Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A Year of Infamy

There are midnight lamps burning in the Hollywood Hills. Likewise in Greenwich Village, Park Slope in Brooklyn and ateliers throughout Europe. Screenplays are being written, epic poems, thousand page novels and operas. Act one was a poisoned populist campaign. Followed by the ludicrous loser-takes-all election. Now this incipient dictatorship with the silent chorus of duct-taped senators.

Bring in the Founding Fathers from Hip-Hop Hamilton. Let Burr duel this trumped-up version of Richard the Third slash Citizen Kane slash Strangelove slash Don Corleone. Let the noblest of minds teach the ignoble one. Just as Washington created the office of presidency and invested it with dignity so has the current occupant besmirched it with self-aggrandizement. Remind Donald that George gained his power by his readiness to give it up, as Garry Wills put it.

Get me de Niro fresh from doing Madoff. Or can we get Trump to play Trump? No one impersonates Trump like Trump. Who will play Comey? Jimmy Stewart gulp, gulp. He’s got the height; he’s got the creds.

Take two: Or is this a Frank Capra zany mad-cap romp we are living? Is he part con-man Chico part Groucho as Rufus T. Firefly. Hooray for Captain Donald, the Washington Exploder. It has the pace, quick cuts and improbables. Give us an aria from Margaret Dumont.

Or should we wake Gilbert to consort for one last encore with Sullivan? Pooh-Bah, Lord High Everything Else, is in the White House. We need to re-write the very model of a modern major calamity who rules with a paucity of civility and a capacity for rapacity, given to pugnacity and duplicity.

Get Mary Shelley on line two. Was it a dark and stormy night when Trumpinstein rose from the slate of candidates to roam the countryside with slurs and smears, barbs and blurts, malice and mendacity?

The great experiment in Democracy has yielded to this dreadful chapter of tyranny. Have we really chosen monarchy? A man who soars in his tower and promises to dribble crumbs and coins for the needy. Who fouls the air, says no to Arts and Science, tells the poor, Go play golf, tells the sick, Get a grip.

Trump then struts singing, Anything Vlad did bad I can do badder. I can do anything badder than Vlad.

The curtain stays up. Every morning another regal decree tweets beyond even the Bard’s tragic villainies. And all this time, stage right, the chorus of senators remains in loud silence.


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