Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The State of the State address

Trump's entire speech was watched last night.  His preening pose displayed self-admiration.  The declaration of his "righteous vision" leading to "a new tide of optimism" was a line that he enjoyed delivering.  He gave us high toned history lessons that may have seemed like news to him.  Invited members of the audience were singled out as a testament to their suffering, presumably as a result of the laxity of government before the orange one appeared on the scene.  He no longer made MS-13 code for immigrants, he moved them up to being a visible proxy for those that have arrived here from other countries.  "Friends of America will receive our aid, not enemies of America", he said as did his turn left to pompously show and hold his profile.

Miraculously the television stayed on.  If not, the bizarre story of Sung Ho walking on his stumps "across China and Korea for the love of freedom", see Sung Ho in audience, would have been missed.  Clearly he survived.  The dramatic conclusion to the speech caused Stephen Miller to wet his pants so he modestly stayed seated as the applause rose for his speech.  It left some viewers wondering, "Is Mike Pence as authentically clueless as he appears?  Is that a Paul Ryan cut-out or is he real?"  Those were questions left to ponder.  As the Republican members of Congress chanted "U.S.A., U.S.A", one could fondly remember Sarah Palin rallies or Trump's campaign slogan "Build the Wall" echoing in empty chambers, human ones.  Dignity in the great chamber of Congress was vanquished.

Thinking earlier about what to write, mainstream media was no help.  "The Onion" was too shell- shocked to be clever.  Waking up to CBS this morning, the first news heard here was that 75% of viewers approved of the state of the union address.  "Union?".  After my head cleared it was realized that they chose they had cherry picked the highest measure they could find.  Now most of the media is officially terrorized by the "State".

I came upon this quote from a Martin Amis essay later.  "Change is the business of satire.  Satire is militant irony.  Irony is long-suffering.  It doesn't incite you to transform society; it strengthens you to tolerate it."

Writing about Trump is a challenge.  What is one step above satire, and more effective?  It is needed.


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