Farewell @RealDonaldTrump, we knew you far too well16th January 2021
Some people have accused the President of playing too much golf, watching too much TV, and wasting “executive time”. But his Twitter account was his presidency. The President posted more than 26,000 tweets over the past four years, conducting diplomacy, firing underlings and whining about CNN with a twiddle of his undersized thumbs. The world had never devoted so much attention to the stream of consciousness of a non-Kardashian.
Without his favourite platform, Trump can no longer address the world at will. He used to love tweeting “Sad!”, but now he can’t even do that. Soon he’ll just have to rant at the other retirees at his golf club about how the corrupt immigrant antifa robots stole the election. Sad!
It does feel troubling that a tech company can take away the main platform of the world’s most powerful leader. But social media platforms need more moderation, not less, and the rules need to apply to everyone equally. It’s the only way to stop social media being polluted by more foul language than you’d hear at a cricket Test.
The really surprising thing is that Trump is experiencing consequences for his behaviour – previously, all he knew was that when you’re a star, they let you do it.
But for those who mourn the constant access to unfettered Trump, fear not – Donald Jr, Ivanka, Eric, and even Tiffany will keep tweeting as they vie to become the patriarch’s true political heir. It’ll be a lot like Succession, if every character had the same politics as Connor. The Trumps may be moving to Florida, but they aren’t going anywhere.
I read Craig Kelly’s SHOUTY FACEBOOK PAGE SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO
There’s been a lot written about Craig Kelly’s Facebook posts this week, with even the Chief Health Officer debunking his claims about unproven COVID treatments. When the government is imploring everyone to follow the science, it’s strange to see one of its members avidly contradicting it online – the political equivalent of a Socceroo constantly taking wild shots at the team’s own goal.
The page is strangely reminiscent of Trump’s Twitter feed from a few months ago when he was banging on about hydroxychloroquine. Kelly posts on Facebook every few hours, often in ALL CAPS, which are always the hallmark of calm debate. When he’s not posting medical papers that contradict his own government’s experts or arguing against mask mandates, he’s peddling climate change denialism, attacking the ABC and the Bureau of Meteorology, warning about “dark forces” and “the purge”, and quoting George Orwell. Oh, and he likes photos of rivers, curiously.
Online Kelly resembles a minor Sky News guest, which makes it seem all the more surprising that Scott Morrison saved his preselection just before the last election. Generally a “captain’s pick” is so outstanding that its leader insists they be in the team to help them win. But this guy is constantly running out his teammates. Does the PM like his church so broad that one of the choristers is singing from a completely different hymn sheet?
I don’t know whether Facebook will silence Kelly – he certainly seems to fear this outcome. But Morrison might want to think about it.
Cutting-edge dinosaurs at the new museum
Nearly every day, my two-year-old daughter asks if we can see the dinosaurs again. That’s how much fun she had at the revitalised Australian Museum, where a terrific renovation has brought the quirky sandstone space to life. It’s not a huge exhibition, but it’s cleverly curated, with lots of big skeletons, and fun interactive elements like a dinosaur that chases you across a screen. Do book in advance, as it’s hugely popular.
We also loved “Garrigarang: Sea People”, which tells the story of Indigenous groups along the east coast with beautiful woven baskets and videos where locals share their knowledge. The only odd experience was the traditional display of stuffed animals in glass cases in the next room – it looked very fusty next to the cutting-edge exhibits elsewhere.
But with the museum yet to finish its renovations, I’m sure that – as Donald Trump Jr’s girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle famously yelled at the Republican National Convention – the best is yet to come.
Dom Knight’s most recent book, The 2020 Dictionary, is only a few weeks out of date.
Writer, broadcaster and co-founder of The Chaser and Giant Dwarf