Regular readers of this blog know that I went to a state supported college in Virginia, where four national sororities were founded. It was far from a dry campus, although I do remember that they tried to make the freshman residence halls “dry”. When I was in college, I learned how to play several drinking games. There was Circle of Death, Never Have I Ever, Kings, Beer Pong, Bullshit, Quarters, and Fuck You… But my favorite of all was a game called Asshole. I’m not sure why I enjoyed playing Asshole as much as I did back in the day. Maybe it’s because it was a game everyone knew how to play.
I remember one particularly rousing game of Asshole I once played with friends at my school. We were all sitting on the floor in a circle, drinking Mickey’s Big Mouth. Mickey’s Big Mouth, for those who don’t know, is a particularly potent brand of cheap malt liquor. No one drinks it for the way it tastes; they drink it to get drunk FAST. It comes in a green bottle that looks like a barrel or a grenade. It has a wide opening so it can be slammed. The night my friends and I were playing Asshole, we were being particularly vicious. The “Asshole” was required to wear an ugly yellow and green visor made of foam rubber. A tampon was stuck out of the top, making it look oddly unicorn like.
I remember that as we were playing this game, a friend’s fraternity brother was passing. He ducked his head into the dorm room where we were engaged in our game of Asshole and said with great admiration in his voice, “Mickey’s Big Mouth will fuck you up!” He laughed as he walked down the hall. As I reflect on the past three years of Trump’s leadership, I feel a sense of deja vu. Mickey’s Big Mouth will fuck you up… but so will years of having Donald Trump “lead” the country.
Last night, as I read about Donald Trump’s latest Twitter meltdown that basically invited private citizens to revolt against state governments, I was suddenly reminded of the game Asshole, which interestingly enough, is also known as “Presidents”. I feel like our country has been collectively playing a sick and demented three year round of Asshole.
In the game of Asshole, players are assigned roles. The object of the game is to lose all of your cards first. The first person to lose all of their cards is the President. The President is allowed to make up new and strange rules that the other players have to follow. The next person to lose their cards is the Vice President. The ranking continues until there’s just one person left with cards. The last person to have any cards is the Asshole. The Asshole is basically screwed over by the other players, who try to keep him or her in the Asshole position by handicapping him or her with onerous rules. One rule, for instance, might be that the Asshole has to drink twice whenever someone plays a face card. The Asshole fetches drinks for everyone and when he or she doesn’t follow the rules, more drinking is required, which makes it harder to get out of the Asshole position. It’s not unlike real life, huh?
As I was thinking about playing Asshole last night, I couldn’t help but realize that the roles in a game of Asshole seem vaguely familiar to our present reality. Trump is, of course, the President, and he’s acting just like a president in the game of Asshole behaves. A large number of poor, disenfranchised, or unlucky people from different places are collectively the Assholes… and Trump has his thumb on them, keeping them down in that position. Every day, his tactics to stay in charge grow more desperate and dangerous, and I fear that some bad things are coming as our demented “President” grows ever more unhinged.
Asshole used to be an amusing game, when I was young and totally healthy and strong. Even when I was the “Asshole” when playing with my friends, I knew it was a temporary condition (although I realize that some people think I’m an asshole even when I’m not playing a drinking game). Whoever was in the “President” position in the game was still my friend and it was all in good fun. Eventually, we all outgrew playing Asshole and getting drunk and reckless simply for the sake of getting drunk and reckless. We mostly took on more important responsibilities and the stakes grew higher, but more valuable. We now have a lot more to lose than a few brain and liver cells.
I worry that Trump’s vigorous, immature, and irresponsible tweets encouraging people to defy their local government officials may be perceived as permission to be violent. Trump stirs up people who are dangerous… people who cherish their guns and don’t want to be told what to do by anyone in authority, especially government officials. Many uneducated folks see this situation as government oppression when, in fact, it’s a pubic health crisis. Not only do I fear that people will get sick by defying the shelter-in-place orders, but I also worry that there will be more bloody violence as people try to get action by using weapons.
It’s not that violence is an unusual occurrence in the United States, particularly during the month of April, which is historically when a lot of bloody violence occurs. Ever since Timothy McVeigh blew up the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City in April 1995, and Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris shot up Columbine High School in April 1999, it seems like there have been more bloody acts of violence in April than any other month. In April 2007, Seung Hui Cho went on a shooting spree at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. In April 2013, the Boston Marathon Bombing happened. April is also the month that Adolf Hitler was born, and many very dark, evil people admire Hitler. April is also when the weather is warmer and people typically emerge from the dark cold of winter. As flowers bloom and grass gets green, the nuts come out with their guns. This year, people are even more pent up than usual. Trump’s inflammatory tweets might be like throwing a match at people who are already feeling volatile and unhinged.
But… it seems like to Donald Trump, this is all just a game, and his objective is simply to stay in power at all costs, no matter how many people get hurt. So he irresponsibly tweets, encouraging people to be disobedient and “rise up” against local government control… when he is the PRESIDENT of the United States! It’s his responsibility to be a LEADER that keeps things under control. Trump isn’t a drinker, but he is DRUNK on power and desperate to keep it. So he’s running the country like drunk college students play Asshole. And too many people are stuck in the Asshole role, unable to escape it. Add to that… Trump even speaks like a drunk person. See below:
I know that a lot of people are scared and frustrated. Most people aren’t personally affected by the coronavirus yet, and they think this situation is simply an extreme way of getting rid of Trump. Trump’s base seems to be mostly made up of white people with conservative values who think the 1950s were a great time in our history. Even though Trump doesn’t really fit the clean cut 50s image, except for his desire to keep white men in power, they see him as their champion. They overlook the ways he’s not really like them. He’s like them in the important ways– because he’s white and male and doesn’t mind keeping down the people who aren’t white and male. So what if he’s not really a Christian? So what if he cheats on his wives, uses crude and abusive language, sexually harasses women, and screws over people, especially those who work for him? He’s rich and powerful, and in their eyes, that makes him a success. But he doesn’t care about them, and when they do what he’s encouraging them to do and wind up in prison, very sick, or dead, he’s not going to do a damned thing for them.
So… count me among those who would like to see this neverending game of Asshole with Donald Trump come to an end with a new, sober, humane president. Let’s change the game to something more productive. I’m really tired of wearing the foam rubber visor with a tampon poking out of it. Time to dry up… put away the Mickey’s Big Mouth and get back to being responsible world citizens before more people are harmed or killed.