Pretty much every day this week, I began each morning thinking that I would like to blog about something fun today. There is no shortage of Internet memes or mundane pop culture items-of-the-day to comment on.
But then, like, Trump did something. Each day. Usually multiple things. And it’s impossible to talk about anything else. Because every action Trump undertakes, every word he says, every character he freakin’ tweets, has legitimate real-world ramifications.
The entire world is on tenterhooks right now awaiting Trump’s next move. And I understand Trump wanted to hearken back to the Nixon days of unpredictability – the madman theory – but whereas Nixon had some semblance of a plan dealing with the North Vietnamese, it doesn’t appear that there is a method to Trump’s madness.
Just today, Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto canceled a meeting with Trump following his reaffirmation to build a southern border wall.
This is a major diplomatic failure in Trump’s first week of office. It demands attention.
Not even Trump’s biggest critics predicted things to go downhill this quickly.
But, somehow, I will digress. Though I do plan to circle back to this.
I would be remiss if I went this entire week without mentioning the passing of Mary Tyler Moore, the TV sensation who became a household name to future generations born long after she left the public eye, famous for her leading roles in the “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”
Her roles in those two enormously popular shows influenced and shaped the female lead in nearly all sitcoms to follow. Particularly her role in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” where she depicted a 30-year-old, independent, single working woman not obsessed with getting married, which was a refreshing departure from the contemporary reality of being a woman in the 1970s (as I am very familiar with).
Something I did not know until reading her obituary was that her only son, Richard (from her first of three marriages), tragically died when he accidentally pulled the hair trigger of a sawed-off shotgun at age 24, shooting himself in the head. The gun model was later recalled from the market, and Mary Tyler Moore never had another child.
So that’s sad.
Sometimes it’s annoying when celebrities go by three names. But with Mary Tyler Moore it just fits. To commemorate her, I think all celebrities should henceforth only go by their first and last names, and nothing else. I’m looking at you, Bryce Dallas Howard. On this blog from now on, you’re Bryce Howard. Deal with it.
Transitioning to more cheerful news, I learned about Salt Bae this week, a Turkish butcher named Nusret Gökçe whose videos have become a social media phenomenon because of the sensual way he sprinkles salt onto meat. It has inspired a lot of memes, like this one including Super Bowl quarterback Matt Ryan.
If you’re wondering why this is a thing … you’re not alone.
Also in the news today, scientists have grown an embryo that is part-pig, part-human, the first demonstration that an interspecies organ transplant is possible.
So that sounds like something important. Or at the very least it will explain how CatDog works.
Or rather, all roads lead to Doomsday.
Immediately following World War II, a team of Nobel laureates created a literal “Doomsay Clock” that they have been manually setting to reflect how close we are to global extinction. The group actually makes their determinations scientifically, based on global events and independent research.
The closest it came to Doomsday – midnight – was in 1953 when the U.S. and the Soviet Union tested nuclear weapons six months apart. At the time, we were two minutes to midnight.
The minute hand moved back in the early ‘60s as the nuclear threats of the Cold War began to dissipate, but then forward again in 1968 when France and China joined the arms race. In 1984, it was three minutes to midnight when Soviet-U.S. relations again worsened. But since then, it has stayed comfortably back since the end of the Cold War.
As members of the organization who dictate the clock’s symbolic movements explained themselves, it is now two and one-half minutes to midnight.
While North Korean aggressiveness and deteriorating U.S.-Russian relations contributed to the new positioning, the major factor is the destabilizing statements and actions of Trump’s first week in office, most notably his indifference towards nuclear nonproliferation and climate change.
In other words, we’re screwed.
Have a great weekend!!