Donald Trump

I Agree: Political Satire is the Antidote to Trumpism (and Everything Else)

Despite the characteristic embarrassment and chaos of his presidency, some credits for Trump for ushering in an unprecedented wave of satire. And comedians are having a free cake. It’s a common refrain in discussions around creativity that creativity loves chaos. Trump provides comedians a dose of chaotic materials to work with.

We need Nigerian comedians to step up. It's my fantasy that comedians will be taken "seriously" here when they start probing fault lines, challenging social protocols and causing discomforts, of course, within reasonable boundaries. (Alibaba used to attempt political provocations during Obasanjo's era. Whatever happened to him. I think my favourite and smartest African comedian, Basketmouth, mellowed down on his materials after the supposed offensive rape joke. I had my reservations about the hoopla but I shelved it seeing the daggers aimed at him. But now, dude seems overly commercialized that I wonder if he hasn't compromised on the purity of his wit. Or maybe he's given in to the typical Nigerian quality of political and religious and tribal correctness).

I believe it's the finest comedian’s job, like the finest polemists - Christopher Hitchens, Adebayo Williams, Hunter S. Thompson, Abati (pre-Goodluck), Okey Ndibe, Gimba Kankada, etc., to challenge mediocrity, to discomfort the orthodoxy, to deliberately cross lines with the aim of pushing the society forward.

(I noticed a new show by Linda Ikeji, of a guy in a Late Night-type studio, making social commentaries. It looks cool, so far. I hope they can furnish their materials beyond the typical trope of yabbis humour. Provoke, people! Cross the line, people! The society would be better off. Or I should stop fantasizing).

That said, John Oliver and Trevor Noah are currently my favourite Trumpian satirists.

About A Great American Narcissist

This is good journalism, the type that invests in nuances, on an issue that seems cliché already. Everyone knows Trump and there have been guesses about what inspires his dangerous ideals. A few people have attempted to pitch a case on his mental constitution. This piece does it thoroughly. It also relates Trump's exuberance to the fears of white Christian evangelicals who wants to be saved from damnation (a.k.a ISIS), save the world (a.k.a America) from impurities (a.k.a Mexicans, immigrants etc.).

But more than this is how it explores the workings of Trump's mental makeup and how anger is the core of his personality.

Brilliant long piece.

"“As far as the anger is concerned, that’s real for sure. He’s not faking it,”... “The fact that he gets mad, that’s his personality.” Indeed, anger may be the operative emotion behind Trump’s high extroversion as well as his low agreeableness. Anger can fuel malice, but it can also motivate social dominance, stoking a desire to win the adoration of others. Combined with a considerable gift for humor (which may also be aggressive), anger lies at the heart of Trump’s charisma. And anger permeates his political rhetoric."