Nobody’s Burisma But My Own

I don’t know about you, because I can’t read your mind, but I’m beginning to lose mine when I read what appears to be MSM taunts about their hold on the narrative. Feels like, nah-nah, we control the honey (pictures naughty kids dressed as bees skipping down the road, taunting, like something out of Lillian Hellman’s The Children’s Hour), as if the Intelligence Community (IC) sat down with MSM executives and guaranteed them oodles of dark money to cover ad revenue losses, if they’d just ‘sign here’ and sit on their lap once a while to take dictation.

Well, that’s the way it felt when I parsed a Guardian (Observer) review of Hunter Biden’s memoir, Beautiful Things, the other day. “The scandal that wasn’t: Republicans deflated as nation shrugs at Hunter Biden revelations.” Nah-Nah. And then follows endorsements of the books monumental and “searing” honesty. Publishers Weekly loves it! Stephen King was inspired (oh-oh, we know what that means: Think — Here’s Hunter!). Dave Eggers us on. But the piece de insistence is Charlie Sykes’ (How the Right Lost Its Mind) Much Ado Tempest Teapot quote:

It is amazing how many of their hopes and dreams did centre on Hunter Biden’s addiction, Hunter Biden’s sex life, Hunter Biden’s laptop, and interesting for a political party that has based so much on ‘nothing matters’ to discover to their disappointment that nothing matters.

Quote Sykes. More helmet-polishing from the MSM. Sieg heil!

I have an ‘alternate’ fact-based take on Hunter’s memoir.  First, I was rather surprised to find the book open with a quote from Charles Bukowski’s “Nirvana” (here read with comforting virtues by Tom Waits, Mr. Closing Time himself).  Each flake is unique. You heard it here first. The Nirvana described in the poem is a bus traveller’s coffee stop where a passenger sits in a booth in a cafe and he gazes out at the snow and finds perfect peace in that moment and doesn’t want to leave.  But like Robert Frost’s “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening,” the fuck still has promises to go south and miles to go before he truly sleeps.      Biden probably found the work on the PoemHunter site.

Is it relevant though?   You know, to the memoir, I mean. In the poem, just before the imagined beauty that suffuses the world in wonder arrives in a flash, the narrator is sizing up an “unaffected” waitress.  I’m going with he wants to stay, not for the snowflake moment, but for a chance at scoring some poontang on the road. Hunter, the womanizer, woof. Quick romance, during which he affected her, then on the next bus out, while sleeping, like the snow snoozing on the prairie. Poem accomplished.

But more germane, maybe the Bukowski reference is to Barfly, the film about a drunken poet (said to be based on Bukowski life details) in which he nails Faye Dunaway (she is still beautiful, the way Hunter likes them, but at times in the film you can tell she’s been in a machine gun ambush that her hairbrush just can’t fix).  “Nobody suffers like the poor,” Henry (Mickey Rourke, before his face got hit by a truck) says to a pretty would-be agent/lover (who erotically cats it out with Faye later for the privilege of seemingly being the reference point in Dylan’s “Just Like A Woman,” when she lets on that she knew him when he was hungry and it was her world). This Barfly reference makes more sense, actually, as even in the chapter most spectacle-seeking readers would be salivating over in anticipation — Burisma — he openly admits he spent a lot of his monthly salary getting shit-faced. We’ll get to that.

No, the real question the savvy reader wants to know is Who Wrote the Book?  Personally, I’m not all that enamored of memoirs-as-told-to.  Literally hear-say.  Although it’s not credited right there on front cover as being a co-written book, that is, in fact, what it is. Drew Jubera is an “acknowledgement” in the back of the book. There’s nothing illegal about this arrangement, but I prefer a memoir to touch me more personally.  I don’t want to hear your story from someone else’s lips. Doesn’t feel right.  Sounds like a built-in safety weasel escape clause, if information proves embarrassing under closer scrutiny, whereby you can just say Told-To didn’t hear me properly.

But I think it’s worse than that.  I think Drew wrote the whole inshallah while Hunter slept off another one.  I can’t prove it, of course. (That’s the whole point: plausible deniability.) However, I do have a degree in applied linguistics, and it seems pretty obvious to my trained mind — really without any need to expertly beat the snot out of any wayward phonemes — that Hunter had no hand, as it were, in writing the book. Check out this excerpt from Drew’s creative non-fiction book, Must Win:

Back in the segregated ’60s, this white sharecropper’s son from out-past-nowhere Georgia, whose father once whipped him for returning home from a dinnertime hunt with nothing more than a “skinny rabbit,” had proclaimed that the first time a black kid pulled on a Wildcats uniform would be the last day he ever gave the school a dime.

Note the long, largely unpunctuated prosaic riffs; the tone and tenor. And cache register.

Now compare to this bit from “Hunter’s” memoir:

I became a proxy for Donald Trump’s fear that he wouldn’t be reelected. He pushed debunked conspiracy theories about work I did in Ukraine and China, even as his own children had pocketed millions in China and Russia and his former campaign manager sat in a jail cell for laundering millions more from Ukraine.

One dega comma. Same flow. No prostate problem here, as they piss down your leg and call it rain. Alright, so Hunter like Dad with his speeches, gets someone else to ghost write it and call it his. Fuck it: what are we going to do we these knuckleheads?

The star chapter, Burisma, is literally the book’s middle chapter — Chapter Six in an Eleven Chapter account of the memories of a confessed drunken lout.  We’re supposed to love him for “searing” honesty; he’s a tonic for our times, like Ray Milland in The Lost Weekend. “C’mere,” he says to the bartender, he’s got a long tale of woe to tell. Give me a double. Well, I don’t know about Ray or Hunter, but I’ve been on a few benders in my time — most journalists have — and there’s no way you’d want to rely on my blackspotted personal memories. Probably it happened that way, you think. But unless Hunter took notes, like a journalist, he may have just said “whatever” to Drew and rolled back over in the comforting snow blanket of his snooze.

Most likely, Beautiful Things (notice he doesn’t say, Beautiful People) is. like Donald J. Trump’s The Art of the Deal, totally a contrivance of the ghostwriter. In Anatomy of a Monstrosity, Nathan J. Robinson noted:

Tony Schwartz, who ghostwrote The Art of the Deal, says Trump had no hand whatsoever in the writing process, and limited himself to spending “a couple of hours” reading a draft of the book once Schwartz had completed it.

Probably our new good bud, Hunter, was out back getting his boogers bounced by the poetry-hating bartender Frank Stallone, who didn’t like “C’mere” very much, and this “memoir” is, like, his Daddy’s speeches, the product of someone else’s mind. Hunter gets the credit if the tale is seen as swell and marvy, but if cracks appear, then Drew’s been paid to be blamed.

Drew won’t tell us how much Hunter actually made. It’s been widely disseminated that Hunter pulled down a head-scratching $50,000 per month as a board director (he admits, in the chapter, that at previous jibs, they’d just thrown him expenses), but in the memoir we’re told, “[T]o be honest, the pay was good. There’s no question that the board fee, five figures a month, appealed to me.” Five figures is vague. Trump was claiming that he earned more than $90,000 per month. You’d think Hunter would be exact, just to rebuff Trump’s silliness. We can assume that Hunter paid taxes on that reported $50,000 per month, but if it turned out to be closer to the Insurrectionist president’s claim, then oh-oh, Donald wouldn’t be the only one with a tax problem.

Anyway, the Burisma chapter is the only one worth ruminating on, and then only briefly.  Although, like the other chapters of this non-political thriller about one man’s descent into the madness of pussy galore and bar-hopping among the Stephen King set (“all work no play…”), the 12-page Burisma chapter is couched and rather dissembling; it’s not telling all it knows.  The reader will recall that this sorry saga about Burisma comes from the fact that as Obama’s VP Joe Biden had Ukraine’s doings in his portfolio. He was the go-to guy. (Along with Eric Ciaramella, a CIA National Security Council analyst who specialized in Ukrainian affairs, and, presumably, at the very least, shared notes with Joe Biden and Obama. And who CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou said was a king-killer not a whistleblower.) So, did Joe influence the Burisma decision to appoint Hunter as a board director?  And the follow-on question, relevant to Trump’s later first impeachment, did Joe arrange for the firing of Viktor Shokhin, the Ukrainian prosecutor looking into Burisma’s alleged corruption?

In answer to the first question, Drew tells us that Hunter’s Dad had nothing to do with getting him appointed. However, Hunter does have Drew say for him,

There’s no question my last name was a coveted credential. That has always been the case—do you think if any of the Trump children ever tried to get a job outside of their father’s business that his name wouldn’t figure into the calculation?

So, nah-nah, Trump does the same thing.

As for the second question, Joe Biden went out of his way to tell the MSM back home that he got Shokhin shitcanned, threatening to have $1 billion in aid withheld if he wasn’t fired, and the wonderment was about whether he’d arranged for the dismissal because Shokhin was doing a poor job investigating corruption, including at Burisma, or, as Trump and others have alleged, because he was closing in on dirt at Burisma.  When Biden was mildly confronted by the MSM with the notion that he’d taken the heat off Burisma by the firing, Joe said the opposite was true; a more aggressive prosecutor would be appointed.

Ouch. Boy did that turn out to be untrue, Uncle Joe.  The new prosecutorial appointee, Yuriy Lutsenko is an ex-con, having served three years in a federated pen for embezzlement and abuse of office.  In other words, he did time for corruption. And we know what happens in those Russian prisons (see Solzhenitsyn, The Glug-glug Acapella Choir-o).  No, without pressing it, Joe, he got even less done than Viktor. The net effect is the heat was taken off Burisma when Shokhin was fired and replaced with a convicted criminal. So, Joe crowing about it to the Center on Foreign Relations has the smell of smokescreen to it.

Another question is raised, but, of course, not answered, by Hunter’s appointment to Burisma. In the chapter, Drew-in-Hunter clothing states that because Putin’s power is based on Russia’s oil and gas production that Burisma was the natural target of the regime.  In answer to that, we’re told,

To put it more bluntly: having a Biden on Burisma’s board was a loud and unmistakable fuck-you to Putin.

So, Hunter’s work on Burisma’s board, according to the chapter, focussed largely on corruption, which just happened to coincide with interests of Dad’s portfolio. Which suggests, in a way, that Hunter was an “asset” in IC-speak.

In fact, though only referenced once by name in the book, the appointment of Cofer Black to the same board just weeks after Trump’s inauguration, suggests more covert shenanigans afoot.  Black, GW Bush’s CIA Counterintelligence chief, who was famously ignored when he warned of an impending terrorist attack on the US, and later said he would chase the 9/11 terrorists down until ‘flies were ice-skating across eyeballs,’ like at the Rockefeller Center, would seem to bring the Company to the company. Nobody says Fuck You, Putin, like Cofer Black. Why, with his associations with Blackwater, the soldiers of fortune guys, we can expect border clashes ahead. Burisma might just turn out to be another Air America. Who knows? Drew-channeling-Hunter doesn’t say. There’s no mention of any conversations between the two board members. We’re told Hunter was all about Ukrainian corruption, but what was Cofer doing? The chapter begins with the nah-nah sentence, “It contains no clandestine, cloak-and-dagger, international hocus-pocus,” but you’ve got to wonder.

Probably the goddamnest thing DrewHunter avers in the chapter, aside from how wonderfully he remembers his dead brother Beau (remember how Ted Kennedy worked it?), is how horrible, just horrible, the job was for his life. Sweet Jesus he hit the dumps when he hit the jackpot.  Listen to this drivel:

Burisma turned into a major enabler during my steepest skid into addiction. While its robust compensation initially gave me more time and resources to look after my brother, it played to the worst aspects of my addictive impulses after his death… But by that mad, bad end, the board fee had morphed into a wicked sort of funny money. It hounded me to spend recklessly, dangerously, destructively. Humiliatingly. So I did.

Someone just shoot me. Five fuckin years of boozing (5 years x $600,000 per annum). Ray Milland, you’re dismissed; we’ve got a new sheriff in the tavern.

Let Glenn Greenwald chase down this story.  Fuck it: I’ve got sonnets to write. And besides the false narratives of government are Greenwald’s bailiwick.  He knows they’re full of shit in ways I’ll never understand.  I reckon the last nah-nah will belong to him, and then they’ll be sorry they teased and taunted. Personally, I give the Bidens until August before the proverbial shit begins to hit the fan.

Overall, the memoir is, like so much going on with information these days, a false front, an attempt, in this case, to buffer Joe ahead of time for what he must know will be a Republican onslaught ahead.  The fight for control of the means of production for the Truth or, as Turd Blossom put it, Reality-based Thinking, continues inexorably. Call it Ciaramella’s Revenge.

By the way, an excellent short film production of Bukowski’s Nirvana can be viewed at Vimeo.  Check it out, snowflake.

John Kendall Hawkins is an American ex-pat freelancer based in Australia.  He is a former reporter for The New Bedford Standard-Times.