Palin and Trump Find Common Ground in Pill Penchant

Dissociated Press, January 25, 2016

Following Palin’s endorsement last Tuesday night, Republicn front-runner Donald Trump hosted the former Alaskan governor at a prominent downtown Des Moines country club.

As discussion of geopolitics and international trade ground to a halt, the new “besties” rekindled conversation around their shared interest in prescription medication.

After polishing off a third gin and tonic, Palin began laying out her evening dose on a napkin.

“Enough about OVOMIT,” Trump blusterously ejaculated, “What’s that you’ve got there?”

“You mean these little jobbies?” Palin vocalized breezily. “Well, this little guy is Vicadose: for chronic fatigue. Here’s Benzathoradin: for hyperactivity. And this beauty is Thoradine: for migraines. Denzathoradrine for belly aches. Sinusodrine for chronic sinus failure.”

Not one to remain in ignorance, Trump pointed his gimlet finger at an unmarked green pill: “What’s that?”

“Anchorazine,” Palin offered proudly. “To channel Alaska’s natural glory when I’m abroad.”

Trump conceded no knowledge of this new medication, his usually bullish face showing uncharacteristic wonder.

He then admitted that Toupeezadrine was a favorite of his to help offset syntactical errors while stumping. “Without that stuff, I’m just like a duck out of water,” he lamely acknowledged.

A minute later, Trump pounded his chest, attempting to back peddle from his admission of weakness.

Palin, in an effort to mollify the presumptive Commander-in-Chief, assured him that her Friday pill, Amnesiadrine, would help her forget the events of the week.

Bedazzled by her solicitude, Trump initiated a hearty belly laugh that rang through the garish halls of the prominent Iowa establishment.

After his paroxysm of unfettered joy had abated, Trump leaned toward Palin: “This has got to remain between you and I, Sarah,” he whispered conspiratorially. “ But I’ve got a third-generation Cuban doctor in Florida who can get you some Coughinzodrex. That shit’ll shake the hump off a camels back!”

Upon further probing, the Northern Lights luminary and the midwestern magnate discovered to their astonishment that they patronized the same Floridian cash-and-carry, strip-mall, brick-and-mortar pseudo-pharmacy.

A reverent moment of silence mooned between the two as they reveled in mutual admiration.

Taking advantage of the intimacy of the moment, Trump got down to brass tacks and asked her the million dollar question: “Why’d you choose me, honey?”

“It was simple Donald—may I call you Donald?” The former gubernatorial whirlwind replied sedulously, “One day I was sitting on my porch looking out across the water at that erect ramrod tower of yours with those bold, gold letters T-R-U-M-P running up the side like victorious soldiers and I thought, ‘He’s the one for me!’”

Trump protested that he had no tower in Nome, nor on the opposite Russian shore.

“A girl can dream can’t she?” Palin replied, winkingly. “Especially when she’s in a caffeine-vicadose-cocktail coma.”

*This Post Is SATIRE.

New Editor to Begin Speculating

Greetings, faithful readers.

Entering my second semester at the Pacific University MFA low residency program, has forced me to reassess my participation in this blog. The workload expected of me by Pacific University is simply too intense. I am worried that I will no longer be able to devote the same level of energy to this forum that I have in the past. 

It is with a heavy heart, therefore, that I now turn over the day-to-day operation of The Speculation of William A. Gosline to a new, more energetic voice. 

For reasons too numerous to list here, the identity of the new editor must remain a secret. The little I can tell you of is that he is a refugee, though not from a distant country,  but from another time and dimension altogether! In this era of gross displacement, far be it from me to refuse him asylum.

In return, he has offered to parse the multiverse for stories, which, though germane to our plane, are markedly different due to the vagaries of the holographic universe

I’m not a scientist; I cannot attest to the verisimilitude of dimensions and time streams nor how exactly these differences will manifest in the familiar stories of our world. That will be for you, dear reader, to discover on your own. 

What I can attest to is the new editor’s absolute devotion to revealing the Truth, in all its myriad forms.

I have full confidence that he shall execute the responsibilities required by the job with competence and integrity.  


William A. Gosline


The New Editor of the Speculation of William A. Gosline will be posting weekly stories about familiar people and characters from daily life. They are satirical in nature. Do NOT take them too seriously, please.




Covering the Basics: “The English Novel–An Introduction.”


The English Novel- An Introduction” by Terry Eagleton

By British literary critic Terry Eagleton, The English Novel—an Introduction is much more than simply an introduction, though he does limit its scope to the canonical writers.

Eagleton is an eclectic and prolific scholar. He oeuvre contains works on post-modernism, Marxism, religion, and of course, literature. In The English Novel—An Introduction, he covers roughly two centuries: from the the periods known as Realism to High Modernism, which ended around WWI.

Eagleton does not shy away from psychological, political and social analyses of his subjects nor from noting some of the more opprobrious aspects of these revolutionary artists, not all of whom were liberal humanists. (A hundred years later, you would be hard pressed to find a Western writer that doesn’t subscribe to this particular philosophy, or who hasn’t been written off as a crack pot by his/her academic contemporaries.) 

Eagleton is also not afraid to reassess the works of these literary lions, soberly and somewhat free from the long shadows of their renown.

There is so much touched upon in the book.

In the next few posts, I will discuss some of the things that I learned reading this capacious work. Hopefully the reader will find it likewise enlightening. 

  1. The Novel Was the Voice of the Middle Class.

If it [the novel] is a form particularly associated with the middle class, it is partly because the ideology of that class centres on a dream of total freedom from restraint.


If the epic, the predominant form before the novel, celebrated the exploits of kings, heroes, and warrior-poets, the novel’s primary concern was the burgeoning European middle class, focussing on the individual in an increasingly atomized world.

This may seem self-evident, but we should remember that before the social upheavals that led to the emergence of the middle class, life in Medeival Europe was largely static in terms of class. There was little opportunity for upward mobility. 

The emergence towards the end of the 18th century of the middle class and its unimaginable freedom, (which is probably not all that impressive, by today’s standards) came with an increasing hostility towards the scaffolds of power. The middle class, as Eagleton writes, developed a whole slew of interests: “…its relish for the material world; its impatience with the formal, ceremonial and metaphysical; its insatiable curiosity about the individual self; its robust faith in historical progress.”

Yet, the same sensibilities that freed the middle class individual from the shackles of tradition also set her adrift, anchorless. Or perhaps more accurately, anchored solely in the self. 

The novel’s struggle and mission from the get-go was to articulate the experience of this new free-floating individual. If the epic had been concerned with the archetype and the past, the novel was concerned with the mundane multi-faceted individual and the present. It affirmed the commonplace rather than the supernatural or heroic (though overflow of the supernatural reared up in early Gothic novels, which one could interpret as a sort of bridge between epic literature and realism.)

At the time, the novel was a form that didn’t require a specialized education.

In doing so [depicting the world in its everyday, unregenerate state] art finally returned the world to the common people who had created it through their labour, and who could now contemplate their own faces in it for the first time. A form of fiction had been born in which one could be proficient without specialist erudition or an expensive classical education.


But one doesn’t see many people who are not educated reading these novels, which is proof of just how much the “face” of the middle class has changed in a hundred years.

In fact, could the explosion of genre writing (as wang-dang-doodle as it can often be) be interpreted as a similar disruption to the literary scene as that that occurred upon the emergence of the novel over two hundred years ago? (And is this number longer? Eagleton opens the book with a treatise on Don Quixote.) The response of the authorities would seem to bear this analogy out: then and now, the new literary form was largely dismissed as useless, puerile, mean, base, etc. 

I don’t think that this is an academic question: With a dwindling middle class and the rise of a new breed of 21st century people (cyborgs by the look of it, or Post-Humans, as they are called in the Universities), will the novel, with its focus on realism, humanism, and liberalism finally give up the ghost? 

Of course, Eagleton opens the book with a swift kick in the pants of the reader, reminding the reader that the novel is an extremely slippery beast, and one that by its mercurial nature defies categorization.

As adaptable as humanity itself, this is what has accounted for its longevity.