Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, MD, (1926–2004) was a Swiss-born psychiatrist, humanitarian and co-founder of the hospice movement around the world. In 1969 she wrote “On Death and Dying.” Given the somber title, I realize this is not generally the subject of a humor column. I mention it, however, because of our recent presidential election, which, admittedly, I’m not taking terribly well.
In her best-selling book, Kubler-Ross discusses the 5 stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. With Trump, I’m nowhere near Acceptance. Especially when it’s suggested that, in his cabinet may be “The Three Egos.”
Climate change denier, Sarah Palin, aka “Drill, baby, drill,” might be Interior Secretary, Rudy Giuliani, Attorney General, and Newt Gingrich, Secretary of State. Infamously, in 2008, Palin forgot what newspapers she read; a month ago, Giuliani forgot 9/11 happened on Bush’s watch; and Gingrich forgot that in 1993 he helped give us NAFTA.
My despair is not mollified that Hilary may have won the popular vote by 1 million votes and, according to some, maybe as much as 2 million when all the ballots are finally counted. I was heartened, however, by Tuesday’s Jimmy Kimmel show, which featured the reaction of young kids to Trump’s becoming our next president.
The youngsters were not exactly thrilled with The Donald. (He of course, would probably say it was “rigged.”) One child described him as “rude;” another called him “weird;” and another said he was “an idiot.” The only favorable reaction of Trump came from an adorable 5-year-old girl who smiled broadly and said, “I like him.” Then again, she wouldn’t want him as her baby sitter because, “I Don’t trust him.” 5 going on 55.
During this past week I received numerous emails from gloating Trump supporters. I’m certainly fair game because for over a year I’ve been highly critical of Drumpf, although hopefully in a humorous way. All but a couple were good natured joking at my expense.
As for those few, I was not expecting such venom, especially because their guy won! (Thus the term, “Sore winner.”) Clearly the most vulgar email, surprisingly, came from a highly respected, retired city employee whom I shall call “Mr. A.” Soon, it will become obvious why.
A few years, as it happens, I was introduced to Mr. A through a close mutual female friend. At first I thought Mr. A seemed very charming. That is, until it became obvious he wasn’t listening to a word anyone else was saying. By the time the self-involved Mr. A left, he struck me as a narcissist.
Keep in mind, Mr. A and I have had no contact since. That is, until Monday when I received his not so charming email in response to my my last column, “Crying Matters.” The column online was accompanied by a photo of Trump and David Duke, the former KKK Grand Dragon and the words, “Make American Hate Again.”
Speaking of hate, Trump’s election is the first in my lifetime, openly and proudly celebrated by the KKK, the Nazi Party and various White Supremacist groups. In newspapers and on TV, there are photos of Klan members, dressed in their finest sheets whooping it up for Trump. I find this deeply depressing, or, as Kübler-Ross might say, “Stage Two.”
But back to Mr. A’s offensive e-mail. Given this is a family paper; I’ll have to spruce it up slightly. There was no salutation, just… “STOP BEING AN A**HOLE!” Evidently, Mr. A was not a lit major. Actually, it wouldn’t have been so bad if at least he’d called me a “funny a**hole!”
A bit flummoxed, I emailed back reminding Mr. A of our close mutual friend and asking if he thought his language was the least bit “neighborly.” I didn’t hear back, which is just as well. But I did discover that we had two other mutual friends. One admitted that Mr. A is “Off the rails for Trump.” Another, who apparently contacted Mr. A, said, “He might be willing to apologize.” Personally, that already sounds insincere. And, at this point, who cares?
Generally, I enjoy reader email, even critical ones. The truth is, writing is a lonely labor and, if I don’t hear from readers once in a while, it feels like I’m just talking to myself. Frankly, I do too much of that as I it is.
Back to the election, recently Melania Trump said that her goal as First Lady is to stop shameful cyber bullying. Rather ironic, since her husband is the undisputed King of Mean Tweets. Her focus will be primarily on young people.
Maybe I should forward Mr. A’s email to Melania. He’s not young but certainly immature. Of course, the joke will backfire on me if Mr. A winds up in Trump’s cabinet. Actually, given his ego, he’d fit right in.
Happy 87th birthday to friend and hero, Ed Asner! Jack is at firstname.lastname@example.org.