Author Topic: The Biden Presidency  (Read 7877 times)

Offline Zakalwe

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #45 on: December 03, 2020, 05:10:52 AM »
It will be nice to have people with a sense of humour (and souls) back in the White House  :D

Indeed.  It's not that the outgoing administration lacks a sense of humor.  It's just that not everyone is amused by a President mocking a reporter who has a disability.
I'm afraid I have to disagree with you there.  The current incumbent has, as far as I'm aware, never shown any spontaneous humour or made a real joke, especially a self-deprecating one, in any situation I've seen him in, even before he was elected.  I think he lacks the empathy required to truly relate to others in a humorous way, and he sees everything as a transaction, where there must be a winner and a loser.  That's why, I think, that his attempts at humour always descend into cruelty and diminishing others.

This was picked up on back in 2016 when a British writer penned a piece explaining why we were so concerned about Trump. His total inability to find humour in anything but mocking those 'lower' than him is a huge red flag to a nation that has practically made it their national identity to laugh at themselves sometimes. Trump's humour is cruel, not affectionate or light-hearted.

Indeed. I believe that it was written by Nate White and it is worth re-posting



"A few things spring to mind.

Trump lacks certain qualities which the British traditionally esteem.

For instance, he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no self-awareness, no humility, no honour and no grace - all qualities, funnily enough, with which his predecessor Mr. Obama was generously blessed.

So for us, the stark contrast does rather throw Trump’s limitations into embarrassingly sharp relief. Plus, we like a laugh. And while Trump may be laughable, he has never once said anything wry, witty or even faintly amusing - not once, ever.  I don’t say that rhetorically, I mean it quite literally: not once, not ever. And that fact is particularly disturbing to the British sensibility - for us, to lack humour is almost inhuman.
But with Trump, it’s a fact. He doesn’t even seem to understand what a joke is - his idea of a joke is a crass comment, an illiterate insult, a casual act of cruelty.

Trump is a troll. And like all trolls, he is never funny and he never laughs; he only crows or jeers.

And scarily, he doesn’t just talk in crude, witless insults - he actually thinks in them. His mind is a simple bot-like algorithm of petty prejudices and knee-jerk nastiness. There is never any under-layer of irony, complexity, nuance or depth. It’s all surface. Some Americans might see this as refreshingly upfront. Well, we don’t. We see it as having no inner world, no soul.
And in Britain we traditionally side with David, not Goliath. All our heroes are plucky underdogs: Robin Hood, Dick Whittington, Oliver Twist. Trump is neither plucky, nor an underdog. He is the exact opposite of that. He’s not even a spoiled rich-boy, or a greedy fat-cat. He’s more a fat white slug. A Jabba the Hutt of privilege. And worse, he is that most unforgivable of all things to the British: a bully. That is, except when he is among bullies; then he suddenly transforms into a snivelling sidekick instead.

There are unspoken rules to this stuff - the Queensberry rules of basic decency - and he breaks them all. He punches downwards - which a gentleman should, would, could never do - and every blow he aims is below the belt. He particularly likes to kick the vulnerable or voiceless - and he kicks them when they are down.

So the fact that a significant minority - perhaps a third - of Americans look at what he does, listen to what he says, and then think 'Yeah, he seems like my kind of guy’ is a matter of some confusion and no little distress to British people, given that:
* Americans are supposed to be nicer than us, and mostly are.
* You don't need a particularly keen eye for detail to spot a few flaws in the man.

This last point is what especially confuses and dismays British people, and many other people too; his faults seem pretty bloody hard to miss. After all, it’s impossible to read a single tweet, or hear him speak a sentence or two, without staring deep into the abyss. He turns being artless into an art form; he is a Picasso of pettiness; a Shakespeare of shit. His faults are fractal: even his flaws have flaws, and so on ad infinitum.

God knows there have always been stupid people in the world, and plenty of nasty people too. But rarely has stupidity been so nasty, or nastiness so stupid. He makes Nixon look trustworthy and George W look smart.
In fact, if Frankenstein decided to make a monster assembled entirely from human flaws - he would make a Trump.

And a remorseful Doctor Frankenstein would clutch out big clumpfuls of hair and scream in anguish:

'My God… what… have… I… created?'"
« Last Edit: December 03, 2020, 05:12:47 AM by Zakalwe »
"The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' " - Isaac Asimov

Offline molesworth

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #46 on: December 03, 2020, 05:12:45 AM »
It will be nice to have people with a sense of humour (and souls) back in the White House  :D

Where did you find that?  My google-fu is weak today.
It was posted on another forum (for game developers) but it's also on Twitter - https://twitter.com/canadianprguy/status/1333531979585904642

I'm not sure where the original came from, but I would like to think it's genuinely someone in the new administration team trying to cheer everyone up.
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Offline JayUtah

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #47 on: December 03, 2020, 10:42:38 AM »
I'm afraid I have to disagree with you there.

Not much disagreement.  I was trying to say that the Trump administrations sense of humor is nothing more than sick, twisted cruelty.  That's what they do to try to make people laugh, because they don't know funny.
"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams

Offline gillianren

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #48 on: December 03, 2020, 11:30:26 AM »
"Oh god! We booked a landscaping place for a major news conference instead of a famed hotel by the same name! Can you believe it? I couldn't, but, hey, the show must go on! I've performed in worse joints"

There was an article that claimed that the incident wasn't funny, because we didn't know the circumstances around it.  Which misses that they don't matter; that was an inherently funny situation.  But yeah, he's capable of being cruel and calling it a joke, but he's not capable of being funny.  And I don't think I've ever seen him really laugh at something someone else said, which is at least as noteworthy. 
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Offline JayUtah

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #49 on: December 03, 2020, 01:02:44 PM »
In contrast, I recall a popular series of image memes featuring Barack Obama and Joe Biden from the Obama Administration.  The general theme was that Biden was some sort of genial lap dog enamored with Obama.  And the buzz is that both men knew of these and found them amusing.  I can't imagine how anyone but the most irredeemable, delusional narcissist could propose to succeed in politics without knowing their capacity for absorbing statements made at their expense for whatever reason.
"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams

Offline gillianren

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #50 on: December 04, 2020, 10:25:43 AM »
It's why, despite my general distaste for insults based on people's appearance, I continued to reference his small hands.  Because it infuriates him all out of proportion.  Interesting that the "vulgarian" part slipped right off his back, though.
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Offline raven

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #51 on: December 04, 2020, 02:34:19 PM »
It's why, despite my general distaste for insults based on people's appearance, I continued to reference his small hands.  Because it infuriates him all out of proportion.  Interesting that the "vulgarian" part slipped right off his back, though.
Yep! It wouldn't matter to me if he wasn't so hilariously thin skinned about it.  But he is, and it's glorious.

Online Peter B

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #52 on: January 06, 2021, 04:34:22 PM »
Democrats appear to have won both Georgia Senate seats: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/01/05/us/elections/results-georgia-runoffs.html

I was not expecting that.

Offline gillianren

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #53 on: January 06, 2021, 09:32:47 PM »
It turns out convincing your base that elections are fraudulent has long-term consequences.
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Offline VQ

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #54 on: January 07, 2021, 01:31:21 PM »
It turns out convincing your base that elections are fraudulent has long-term consequences.

The US would be in a much worse place than it is if the outgoing administration hadn't been so wildly incompetent.

Offline raven

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #55 on: January 07, 2021, 02:17:14 PM »
It turns out convincing your base that elections are fraudulent has long-term consequences.

The US would be in a much worse place than it is if the outgoing administration hadn't been so wildly incompetent.
Great, that's all the US needs now: competent evil, a more insidious and invasive evil, better at playing the political game but still encouraging and enabling the same hate and ignorance that got Trump elected, got a suicide bombing in Nashville, and got the US Capitol stormed by a mob of rioters.

Offline gillianren

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #56 on: January 08, 2021, 10:31:19 AM »
A friend of a friend posited that Jackson is still a worse President, and I told them to pick whether they thought evil-and-competent was better or worse than evil-but-incompetent.  And apparently my own state capitol was invaded as well and my governor--whom the right wing here hates--and his family were removed to a secure location.
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Offline gillianren

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #57 on: January 16, 2021, 11:41:06 AM »
Someone just got suspended from BAUT for saying that Biden reminded him of Henry Blake from (presumably the TV show of) M*A*S*H and wondering who his Radar is, who would get him to sign things without his having read them.

While that's a solid reference, it's also clearly wrong, and nothing in Joe Biden's actual political history suggests it.  What does is his pop culture image, which only tangentially touches on reality.  I was thinking, though, that possibly it's one of the things that got him elected.  People didn't vote for Joe Biden--a man with a spotty record in places and a disturbing habit of being far too handsy--they voted for Diamond Joe Biden, as seen in The Onion.  In the primaries, of course; I think he won the general by being Oh, Gods, Not Trump Again.
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Offline JayUtah

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #58 on: January 16, 2021, 01:36:58 PM »
I expect (hope) Biden to be more hands-on than Reagan ever was.  For better or for worse, I guess.  But I agree he is merely the non-Trump.  I don't expect anything out of a Biden Administration beyond giving America a slight reminder of what normalcy tasted like.
"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams

Offline Obviousman

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #59 on: January 17, 2021, 03:42:08 AM »
I'm impressed by the Biden cabinet choices so far.