Trump is Hilarious

Some comedians like Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park, and Stewart Lee, to name 50% of my collective knowledge of comedy, have expressed perplexion at the presidency of Donald Trump, and things like Brexit, where they find it's barely possible to lampoon something that in its very nature is ludicrous.  Stone and Parker, for two, have publicly given up, and decided to keep South Park in the realm of poop jokes, rather than social satire, for now.

I say they're all quitters.

I say finding humor in Trump, and I mean solid, real comedy, the kind that gets under the skin and exposes undeniable truths and twists reality into a sideshow hall of mirrors through distortion and exaggeration, is still incredibly possible.  It's just that the target has suddenly changed shape.

The Daily Show, for years, made comedy out of simply showing two clips back to back of politicians saying contradictory things, and then having Jon Stewart mug to the camera.  Hypocrisy is shaming, no?  The audience gets a little thrill of schadenfreude out of seeing a powerful person look like a bumbling idiot, while also confirming their privately held belief that since they're on the opposite side of the political spectrum, they must be a bumbling idiot.

It's harder to do that with Trump because while other politicians tend to live and act by a particular set of principles, Trump has none.  Trump contradicts himself joyously.  It's hard to peg him through absurdity because much of what he does doesn't make sense to anyone but him.  He's been President for over 6 months, and there are still op-eds being written about "What Makes Trump Tick."

None of that matters unless you've been writing the same kind of political jokes for decades and just filling names into the appropriate slots.  I say, Trump provides us with an opportunity for an entirely different kind of comedy.  Instead of lampooning him, let's think about what he says about us, and our political processes.

Might we get some giggles out of dropping Trump or Trump-like figures at important events in history.  Henry VIII seems rather Trump-ish, whacking off wives and making his own church so he wouldn't have to follow the rules of the Pope.  What if Trump won the Presidency in 1933? How would he respond to the Great Depression?  Or nazis?  Is Jefferson's fling with Sally Hemings or Andrew Jackson's psychotic rants really so different from what Trump would do in a given situation?  Or travel the other way through time into speculative fiction and make him a mad scientist!  Or an alien!  Trump is a specific character, who everyone found quite entertaining and hilarious before he became the leader of the free world, and comedy can do a great deal to remind everyone that he does not belong in the white house.

But since he is, we can have some fun there too.  After all, people voted for him.  What exactly did they expect him to do.  Not in the policy-"build-a-wall"-"lock-her-up"-sort of way, but in the abstract principles sort of way.  There's comedy (and horror) to be mined from imagining the dichotomy between what Trump voters want, and what they really want.

There's comedy on the other sides of the political aisle too (I am convinced there's more than one). Liberals went a little bit bazonkers over Trump.  With glee before the election, and desperate fainting spells after.  And personally, it fascinates me, watching the government fall apart around Trump, how much of it was held together out of sheer manners and tradition.  Different forms of government that would be better or worse suited to leadership by Trump.

Lastly, comedians could always pretend that Trump will, in fact, prove to be the worst President ever in the history of America, and turn him into a grotesque caricature of a punchline, in much the way everyone now does with Hitler, and political cartoonists do with everyone.

But y'know, funny.

I feel like a Dead Kennedys song...

While I might be moving to Washington, D.C., I'm currently living in Charlottesville, VA, a town most curently notorious for allowing a KKK march in July, followed by a neo-Nazi march.  Why?  Mostly because we've been getting in the news due to a City Council decision to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee, a man who killed other people to ensure that white people could own black people.

People who think black people deserve to be owned admire this man.

So, despite the fact that the statue still stands because no ones really wants to pay the money to properly hack it up and ship it somewhere else, white supremacists now consider Charlottesville a rallying point for their particular brand of hate.  I hope they all get struck by lightning.

Part of me wonders whether this isn't a direct and, in hindsight, obvious result of the hubbub and furor over trying to get the statue removed in the first place.  It's been standing there for decades, slowly turning green and covered in pigeon poop.  Maybe letting it fall into neglect and disrepair would have been a smoother, but longer road to Not-A-Statue-of-a-Slavery-Traitor-Land than the current cultural earthquake.

Liberals considered Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton wet blankets because they refused to move as fast as internet culture on the issues they found important, but the more I think about it, the smarter I think they were.  America is a massive chugging engine, and like a train, if you attempt to make a sharp turn at high speed, you fall over in the opposite direction.  That's what I think happened with Trump.  That's why the KKK and nazis are having a resurgence.  Too much push to do good freaks idiots out, and there are enough idiots in the world that they will turn to liars and charlatans and cheaters and thieves just to feel comfortable.  They don't deserve to feel comfortable.

They deserve to be struck by lightning.

Moving to DC

As a professional freelance illustrator, moving to Washington, DC is turning out to be more complicated than I had thought.  It may be that starting any sentence with "As a professional illustrator," will inevitably end with "more complicated than I had thought," but that's just me.

It seems like every job available is only, in fact, available to people who were referred by someone who knows the employer.  That's how people get jobs in this city.  Which makes me sort of want to line everyone up and run a frying pan across their collective heads, wondering aloud the entire time why anyone should even bother writing a resume and cover letter at all.  Clearly these methods are outdated and so far have been a complete waste of my time.  It's the old catch-22, isn't it?  Can't afford to live in the city without a job, and can't get a job until you live in the city.

Meanwhile, I'm bulking up my portfolio with jobs for non-existent clients for free (the cheap ethereal bastards) and working on setting up an Etsy shop, which should bring in just enough money to make me feel poor. 

I'm not even starving, which robs the whole experience of its sexy romance.

This is the Dawning of a Blog

For as long as mankind has started new websites, mankind has created blogs to keep those websites fresh in accordance to Google algorithms.  Today marks a great leap forward in doing exactly the same thing.  From this point on, my old blog is defunct, and this blog shall rule over all the lands like the Beatles in Madison Square Garden ruling over screaming teenage girls, minus the teenage girls.

I know my audience.

Why a new blog?  Mostly because Squarespace has a free blogging platform.  Because I'm moving to Washington, D.C., starting a new job (TBD) and just got married.  Because I'm starting a graphic novel, and want to write enough to keep my voice consistant through the entire thing.  Because I'm secretly an Italian bank robber looking to bolster my alibi with a social media presence.  It's a good way to start a new life, and writing is a good habit to take up.

New pictures and publications will still be available through Instagram and Twitter, linked on the left side of the website.