File this one under “Dispatches from the Eastern Hemisphere.”
Sometimes it’s a palate cleanser to remind oneself how some other folks in this world … do things. Many readers will have already seen the probably-viral image of a Donald Trump effigy decked out as a Roman conqueror, gracing a carnival in Italy a few days ago. The giant-size Trumpus Maximus comes complete with a monstrous eagle claw as its left appendage, and a sword hoisted in the right (the hilt sporting Twitter birds), along with a laurel-wreath headdress and other accoutrements of the stylish hero being thrown his Triumph in ancient Rome.
Italy has created a giant God Emperor Trump pic.twitter.com/QFa0NoIJV3
— Jack Posobiec ???????? (@JackPosobiec) February 10, 2019
In Bella Italia there might well be immigration angst and spectacular national debt problems. The papier-mâché show must go on.
Yanks will get a kick out of it, but the boring, prosaic truth is that our whole deal is not turning into Imperial Rome. When you get right down to it, we’re more the plain-old-Cincinnatus-in-a-yellowing-toga types. Fight when you have to; do some renovations on the Republic when it can’t be put off any longer. Then go home to your farm like you have some sense in your noggin.
Don’t doubt me on this. Americans really don’t want an empire. Neither, manifestly, does Donald Trump.
As TIME notes, the Italian papier-mâché artist wasn’t nominating Trump for emperor. So, you know, act like you knew that.
As so often, our Italian fratelli and sorelle are just helpfully expressing themselves, and God bless them for it.
Meanwhile, hundreds of miles to the east, another curious display erupted in Iran. During the 40-year anniversary celebration of the Islamic revolution, a guy in a Bugs Bunny costume showed up on a stage with an Islamic Revolutionary cheer squad to help get the “Death to America!” chant going.
— Frederik Pleitgen (@fpleitgenCNN) February 11, 2019
But, as you would expect with such a delightful interlude, the giant rabbit costume isn’t even the best part.
Fortunately, there are plenty of Farsi speakers on Twitter, and a couple weighed in to clarify for us what’s happening in the video clip.
Yes, the funniest part really! Host shouts: “Ready? 1, 2, 3, ‘marg bar amrika’”. No response from crowd.
“I can’t hear your voices. ‘marg bar amrika’”. No response.
Mojri gives up trying, leaves the scene …
Only in #Iran
— watervole (@water_diviner1) February 11, 2019
The fellow with the microphone can’t get his crowd to howl out the “Death to America” response. It’s falling flat. No one’s yelling.
For that matter, the cheer squad on the dais looks pretty dejected. They might as well be Cleveland Browns fans in the late, unlamented pre-Baker Mayfield era.
Without the rabbit costume hook, how many of us outside Iran would ever have seen this?
As regards matters current and Iranian: things that make you go, Hmmm.
If you cannot love 2019, you cannot love anything.