“There are four lights!”
Decidedly uncomfortable looking Presidential spokesperson Sean Spicer tried to make the American public not notice the paltry number of attendees at the inauguration of President Donald Trump. Why the numbers were so small is anybody’s guess and debatable. What is not debatable, except only to the most strident supporters of Newspeak, is that even a significant fraction of voters for Mr. Trump seemed absent from the National Mall.
But this isn’t so much about those there or not there on Friday. Those voters may feel they’ve already spoken and other demonstrations aren’t necessary. It’s more about how easily can people be turned from the obvious to the shiny nothing. It’s about how quickly can we all come to love the new President with the speed of the Stockholm syndrome. It’s about with how much enthusiasm can a redirect of “alternative facts” send us careening off in an insignificant direction or observing the joy with which will we finally surrender the “hard work of liberty.” In the remaining time we have freedom of speech, they’re questions worthy of pursuit.
In college, we read a book called “Njal’s saga.” It was about a Viking family around the year 1000. The professor wanted us to take away from the story the fact that in ten centuries, people haven’t changed and continue to be swept up by their fears, angers, jealousies, desires for vengence, lust, prejudices, plots, quests for power and pitieous efforts to matter. And how, there have been, are and will always be those who are constantly trying to bend others to their will. But, as a trekkie and an ardent student of politics, Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean Luc-Picard got the last word.