Supposedly, the Chinese or the Arabs or the Scientologists or one of those ancient inscrutable cultures, has a saying that goes “May you live in interesting times.” It is generally considered to be a curse. And America right now is living in the most interesting of times. It’s breathtaking how thrilling and frenetic the news has gotten. Every single day. It’s almost too exciting. In fact, it’s starting to look like one of those pre-opening credits sequences of a science-fiction movie that takes place in the ruins of a dystopian civilization. “And Then All Hell Broke Loose.”
It’s not just we news junkies; the whole world is transfixed. Unprecedented numbers of eyeballs troll the interwebs. Ratings for Fox News and MSNBC have shot past the outer orbits of the moons of Saturn. Everybody is talking politics, including people who can’t spell it. News is constantly breaking. And nobody ever fixes it.
Olden-timey analogue formats such as newspapers and magazines are flying off shelves. Wouldn’t be surprised to hear that kindling and blanket sales are way up for those who remain partial to smoke signals. Techies are holding Morse Code Bees on their Google buses.
Washington these days is like a soap opera with ugly people. Daze of Our Lives. The Not So Young and Extremely Reckless. There’s danger, intrigue, romance, treachery, skullduggery, dirty tricks, double-dealing, skulking, lurking, burping, barking. No sex yet, but it’s coming. As long as Bill Clinton, Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly are near the mix.
The House Intelligence Committee, which is an oxymoron of biblical proportions, has a chairman, Devin Nunes, playing cloak and dagger on the White House lawn with administration staffers passing him classified documents that he later relays to the President himself. Peter slipping Paul a note to give back to Pete’s boss.
Revelations continue to pop up like gophers on a freshly seeded sod farm. Terrorism expert Clint Watts testified in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is only an oxymoron of comic book proportions, and told them “Follow the trail of dead Russians.” And at the end you find a pot of gold and a cooler full of vodka.
This is “Homeland” meets “House of Cards,” with Kevin Spacey playing all the parts, added to large parts James Bond, but not the cool elegant Daniel Craig version. More like one of Roger Moore’s last appearances as the old and slow secret agent who would ask scantily-clad women to fetch him a glass of water for his teeth.
White House Spokesperson Sean Spicer creeps closer and closer to an inevitable televised breakdown. Already his eyes are spinning like zero gravity, electromagnetic Frisbees. Any day now, he’ll show up at a press briefing wearing his tie as a bandana and a knife gripped between clenched teeth, taunting the assembled “who wants a piece of me?”
And now the former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn has announced he wants immunity to testify. Immunity for what? And testify about what? Nobody knows. But his lawyer claims he has a story to tell. And it’s not “Goldilocks & the Three Bears,” although the administration already claims it is a Grimm Fairy Tale.
All this, and we’re only 10 weeks in. Stay tuned. This is going to make “Legion” look like “The Brady Bunch.”
Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed columnist, comedian and former short haul truck diver of plaster molds.