Much like an accident from which you can’t turn away – or an idiot staring at the sun – I’ve been looking at social media again. Even though I shouldn’t.
Among the many depressing things that caught my attention (such as Texas being so “pro-life” they’ll execute anyone who isn’t) was an amusing failed Tweet from Donald Trump, the fat orange dementia patient you might remember from the White House.
President Trump had apparently tried to put out one of his hacky, Stalinist propaganda videos, only to see it immediately taken down because he’d stolen the music from “The Dark Knight Rises” without paying copyright dues to Warner Brothers.
Trump’s repeated attempts to steal things and just hope nobody notices have looked increasingly amateurish since he became president – he coasted along for years stiffing people and isn’t smart enough to realise he can’t do it anymore now that he’s in the spotlight. Still, copyright claims between megacorporations and senile fraudsters aren’t really something I feel like wading into. Rather, what struck me was the comment section under the tweet.
As expected, it was the usual 50-50 mix of people who can’t stand Trump and his delusional, semi-literate supporters and those self same delusional, semi-literate supporters arguing back. In particular, however, there seems to be a strange breed of what used to be called Women Of A Certain Age who are frothingly supportive of the President’s every idiot whim. They always seem to be blonde, and they all seem to visit the same drunk plastic surgeon when they need some work done.
More satisfied customers from Tequila Joe’s plastic surgery, tattoos and burrito bar!
In an increasingly unhinged world, it’s become difficult to tell what is paranoia and what is a genuine conspiracy. We know, for example, that Russian intelligence agencies used social media to interfere with the 2016 US election, and we know that the current Republican administration is desperately trying not to release the full FBI report into what else Russia was involved with, and how it affected the Trump campaign. We also know that the President’s use of copyrighted music is one tiny example in a lifetime career of theft and fraud. The man in the White House is a crook and a pathological liar, a third-rate con artist and probably losing his already limited mental faculties. These things are incontrovertible, but they’re still astonishing and feel like they shouldn’t be true.
Then we have the weirder theories that might also be true – that Melania is sometimes replaced with a body double, for example. This sounds crazy, but is no more nuts than the fact that the President used campaign money to pay off a porn star he had an affair with, and then lied about it. It’s no crazier than a sitting US President having secret meetings with a Russian leader which he refuses to talk about.
I bring all of this up because, reading the replies to Trump’s failed propaganda tweet, I began to wonder if these identikit middle aged blonde women were real, or if they were another attempt at cyber warfare from the Kremlin. Are there this many stupid, bleached American moms out there? Or are these just sock puppet accounts designed to attract the classic Trump voter: a fat white man over fifty, with an IQ barely over sixty and a waistline-in-inches well over forty.
Could there be a Russian honeytrap operation where bots pretending to be marginally attractive middle aged women sing Trump’s praises like a Siren choir, in the hopes that guys named Bubba will double down on their Trump support in order to to impress them?
Are these dumb blondes fake, or are they legitimate fake blondes who are dumb? It’s these kind of questions that give reality a slightly Alice In Wonderland quality, these days. For the sake of my faith in humanity, I hope that they’re Russian bots. But I’m not confident enough to bet on it…
Luke Haines is a British writer whose idea of proof reading is checking the label on a whiskey bottle. He sporadically tweets as @lukedoughaines, and can be sent death threats, scorn, nude pictures and offers of employment via firstname.lastname@example.org
He shares a name and temperament with the cult 90s musician, but isn’t him.
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