Sean Spicer's Emmys appearance has Twitter in an uproar
Just when you think things have gotten as dumb as they're going to get, they get much, much dumber. Perhaps this should be the new law of thermodynamics - that which is dumb stays dumb, and rolls further and further toward the precipice of a Hieryonmous Bosch painting's amber frame.
It was a moment of severe cognitive dissonance when Sean Spicer, Trump's fired Press Secretary, an embattled and mocked figure who was lampooned by SNL and criticized harshly for his press conferences, was greeted not to jeers but cheering and applause when he wheeled out a podium and walked onto the Emmys main stage last night.
"This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys, period!" declared Spicer, mocking Trump's pointless egotism about his crowd sizes, but also mocking himself, and playing the audience for fools.
Sean Spicer, for months, irritated liberals by being what they perceived as an opportunistic, lying company man, willing to say anything to defend Donald Trump. Now that he's been fired, how telling it is, that rapidly he has been welcomed into Hollywood as one of the boys, a chummy pal, who stuck around at the afterparty drinking and being swarmed by photos, hugs and attention.
Sean Spicer, by becoming the chief outlet for Trump's ideas for six long months, got to become a celebrity, a pop culture icon, a moment of "Hey, I know that guy!"
Where once he was a symbol of the spectacle of power and its disregard for intellectual consistency, now he is just famous, one of the many, the latest member of a big club where anyone is welcome, so long as their face brings ratings.
Many celebrities and journalists on Twitter voiced this concern:
Who wins when Sean Spicer, or Anthony Scaramucci, or even Steve Bannon are made into defanged celebrities once their tenure on the throne has worn thin? Only two parties stand to gain - the former throne-defender turned pop culture floating head, and the company or organization giving them a platform.
The Emmys understood that inviting Spicer would bring Tweets, articles, and in other words, coverage. Their declining spectacle could only be dragged upwards, held taut like a livewire, by engaging with Trump and his celebrity. But how best to do so? Turn the gaslighting and lying speeches of his former press secretary into just another big in-joke. But the joke's on us.
First as tragedy, second as farce, thrice as a self-inflicted wound.
Perhaps we need to sever politics from entertainment the same way that church has been separated from state. But good luck with that!
Presidential campaigns have used the same marketing strategies that are used to sell products for at least a century. The same man who got women to start smoking, Edward Bernays, who was Sigmund Freud's nephew, also authored a book called Propaganda. Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's propagandist, was reported to often have a copy of Propaganda tucked beneath his arm. Politics and entertainment and celebrity and marketing are each the pillar of our modernity. None shall fall so long as one root touches the root of the other. So we reap the consequences.