The News from Lake Trumpbegone

By Douglas John Imbrogno | April 4, 2023

This delicious, AI-created image of Trump on the run has been making the social media rounds. I splashed some color filters on it.

Finally, it’s Booking Day in NYC today—which should, perhaps, be made an American holiday. The custody-taking, the first in American history, of a former president who lives only to rage, will doubtless bring out great malevolence from die-trump-hards. Plus, over-the-top coverage by trump-drunk M.S.M. automatons (who have been missing the better story of Nashville kids marching en masse for gun control, in advance of a nationwide April 5 walkout). There will be much fretting from the tut-tut commentariat, not to mention more spittle from sad old Lindsey Graham’s lips (what does the orange devil have on him?) In other words, everyone’s timeline will burn red-hot this day.

So, as a mental health PSA, TheStoryIsTheThing offers up the four images below. I invite you to gaze upon them when today’s frantic mediascape begins to overwhelm or to disgust you. Or, even, gets you too giddy, losing sight of the armed fascisti still skulking in the shadows. I also invite you to link or post a salutory, uplifting image of your own in the comments below. Or put one on your social media timeline (link back here to explain the concept). Pick something that depicts or comments upon everything that Donald Trump is most certainly not.

Peace to you and yours on Booking Day!


Wherein, my dear old Italian-born Grandma Catherine Imbrogno (nee Napoli) dances the Tarantella, along with her American-born youngest boy, Bob, who is outfitted in a natty, snazzy, shiny suit and complementary brown shoes. Which, however stylish his get-up, may be out-gunned by Grandma Catherine, in her robins-egg blue killer dress and sensible-flats ensemble.

The woman in white is my Aunt Aurelia. And the mustachioed guy looking down at the right is her husband, my uncle Louie, both natives of The Old Country (which is to say deep up in Italy’s southern Calabrian hills). The occasion was Grandma Catherine and Grandpa Eugene’s 50th wedding anniversary—they met in the middle on one of those Calabrian hillside. They then floated their way here (along with a three-year-old boy who would become my father) back in the 1920s, via Ellis Island. This anniversary hoe-down—although don’t you think it looks more like a throw-down in the photo?—took place in the party room at the American Slovak club in Lorain, Ohio, way, way back in the day.

They’re all gone in the photo—peace along your way, mia cara famiglia! But the club lives on. Let us hope the dancing does, too.


Wherein, the usually snippy-to-each other Whisker Sisters—Luna (the black tuxedo cat) and Gizmo Gadget (the white-and-black Rorschach Cat) chill out jointly in Snoozerville. Meanwhile, they inadvertently compose a furry version of the Chinese philosophical concept that describes opposite, but interconnected and ultimately complementary forces.

Dear Gizmo has since moved on to the Great Litterbox in the Sky. Otherwise she might fuzzily bump your head in greeting. If she liked you, if she really liked you …



Wherein the Buddha—possibly the most misquoted wise guy in history (maybe next to Mark Twain, Churchill, and Ben Franklin)—never really said this directly, of course. But, really, dangit, it’s pretty close to a core Buddhist truth. (If, that is, we do the work of shrugging off our suffering habits of mind and life.)

Also, this is a REALLY good way to look at Donald John Trump, who has been a particularly long-lasting, yowlingly painful, kidney-stone-like aggravation beyond the point of endurance.

And yet! Here is a reminder to all of us who cannot wait for him to pass out the urethra of our body politic: ALL kidney stones dissolve one day, if we drink enough water, watch our diet, and have wise physicians. That, too, might be said to be a Buddhist-y truth. (Interestingly, the Buddha is often referred to as ‘the great physician‘—as in offering a diagnosis of how we fundamentally hurt ourselves and a regimen and a cure for fixing that.)


Wherein, I invite thee to turn thine eyes away from your phone at some point this day, away from today’s turgid timelines. Gaze deeply and away and celebrate Nature’s ever-touring outdoor festival, either vicariously or in a real-deal, touch-the-grass sort of way. Or in this case, a glorious field of water lilies out at Hoeft Marsh, in this photo I snapped one fine day out around Greenbottom, West Virginia.

What is a bunch of water lilies called, anyway? Probably not a field. A ‘lawn of lilies‘? A ‘milling of lilies‘? Help me out here—after your eyes return to the timelines where we spend WAY too much of our precious life-force. And just recall this: that the lilies are waiting on you. And the trees. And the clouds. And the bunnies and Great Blue Herons. Once, that is, we tear our eyes away from the Next Most Important Distraction on Our Phone.

Now, let us keep the peace and pass it forward.

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