Maya Stiles Parsons SpierColumnist, Editor-in-Chief
- June 1, 2017 in Columnists
The problem with covfefe — and it’s scary as hell
Things come apart so easily when they have been held together with lies.
Dorothy Allison, Bastard Out of Carolina
Yeah, “covfefe” was pretty damned funny and gave us all a deliciously uproarious opportunity to troll the orange imposter. What sort of president tweets in the middle of the night like some lonely adolescent boy fishing for adulation based on personal delusions of adequacy?
Truth is, though, this whole covfefe thing isn’t just snicker-worthy. It’s actually terrifying. It’s scary that a president is so isolated and so surrounded by frightened sycophants that he has nobody to tell him no and make it stick. Nobody to guide him in the ways of being presidential as he’s been highly resistant to learning anything about actually doing the job and has the focus and impulse control of a toddler on methamphetamines.
But it’s scarier than that.
To illustrate this, I have to go back to a period of my childhood still too embarrassing to talk much about. Indeed, I am still, all these years later, too mortified by how strange and kind of stupid it all was — harmless as it turned out to be — to give all the details. I would rather crawl under a carpet and sit very still until that herd of elephants has all passed by.
I was an odd child, brilliant and both precocious and young for my age. Growing up in academia, surrounded by people who lived almost entirely in their heads, it wasn’t a far stretch to live in mine, but it was a child’s mind, full of imaginary thises and made up thats which ranged from fanciful to terrifying.
Enter Suzy (pseudonym) stage right. She was 10 to my 11, but of the two of us, she was definitely alpha. She was also an academic brat like me, so life lived entirely in one’s mind was in no way an alien concept. Suzy proceeded to introduce me to a wholly imaginary world that she insisted was real, inhabited by hostile but invisible beings who could be lurking anywhere. That garbage can? Better not look inside. Closets — infested! These creatures could appear to be your parents, your neighbors, your friends. One never knew.
I believed every single word of it. Of course there was a rational part of me that knew better, but that didn’t matter. Suzy was convincing, the world was a fecking weird-ass place and we were kids. I avoided those garbage cans and closets like they were filled with bullies and popular kids. I darted and snuck and ran through my world, trying desperately to escape the beings’ notice. I even learned Bulgarian folk songs because that was part of it, too (no, I don’t remember why). And yes, I can still sing a good part of one of them.
The point is this — to me and perhaps even to Suzy, this utterly implausible, even ridiculous fantasy was as real as my shoes. As real as doorknobs and ear wax and home permanents that made your hair fall out — what wasn’t turned into a frizzy haze by the humid Missouri summers.
So now we have the pumpkin-colored pussy grabber, who plays with the truth in just the way that Suzy did, only with global impact. He lies, then he lies about lying and then he lies about having lied about lying. And that’s scary. But there’s something more frightening than that and it’s this: Sean Spicer proceeded to try to explain this whole convfefe business as if it was supposed to make sense (CNN’s piece about Sean Spicer and covfefe). By now, he has explained away so much bullshit — lies he could not possibly have believed — that he has crossed the line from reality to a skewed and even terrifying fantasy that is as indistinguishable to him from fact as it is to the orange lamprey’s uneducated and delusional base.
Sean Spicer got up in public and tried to make truth out of what was, even to the orange sewage spewer, nothing that make sense at all. The emperor having no clothes is more relevant than any time in my personal memory and Sean Spicer is one of the loudest voices insisting he is actually clothed.
That scares the ever-living crap out of me. It means that we aren’t merely in an age of “alternative facts.” We are living in an era where the president and all those surrounding him are entirely incapable of discerning truth from fiction. Not just that they lie and try (unsuccessfully) to make it look convincing. The lie has become the truth. The fantasy has become reality to these people with no partition between the real world and the one they’ve made up out of whole cloth. They aren’t just playing. It’s as real as real can be — but in their minds only.
Thus it is that they can reject the terrifying reality of climate change as so much liberal hysteria, can try to pass a healthcare bill so brutal that it will leave 23 million uninsured and millions of elders having to pay well over half their meager incomes for coverage. It allows them to collude with Russia and at the same time, appear as if they can’t imagine why this might be inappropriate — and on and on and on, to the destruction of this country, its democracy, our long-valued alliances and perhaps even the planet itself.
So yeah, as funny as covfefe was on the surface and as delicious as the opportunity was to tweak the orange twitterhead, the fact is, covfefe and everything about it is actually scary as hell — just like the rest of what this macerated orange dungheap and his infestation are doing.
Maya Spier Stiles North
- June 2, 2017 at 11:53 pm