Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Jaki Jean on reading "Fire and Fury"

(I wrote this response because I am a member of a loose, no pressure, reading group online created by my friend Cate Poe.  And Cate likes participation & a response or reaction.)

Somehow or another, I lost my original reply to my take on “Fire & Fury.”

And every day, when I try & edit my resurrected response, something else happens in the upside down, topsy-turvy world of the current administration.

But I remember thanking everyone in the group in my original reply who commented & analyzed Wolf’s text.  Because Wolf’s prose did not keep me reading - the commentary in this reading group did.

I found “Fire & Fury” both fascinating & frustrating.  Fascinating because of the subject matter.  Frustrating because it needed more organization, more editing.

It is gossipy.  Gossip is an ambiguous source without concrete verification.  It can be fueled by envy, ambition, subjective observation, or malice.   Gossip is also often a red flag, signaling the need to pursue the possibility of opportunity or exposure.

Do I believe Wolf’s text in spite of the errors that have surfaced?

Unfortunately, yes.  We have now lived with this administration & the campaign leading up to it for what seems like forever.  The revolving door at the current White House, the president’s failure to staff key positions & now a senior staff member with access to sensitive information who did not have the necessary security clearance for his position, confirms Wolf’s narrative.

The White House is one big cluster frack.

Cate asked readers of “Fire & Fury” what we each found most surprising.  Originally, I said that I was surprised by the depth of Bannon’s role as the Apricot in Chief’s Svengali or perhaps Rasputin & Bannon's Breitbart agenda.

Now that I have finished the book, I was most surprised by the role in this comedy of errors with grave consequences, by the hosts of “Morning Joe.”  I am a fairly recent viewer of the MSNBC morning show.  I had no idea that Joe Scarborough & Mika Brzezinski were originally Trump supporters. 

I certainly did not know that they were involved in a “not so secret secret relationship.”  Although the SNL parody should have clued me in.

A trite, shallow observation.  But because, like the actress & activist Elizabeth Markel (who plays a President on “Homeland”) said about reading F&F, I found it “madcap, surreal, very gonzonesque” – I zeroed in on something trite & shallow.

I had to look up gonzonesque.  I could not find a definition.  But I did look up gonzo & learned about gonzo & gonzo journalism.

1.(of journalism, reportage, etc.) filled with bizarre or subjective ideas, commentary, or the like.
2.crazy; eccentric.
3.eccentricity, weirdness, or craziness.

Since the release of “Fire & Fury,” the administration has continued to "function"  in chaos, fractured by factions competing for control & influence.  No surprise, considering the fact that they have a self-absorbed & unequipped leader at the helm.

Gonzo sums up the administration, the presidency, our current norm & perhaps, this fascinating & frustrating book.

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