Cock­tails in the Kanye-Trump asy­lum

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - OPINION - Kath­leen Parker Colum­nist

Amid hur­ri­canes, a van­ished jour­nal­ist, the re­cent Supreme Court hear­ings, midterms and “mobs,” it is lit­tle won­der that Amer­i­cans are drink­ing more than ever.

Fac­tu­ally, this is so. More than 70 per­cent of Amer­i­cans im­bibe each year, and about 40 per­cent drink ex­ces­sively, ac­cord­ing to two sep­a­rate stud­ies last year. A com­par­i­son to 2014 data showed a 10 per­cent in­crease in the num­ber of heavy drinkers.

I men­tion th­ese sot­ted stats for con­text. Lately, at least from my perch on the porch, the evening cock­tail has be­come less an aper­i­tif than a medic­i­nal slug made nec­es­sary by the al­ter­na­tive of rip­ping off my face. To bear wit­ness to Th­ese Times In Which We Live is to go in­sane, join a cult or pour your fa­vorite poi­son.

Please, if you’re one of the roughly 30 per­cent who haven’t strayed from the wagon, do not feel com­pelled to share. We’ve had enough scold­ing from Democrats lately, which is an­other point of cog­ni­tive dis­so­nance. In our topsy-turvy world, the Demo­cratic Party, once a haven for work­ing-class Amer­i­cans, has be­come a green room of shaggy in­tel­lec­tu­als who lec­ture the na­tion about the de­cline in moral­ity and ci­vil­ity.

The Repub­li­can Party, the erst­while home to the Moral Ma­jor­ity, is now wed­ded to a porn-star­linked pres­i­dent, who last week was made to look like a somber adult seated across from a sten­to­rian Kanye West, who seemed to have (a) lost his mind or (b) emp­tied a bot­tle of Ad­der­all into his cof­fee be­fore ar­riv­ing at the White House for lunch with the pres­i­dent.

Osten­si­bly, the pur­pose of his visit was to dis­cuss pri­son re­form and plead for clemency for Larry Hoover, a con­victed mur­derer and gang king­pin. In­stead, the rap­per em­barked on a wildly dis­jointed, streamof-con­scious­ness lec­ture with such rapid-fire mad­ness that one half-ex­pected he might sud­denly start crawl­ing up the wall and across the ceil­ing — or, for­get­ting that his “Make Amer­ica Great Again” cap wasn’t re­ally the Su­per­man cape he thought it was, plunge through the win­dow fully ex­pect­ing to fly.

Here’s a taste of his so­lil­o­quy about Hoover: “So there’s the­o­ries that —there’s in­fi­nite amounts of uni­verse and there’s al­ter­nate uni­verse so it’s very im­por­tant for me to get [Larry] Hoover out, be­cause in an al­ter­nate uni­verse, I am him. And I have to go and get him free.”

Among other top­i­cal points, West men­tioned that Hil­lary Clin­ton and her “I’m With Her” slo­gan didn’t do it for him in 2016 be­cause he was a child of sep­a­rated par­ents and didn’t get enough fa­ther time. (This is per­haps the most in­ter­est­ing and true thing he said.) Thus, West went with Big Daddy Trump and is proud to be an AfricanAmer­i­can sup­porter of the pres­i­dent. He said he loves Trump and threw down some choice ex­ple­tives for em­pha­sis.

His per­for­mance was, shall we say, head-swivel­ing and def­i­nitely al­ter­na­tive uni­verse-ish. This writer can do no bet­ter than the ex­pres­sion on ABC News’ Jonathan Karl’s face dur­ing the screed. It was the look of a man who has just re­al­ized that he’s the last ra­tio­nal be­ing on the planet.

Through­out the 10-minute speech, Trump re­mained nearly mute and in­ter­change­ably be­mused and, just pos­si­bly, ter­ri­fied. To­ward the end, his arms folded tightly across his chest, he nod­ded and said, “Re­ally very in­ter­est­ing.” Mean­while, se­ri­ous news of enor­mous im­port loi­tered in the vestibule await­ing the pres­i­dent’s at­ten­tion. Hur­ri­cane Michael had re­cently fin­ished dec­i­mat­ing the Florida pan­han­dle and, on the very day of this epic con­fab, was drench­ing the Caroli­nas, which were still founder­ing from Hur­ri­cane Florence. Re­ports were also com­ing in that a Wash­ing­ton Post colum­nist who had dis­ap­peared into the Saudi con­sulate in Is­tan­bul may have been tor­tured, mur­dered and dis­mem­bered on orders from Saudi Crown Prince and Jared Kush­ner buddy Mo­hammed bin Sal­man. Speak­ing of the in­ci­dent Thurs­day evening, Trump said dis­mis­sively: “It’s in Tur­key, and it’s not a ci­ti­zen.”

When the world has gone bark­ing mad, when high school year­book jot­tings can nearly take a good man down, when a hip-hop artist and the pres­i­dent con­vene a sur­re­al­ity show in the Oval Of­fice, when mil­lions are suf­fer­ing the af­ter­math of a killer storm and Trump seems chill­ingly un­moved by a re­porter’s al­leged mur­der — well, you’d best make mine a triple. Cheers. Kath­leen Parker is syn­di­cated by Wash­ing­ton Post Writ­ers Group.

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