The death of fun as we know it

Honest question: Did anyone actually think Melania Trump was going to clamber into a bass boat and personally save a bunch of hurricane victims? Of course not. Is everyone just colossally bored? Perhaps, given that political hand-wringing appears to be our sad new version of fun. (This obsessive hectoring isn’t unique to the Trump era, by the way: In 2009, Michelle Obama received a similar shellacking for wearing expensive shoes to a food bank.)

Even poor Taylor Swift — she of the endless breakups, the drama, and the laughing all the way to the bank — is not immune from our culture’s alarming political creep. Taylor Swift is “an embodiment of Trump culture,” asserts a recent take in New York magazine that made me want to throw my computer into the Royal Gorge. Donald Trump is everywhere, you see. In certain circles, he is omnipresent! When it comes to the dark side of Taylor Swift, the essay continues, Trump’s “presidency didn’t invent this grim and cynical strain of pop culture; it’s just given it a good home. None of this exists without our complicity.”