Sunday, January 3, 2016

All Roads Lead to Trump

On 12 December 2015, the world celebrated what would have been Frank Sinatra's 100th birthday. The Chairman of the Board, The Voice, crooned his way through the second half of the 20th Century until he passed away in 1998. Frank Sinatra sold over 150 million records worldwide, and won an Academy Award for his performance in "From Here to Eternity".

I know this because I Googled him, and then searched for some of his classic performances on YouTube.

Once you start with Frank Sinatra, you cannot avoid meeting the great Dean Martin - a fellow member of the Rat Pack and a top-class entertainer in his own right. According to his "pally" and long-time stage partner, Jerry Lewis, Dean was not just a magnificent singer; Dean possessed a natural gift for comedy. His comic timing was impeccable and Jerry claims that even when he went completely off-script, Dean never skipped a beat. A hard drinker, he once quipped to an audience, "You know, I feel sorry for you folks who don't drink because when you wake up in the morning, that's the best you're going to feel all day!"

If you've stumbled upon Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, YouTube will undoubtedly direct you to clips of the famous Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts, where famous personalities would poke fun at and (sometimes not so gently) insult the guest of honor for the audience's amusement, and their own. If you're watching a Dean Martin Celebrity Roast after having watched clips of Frank Sinatra, YouTube will inevitably guide you to the famous roasting of Mr. Sinatra by Governor Ronald Reagan.

Reagan had a magnificent wit and sense of comedic timing envied by many stand up comics. If you're already watching Reagan performing at the Roast, then it's only natural that you'll click on the link to watch Ronald Reagan's funniest comments. Once there, you'll come across a really interesting clip from a documentary about Reagan where they discuss The Great Communicator's comedy. You'll learn that Reagan had a funny quote, joke, or quip at the ready for any event - scripted or not. And the reason he was able to fire off one-liners so effortlessly was because he secretly collected them and wrote them down on index cards, which he reviewed regularly. Which is why during a 1984 presidential debate, when asked if his age was an impediment to his ability to run the country, Reagan so easily retorted, "I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience."

The clip of Reagan at the presidential debate prompts YouTube to suggest that you watch the 1988 Vice Presidential debate between Dan Quayle and Lloyd Bentsen, when Bentsen coined the famous put down, "Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy" (referring to JFK). That remark has become a way for one candidate to put down any other candidate who thinks too highly of themselves (especially during a debate).

If you are already watching presidential or vice-presidential debates, YouTube guides you inexorably towards clips of the best lines from the latest GOP presidential debate. And before you know it, you're watching videos of Donald Trump doing what Donald Trump does, the way only Donald Trump does it. Why? Because all roads lead to Trump.

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