And so it begins.
As I contemplate the research materials that I’ve gathered for this, my first true editorial effort since Trump's inauguration just over 72 hours ago, I can’t help but feel overwhelmed by the vast banquet of idiot delights spread out before me. I face, as ever, the Fat Man's Quandary: Where do I start?
Even though I want to, there’s no possible way I’ll be able to document every outrage, every deviation from the norm, every lie. There’s no way I’ll be able to communicate everything I want to say to you, dear readers, among whom number a select few who’ve been reading my words for the better part of two decades.
I guess it's best to start at the beginning--the TRUE beginning--with the inauguration ceremony.
But first, a few words about the sad prelude of Thursday’s pre-inaugural festivities. Much has already been written about the desperate depths to which Team Trump were willing to stoop in order to secure A-list entertainers. They pulled out all the stops, even going so far as to dangle potential ambassadorships to top industry bookers.
And yet, the cry rang out across the land: “Not for any price!”
The “celebrity” President, a man who lorded imperiously over teams of celebrities begging for his approval on a TV game show, which he hosted, entitled Celebrity Apprentice--a man who styles himself the World’s Greatest Deal Maker--was incapable of convincing a Bruce Springsteen cover band to perform a paying gig at his inauguration as President of the United States of America.
Friends, this is cognitive dissonance on a galactic scale. And we’d better get used to it, because I have a feeling that cognitive dissonance is going to be both a hallmark and the byword of the Trump administration… for however long it may last.
Which brings us to 11:47 AM on Friday, January 20, 2017: the moment when Donald Trump, the most widely loathed President Elect in the history of opinion polls, before a surprisingly thin crowd assembled beneath somber, drizzling sky, stood face to face with Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, plopped his tiny, shrimp-like hand atop two bibles, and took the oath of office.
And, just like that, Donald J. Trump was suddenly in breach of the emoluments clause, thus simultaneously sparking a Constitutional crisis while laying the groundwork for his inevitable impeachment. Also, at that very same moment, every American diplomat serving abroad was suddenly out of a job (many still currently without successors).
That’s when shit got dark.
You know what I'm referring to. That speech. Jesus Fucking Nailholes… that SPEECH!
Trump’s inaugural address was, to understate things, fucking bonkers. You really need to see or read it for yourself to fully grasp its horrific portent. Clocking in at a brisk 15 minutes, it still felt like a forced march through a waking nightmare towards the black and bleeding Heart of Darkness, as Trump bade us see America through his eyes and bear witness to "American carnage".
Lurching ominously from counter-factual depictions of the nation as a post-Apocalyptic dystopia, to boasting that bordered on the auto-messianic, his address was described by observers from a broad spectrum of political inclinations as unprecedented, dreadful, shocking, and disappointing.
In his overview for Time Magazine, historian and author David Von Drehle was particularly critical of Trump’s shameless and (it is to be hoped) historically ignorant echoing of the infamous German-American Bund slogan “America First!” as he bemoaned the sorry state of the nation being peacefully handed over to his administration’s tender mercies. Meanwhile, at The Guardian, Michael Goldfarb couldn't help but note the inaugural's distinct Teutonic chill.
What makes Trump’s rhetoric so genuinely disturbing is the fact that, by every rational, reasonable, historically accepted metric… THERE IS NO CARNAGE. The economy is in a far better place than it was 8 years ago, in the wake of Preznit Dubya's two disastrous terms. Unemployment is way down, corporate profits are way up, and fewer people are relying on welfare.
Yes, the middle class is shrinking, and wages are stagnant across the board, and yes, there are aspects of the US economy that remain sub-optimal. But if you think Traitor Trump and his Billionaire's Club cabinet give a thimble full of spit about any of that, you're two dead brain cells away from asking George to tell you about the rabbits.
What about those intolerable crime levels Trump seems obsessed with? With the exception of a small handful of cities, crime rates are less than half what they were in the early 90’s, and Americans are far safer now than they’ve been at any time since the mid-freaking-60’s! And even in those "exceptional" cities, like Chicago and Baltimore, crime rates still haven’t surpassed that late 20th century maximum.
Is there a crime problem in some American cities in the midst of economic decline? Of course there is, but it’s nowhere near the crisis that Trump insists on portraying every time the subject of race pops up.
Look, we've already spent too much time going over Trump's despicable speech, and we haven't even touched on the international reaction yet. Suffice it to say that, with the notable exceptions of Russia (for obvious reasons) and Israel, where they've already begun building new settlements in East Jerusalem, Trump's speech went over like a bloody nose in a Liberian emergency room.
So what else--other than massive protests--happened on Day One?
Well, after bidding the Obamas farewell, attending an inaugural luncheon, and performing the traditional review of the Armed Forces, it was time for the Iaugural Parade from the Capitol building down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House.
And oh, what a glorious parade it was! As Trump’s motorcade sped swiftly past quiet pockets of sedate onlookers, down a seemingly endless tunnel of empty bleachers, even some devoted Redcaps voiced their disappointment.
“It’s almost like a funeral” mused air conditioner salesman Scott McGrady, a regular inaugural parade attendee who had positioned himself at the location where previous Presidents have traditionally stopped the motorcade so they could get out and do a little glad-handing before heading to the White House. It turns out that’s not Trump’s style. As the limos rolled past, Trump could be seen staring grimly into the distance, refusing even so much a wave or a smile to his well-wishers.
One has to assume Trump’s mood perked up a bit upon arriving at the Oval Office, where he quickly set to work signing a raft of executive orders, including:
- ordering all federal departments to “minimise the economic impact” of Obamacare, whatever that means.
- cancelling an FHA mortgage premium cut that had saved thousands of lower middle class American home owners millions of dollars during the last few years.
- a totally normal and not at all creepy North Korea style proclamation declaring Janurary 20, 2017--the day of his inauguration--a "Day of Patriotic Devotion."
Then the time came for Trump to show off his “cyber” chops by unveiling the all new White House website, which replaces the previous administration’s pages on civil rights, healthcare, LGBTQ issues, and climate change, with sweet fuck all. Also purged was the website’s Spanish language version, with representatives refusing to address the question of whether or not it will ever make a comeback.
Oh, and the White House telephone comments line has been shut down, too. They replaced it with a Facebook page, apparently.
And that was it, as far as doing the Work of the People was concerned. No doubt congratulating himself on a job well done, Trump capped off the day by attending the Inaugural Ball with his beautiful porn star mail order bride. It must have been a better than average "date night" for the First Couple, too, seeing as Trump didn't Tweet until Saturday, late afternoon.
And so ended Day One in Trump's America.
Day Two was marginally better, only because Day One was the day Donald Fucking Trump became President of the United States of America, so something pretty fucking awful--on the order of a megatsunami or an invasion of Moon Nazis--would have to happen to beat it.
To Be Continued...
- A pro-Trump rally of Biafran separatists in Nigeria left 20 dead and the whereabouts of 200 more are still unknown after police arrested people en masse after the event turned violent.
- Yahya Jammeh, the embattled President of Gambia who once insisted that he would rule for "a billion years", has gone into exile after initially refusing to accept the results of a recent election, which he lost. Apparently, he took most of the nation's money with him.
- On Friday, it emerged that people were being added to Trump's Twitter account without asking for it. Even people who were subscribed to POTUS (formerly Obama, now Trump) and who made a conscious decision to unfollow that account have been put BACK on the account a few hours later! Yes, it's a "little thing", but considering everything else that transpired this week... what are we to make of this?
1. If you're anything like yer old pal Jerky, you've spent the last couple months almost as freaked out and exasperated by many of the people you figured ought to know better--people who fancy themselves tolerant, socially conscious, historically aware, well read, liberal folk, but who seem to so fucking "woke" they tripped right back into the dream again--than you have been by Trump's True Believing Redcap Revolutionaries. After all, the latter at least have the excuse of belonging to a brainwashing cult! Anyhoo, if you're up for some light reading, find out how The Nihilistic Purity of the Far Left will Kill Us All!
2. Again, if you're anything like yer old pal Jerky, one of the human beings whom you hold in the very highest of esteem is the late, great Robert Anton Wilson, aka the Notorious R.A.W. And if you're aware of the man and his works, it's more than likely that you've been feeling as though you might be trapped in an alcove of the Chapel Perilous over the last few months. Well, you're not alone. There's this fella named John Higgs, and at his blog, he suggests that the alt.right may have taken a page from RAW's book and adapted parts of "Operation MindFuck" for their own use and abuse. He buttresses his argument with lots of links and evidence, including video, and it's convincing. Less convincing, unfortunately, is his suggestion for how to fix things, which he calls "Operation MindFix". Still and all, well worth the read, even if only for diagnostic purposes.
3. Jaki Leibezeit, drummer for and founding member of the influential Krautrock band Can, died yesterday. He was 78 years old. His bandmates said he played as though he was half man, half machine. Some call his work on Can's Tago Mago the best of his career, but yer old pal Jerky is particularly fond of "Yoo Doo Right", from Monster Movie, which I hereby invite you to listen to, below, as part of the Fascist Disco Playlist (to be expanded and explicated at some later date).
QUOTE OF THE DAY
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"When you have a spokesperson for the president of the United States wrap up a lie in the Orwellian phrase "alternative facts"... When you have a press secretary in his first appearance before the White House reporters threaten, bully, lie, and then walk out of the briefing room without the cajones to answer a single question… When you have a President stand before the stars of the fallen CIA agents and boast about the size of his crowds (lies) and how great his authoritarian inaugural speech was…. These are not normal times. The press has never seen anything like this before. The public has never seen anything like this before. And the political leaders of both parties have never seen anything like this before."
- Former CBS news anchor Dan Rather isn't fucking around.
- If you want to learn about some cool and/or weird things that happened on the 23rd day of January, check out our sister-site, Useless Eater Blog, where you will find out about the Song Dynasty troops defeated the fucking War Elephant Corps of the Southern Han!
Dear Future Historians: We're not kidding when we tell you it was like this from Day One... IT WAS LIKE THIS FROM DAY FUCKING ONE!!!