The mood was shifting just as I made my way toward House of Yes around 10 pm last night. Commentators on NBC, CNN, and anywhere else were starting to look flustered– especially Wolf Blitzer (a guy who looks like he passed up coffee to stick his fingers into an electrical socket) whose discombobulated outbursts and spastic reportage were only adding to a slowly-building sense of panic. Many battlegroud states were still too close to call, but Trump and Hillary were now neck-and-neck. That menacing meter on the New York Times site, which measured the probability of a Trump victory, was jumping up from its position at “we’re cool” to “we’re so, so fucked.”
Presidential Race 2016
Last week’s video of Donald Trump bragging about sexual assault threw a giant dildo into a campaign that seemed impervious to shame, just as the candidate had almost started seeming more presidential (at least, in light of the spotty track record of previous presidents). As screwed up as the whole thing is, nothing in the video was all that surprising. The “locker room talk” only confirmed Trump’s image as a billionaire playboy who trades skyscrapers (his most phallic assets) like Pokémon cards, and gets whatever his little Trump desires.
“His whole image is vulgarly sexual in a way,” agreed Alfred Steiner, the curator of a very timely new art show. “And he’s played right into that the whole time.”
Most New Yorkers don’t like to be reminded that the current orange-hued Republican presidential nominee is technically one of us. Yes, it’s true. Say it with us: Donald J. Trump is a New Yorker. (Ugh– we know, we hate to admit it too). Considering that Trump’s name can be found all over the city, usually in huge gold letters, you’d think that our tiny-handed GOP candidate has something to prove. Whatever the motive, Trump’s habit of branding his structures with his own name serves as a constant, nauseating reminder of his inextricable ties to the city.
A strange man approached me last night at the Metropolitan Republican Club. “Do you know what that is on your hand?” he asked, pointing down to an glass eyeball ring I like to wear. I gulped, ready for anything– after all, people had been belting out things like “Traitor!”, “Treason!”, and, of course, the one that got everybody at the RNC watch party chanting: “Lock her up! Lock her up!”
“I dunno, blood?” I murmured. Thankfully, I don’t think he heard me. “It’s a mati,” he explained. “It’s supposed to ward off the evil eye.” It was a nice sentiment, but I wasn’t so sure it was working.
“Are there any white people here?” Atheer Yacoub asked the audience last night at The Experiment Comedy Gallery. “Can I hide behind you until this election is over?”
Yacoub played host for Hilarious Muslims: a Patriotic Stand-Up Show, the second all-Muslim comedy showcase at Williamsburg’s newest DIY comedy venue, which caught a wave of viral attention recently when owner Mo Fathelbab introduced the “Donald Trump Special” last Friday.