Sunday, April 09, 2017 1:48 PM
Jerzy Kosinski, the enigmatic and controversial writer of the 1960s-1970s, is perhaps most famous for his screenplay “Being There” (1979). That successful Peter Sellers vehicle has become a classic tautology: given a stylized-enough established order, a complete idiot can stumble his way to the presidency. The Trump administration, to date, has been so fraught with purposeful malfeasance that we tend to overlook Trump’s Chauncey-Gardener-like qualities.
Now, with the advent of military strikes, his perfect ignorance comes to the fore. As usual, there are documented past statements (that is to say, as always with Trump, Tweets) where he criticized Obama for taking similar actions in Syria, and in the same way (absent Congressional approval) and calling it a mistake. And, as always, our military action is spurious, when what we really need is a definitive plan, a long-term road-map towards specific goals—and one that accounts for the existence of other countries—you know, something like Obama was doing—facing the reality that a ‘Big Stick’ is of limited use.
But the would-be-funny-if-it weren’t-so-scary part is the news media, seriously discussing what amounts to knee-jerk militaristic grandstanding—as if it did indeed have a definitive plan behind it. This is Chauncey Gardener to a tee. Serious panelists mistake vague mindlessness for inscrutable subtlety, chasing their tails to find the adult philosophy behind a child’s wanderings.
What lowers the present situation beneath even “Being There” is that these talking heads know that they are debating the impulses of an idiot—they simply discuss everything with a bias towards false gravitas—out of habit. They can’t help themselves—bullshit has become their lifestyle.
Thus we see that 59 cruise missiles don’t end a six-year-old civil war—fancy that. A military fellow pointed out that the strike didn’t even target radar or surface-to-air installations, which makes it safer to come back and do it again, and is SOP for a first strike. Even as a spurious first move, the Tomahawk flurry didn’t make sense—it was a display of impotence as much as anything else.
So by all means, talk about Trump’s increased Presidential-ness, now that he’s a big-boy Commander-in-Chief—keep that bullshit flowing, because god forbid anyone on cable news talks like a sane person with their head on straight. Just keep in mind that Trump didn’t do a goddamned thing for those poor, beautiful children he ‘cried’ over—or any of the Syrian refugees like them whom Trump is presently afraid to allow to live here.