There’s nothing I will miss about the last four years, but among the many things to which I am happily waving goodbye is the Trump Grifting Industrial Complex. Donald has always surrounded himself with unsavory types, from hilariously inept allies like leaky Giuliani to outrage-millers champing greedily at his heels like the Krassenstein brothers. But it’s the ancillary content engines that I’m hoping will now dry up.
You know the ones: The hacks who figured out that there’s a filament of fishing line connecting any anti-Trump meme to boomers’ fingers hovering over Like buttons. Facebook may have lied about anyone wanting news video on their platform, but an enterprising content miller can still squeeze an engagement udder by throwing “Drumpf” and “covfefe” into a blender and posting a picture of whatever splashes onto the ceiling when they take the lid off.
Earlier this week, Randy Rainbow posted one last (if we’re lucky) Trump video. It’s a parody song, of course it is; it’s based on a showtune, of course it is; it’s from a show that is both celebratory and maudlin, of course it is; it’s a rewording of “Seasons of Love” from Rent because it could never be anything else.
When I mentioned this to my partner, he stopped in his tracks and said, “it couldn’t be ‘Seasons of Trump,’ could it?’” I must mournfully confirm that it is. The video depicts multiple Randies, green-screen-cloned, beneath a giant glowing TRUMP banner, the only person on Earth who renders that name as a more grandiose monument than Trump himself.
The parody songs, lip syncs, punny coloring books, Minions memes, and Simpsons episodes of the last four years were not good, none of them, not a single one. They were just a way for us to confirm for each other that We Don’t Like This, and now that This is over, we don’t need Them anymore.
Joe Biden is, fortunately, extremely boring, and it’s my great hope that it will be impossible for grifters to wring any useful material out of him. Nobody is waiting for the parody version of Old Town Road called old Old Biden Road.
So goodbye, I hope, to the churning pit of cOnTeNt that bubbles with toxic Trump enthusiasm; a pit that only ever managed to learn one joke, which is that Trump is dumb; and whose greatest contribution to culture has been to reveal which retweeting celebrities have terrible taste.