A new theory of Trump

>> Friday, July 21, 2017

Lately, my junk e-mail folder has been accruing conservative spam.  I have a couple of non-exclusive hypotheses for this.  One explanation is that I seem to get a lot of junk e-mail that appears to be directed to a digital doppelganger whose name could be compressed and truncated into something that would produce my e-mail address if he'd registered for it before I did; this gentleman (yes, he appears to be male) would, based on how some of my spam is addressed, be an elderly, conservative African-American who resides or previously resided in Pennsylvania.  The other likely explanation is that somebody, a friend, acquaintance, or nemesis who had my e-mail address has signed me up for spam from certain websites as a joke or prank or annoyance.

You find yourself conflicted by this kind of thing: on the one hand, it's annoying to get some of these mailings even if they go straight to a spam folder and can be deleted en masse and unread.  On the other hand, they are an insight into the Other America, and frankly some of them are pretty funny (although they surely don't mean to be).  And then there's the skepticism I have about clicking on any de-registration links, seeing as how telling them not to send something to my e-mail would confirm they had a live one, not to mention the risk of exposing yourself to some kind of cyberattack if the source site is actually phishing.

Plus, on top of all else?  The possibility, as unbelievable as it may seem, that one of these random junk mailings, should you open it and read it, will give you the insight you've been missing the entire time, the insight that may very well explain the true hidden agenda of the Trump administration and things like the President's recent New York Times interview.

The e-mail I received this week is a spam flier from something called... well, merely naming them doesn't quite do things justice, so here's their masthead:

An anxiety aggregator clickbait site for conservatives, in short.  All the news that's misfit to print.  Discover the truth, read about the world going to hell in a handbasket, click on this headline, no, click on this one, click the headlines, all the headlines, click like the fate of the world depends upon it, which it does!  Also, advertisements.  And it was the advertising, not the headline, "Thousands of Mink Dead After Activists Release 38,000 From Fur Farm," that opened my eyes.  I was blind, and now I see.  No, not because they wanted to sell me glasses.  Because they wanted to sell me this:

Now, my first reaction to this was exactly what I anticipate yours to be: inarticulate laughter, seeing as how it seems improbable that Dr. Ben Carson could research his way out of a paper bag if you left one end of it open for him.  But that ad was only the advert at the top of the e-mail for the product they want to sell the elderly right-wing paranoids of America.  No, the big reveal came down at the bottom of the mailer, with the follow-up advert-disguised-as-a-headline:

Now, my first reaction was... well, I don't know if it was your first reaction or not; your first reaction may have been identical to your reaction to the first ad--what kind of research, etc.; but my first reaction was to wonder why Dr. Carson was trying to snort a brain.  Is he smelling it for freshness?  Kissing it?  Is there some kind of taste-testing that brain surgeons perform as part of their work, the way a chef or bartender might check to see if a dish or glass needs something?  Salt, maybe?  That is an extremely strange photograph.  I am not sure what is happening in that image.  Maybe it is just a kiss: maybe Dr. Ben Carson really, really loves brains, and I don't mean in a Return of the Living Dead sort of brain-loving sense, but maybe more in the Hugo the Abominable Snowman will name him "George" sense.  Though, in which case, maybe you should... I don't know how hugging and petting and squeezing and patting and petting and rubbing and caressing a brain fits in with modern surgical sterilization procedures, but... forgive me, I'm not a doctor and I do not at all mean to overstep professional boundaries and expertise, but maybe the brain stays in the head?  Usually?

But then my eyes re-read the lines beneath the weird check-the-brain-for-freshness photo (I wonder of they're like eggplants and you can tell the gender from the shape of where the root connec--never mind), and it took me another re-read and maybe even a third to be the charm, and something connected--

"Ben Carson's Newest Research Triples Memory In 21 Days!"  [emphasis added and all that]

"Memory," did it say?  "Memory"?!  They're claiming, as improbable as it may seem, that Dr. Carson is researching memory?

And that's when I understood.  Or, maybe that's overstating, insofar as I have no evidence for what I am about to propose other than a snake-oil advertisement disguised as a news headline in a spam e-blast sent out in the hope it will reach somebody dumb enough to buy unprescribed non-FDA-approved memory enhancement pills online from persons unknown.

What if... what if the reason for the Trump Administration's behavior to date is... that Ben Carson has the entire Administration on drugs?!

I mean, think about it: you're Dr. Ben Carson, brain specialist extraordinaire, a scientific maverick who has licked things no other researcher would dare to lick.  They called you mad, mad, MAD!!!, M@DDFSFDDFSD! in medical school, but you persisted, guided by a unique vision and the knowledge that you, and you alone, could find a cure for memory.  Lapses.  Memory lapses.  You should probably clarify that in a future draft.  Yes, memory, that elusive quality of the mind that has eluded philosophers and scientists alike for millions of years, and you could be the one to solve the great enigmatic mystery!  You!

But you need test subjects, and test subjects are expensive and hard to get.  You can advertise for them, but then you get that weirdo in a diaper knocking at your door at 3 a.m. again.  You can hire them, but that's expensive and RFP paperwork is confusing and eats up time from the all-too-brief mortal span during which you should be sciencing all the science you can science.  Lab rats are sort of traditional, but their brains are small and tend to get stuck on the end of your tongue and you always end up either messing up the brain trying to get it out of your mouth or you end up having to swallow it, destroying years of valuable research.

And then you get this opportunity to work in Washington DC as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, hobnobbing with all these folks who, as it happens, have lots of stuff to remember, stuff like having secret meetings with Russian agents is wrong, and whether you promised to get rid of healthcare for people or give everybody all the healthcare, and that you're not supposed to tell everybody you meet about the cool spy stuff you learned yesterday, and where your tax returns are, and who Napoleon was, and just, just, just so much stuff.  And these folks, they'll help a buddy out, right?  There's a pill, you say?  To cure memory?  Sign me up for ten bottles!  No, wait, double that, make it twelve bottles!

And now you're really fracking with gas!  Everybody in the Administration is now taking your not-yet-patented memory pills, why, Attorney General Jeff Sessions just ordered six more jars of Doctor Carson's Memory Magic (trademark pending) and is snorting them... from a Pez dispenser... which is actually a problem and kind of disturbing, because, I dunno, probably shouldn't do that but if you're gonna, maybe you ought to grind them up or something?  Jared and Steve don't want to say anything that might be taken as a slight, so they're just slipping them to each other in one another's meatloaf and ice cream (only one scoop apiece, sad) and wowee, they are rememorizing the hell out of everything--why, Bannon didn't even realize he spent six hours standing in front of Albert Bierstadt's "Rocky Mountain Landscape," memorizing every last detail of it (obviously) to the point that he knew so much about the painting he couldn't even answer any questions about it because he didn't know where to begin describing it!

It all makes sense, doesn't it!  I mean, maybe it makes sense.  It could make sense.  Okay, okay, fine, a mix of stupidity, cupidity, profound ignorance, and maybe just a smidge of incipient senile dementia (seriously, did you read this week's NYT interview?!) would, possibly, maybe, maaaaaybe satisfy Occam's Razor's demand for parsimony better than my new theory that Dr. Ben Carson has the entire upper levels of the Administration tanked to the gills on a really ineffective memory enhancement treatment.  I mean, "ineffective" in the sense of, "Dear God, you're only making it worse" sense, obviously.  And there's the rebuttal, admittedly, that a lot of the people we're discussing seemed pretty stupid even before they started grabbing Dr. Carson's hand and aggressively jerking it towards them under the pretense of a civil handshake.  So that's two strikes against my explanation.  Fine.  Go on and win with your... "logic," and your... "evidence."

But, and give me this much: you have to admit that Ben Carson going around the White House giving everybody he meets his new "memory enhancer"--you have to admit that it's a pretty great theory on the merits, if not on the actual, you know, evidence side of things.  My theory, which is mine, that is to say, this theory that belongs to me--you know, either you already got that reference or you didn't, and I'm too lazy to link because I'm really just trying to wrap up here; as I was saying, my theory ought to be true, and I'm going to embrace it periodically and suggest you do the same even if you don't really believe, even if I have utterly failed to convince you, because in the years of sorrow and frustration ahead it may be a small spark in the darkness to imagine Ben Carson bursting into the Oval Office to announce that he's here to make sure nobody suffers from memory aga--MEMORY DEFICITS, YOU KNOW, FORGETTING STUFF, IS WHAT HE MEANT TO SAY--as he was starting to say in your imagination before you closed your eyes to sleep, he's here to cure the evil scourge of memory forever.


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