He's seeing the soul of our species: Yesterday, Kevin Drum said he was flummoxed by what's going on around him.
Though he cited no specific examples, he seemed to refer to press and pundit reaction to Donald J. Trump's "historic" summit, the one which has saved the world.
"I feel like I’m in some kind of parallel dimension or something," Drum wrote. He referred to "folks who are suggesting this is a 'good first step,' or we’re 'no longer on the brink of war,' or 'maybe Trump really does have a new relationship with Kim.' "
"Have I lost it completely?" Drum asked. "Where is this stuff coming from?"
We're happy to say that Kevin Drum hasn't lost it at all! But we can explain where that stuff is coming from:
The current ludicrous behavior is coming, live and direct, from the soul of Homo sapiens. We simply aren't built for times like these. It's all anthropology now.
Needless to say, Drum's aim is true; the punditry has been astounding. We'll suggest you start with David Ignatius' column in this morning's Washington Post.
In his specific assessments, it's clear that Ignatius knows that the summit was a farce engineered by a madman. But his specific assessments alternate with the repetitive praise he showers on Trump, starting in paragraph 1.
Ignatius writes like a North Korean who knows he must praise Dear Leader. He signals the fact that he knows what occurred.
But as he starts, he says this:
"Credit President Trump for seizing the diplomatic moment at the Singapore summit." And as he ends, he says this: "Let’s celebrate Trump’s success in Singapore."
Along the way, Ignatius says that Trump "is getting some deserved global applause." At one point, he even says this:
"It was a breathtaking piece of mutual audacity for Kim and Trump to push each other to the edge of the cliff and then walk back." Ignatius seems to be in thrall to a pair of dear leaders today!
Simply put, this is The Crazy. It's being expressed from within the soul of a floundering, ill-equipped species. That said, Ignatius reads like a fiery critic of Trump compared to much that appears in this morning's New York Times, whose headlines and boxed sub-headlines speak to the craziness which emerges from our profoundly non-"rational" kind.
The Times' headlines and sub-headlines are straight outta La-la-land. On our hard-copy front page, the headlines atop Mark Landler's featured news report say this:
PRESIDENT'S PITCH TO KIM GETS A VOW BUT NO GUARANTEEDid Mika write that second headline? The notion that Trump "trusted his gut" is straight outta her daily disordered talk. It's a lingering staple of Late 1990s Speak, when the boys and girls decided that "authenticity" was all.
Trump Trusts Gut in Persuading North Korea to Disarm
Meanwhile, when in the world did Donald J. Trump "persuade North Korea to disarm?" Atop page 1, the New York Times seems to be explaining a major accomplishment which, of course, didn't occur!
(Inside the paper, a boxed headline on Landler's piece helps explain how Trump managed to do what he hasn't done. "Using flattery, cajolery and a slick film for persuasion," the boxed sub-headline says.)
Also on the Times front page, a NEWS ANALYSIS by David Sanger appears beneath this secondary headline:
PRESIDENT'S PITCH TO KIM GETS A VOW BUT NO GUARANTEEThe foolishness of the "special bond" basically speaks for itself. Also on the front page, we get some palaver from Motoko Rich, who may have been the most incompetent reporter we've ever seen during her run as a Times education reporter.
Major Gamble Rests on 'Special Bond'
Rich is covering world affairs now. The headline on her front-page report says this:
Pageantry Aside, a Summit Drama Built on Impromptu MomentsBring on the body language experts! Also, send in the clowns!
Inside the Times, Max Fisher's "10 Takeaways" almost defy comprehension. Most incredibly, the paper's featured editorial flashes this boxed sub-headline:
The rest of the world holds its breath waiting to see if this new relationship will lead North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.In his own new column today, Nicholas Kristof wrote an excellent lede paragraph—but he used it as paragraph 14. Meanwhile, consider what we found today on the silly, upper-class newspaper's reimagined page A3.
According to the daily Spotlight section, Landler, who wrote the paper's featured news report, chatted with Mark Barbaro by phone "just hours before the historic handshake" between the two lunatic leaders. More specifically, the pair of Timesmen chatted about the way each of the summitteers "spent his pre-curtain call hours" in Singapore.
How did the the dear leaders spend their free time? According to the Spotlight section, this is part of what Landler said:
"It's a fact that Kim Jong-un is a fun-loving guy. Intelligence reports on North Korea will tell you that he likes a party. In fact, people say he's pretty much a carouser. It is a surprise that he would be so public about it in a place he's never visited. This is a guy who continues to surprise people."With that, we return to Drum's very important questions. As we do, we remind you of certain things we've told you for many years:
All too frequently, it's very, very hard to believe that our journalists are actually human. On various occasions, we've asked you if it's possible that they're actually misfiring androids, or possibly extraterrestrials or some unknown kind.
Today, we'll tell you what they actually are—they're failing members of Homo sapiens, breaking down during an historical epoch which requires skills our species lacks.
We said long ago that we should be discussing the possibility that Trump is "mentally ill" in some way. In January, the New York Times, apparently cribbing from Josh Marshall's work, said we mustn't do that, and the children all fell in line.
Sorry! If you don't discuss Donald J. Trump within that admittedly difficult context, you can't discuss Donald J. Trump at all.
That question is a deeply important question. It could lead a lesser person to loathe Donald Trump. It could make a kinder person pity him.
That said, that question take us well beyond the limited capacity of our species. Our species is failing quite badly right now. You can see the androids breaking down on "cable news" each night.
Correctly, Drum praises the West Coast Times: One newspaper got it right. For Drum's report, click this.
Kristof's graf 14: In hard copy, this was Kristof's fourteenth paragraph:
"It’s breathtaking to see an American president emerge as a spokesman for the dictator of North Korea."
That would have been a great place to start. He ran it as graf 14.
He opened with the softer claim that Donald J. Trump was "hoodwinked." That implies that Trump is basically sane, and that he was acting in basic good faith.
Does anyone know such things to be true? Of course! Our "press corps" does!