February 21, 2017

Israel Daramola is currently starring on ABC’s The Bachelor.

[Ed.- The country seems to be disintegrating at a remarkable pace. Every day brings a fresh deluge of horror. In Alternative Facts, Israel Daramola pauses for a second to look back and take stock of the previous week to ten days. There’s danger in retreating into a shell and letting it wash over you; it’s important to catalogue each new, impossible wrong.]

By the time you read this, it will either be the 20th or just after the 20th of February. Which means that it will be exactly a month since Donald Trump was inaugurated. One month, all of the things that have happened: the terrible Senate confirmations, the Muslim ban that isn’t a Muslim ban even though it is, the orders to loosen the restraints on Wall Street, the war with the press, the lies about terrorist attacks and the fact that it’s pretty much proven that Russia helped make this happen; all of that happened in the first month of the new administration. It’s been a lot and I can feel myself burning out and shutting down. Which is probably a benefit to Trump.

If I had to make a prediction:

Trump has started his campaign rallies back up. He’s doing it because it’s the only thing he’s actually good at, but also he can change the narrative. There are no press questions at these rallies, it’s pure Trump and it’s the best defense against a media you are already telling people is the enemy. The people who love him, still do and him continuing these rallies will only help. It shows he still cares about them. Plus it’s campaigning for his reelection early and before the opponent can even get solid footing.

Trump should be cowering in fear over what’s going on in the White House. The National Security Adviser had to be fired for allegedly lying about being in communion with Russia. That dossier about Trump’s ties to Russia seems to be mostly proven. This should be the biggest scandal to rock a presidency but ultimately, one of the best things Trump has done is fuel people’s distrust of the media; to the point where good, thorough research and writing can be dismissed. And if you think that isn’t happening then consider the tepid to non-existent response to the continual abuse of power by the administration. It happens so consistently that it’s already become commonplace.

You wake up in the morning and read the news to see what illegal or extralegal thing that cheeseball has done and then you go get some coffee. We worry about the normalization of this administration and its actions but the truth is: the fact that many have the luxury to go on with their day while these things go on means it has no choice but to become normal. If all these actions can happen in one month and the question of impeachment isn’t even on the table yet, where will we be mentally a year from now.

I recognize that this sounds defeatist and I apologize for that. I don’t want anyone to quit or lose focus or forget their fight. But it is tiring. It is tiring to watch this man hold a two hour dementia-riddled rant and call it a press conference and we all just have to make jokes in order to not grapple with the fear each of us feels deep down. It is tiring. The things that prevent our country from becoming a realm of totalitarianism–the checks and balances–ultimately depend on what the people are willing to live with. And despite our collective anger, we are ultimately living with it. I can only hope that there will come a threshold so severe that when crossed we will together refuse to live with it.

In this week’s news:

Hey yeah, back to Michael Flynn. Here is a guy who lied about his talks with Russian operatives to the people and allegedly to the rest of the White House. At best, he committed what could generously be called “light treason”. He told Russia “don’t even worry about them sanctions” and when questioned about it, none of the top officials in the White House could even agree on how to deal with it. You have Kellyanne Conway saying “everything is fine” followed by human crash test dummy Sean Spicer saying it was absolutely Trump’s idea to fire him immediately (once he got caught) only to be followed by that terrible, 1:45 am Saturday Night Live sketch of a press conference where Trump doesn’t seem to know why Flynn was fired even though he fired him. I no longer believe in conspiracy theories because these people are too stupid to pull off something ingenious. If 9/11 was an inside job that happened during the Trump administration we’d know it by 9/9.

This week has been such a clusterfuck that I’ve been writing this long and haven’t even mentioned Mar-A-Lago, The Vacation White House. The hood basement club of rich country clubs. Last weekend, N. Korea launched a ballistics missile, which required an intelligence briefing both by the White House and by Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, who was visiting with Trump on this weekend. Rather than handle this delicate situation in a secure, closed off venue, the orange crypt keeper–the people’s president–decided to instead put on a show for the lucky members of this club by going over precious, top secret documents out in the open. Using the light of their cell phones (which totally aren’t recording us all the time) to analyze said documents. It’s almost as if they don’t take this job seriously.

It’s All-Star weekend which… ugh who even cares. All-Star weekend is for no one but the players and the strippers who will get knocked up by them and sue them for child support. You cannot convince me that you actually enjoy watching All-Star events. They are rarely good at this point, yeah I know the slam dunk contest was fun last year but that’s an outlier based on how things have gone the past decade. The only saving grace is a Russell Westbrook All-Star MVP award to make up for the fact that they’re probably going to give the actual MVP award to James Harden.

(update: he didn’t).

Song of the week:

I thought about making the song of this week one from the Future album that came out Friday. But despite my mixed feelings, I just don’t feel like rewarding Future’s musical coasting so instead I’ll recommend a song from a rapper who’s actually trying.

And that’s it. I’m out of gas and just knowing there’s gonna be more bullshit to talk about next week makes me want to break out in hives. Everything is totally fine though.