Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Funeral march

Life comes at you fast, says a commercial for...I forget.  But it's true.  It's like we're in an opera where the action is shattering but everybody has to sing about it first.  Like Gotterdammerung, which deals with nothing less than the end of the world, but by then it's like one in the morning and you're thinking, Yeah, ride the horse into the pyre already, I have to get up and go to work in a few hours.

We were led to expect some kind of Drumpfendammerung, with martial law and troops in the streets, Democrats and reporters and other enemies of the people under house arrest, and no more of those damn elections except maybe in Texas.  Certainly this country faces multiple national emergencies:  gun violence, opioid addiction, obesity, access to health care, infrastructure, student debt, climate change, homelessness, racism, public schools, water and air pollution, and the perpetual threat of hostile foreign countries.  Any of these could be thoughtfully addressed by a chief executive who gave an actual damn about the United States, and it would be nine minutes well spent.

Instead, we got a lot of sniffing interspersed with lies about terrorism, drugs, steel slats, and how it's all the Democrats' fault because they won't submit.  For the last two interminable years, the Republicans controlled both houses of Congress -- couldn't they find the money for WALL without requiring their rich patrons to cough up an extra forty-two dollars in income tax every year?  The Cowardly Ryan and his caucus blew a hole in the deficit large enough for Ultima Thule to fit through, what's an extra five billion until Mexico's check clears?  Why is this now, now an emergency?

Could the answer be M-U-E-L-L-E-R?  Every day, like a Norn (see what I did there, Wagnerians?),  he weaves another strand into the fatal rope, an indicted Russian here, a money-laundering scheme there, a promise from the attorney general-to-be to keep his hands off the investigation.   Meanwhile the other sisters (still on Norns here, keep up) Barbara Underwood and Adam Schiff work away at their strands, only instead of cutting the rope they fashion a noose.  And this is only the prologue.

Distract, distract, distract.  So, a nutty tweet threatening California with FEMA cutoff unless the state gets its "Forrests" fireproofed (beautiful clean asbestos?).  So, back-pedaling about the big troop withdrawal from Syria.  Rep. Rashida Tlaib accused of "dishonoring her family" by the world's greatest expert on Islamic culture.  A helping of self-praise written in Valley Girl ("thank you for soooo many nice comments" on the speech -- as if).  The spooky assertion that former presidents support WALL, although all the living ones deny it; possibly talking to paintings in the late Nixon manner?).  Maybe when he visits The Border tomorrow he'll bring Melania, and she'll wear a jacket that says "The angels want to wear my red shoes" and we can spend three days arguing about what that means.

Sometimes, in the moment before sleep, I try to look into the future and imagine how historians will make sense of all this:  the Russians, the white nationalists, the climate change deniers, the staggering criminality, the role America once played in world affairs, the new generation of female politicians with no stake in keeping things the way they always were, the internet, and at the center the preposterous figure of Trump, a president dreamed up by Bertolt Brecht, Alfred Jarry and Joseph Heller to remind us that all empires fall.    




Blogger MarkS said...

* golf clap*

7:16 PM  

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