Thursday, January 14, 2021

Donald Trump in Nighttown

Zero Mostel in Ulysses in Nighttown (photo: Carl Van Vechten)

Do you set tyrants out to pasture like you do an aging cow or horse, who has outlived its usefulness? Imagine Trump, Bolsonaro, Orban and Putin all chewing their cud. It’s reminiscent of the old joke about reincarnation where the guy who reports that in his new life, composed solely of fucking and eating, he’s a bull in Minnesota. When you read theological tracts about the next life, it’s never clear what the relationship is between a person’s past life and what he becomes when he’s reborn. For instance, what would a born again Christian be reborn as? It’s easy to say that Mitch McConnell or Lindsay Graham would be snakes or that Donald Trump's rage would be frozen in the ninth circle of Dante’s Inferno, but perhaps Trump’s fate is destined to be more prosaic. When the Mossad finally caught up with Eichmann, he was living in the San Fernando section of Buenos Aires under the alias Ricardo Klement. Whatever changes he did or didn’t evince, he certainly was no longer the commandant of a concentration camp. In the afterlife Trump and Putin will both be relieved of their status and power. Imagine the famous rower Charon, pulling up to the funeral procession of Donald Trump and ushering the once outspoken political figure onto his boat. True to form, Trump would undoubtedly utter, “this is the Styx” as he boarded.

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