It has been quite a summer, hasn’t it? The current pandemic has rearranged daily life in what some have called a “New Normal.” Angst arising from being limited as to what many can do at home perhaps filled a powder keg of discontent, with suspected fraudster George Floyd’s in-custody death lighting the wick at the end of May.
The mainstream media has been complicit in pushing inauthentic race-baiting narratives. When Ahmaud Arbery’s killing–a story dredged up and furiously promoted by the mainstream media weeks after the fact–failed to elicit a more drastic public response, Arbery’s story was dropped like a hot potato as soon as George Floyd’s death was revealed.
Riots ensued; Minneapolis resembled a war torn Middle Eastern country after a night of civil unrest; Portland plunged into nights of unabated violence throughout the summer with Federal Buildings and senior citizens suffering the brunt of the violence; one Trump supporter was allegedly murdered by a left-wing radical in the Oregon city; dozens of major U.S. cities were rocked by fiery disturbances.
And, of course, a significant portion of the Political Class turned an acquiescent blind eye to the millions in property damage racked up by their citizens’ wanton destruction. Seattle and Portland both witnessed the formation of anarchist communes within their city limits as law enforcement, relatively defanged by their higher-ups, were chased away from their precincts. Washington D.C. saw a short-lived attempt to declare a black autonomous zone.
Seattle’s CHOP district witnessed several murders and an uptick in violent crime days after the formation of the lawless zone. President Trump’s saber-rattling and threats to send in the National Guard to restore order were shot down by far-left Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan.
At the same time, those who promote counter narratives contradicting the mainstream media walk a tightrope on their social media pages as one wrong move could spell deplatforming. Incrementally, more and more moderate opinions are axed from several platforms as the definitions for constituting hate speech become increasingly vague and expansive–almost by design.
As a means to sidestep pesky algorithms, creative internet sleuths dexterously cook memes to shoehorn a message contrary to mainstream opinion as many of their political representatives have abandoned them. But it’s not just for the preservation of freedom of speech online either.
Mega corporations are in the process of pushing a new civil rights movement. Revolutionaries in the past would be draped in a red flag; now, HR and Marketing employees can champion all sorts of progressive causes by changing their brand logo on social media with a new snazzy, colorful filter. The marriage between left-wing social causes and right-wing economics has been something to behold.
Some people feel abandoned by the political class on both the left and right. The left, after having Bernie Sanders shut out twice from the Democratic Nomination, feel insulted by the candidacy of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. The right feels betrayed by a constant bait and switch tactic employed by political representatives who offer policies in line with a marked reduction in immigration and incentives to promote more traditional values, but in return are given marginal tax cuts and deregulation for the very big businesses that undermine conservative values on a daily basis.
Most voting demographics do not appear to be happy with the Clowning of America. There is a lot more than can be said about the current situation, but, at the same time, it is all so ludicrous; order has been upended, sanity is an afterthought, memes are a potent form of internet language, and the more bizarre a headline is, the more stunning and brave it becomes.
This book glances over recent events in the past four years through a tongue-in-cheek lens encapsulated by the remarkably popular “Clownworld” meme that has transcended beyond the political sphere.
I wrote the Clowning of America in an effort to unpack and explicate recent unprecedented socio-political phenomena–but with a strong element of humor to reinforce our understanding of what, in historical terms, could be considered an absurd current political climate.
The Clowning of America is now available on both paperback and eBook.