The polar ice caps are melting, global temperatures are rising as is geopolitical conflict, and GRRM still seems no closer to finishing the sixth novel of the Song of Ice and Fire series (Game of Thrones, for those who prefer to stare at a screen instead of pick up a book). In a world filled with such pathos, we are fortunate indeed to have a few bright spots such as President Donald Trump and the internet, or rather, the former’s relationship with the latter, before you think we’ve gone alt-right.
It’s a gorgeously grotesque relationship, one which spawns all manner of strange stories and incidents, conflicts and cause célèbre, not a lot of resolutions but a lot of tragicomedy, all of it flowing into a never-ending news cycle. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that this stuff is real, which is why it’s best to remember that hoary old chestnut, “fact is oft stranger than fiction”.
The latest episode of this Twilight Zone that has become our reality began when a young woman stopped by the star of Trump, not so much a biblical icon as a pop-ulist one: his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, to be precise. Putting aside the question of what Trump did to deserve a Hollywood star of fame in the first place (curiously many have the same question about a presidency), the site has become a target for much vandalism since 2016. Experts are at a loss to explain why.
In any case, a young woman stopped by this icon and with admirable determination as well as handy make-up wipes scrubbed off the latest graffiti defacing it, after which she eternalized her good deed in the cloud of history with pictures and a tweet. “Stopped to clean (Trump) Hollywood Star. Nothing but respect for MY president,” read 20-year-old student Makenna Greenwald’s tweet, which showed a series of images capturing her civic service and ending with a hashtag suggesting she was raised right (more on that later).
Like the butterfly and its effect, Makenna’s tweet rippled out on to the internet and raised a tempest in response. The faithful duly hailed the virtuous wipe-down and the proper respect, nay reverence, to the administration it so abjectly manifested. This included people on the street and people off the screen.
Wow. Great American. @CNN @NBCNews @JoeNBC (who calls the @POTUS a schmuck, liar, goon etc.). Watch and learn what respect for the office is https://t.co/2m8aUVlBUd— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) July 1, 2017
Others, perhaps not as enthusiastic about the current occupiers of the White House, went another way. Some condemned the action and even more the sentiment. Others dredged through Greenwald’s online past to dredge up some dirt to counter her claims of being raised right.
And still others just had some fun and the ‘Nothing but respect for my president’ pose was born. Despite the mouthful terminology, the concept is simple. Twitter users -- Twits? – uploaded pictures of themselves under the same caption, posing in the same manner with “their” president, president in this case referring to their favourite celebrity, or fictional character, with a star on the Walk. Presidential candidates ranged from songstress Britney Spears to comedian Danny De Vito, from fictional ogre Shrek to fictional president Selina Meyer from Veep, with a clever tribute to the actor who portrays her, Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
And then, there were those who took it to the next level. Check out these genius instances