The victory of the cliché

The giddily whirring circus that is the Trump administration has called another turn through the contra dance of politics, hiring Anthony Scaramucci, a hedge fund manager, as communications director. That’s an odd choice, since the typical résumé of someone brought in to the White House these days demonstrates a total lack of qualification for the job on offer, but in this case, Trump is trying a new idea. The point of hedge funds is to protect one’s wealth against reality, after all, and that is a portable skill to other fields.

But the professional accomplishments of a person are often only a veneer slathered across the soul. Who really is Anthony Scaramucci? In an unguarded moment, he may have revealed his inner being in a tweet send out on the 15th of June of this year: “Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you’ve never been hurt and live like its heaven on earth. MarkTwain”

Isn’t that lovely? No more must we believe that billionaires are tormented creatures, weighed down by the burden of cash, cut off from the rest of humanity. They are not miserable iterations of Richard Cory, smiling to the world until they blow their brains out. They are, if we take Scaramucci at his word, carefree celebrants of Joseph Campbell’s advice to follow one’s bliss.

Or perhaps not. The billionaire’s new dance instructor and voice coach are likely to know where their bread originates and wouldn’t give too much by way of criticism regarding Scaramucci’s footwork and singing. It’s said that money can’t buy love, and Melania Trump’s refusal to hold The Donald’s hand may be a confirmation of this, but the coin of the realm does acquire a good deal of companionship, and Scaramucci has the means to understand the miracle of living, making heaven a place on earth, to borrow some lines from, oh, who was it, Thomas Carlyle, or some such philosopher.

What we are witnessing here is the victory of the cliché, the victory lap — if I am allowed to surrender to the trite phrase, myself — of a band of buffoons for whom greed and trolling are the sum total of human achievement. If only Scaramucci had added “drive like you stole it,” he would have completed an act of honesty for the entire administration.

But then, and I’m surprised to say this, Trump himself is often honest. His own tweets reveal the truths that his other tweets seek to obscure. Though calling this honesty isn’t right. Better to say that the broken clock that is Donald Trump hits on the correct time now and then in the mad flurry of spinning hands, howsoever tiny they may be.

At this point, the fight against the cliché feels hopeless. But fight we must, if only to rage one more day against the dying of the light. This would all be a magnificent and impossibly unrealistic farce if presented in the theater. However, as Neil Peart told us, all the world’s a stage, and we poor players must pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone.

Or better yet, we must stand up and shout a resounding no to the callers who would have us dance to their inane tunes. The world is a fine place and worth fighting for, as Mark Twain also said, and I hate to give it up to these idiots.

For more of my writing, go here.

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Gee, Camp, what were you thinking? Supports gay rights, #2a, #1a, science, and other seemingly incongruous things. Books available on Amazon.

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