I’m no psychologist, but I think it’s reasonable to believe that humor gives us a revealing insight into the mindset of whoever is telling the jokes.
Often times, comedic geniuses, such as both Robin Williams or Peter Sellers, are beset by depression and anxiety, allowing for their creativity at times and alternatively giving way to periods of aversion to publicity and subsequent withdrawal. Interestingly, the latter two, aversion to publicity and subsequent withdrawal, are about as familiar to Trump as are the moons of Neptune.
Recently, Trump wistfully announced that he wished “his people” would sit up and pay attention to him, like North Korea’s people do for Kim Jong Un. When called out on this bizarre and simultaneously worrying statement, the administration’s line was that he was, but of course, “joking.”
Now I get it! Ow. My. Poor. Ribs.
Kids with a mean-streak play this one too. Hurl out a spiteful name and when the recipient cries foul, they reply back with “what’s your problem, it was only a joke?” It doubles down on the recipient’s impact, not only hurting them with the first spiteful name, but then questioning the victim’s sense of humor subsequent to that too.
Again, hardy-har-har and suck it up nerdy-pants.
Such a double down was evident, albeit it more subtly, with Trump’s “sit up and pay attention” comments. He would like to think that the American people’s immunization to his drip-drip feed of outrageousness has numbed them sufficiently to his demonstrably clear authoritarian yearnings. Thankfully though, thus far, the anaesthesia hasn’t yet fully worked and he rightly got challenged on it. Cue the “it was just a joke” line with the Trumpian sub-text of and “you people still don’t get the genius that is Trump”, move on and carry on regardless with ever more drip by drip authoritarian stealth.
And this “it was meant to be funny” alibi has been in play with this administration for some time now. In October 2017, White Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders told the White House Press Corps that they should “get a sense of humor” as they had questioned her about Trump challenging former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to an IQ test showdown.
Note to SHS: this is the President of the United States of America. People listen very, very carefully to what he says.
Second note to SHS: Donald Trump is President. Quite literally anything he says is now taken seriously by a chunk of the population.
The irony is of course that Huckabee-Sanders possesses all the witty charm of a broken ironing board resting in a duck-pond.
Regardless, in February of this year, Sanders again showed off her Trumpian Comedy Club credentials. Congressional Democrats had chosen not to stand for Trump’s State of the Union, to which he accused them of possible treason. Of course he did. When asked about the treason remarks, Sanders replied that Trump was “clearly joking.” Uh-huh.
More recently, erstwhile Trump campaign manager and continuing MAGA attack-dog, Corey Lewandowski tried his own hand at humor-absolutely not-humor by mocking a ten-year old Mexican refugee with Down Syndrome, on air, with a sad trombone “womp-womp” sound.
Such an appalling display of mockery, with an attempted faint tint of humor (for “faint tint of ” read “absolutely no”), from someone with a profile as prominent as Lewandowski’s, has, sadly become almost normalised. I guess the alarm bell went off big time with Trump’s campaign trail mocking of a disabled reporter. Anything goes with the MAGA-masses, as long as it has Trump’s seal of approval.
I’m always suspect of someone who never belly laughs. And Trump rarely if ever does. Conversely, I’ve always warmed to laughter – haven’t we all? Especially so those that can from time to time laugh at their own absurdities and short-comings. Which is a statement you won’t find on Trump’s resume. Ever.
The one time I can recall him seeming to laugh with spontaneity, as opposed to sneer with spite or wear that melted plastic smug grin of his, was again on the campaign trail. A dog barked and someone called out to Trump from the MAGA crowd that it was Hilary. Trump seemed to genuinely laugh. Unsurprisingly, at someone else’s expense and in response to an unsophisticated, one-dimensional line.
Trump’s humor is anaemic at best, built on seething rage, sense of entitlement and prejudice. He is the bore at the end of bar that everyone wants to avoid, intoxicated with his own sense of self and boy-oh-boy is he gonna let rip with his “observations” and supporting “humor” to whoever gets in ear-shot.
Regardless, the American people will have the last laugh when Trumps’ tenure in the Oval Office is over.
Firework manufacturers and retailers will no doubt be laughing the hardest of all.
- Trump: The Anti-Santa - August 1, 2018
- Trump’s Kruel Komedy Klub - June 22, 2018
- From Russia With Animosity - June 10, 2018
- Phone Gymnastics: How Trump Keeps the GOP So Flexible (VIDEO) - May 24, 2018
- Our China Syndrome President - May 13, 2018
- Twenty Questions, Donald Trump Style - April 29, 2018
- Dreary Donald - April 19, 2018
- The Ghost of Mad King George and the “Militia” Amendment - April 7, 2018
- American-Chinese Tariff War: Fortune Cookies Not Required - April 5, 2018