Anyone who’s read this blog over the past few months is familiar with my contempt for the person I can only call The Fraud. My opinion hasn’t changed: He is an existential threat to the United States; should he somehow get elected this November (wouldn’t bet on that, but far stranger things have happened), the damage he could cause might take decades to repair.
I’ll give him one thing though — he is entertaining. What he says and does can be downright scary at times, but there’s a certain car-crash fascination that comes with every one of his inane ramblings. And there’s no harm in a little amusement, so long as you don’t forget about his very real menace.
Comedians, though — they’ve been largely disappointing in regards to The Fraud. There is a long tradition of brilliant political satire in America, demonstrated most famously by Jon Stewart and the pre-CBS Stephen Colbert. Yet for every Jon Oliver and Samantha Bee these days, there seems to be a dozen pathetic standups, telling the same lame jokes about The Fraud’s hair and poorly imitating his accent. Go for the easy targets, the cheap chuckles; play along with his hucksterism and ignore his vacuous substance, letting The Fraud laugh all the way to the bank, and perhaps the most powerful position in the world.
When I read the first few lines of Elan Mudrow‘s recent poem on The Fraud, I feared this would be more of the same, a rimshot in verse. But Elan’s too insightful to be satisfied with easy answers, and her poem uses his hair as a metaphor for our angst-ridden age, where a bad case of bed-head can send us into a frenzy of angry despair. In her poem, The Fraud is a symptom of our collective anxiety, and his outrageous behavior a sign of our desperation:
We’re you poking your nose
in some other country’s junk drawer
Hoping to find a flat iron?
“Hair Yell” is the best poem, and one of the best overall commentaries, about The Fraud to date.