For the first week of the Trump presidency, I found myself giggling like an asshole. This seemed totally inappropriate considering the severity of the situation — luckily, the giggles only took over when I was at home by myself, watching the news.
Since the election, it’s as if political discourse has devolved into stoner talk. There’s less idiotic giggling at this point, but all too many conversations that boil down to: “Isn’t it unbelievable that Donald Trump is president?”
Okay, fine, it’s unbelievable. But can you please just stop repeating that? It’s the kind of disjointed revelation you might get when you’re high. “Isn’t it amazing that we have, like, hands? Doesn’t it blow your mind that trees exist?”
Sure — I mean, just think about it: 60 million years back, those tiny little paws on primordial shrews began to evolve into this amazing organ we share with other primates, and that I use both to play the piano and to jerk off. But just pointing that out doesn’t, in any way, illuminate the Miracle of our Hands; to simply say “they are amazing” doesn’t add anything.
But still, isn’t it crazy that Donald Trump is the President of the United States? Yeah, and on the other hand, that anything exists at all rather than nothing is remarkable, too. Moving on.
As with regular weed, when you’re high on Trump, you’ll laugh at things that aren’t even remotely funny — like Stephen Colbert. A running joke among American political comedians used to be that a Trump victory would be good for business. But what passes for political satire in the US sucks, and since the election, it has sucked vigorously.
What is being delivered by the likes of Colbert and John Oliver — not to mention Trevor Noah, who diligently studies his US Senator flashcards each morning — is a bland mixture of Democratic Party messaging and dick jokes. What an utterly pitiable contrast to this absurd new reality (oh fuck, see, now I’m doing it).
This is not the dawning of the Age of Hilarious. It’s not so much that we live in a macabre dark comedy that defies parody, but our current dystopia itself suffers from shitty writing.
Trump had a mind-altering quality even before he won the election. In the past, I’ve smugly patted myself on the back for not buying into the predictions of our useless professional pundit class — but still, I was totally caught off-guard when Brexit happened, and when Donald Trump became the GOP nominee. I even wrote about my own gullibility, right before falling back into the same trap.
Above: The New York Times staff getting high in public.
Being aware that the election would be yet another statistical coin toss didn’t help, either. Nor did knowing that I — like you — live in a bubble that excludes the voices of an entire class of people.
In fact, a colleague at my university was one such voice — hailing from a family of white farmers in Michigan, with parents who had voted for Obama and now went with Trump. You know, the kinds of people who don’t exist. But my brain barely registered his emphatic warnings that Trump would win. Hail to the chiefing.
If there’s anything more depressing than Trump’s presidency and his existence, it is #TheResistance™. Talk about a bubble. There’s a real, urgent need for collective action to oppose Trump — but what we’ve got instead is a silly publicity campaign run by media stars who seem as high as the Hubble telescope. Especially self-described reporter Louise Mensch, whose scoops have included that the Supreme Court is preparing to impeach (?!) the president, ’cause that’s how it works.
We’ve already endured more than a year of Serious People writing headlines like “10 Reasons Trump Will Not Be the GOP Nominee”, followed by equally confident reporting on Trump’s inevitable defeat, leading up to the moment when the Electoral College was supposed to just hand the presidency to the silver medalist Hillary Clinton. When they go low, we get high.
And still, our indefatigable #Resistance keeps churning out more deus-ex-machina scenarios, in lieu of any meaningful action. It’s terrifying — like calling out from a burning house to a guy on the street who keeps repeating: “Dude, I’m totally gonna, like, call the fire department and they’ll get here and they’ll spray water on your house and shit.”
You can’t just magically “invoke” Trump out of existence. This is not even flogging a dead horse, it’s more like trying to defibrillate its half-decomposed carcass.
And when #TheResistanceFuckYeah is not reporting their own bizarre fantasies, these armchair warriors are busy saber-stroking in Putin’s face. What could possibly go wrong? Better to risk World War III, apparently, than admit what a miserable candidate you ran.
We’re all baked.