A little over 38 years ago, the first issue of this journal was published. As mentioned, we were then a newsletter for private clubs in Utah, published under the name of Private detective.
In 1984, the advertising of clubs and alcohol was “illegal” in a public newspaper such as this, so the newsletter was sent directly to members of specific private clubs. One of the first clubs to come on board was the Sage Supper Club in Midvale, now A Bar Named Sue, purveyor of some of the best chicken wings in those areas, by the way.
What we had to endure in 1984 is not very far from what we know today. We have the same supermajority in the Utah House and Senate. Democrats and Independents — formerly called “non-Mormons” — essentially roam the state with the sole ambition of not ever having to leave. You know that day is coming, right?
In one of these very first issues of the Private detective, the Sage Supper Club hosted a central layout advertising its entertainment, food and party schedules. Above the photos and text was the phrase the Sage adopted as his club’s motto: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”
The owners of the club then were veterans George Boutsis and Reed James (who during the Korean War gave serious shit to the sorry guys who attacked it at Chosin Reservoir). I was asked to add the motto to their ad by Mary Jane Boutsis, George’s wife. When I asked what that meant, she laughed at me funny. “Well, what do you think that means, silly? It means exactly what it says,” she told me. “Look around!”
She was right. The walls, the fireplace, the bandstand and the kitchen were all the same, despite the changing eras and the comings and goings of customers. It’s the same with our government – same government structure in power, same results – just new faces giving smooth, self-respecting speeches.
Not that I understand the guy, but I’ve sometimes found solace in William Shakespeare’s words to validate my own experiences in modern times. It’s reassuring in a way. The closest I can find to things changing, yet remaining the same, is his line of Storm: “What is past is a prologue. Nothing in front of us matters.”
Golfers say that when they walk to the tee box after hitting their previous shot: “That was a bad hole, now play the next one.” I consider this a good strategy these days. We’ve been through a rough patch as a country in recent years, but it’s not over. It’s time to play another hole, looking to the future, understanding that you can only change yourself, not change the big patterns. We just have to deal with the mess as best we can, because at the end of the day things don’t change, we do.
On Monday, the Mar-a-Lago home of former President Donald Trump was lawfully raided by the FBI on behalf of the Justice Department. It was Trump himself who announced that his “beautiful house” had been “ransacked” and that the searchers “had broken into his safe”. Well, yeah, it happens in an FBI search.
That it was Trump himself who made the big reveal should not go unnoticed. It’s been a long strategy for him to be ahead of his opponents to get the first shots and headbutts. So, it’s no surprise that almost all of the talk since the raid hasn’t been about what the Justice Department might possibly be looking for and why, but rather about how our former president is being wronged, pissed off, and hurt. .
He has always been a whiner and is one now. Remember that when it came to bragging, he always said he had nothing to hide. So why the shading? Because, as in Shakespeare’s day, people like Trump had already left their mark in the muddy beds of history.
Like King Lear, another character in Shakespeare’s work, Trump wallows in pity. If he makes three-dimensional moves at any level, it’s to bring those who should hate him together to worship him instead. “I am a more guilty than sinful man,” exclaims King Lear, choking off the winds and rains, expressing that no one suffers like him and finding solace in this because, in his mind, his innocence is framed by the idea that there is always someone who has sinned worse. Are you listening, Hillary and Hunter?
I’m not sure the case law allows for less jail time just because someone else is more guilty, but that’s Trump’s playbook. As long as he believes he is the wronged one, that there have been worse crimes (worse than driving rioters to attack the nation’s capitol?), then he will continue his lamentable appeal to his followers – those supporters who like to call people like me “sheep”. I call them “the blind”.
There have always been people who seek help or advice and unfortunately find it in those who cannot be trusted. This is how a battery of scams takes off, especially here in Utah. This is why the Boy Scouts fall victim to the predatory master scouts.
Of course, Shakespeare had a quote for times like these, also from King Lear: “It is the scourge of the time when fools lead the blind. Do as I tell you, or rather do your pleasure. By- above the rest, go away.”
You see, nothing has changed.
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