Welp, Hillary Clinton wrecked Donald Trump in Monday’s debate. You can tell he lost by the mania with which he insists he won. Now that the queen has slain the frog prince, as we always knew she would, we can go back to treating Trump’s candidacy like the joke it is. Remember last week, when FiveThirtyEight had them in a dead heat? That was before Hillary got that sweet, sweet three-point post-debate bounce. Now that people have seen Trump is belligerent and nonspecific, he can’t win. And isn’t he orange? I find this to be the drollest election of our lifetimes, and certainly not a clear rupture between the American experiment and its decline. Today is Friday, and Republicans sure will be embarrassed when we look back on it. Won’t you count these eggs as chickens with me?
The good news is that Trump is still talking about former Ms. Universe Alicia Machado. All week he seems to have believed he was one tweet away from convincing America it’s her fault for getting fat. This morning, he took one last, leering grab at likability by tweeting this:
Did Crooked Hillary help disgusting (check out sex tape and past) Alicia M become a U.S. citizen so she could use her in the debate?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2016
Donald, you dog, he thought, settling back into his opulent leather chair. The chair was filled with Boston creme donuts. He knew. He planned it that way. Anywhom, there’s no sex tape. But until Machado can produce the long-form paperwork proving she didn’t make a sex tape, we all love him again.
That’s why we don’t have to worry about this ethno-nationalist demagogue becoming president. He’s a moron. On a completely unrelated note, here’s Michiko Kakutani’s review of Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939, which ends with bullet points about the eponymous dictator’s life which might be of interest to the modern American. For example:
Hitler increasingly presented himself in messianic terms, promising “to lead Germany to a new era of national greatness,” though he was typically vague about his actual plans. He often harked back to a golden age for the country, Mr. Ullrich says, the better “to paint the present day in hues that were all the darker. Everywhere you looked now, there was only decline and decay.
See? Trump is just like Hitler. That’s how we know he can never happen here. So bring on the smug, well-to-do liberalism! The boys down at the New Yorker finally figured out how to get the Borowitz Reference Generator ported over to cartoons, and it gave ’em this.
Hey! That’s my dimension! Also, a laser of pure rage is blasting out of my mouth, nose, and eyes, incinerating all I see! Over at Slate, Ben Mathis-Lilley has had enough. In a style you might describe as Buzzfeed edits Spy, he indicts a feature this cartoon holds in common with Jay Leno jokes and the worst work of NPR:
What Jay Leno “jokes” and bad NPR jokes have in common is that their primary effect is not to make you laugh, it’s to remind you that you’ve heard of a thing, whether that be a story from pop culture or from the Serious News.
B-Math is right: the substitution of references for jokes is a big problems in contemporary humor. It’s like Dennis Miller won after all. But I won’t ever believe that. Too many good people died to stop him.
None of that matters, though. Nothing matters. I don’t care if our culture’s sense of humor devolves into what robots recognize as jokes, because I will still have video games. Over at the Washington Posts’s Wonkblog, Ana Swanson offers the chilling theory that young men are underemployed because video games have become more satisfying than real life. Having pwned my share of noobs, I can say this idea starts to make sense at levels of sadness well within what our culture considers normal. Mostly that’s because video games have become much more fun since Pac-Man, but it’s also because society has become less fun over the same period. I quote young Danny Izquierdo:
“When I play a game, I know if I have a few hours I will be rewarded,” he said. “With a job, it’s always been up in the air with the amount of work I put in and the reward.”
Maybe our increasingly efficient economy and our growing population are forcing young people into a…what’s that word?…abattoir. Sorry life is no longer meaningful for 15 to 25 percent of the population, depending on the markets! Here’s a realistic murder simulator.
Here’s a realistic party simulator: