Charles Brian Orner
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The Sostenuto Blog

The Mad Hatter and the Politics of Pork


Within the pantheon of brilliant, important, and admirable human beings, you will, if you look closely, find Dinesh D’Souza nowhere. His mark upon our society is patinal, but persistent — craven like connivance; fecund like filth, and cruel like Indian caste. He’s the credulous carnival barker cum clownish couture. His record of grace and gregarity, fealty to fact, and adherence to integrity is similarly cellophane — a vanishingly thin and entirely transparent sack of Saville Row sophistication clothing a stentorian shit bomb. D’Souza is the Artful Dodger sans the art; Dick Cheney sans the Cheney; the Mad Hatter sans the Wellington, with a 10/6 label greasing his gratuitous palm.¹ He’s agitprop for the propeller-hatted, and everybody knows they’re really mad.

In this, his resemblance to the President* is inescapable — in a stentorian shit bomb kind of way. The timbre of their drivel is entirely harmonious, and indistinguishable from the even-toed ungulates that fertilize the fields at Fox News — sans the news, of course. The difference is the mad on offer; pigs are highly intelligent, and perfectly happy that they’re full of shit. D’Souza is morose on his maddest day, and Trump is as dumb as a trough.

Pardoning for political purposes is a stentorian shit bomb of a somewhat different sort — a harmonious squeal from one even-toed ungulate to another. It debases the privileges of the Presidential pig pen from undoing injustice to transactional tit-for-tat. In the Trumpian context, this is a multiple-entendre that D’Souza understands only too well; “tit” is self-evidently Stormy, while “tat” offers a universe of applicable meanings, from the textual emoticon to the British colloquialism.² Not one of them renders a silk purse from a sow’s ear.

The miliner is mad, and the price is pusillanimous, but half a guinea is still a pig, no matter the squealing on offer, and two wrongs do not make a wight.³ D’Souza has predictably responded by grunting at his prosecutor — an Indian American of an entirely different caste — for whom karma, apparently, is a sow of a different species.⁴ Class like this generally qualifies you for latrine duty, or for the Presidency* — of a Christian Nation, or The King’s College — it all shmell’s the same.⁵ There’s no sense, and no science, but — hey — Paylean pork barrel politics is one way to fend off the boar-dumb.⁶

Squealing of any sort may be premature, however. Robert Mueller is wise to the ways of the gourmands among us, and he does not need a Fedora.⁷ He’s butchered twenty-two swine so far, with more shoats surely to follow. One suspects that all this grunter harmony will be a swine song soon enough.

In the final analysis, the porcine pair — Trump and D’Souza — would do well to remember one important lesson: In pork barrel politics, Babe, you reap what you sow.

— B.


(1) Former Treasury secretary Tim Geithner, who attended Dartmouth at the same time as D’Souza, recalls running into him at a coffee shop and asking him “how it felt to be such a dick.”

(2) TAT is a text-based emoticon that symbolizes crying loudly or bawling. It is also used colloquially in Britain to refer to the kind of junk sold by crafty Cockneys to unsuspecting tourists in central London.

(3) The price ticket on the Mad Hatter’s hat reads “In this style 10/6” which is 10 shillings and 6 pence, an amount equal to half a guinea. “Wight” is an archaic term for a human being.

(4) Following the announcement of his pardon, Preet Bharara, who prosecuted D’Souza in 2012, tweeted “The President has the right to pardon but the facts are these: D’Souza intentionally broke the law, voluntarily pled guilty, apologized for his conduct & the judge found no unfairness. The career prosecutors and agents did their job. Period.” D’Souza responded with “KARMA IS A BITCH DEPT: @PreetBharara wanted to destroy a fellow Indian American to advance his career. Then he got fired & I got pardoned.”

(5) From The King’s College website home page, for whom D’Souza was once President: “Through its commitment to the truths of Christianity and a biblical worldview, The King’s College seeks to transform society by preparing students for careers in which they help to shape and eventually lead strategic public and private institutions, and by supporting faculty members as they directly engage culture through writing and speaking publicly on critical issues.”

(6) Paylean® is a swine feed premix containing ractopamine hydrochloride, which directs nutrients to increase the amount of quality meat in high value cuts and improves production efficiency. Paylean® acts primarily by increasing the synthesis of muscle protein; thereby resulting in leaner swine carcasses containing more muscling and less fat. Paylean® was approved by the FDA in December 1999 for use as a swine feed ingredient. Therefore, the interest in using Paylean® is quite high for exhibition pigs at all levels of competition. 
— From Using Paylean® in Show Pig Diets, Iowa State University Extension

(7) A fedora is also known colloquially as a Pork Pie Hat.