tom Bower’s book, Revenge, which is all about Meghan Markle. As I read the book, I also followed H.G. Tudor’s YouTube channel, in which Mr. Tudor read the book to his followers and explained what was happening within the lens of a narcissist. H.G. Tudor claims to be a sociopathic narcissist, and he says that gives him special insight to obvious narcissists. Tudor believes that Markle is a narcissist. Frankly, I agree with him, but I obviously don’t know for absolute certain. It’s just a hunch.

Let’s just say I clearly see the signs of narcissism and facade building, and I am fairly convinced that most of what Meghan Markle does publicly is an act. It would stand to reason that she’s playing a role, since she was most recently pursuing an acting career. She is literally an actress, albeit not a very convincing one, in my opinion. I’ve been around a lot of narcissists in my lifetime, as most of us have. Hell, Donald Trump has subjected the entire world to narcissistic abuse, so it’s safe to say that the vast majority of the world’s population have been exposed to the toxicity that comes from narcissism and narcissistic people. In my view, spotting a narcissist or narcissistic behavior is kind of like spotting pornography. You can’t always define it, but you know it when you see it.

H.G. Tudor explains why he thinks Meghan is a narcissist.

H.G. Tudor is not the only person who thinks Meghan Markle is a narcissist. So does The Body Language Guy, Jesus Enrique Rosas, who has done a bunch of YouTube videos analyzing Meghan Markle’s body language and nonverbal behaviors. If you look around YouTube, you will find many people making videos about Markle and her apparently self-serving behaviors, to include a thinly veiled ambition to someday be the President of the United States or some other high ranking political leader. God help us… I hope the country figures out that obvious narcissists don’t make good leaders. Because besides being abusive and lacking in empathy for others, narcissists are FAKE… and they are constantly putting up a facade that is meant to fool people into thinking they are better people than they are.

Jesus Enrique Rosas talks about the speculation about Meghan’s political aspirations.
Lady Colin Campbell says that she thinks Meghan is a narcissist, too. I’m not the only one, obviously.

So why am I writing about this today? I had actually meant to write about an entirely different topic. I changed my mind when I checked out Ex’s latest tweets, most of which give me a good laugh. Lately, she’s been tweeting incessantly about a certain TV show about Scotland, excitedly claiming she is, herself, a member of a famous Highland family. She has also, more than once, expressed a desire to learn “Scots Gaelic”, as she claims that it’s her “native tongue” (even though she was born to US citizens in Texas). Like Meghan Markle, Ex is very narcissistic, and she isn’t satisfied with who she is. So she goes to great lengths to try to convince people that she is someone she’s not. The harder she tries, the more unconvincing she is.

As far as I know, this obsession with Scotland is a somewhat recent development for Ex. According to Bill, when they were still married, Ex didn’t speak incessantly about being a “Scot”. She was then a fan of romantic historical fiction and fantasy, as she apparently is now, but she wasn’t claiming to be from a renowned Scottish family. Given that she was adopted, it would have been a strange claim to be making. But Ex has since apparently met her birth parents, and has openly disparaged them. So why she would want to claim any ancestral ties to them– people who had an extramarital affair, conceived Ex, and then gave her up for adoption, where she landed with abusive and neglectful parents– I don’t know. Obviously, they weren’t great people, even if there’s any truth to her claim that one or both of them came from a famous Scottish clan from the Highlands. What they did is, in fact, very ordinary behavior that had rather tragic consequences on many levels.

Like Ex, I have heavily Scottish roots, and I am proud of them. I have been to Scotland several times, and I used to live in England, which is where my second highest DNA concentration of ancestry comes from. I’ve also visited Ireland, which is where the third highest concentration comes from in my DNA heritage, though by much less than Scotland and England. I do feel a kinship to the UK, not just because I have the DNA from there, but because I have also spent a lot of time there, have friends from there, and it’s just become a really familiar place for me, just as Germany has.

BUT– I am still an AMERICAN. I don’t claim to be British, in spite of having a huge amount of British DNA. Most of my family came to the United States in the 1600s and eventually made their way to the western side of Virginia. That’s more like my home, even though I have never officially lived in Rockbridge County or its environs. I was born and mostly raised in the Tidewater area of Virginia, and even though I have no family living there, aside from my mother, that is also my home. Not Britain… in spite of my very British heritage, and in spite of the fact that I feel at ease there and obviously look like the natives, especially when I’m in Scotland.

I have lived in Germany now for ten years of my life, but I don’t have a lot of German heritage. I know I have some, because I’ve found obvious Germans in my family tree, and I doubt the Germans I found were actually Brits who were adopted by German families. The DNA tests don’t seem to recognize my German ancestors, even though they recognize the Native American woman who got pregnant by one of my ancestors in the 1600s. I guess this just proves that the DNA tests aren’t necessarily the clearest picture of where a person’s origins are. I’ve been in Germany for a long time, but I’m not German. I’m still American. Living here, learning the language, and appropriating the culture would not make me German, no matter how long my stay is. If I became a German citizen, I guess that would make me more of a German, at least by means of a passport. But really, at least culturally speaking, I’d still be an American.

On some level, I suspect Ex is engaging in some fantasy, building a story that makes her feel better about herself. What I find interesting, and potentially problematic, is that she is presenting her bullshit to the masses on Twitter. There are people who actually know her, and know the realities of who she is. People who know her real story probably laugh at her claims of being descended from a famous Scottish family, as if that somehow makes her special. Nevertheless, Ex still tries to put out this false image– the same thing Meghan Markle does– as if she hopes to convince strangers to accept her for what she’s not.

If you do some digging into Meghan Markle’s life, you quickly realize that her false “Diana-esque” humanitarian facade is not real. She knows how to act like a nice person when people are watching, but based on multiple accounts by credible people, it’s not genuine. Furthermore, Meghan has lied about a lot of things, like, for instance, her assertion that she didn’t know much about Prince Harry before they dated. That is obviously a whopper of a lie, and it has been debunked by people who actually know her. And yet, in spite of people who know her reporting the truth of what they know to others, Meghan has still tried to convince us of the veracity of her obvious lie.

Same thing with Donald Trump. There are many examples of his egregiously bad behavior… but people will still swear up and down that he was sent here by Jesus Christ to save America, and that the media is “persecuting” him. I won’t say that the media can’t be brutal, and certainly there has been “fake news” put out there. But… where there’s smoke, there’s almost always fire. Lots of credible people have spoken and written about what a vile person Trump is, and the proof is becoming more evident every day, especially right now. So, even though Trump knows how to charm people, that charm is superficial. It’s not real. And people who are clued into narcissism obviously clue in to it quickly and don’t accept Trump’s alternative version of “truth”.

Narcissists love to revise history. Listen to H.G. Tudor, and you will hear him talk about how Meghan Markle has done it many times. Meghan has, just like Trump, also used DARVO. Remember when she claimed that Kate made her cry during a dress fitting? I don’t believe Meghan’s story. I have not seen Kate Middleton make a false step yet. Although she’s clearly human, and like all people, she makes mistakes, I have not heard of Kate Middleton bullying anyone. When she smiles, it’s believable. She’s the epitome of charm and grace. If anyone were going to do the impossible and step into Diana’s shoes, it would be her, not Meghan Markle.

I remember hearing that when Princess Diana died, Ex was reportedly devastated. Bill has told me that she idolized Diana, as many people have. People like to emulate those they admire– and take on some of their traits. Obviously Meghan wants to be like Diana, or at least get people to see her as “Diana-esque”. She’s a poor substitute, because she doesn’t have what Diana had… and Diana, by the way, was no perfect saint herself! But, she was clearly much more genuine in terms of her feelings than most Royals are. Ex would probably very much like to be like Diana, just as Meghan obviously wants to be, but that’s impossible. All she can be is herself, which is all any of us can be.

Now… just for those who have managed to wade through the bulk of this post, I’m going to show everyone what has inspired today’s rantings. Before I do that, let me explain that there was a time when Ex was decidedly NOT liberal in her political leanings. But like many, in the age of Trump, she has apparently chosen a different path. I don’t fault her for that at all. In fact, I am delighted that she’s voting blue, because today’s Republican Party is a total shitshow, and every vote is a push for getting rid of this very destructive political trend. However, some of Ex’s “woke” platitudes are very hypocritical, especially given that I know firsthand about the horrific and obvious physical, mental, verbal, and emotional abuse she has delivered to her supposed loved ones and former spouses.

Someone on Twitter posted this:

This is a funny song that Trump adversaries sang at some rally. It uses the word “cunt”, which Americans recognize as an extremely misogynistic, offensive, nasty word that is often hurled at women. Sadly, most people who use the word “cunt” don’t even save it for the end of an argument anymore. Ex… showing everyone that she is, in fact, an American, and not a Brit, posted this response.

Ex… you are quite clearly NOT a Brit. You are an American, and you think like an American. Time to embrace that, and stop trying to be someone you’re not.

As to Ex’s contention that no one has the right to use the word “cunt”, I would say that she’s wrong. That word, like all words, has a use, and sometimes the use is appropriate. There are times when it’s not even offensive to use the word “cunt”. It’s all about context, right? Like, people in Ex’s precious Scotland don’t get upset when Brits say the word “cunt”. Why? Because it doesn’t have the same meaning there that it does in the United States. Same thing with the word “fag”. In the US, “fag” and “faggot” are very offensive slurs that refer to male homosexuals. But in Britain they are, respectively, a cigarette and a type of sausage, or even a bundle of sticks.

If Ex really wants to be “woke”, she might want to consider that the US perspective is not the perspective for everyone else in the world. Like, for instance,– I have seen the Confederate battle flag flown in countries all over Europe. People don’t care much here, because that flag doesn’t have the same meaning to Europeans as it does to Americans, and many people here don’t feel like they should have to avoid offending Americans. Likewise, a Nazi era swastika is offensive to many people, including Americans. Hanging one up here, outside the house, would likely merit a visit from the police. But Nazi symbolism will likely be much more offensive to certain groups– specifically Jewish people and Germans, who have been taught that it’s very taboo– than it is to, say, your garden variety American redneck who is also proud to display a Confederate battle flag.

Those symbols, which obviously mean something to some people, don’t mean the same thing to every person, because not every person has the same perspectives. And people can’t and shouldn’t automatically be expected to follow the perspectives of everyone else. We shouldn’t, for instance, get angry at someone who lives in the bush country of Africa for admiring the Confederate battle flag after seeing it for the first time. They wouldn’t automatically assume the flag is “bad”, because they lack context or a concept of what that flag represents– just like any young child does when seeing or hearing something for the first time. In fact, I would argue that the flag isn’t actually “bad”, in and of itself; it’s actually a neutral thing. It’s the racist and hateful attitudes from the people behind what the flag symbolizes that makes it “bad”. But it’s much easier to ban a flag than it is to confront the people behind what it symbolizes.

I could go on and on about this, as it’s a pet topic of mine. I get annoyed by people who want to aggressively cram their agendas down other people’s throats, as they claim to value freedom of expression and opinion. The left is just as bad as the right when it comes to this, especially when it’s clear that the person who claims his or her opinion is “correct”, hasn’t actually thought much about the issue at all, and is really just parroting what other people have said.

Father Nathan Monk has had a couple of recent contentious Facebook threads about so-called “spelling and grammar police” that has clearly demonstrated that as open minded and tolerant as some left wing folks want to seem to be, they really share some characteristics with some of the most militant right wingers. The behavior is the same, even if the ideology isn’t. But… this is already a long and convoluted post, and I’m thinking about doing a music video. So I’m going to close this post and get on with the day.

Personally, I think Father Nathan Monk, as well as a lot of his followers, are doing what they accuse other people of doing. Any time some responds to a disagreement with rudeness, anger, and derision, rather than patience, forbearance, and tolerance, they are guilty of the same toxic behavior as what they’re criticizing. And before anyone calls me out, I will admit that I am guilty of this myself, sometimes. Telling that guy I posted about yesterday to “fuck off” wasn’t constructive. But then, I doubt he wanted to hear me out, anyway.

Well… if you’ve managed to get through this and actually read it to the end, I thank you. I continue to write about this topic because it’s fascinating to me, but it also helps me maintain perspective. Anyone who has had direct ties to a narcissist knows that things will get confusing quickly, if you let them call all of the shots. So I write this stuff down to keep my head straight. If anyone else finds it helpful, informative, or interesting, so much the better.

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book reviews, celebrities, narcissists

A review of Revenge: Meghan, Harry and the war between the Windsors, by Tom Bower…

Not long ago, I wrote that I had been following H.G. Tudor’s deliciously snarky YouTube videos about British investigative author Tom Bower’s brand new book, Revenge. I hadn’t been planning to read Revenge, but Tudor, who has a velvety British accent and a hilarious sense of humor as he narrates, made me give in to temptation. I ordered the book last Friday; it arrived on Monday, and I’ve just now finished it. I’ve also been continuing to watch Tudor’s narration videos, which include his interpretations of the book through the lens of what he called Meghan’s “narcissistic behavior”.

To be clear, I agree with Mr. Tudor that Meghan Markle is probably a narcissist, although not having met her personally, I can’t say that for certain. Tom Bower, likewise, seems to think Meghan is an incredibly selfish, self-serving, and despicable person. Bower is the author of at least 25 books about famous people, to include members of the British Royal Family. He is known for being a very thorough reporter, and claims that he interviewed over 80 people for his book. Of course, a lot of what he writes about was also covered in the press. Overall, having read this book, one gets the sense that Meghan Markle is bad news for the British Royal Family and a real threat to the monarchy.

When I ordered this book, it was not yet offered on Amazon.com. I had to order a physical copy of it from Amazon.de. I don’t read a lot of actual books these days, preferring to read stuff on my Kindle, because it’s cheaper, more convenient, and doesn’t require me to find a place for the book when I’m finished with it. Now that I’ve read the book, I wish I’d held out for Kindle. It’s now available in the Amazon.com store, and much less expensive. But, as I’m not always the most disciplined when it comes to small impulse buys, I decided not to wait. Bill doesn’t mind that I do this. His first wife had a habit of buying cars, landscaping, houses, and furniture when she felt the impulse to buy things.

So anyway, I wasn’t expecting that much from Bower’s book. I read that he had worked for The Daily Mail, which is one of Britain’s biggest tabloids. I knew it would be salacious, and it was. I don’t mind salacious books. I do mind typos, though, and there were a few in this book. Bower brings up Meghan Markle’s work on Suits frequently, and at one point, he even wrote about how Princes Charles and William wore suits to Prince Philip’s funeral, to avoid embarrassing Harry, who wasn’t allowed to wear his uniform, and Prince Andrew, who was recently stripped of his honors. Instead of writing “suits”, as a common noun, Bower wrote “Suits“, as if he was writing about Meghan’s USA Network show, Suits. In another spot, he referred to Kate Middleton’s “Alexandra McQueen” outfit. I think he meant Alexander McQueen. And in still another, he refers to Pennsylvania as part of New England, and it’s not. These are a few examples I can think of offhand. They aren’t a huge deal, but I did notice. Better editing and fact checking is indicated. But then, this book is over 500 pages long and exhaustively researched, cited, and furnished with lots of endnotes. There were bound to be a couple of mistakes somewhere.

Bower starts at the beginning, detailing Meghan Markle’s birth to parents, Doria Ragland, who is Black, and Thomas Markle, who is White, in Los Angeles, California, on August 4, 1981. She was the only child between her parents, although Thomas Markle had two children from his first marriage, Samantha and Tom Jr. Samantha was originally named Yvonne, but she changed her name to Samantha. She is in a wheelchair, because she has multiple sclerosis. Her brother, Tom, reportedly has issues with bankruptcies and alcoholism, and has a son who is estranged. Doria Ragland is presented as kind of a “hippy dippy” yoga enthusiast who later became a social worker. They divorced when Meghan was young, but stayed in touch and even had amicable dinners together as Meghan came of age. Meghan was reportedly called “Flower” and treated like a princess, her every whim catered to, especially by her father. Sadly, Meghan and her father are now famously on the outs… My husband can relate to that, since he’s on the outs with one of his daughters, too.

Bower continues detailing Meghan’s life with astonishing comprehensiveness, covering old boyfriends, old school friends, old agents and colleagues, and frequently shedding light on some of the stories we’ve heard since Meghan burst onto the international scene in late 2017. As Bower paints it, Meghan was looking to get ahead, and constantly used people, discarding and/or ghosting them when she was finished with them. As someone who studies narcissism, this pattern is very familiar to me. I suspect the same thing will one day happen to Harry… but maybe I’m wrong. In fact, I hope I am, for their children’s sakes. The overwhelming message, though, is that Meghan craves money, success, prestige, and power. And, as Harry famously stated as wedding preparations were being made in 2018, “What Meghan wants, Meghan gets.” I think, in the coming years, those words could end up haunting Harry.

It must be heartbreaking for Her Majesty, the Queen, to see her grandson’s fall from public favor. I might even blame Harry, except I don’t think he was particularly savvy about Meghan’s type. He seemed lonely and aimless, and other women he had dated had wisely steered clear of joining the British Royal Family. Sure, there are a lot of perks that come from being royal, but with that privilege comes huge responsibilities and lots of rules and protocol to follow. Harry’s other girlfriends hadn’t wanted to live life in a fishbowl as a condition of being famous and wealthy. Meghan, on the other hand, seemed to want to take Harry’s mother’s place as the “People’s Princess”. Or, at least that’s how she seemed to want people to see her. Unfortunately for Meghan, she doesn’t have a scintilla of Diana’s charisma or instinctive way of relating to regular people. In fact, Meghan is merely an actress, and not a very good one, at that. She plays at being a caring, loving, compassionate role model, as she jets around in private planes, holds her children hostage from their extended family members, and never does anything without a camera crew. And anyone who calls her out for that behavior is quickly labeled a “racist” or a “misogynist” or even a “racist misogynist”.

Bower writes about the infamous Apple TV interview conducted by Oprah Winfrey last year, and adds more details to that story. It was quite a betrayal to the British Royal Family, and probably one of the main reasons why Harry and Meghan were so frozen out at Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee in June. The Royals don’t want Harry and Meghan using them for their Netflix and Spotify careers, nor for Harry’s upcoming memoirs, which will probably be very humiliating for the whole family… including Harry.

I mostly found Tom Bower’s book, Revenge, interesting and a quick read, which was nice after my last book, which took weeks to finish. I’m glad I read it, because H.G. Tudor hasn’t been reading the whole chapters… or, at least I don’t think he does. Reading it on my own helps me make sure I get the whole sordid story. 😉 There are photographs included, some of which are from Meghan’s somewhat less glamorous childhood. I definitely noticed a distinct pattern in the tales Bower shared, which are very familiar to anyone who has had dealings with narcissists, or just really self-centered people. I don’t know if Meghan Markle is a certified narcissist; I am not qualified to diagnose her, nor have I ever met her. But I will say that the patterns of her reported behaviors are very recognizable to me, and they are that of diagnosable narcissists. If even half of what is reported in this book regarding her problematic behaviors is true, she definitely is a high conflict person.

I give Meghan props for becoming rich and famous, against all odds… but I have a feeling that, like most alleged narcissists, she’s headed for a big, embarrassing, fall. I just hope that by the time it happens, Harry has moved on. I like Harry, in spite of his recently bratty and petulant behavior. I don’t think he’s a bad guy. I think he’s caught in a web. It happens to the best of people. But again… just my opinion… and lots of people are still on Team Meghan and think she’s the real victim. Even George and Amal Clooney seem to think so. So there is that.

I think I’d give Revenge 3.5 stars out of five, but don’t expect highbrow reading. I suggest downloading the book, watching any of the narrated videos on YouTube (others besides H.G. Tudor are doing them), or checking Revenge out from a library. My rating is probably more generous than some reviewers’, but I like a good juicy read. Fair warning that those who like Meghan and Harry probably won’t like this book.

As an Amazon Associate, I get a small commission from Amazon on sales made through my site.

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blog news, narcissists, Reality TV

It’s so nice to be negative!

If you read this blog regularly, you probably already know I’m negative a lot of the time. But this time, I’m referring to COVID. I was still feeling kind of icky yesterday, but I decided to do a COVID test anyway, before I walked our dogs. Much to my surprise and delight, the test was negative. If I squinted really hard, I could see the faintest line on the test, which means that if I test today, it would probably turn up a totally negative test (today’s featured photo is of yesterday’s result). Bill did a test this morning, and his was also negative. So I guess that means that ours is a COVID free home once again!

I still have some residual gunk from the sickness, which doesn’t surprise me. It usually takes me awhile to completely recover after I’ve been sick, especially with anything respiratory. But my voice seems to be back, and I’m no longer so tired. Maybe I’ll get around to doing something musical today… or maybe not.

Right now, I’m about halfway through reading Tom Bower’s book about Harry and Meghan, Revenge. I’ve also been following H.G. Tudor’s YouTube readings of the book. I’ve noticed he’s not reading the whole thing, just the juiciest parts. He’s also adding his own observations about Meghan’s behaviors through the lens of narcissism. I am marveling at how easy it is to read Mr. Bower’s book, even though it’s a physical book, and not on Kindle. I do have to go outside to read it, since my bedroom lamps don’t put off enough light. But, Revenge is a quick and enjoyable read, and it confirms a lot of what I’ve observed about Meghan Markle. To be clear, I’m on the “Meghan is a narcissist” bandwagon. I hope I’m wrong, but I doubt I am.

I hope to have the book finished very soon, so I can review it. I’m amazed at how much quicker and easier Revenge is to read, compared to Joshua Prager’s book about Roe vs. Wade. That one took me well over a month to read, but it was well worth the effort, and in many ways, every bit as juicy. I guess I just found the subject matter a lot more challenging… or maybe I need to read outside in a chair, rather than in my bed. When I read in bed these days, I invariably get drowsy and fall asleep. I also find it hard to read when I have my contacts in, probably because it’s long past time for me to get bifocals. But it’s not so simple, arranging a place to get an eye exam. Last time we did it, we had it done at the medical center on post in Stuttgart. Wiesbaden is a smaller post, with fewer facilities. We can obviously get it done on the economy, but that presents its own issues. We did buy our last glasses in Nagold, but there was a bit of a language barrier.

Be looking for a new book review very soon, those of you who enjoy them. I like to write book reviews, because they often take me away from the news cycle and comments people make on social media. I know I had at least one reader who didn’t like it when I posted about comments… and to that, I would say, this is my blog. If you don’t like it, you know where you can go, and what you can do there. I can’t please everybody, and would never try to do that.

According to Revenge, Meghan Markle had a blog for three years. She shut it down just as she was marrying Prince Harry. It was called The Tig. I never read it, and probably would never want to read it, because I don’t like the title. I had a college roommate who called herself Tigger, and I’m still traumatized by the experience, thirty years later. Meghan’s blog was named after her favorite wine, but I find her about as insufferable as I did that former roommate. To be fair, she probably found me just as insufferable. We really weren’t compatible. I’ll just leave it at that. 😉

I also don’t think I’d like Meghan’s blog, mostly because she comes across as very fake to me. From what I’ve read, Meghan’s blog was all about her trying to edify and uplift people, trying to teach them a more beautiful way to live. I don’t want or need someone giving me special lifestyle tips. I know some people live for that shit, but I don’t. I just want to sit here and grouse. I mean… people have said a lot about me over the years, but few people would ever call me “fake”. What you see is what you get, which I know not everyone appreciates. But I gotta be me! I know that some people hate me just because of what I called my blog. I figure that if they aren’t going to take the time to get to know me before dismissing me, that’s their loss. I’m really not so bad, most of the time. At least my dogs love me.

This post is a little cranky. I’m usually especially cranky when I’m dealing with the beginning or end of an illness. It’s probably because I want to get over the last residual sickness and get on with my life. Kind of like Kim Plath is…

I’ve been watching the latest season of TLC’s Welcome to Plathville. It’s been surprising to see how different that family is now, since a few of the kids have moved out and started embracing their own ideals. Kim decided she wants a divorce. She’s opened a dance studio, and now does liquor shots with her son, Micah. Moriah and Olivia are learning how to pole dance. Ethan still pisses off Olivia, and vice versa. I think those two will probably split up, too. And Barry… bless him. A lot of people think he’s weird and creepy. Actually, to me, he seems to be fairly understanding and decent. He does sort of have a Mr. Zip Code look to him, all wide eyed. I know some have said he’s controlling and inconsiderate. I don’t see it so much myself. I doubt we can really understand the true character of the people on Plathville anyway, as they’re on a carefully edited reality TV show.

A screenshot of Mr. Zip Code.
A screenshot of Barry Plath. He does look a little like Mr. Zip Code.

From what I’ve heard, the Plath parents haven’t yet filed for divorce. I think it’s sad that they’re talking about it, especially given how long they’ve been together, and how many children they’ve had. But I’m a big believer in people being as happy as possible. Sometimes divorce, like abortion, is very necessary and healthy. Maybe that’s true in the case of the Plaths.

Sounds like Kim isn’t happy anymore.
I can’t blame Moriah for being annoyed with Olivia. Olivia is a bit self-centered sometimes.

I did find myself feeling a little jealous that they have that beautiful farm, complete with horses. That’s what I aspired to have in my life. I got the jet set Germany lifestyle, instead. It’s not such a bad thing, I guess. Hopefully, tomorrow or Sunday, we’ll feel like going somewhere and enjoying where we live, now that I’m no longer infectious. And if we do that, I hope I don’t pick up the virus again, because that shit sucks. Glad it seems to have been kicked to the curb. Yea, immune systems!

Well, I think I’ll wrap up this post, play a little guitar, walk the dogs, and get back into my book. Hope y’all have a nice Friday… and I hope if you test for COVID, you’re as negative as I am.

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