They jump up, they sit down. They jump up again, blank expressions on their face as though listening intensely to instructions or some inaudible tune. Marionettes in dark suits, they jump up, they sit down.
The mind recalls scenes from Korea, the dark clad people grovelling in tears at the loss of a leader who owns their lives and their families and who must be impressed with their devotion lest he kill them on the spot. In the big room the Republicans jump up, they sit down. The other half slump in their seats, dark rags not able really to sit. Not reacting, looking at their hands: failed men in a homeless shelter, waiting. Refugees and a packed train station, waiting; cattle in the chutes. All people caught up in a huge drama and no longer the people we knew only moments ago with motives, and positions and goals and explanations and narratives. They all jump up, they all sit down.
He inherited, lies the man at the podium, a chaotic mess. He's the last US president since James Madison to wear a wig, although it's died and not powdered. He lies outright about it, making up figures, contradicting himself when he mentions a recovery albeit slow, he says, neglecting to mention that it was a recovery from the biggest recession in nearly 90 years and caused by policies he again proposes. We've had a rarely equaled economic expansion, rarely achieved employment levels and wage growth is accelerating, but that's fake news. The real news is bad. He needs it to be. The real news comes from me and none else. And you will believe.
It wouldn't be appropriate to comment as a reporter or columnist. We have to pretend not to be "fake." No, let's just watch. Just stand here like refugees in shabby clothes and our things in cheap suitcases waiting in a public place for the trains.
"As we speak," says the big ugly man who looks so much like an ugly little man on camera:
"as we speak, they're rounding up bad guys."
I can picture men and women and children running through dark alleys, sneaking out of back doors, hiding in culverts and under abandoned cars in the uncaring conservative night, the wind of American hate blowing like a stink from a slaughterhouse. In the big room, they jump up, they sit down and we watch, stunned.