For the last four years, we have had every facet of our lives sucked into the bottomless vortex that is Donald Trump. He has consumed all the oxygen of our information biosphere, and all we are left to breathe are his inescapable farts. Trump is the drunkest, loudest traveling salesman on a layover at every airport bar or the person who launches into a desperate monologue once the subway doors shut. We are all hermetically sealed in a space too small to contain our lives and the yawning chasm of his bottomless need for attention. Trump has weaponized every lever of capitalism, media, and our very democracy itself into a byzantine horror-movie maze in which we are all trapped with seemingly no way out.
On the season premiere of Saturday Night Live, the cold open was a parody of what may turn out to be the only Trump/Biden debate of the campaign. Not only was it universally panned as possibly the worst debate in the history of American politics; but a vulgar affront to the very notion of human speech itself.
In the SNL bit, Jim Carey played Biden, and while pretty good — the bit suffered like all parody does in the Trump era. What do you do when every story coming out of the White House is indistinguishable from an Onion article? Having said that — there was one part that rang like a bell. A moment so heavy, I felt it deep in my bones.
At some point, as Alec Baldwin mimics the president’s endless hostile blathering and constant interruption, Carey pulls a TV remote out of his jacket pocket and presses a button that causes Trump to freeze. The impact was just OK as comedy — but as a broader concept — it was deep and visceral.
Trump has become a fully metastasized cancer who has fully infected every organ of our body politic, and there is no escape from the long shadow of his crapulence. He’s the bad smell you never get used to, because he is endlessly and constantly making sure there is NEVER a stasis that lasts long enough to get used to, regardless of how bad. Each new day requires a new low, a new indignity to keep engagement redlined at all times, and it is EXHAUSTING. As Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank so depressingly nailed it — the one constancy of the Trump presidency is that the worst day of it is always tomorrow. You are never given the chance to fully process whatever fresh hell dominated…