I Need a New Story in the New Year

I Need a New Story in the New Year

Do you think we are being pranked? Is it possible that we are currently embroiled in some sort of elaborate and absurd political theater? Maybe in 2018 someone will pull back the curtain and reveal that 2017 was one big joke.

I mean, who could have predicted that a horse-riding, gun-toting, mall creep would be a legitimate Senate candidate in 2017? Or that the current presidential administration would produce more guilty pleas and cooperating witnesses than a season of Law & Order? Or that Al Franken would be taken down by sexual misconduct charges while the pussy-grabber-in-chief retained the right to swing his golf club in the Oval Office? And those aren’t even the highlights of this year-long blooper reel.

Remember Inauguration day? There was that whole weird speech about American carnage followed by weeks of outright lies about the number of attendees. Remember alternative facts? Remember the first daughter’s reimagining of the definition of complicit? Somewhere a screenwriter is making notes in the margins and chuckling at the gullibility of the audience.

The casting director also seems to be having a good time. The actors in this farce are chewing up the scenery. Paul Manafort is hysterical as a poor man’s Joe Pesci. And Anthony Scaramucci? The Mooch is a parody of every fast-talking, foot-in-mouth, dead-before-the-third-act character in every mob movie ever produced. (An even poorer man’s Joe Pesci?) And there’s plenty of comic relief. A former Easter Bunny named Spicer flamed out in a storyline that ended with him cowering in the bushes. Visual gags include the first son-in-law’s ridiculous flak-jacket-over-frat-boy-blazer fashion statement and a president who secures his ties with scotch tape.

The female cast members are holding their own. Three stars to Sarah Huckabee Sanders for her ability to spread lies while smacking down the press corps with self-righteous proclamations about motherhood and the Bible. Even Meryl Streep might have a hard time selling that character to the public, but Sanders seems to have a real knack for hypocrisy. She’s in good company with Kellyanne “alternative facts” Conway and a first lady who styles herself as the anti-bullying queen while her husband uses his throne to mock the poor and the disabled. And let’s not forget our modern day Marie Antoinette. The first daughter claims to represent working women until those women have the nerve to complain about working conditions or pay or health care, at which point she deems them ungrateful and dismisses them with a flick of her perfectly manicured hand. When anyone calls Ivanka on her hypocrisy, she opens those pouty lips and says she didn’t realize that people could be so mean. How can that not be scripted? Who could be so out of touch in real life?

Not to be outdone by his daughter, the president continues to demonstrate a remarkable lack of understanding about how anything actually works. Take, for example, this absurd tweet from earlier this week.

It’s like he’s never heard of science. If I were watching a movie and a character said these lines, I would leave the theater in disgust. It isn’t believable that someone with such a poor grasp of logic could be elected president of the United States. It’s ridiculous on its face. But what can we expect from a first family that doesn’t seem able to master the basics of day-to-day living? No one in the Trump clan knows how to cast a ballot. Jared Kushner cannot successfully fill out paperwork.

And, yet, here we are. The year is nearly over and no one has stepped forward to claim responsibility. Even Putin doesn’t want a director’s credit. I can’t blame him. No one wants to be exposed as the little man behind the curtain. Eventually, though, this drama-comi-tragedy has got to come to an end. The current plot line is unsustainable.

My wish for 2018? A brand new script and a fresh cast. I don’t know about you, but I cannot sit through another year of this mess.

Happy New Year to you all.

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Tiffany Quay Tyson

THE PAST IS NEVER, a southern gothic novel steeped in local lore, is available now. The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance deemed it an Okra Pick. Tyson's debut novel THREE RIVERS was a finalist for both the Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction and the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Fiction. She was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi and now lives, writes, and teaches in Denver, Colorado.
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