The Crazy meets The Novelized—The Dumb, The Unfeeling, The Wrong: Back on June 20, Herman Cain attended Donald J. Trump's indoor rally in Tulsa.
In photographs from the event, Cain was wearing no mask. Neither was anyone else.
Cain was seated cheek-to-jowl with other attendees. Posing for those photographs, he leaned in even closer.
Five weeks later, Cain died of covid-19. There's no way of knowing where or when he became infected, but the most striking part of the story is this:
Thursday night, over a thousand Herman Cains packed the South Lawn of the White House, where they watched Donald J. Trump's robotic convention address.
Granted, this was an outdoor event. That said, the Washington Post described the scene as shown:
NAKAMURA (8/28/20): More than 1,500 supporters poured onto the South Lawn for his formal acceptance speech to cap the Republican National Convention, and most were not wearing masks, even though they were seated closely together in white folding chairs.Thursday night, Trump supporters sat cheek by jowl for hours. Give them liberty and give them death, the witty Cain might have said.
In recent years, many manifestations within our discourse seem to have come, live and direct, from the realm of The Crazy.
Adherence to QAnon's crazy "theories" would be one such manifestation. Arguably, so would a great deal of conduct in which people seem to accept the notion that covid-19 is, or was, some sort of pipedream or hoax.
More and more, our nation's behavior and belief seem to hail from the realm of The Crazy. But then again, there's also such conduct as this:
Last Thursday afternoon, we sat and watched a pile of behavior which came to us, live and direct, from the realms of The Novelized, The Stupid, The Dumb and The Wrong.
The extremely talented Nicolle Wallace hosted the discussion in question. As always, she was coming to our needy liberal tribe live and direct from earlier efforts to outlaw same-sex marriage and to support continued widespread death in Iraq.
Wallace is a highly skilled salesperson. On this day, she was fronting our blue tribe's latest instant novel—an instant novel which was deeply stupid but deeply pleasing to our own failing tribe.
The instant novel to which we refer contained an array of targets. How deep was the desire to thrill and excite, to frighten and loathe? At one point, a deeply grateful Aisha Mills said this to her multimillionaire corporate host:
"You know, Nicolle, I really appreciate you in the last segment referring to him as an assassin, because that's exactly what he is."That was just one tiny part of the novel three pundits were building this day. Also, that's the kind of stupid shit which now comes to our failing tribe from people hailed for their unbelievable smarts on websites of upper-end orgs like the Kennedy School.
At any rate, consider:
Aisha Mills appreciated the fact that Wallace had described 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse as "an assassin."
For this pair of tribal ghouls, the instant term "vigilante" was no longer enough! But within our wider American culture, this is the way best-selling novels and most-watched films now tend to be crafted:
We need our villains to be perfect, to be evil all the way down.
Wallace crafted her instant novel with the help of Mills and the Washington Post's Gene Robinson. The description of Rittenhouse as an "assassin" was just one part of the rank stupidity, and tribal ugliness, these three corporate novelists put on display this day.
QAnon adherents come to us from the realm of The Crazy. Increasingly, overpaid sachems within our own tribe come to us from the deeply degraded lands of The Novelized, The Dumb and The Wrong.
Wallace's instant novel was stupid and ugly this day. So was the pleasing tribal war she worked to extend and enhance.
On Monday, we'll start to review the complex process by which police shooting deaths have been reported since early 2012. In our view, it's one of the most intriguing and consequential journalistic events of the past thirty years.
A lot of our nation's public discourse now comes from the realm of The Crazy. On Thursday night, we saw emanations of The Crazy out on the White House lawn.
Presumably, some of those people will soon follow Cain into the land of the dead. According to leading experts on game theory, they should probably vote by mail as soon as they possibly can.
A lot of our nation's public discourse now comes from the realm of The Crazy. A lot more of our failing discourse has come to us from the realm of The Tribal Novel and, alas, from the realm of The Dumb, The Unfeeling, The Wrong.
Monday: Selective reporting, and more