Thursday, February 04, 2021

But, Really, What Still Works?

Admittedly, I did not watch the first new “Saturday Night Live” of the Biden-Harris era live on Saturday night. I’m pretty sure I was in bed already, because that’s what I do now on Saturday nights. I go to bed early because of the crushing exhaustion of the world ad because I am an Old. But, I caught the cold open skit afterward because, well, Rachel Maddow said I should and in general life would probably be better if more people did what Rachel Maddow said.

Anyway, that’s a long introduction for a skit that I consider a perfect bookend to the Trump era. In fact, it is among an unholy trinity of SNL skits that I think typify the Terrible Trumps (what I’m going to call the Trump years from here on out - since there was so much Trump and so many Trumps and ever last one - besides Mary - is a singularly terrible excuse for a human being). Now, SNL hasn’t really set the national tone on anything in awhile. The show too often limps by as a totem to missed opportunities and disappointment. And it can fuck right off with those trans jokes, not to mention using dudes kissing as a punchline. But I digress.

The One & Only Kate McKinnon kicked off this Trump trilogy of skits with her too-often maligned singing of “Hallelujah” in character as Hillary Clinton as a cold open right after the 2016 election. After the four years we’ve had, let me tell you, that moment of stupefied grace before the horrors really started mattered.

Then, six months later, the next skit to truly capture the Terrible Trumps was the “Nothing Matters” skit. Indeed Trump broke every norm, every convention, every tradition, every rule, every precedent, and replaced it with policy whose only point was cruelty, and orders designed only to glorify himself. Look, I’m no Michael Che fan (see: years of Hillary bashing and, yes, those trans punchlines). But his Lester Holt really summed up the entire media’s approach to covering Trump. Nothing matters, absolutely nothing matters, so just follow the circus instead because it’s great for our ratings.

And now, finally, we have what I hope will be the last of the Terrible Trumps skits. We’ve come full, albeit deeply broken, circle from “Lord Help Us” to “Nothing Matters” to “What Still Works.” We, like Kate McKinnon, have just been slowly losing our minds together. Stay strong or weak, kittens. Just stay, and make things better.

1 comment:

Carmen San Diego said...

I have not seen this, thank you for sharing. That was brilliant. Kate is a national treasure