Let’s see now .
America has just elected another President .We’re going to have a brand new leader of the free world with the unlikely name of Donald Trump. “Donald” and “Trump”. Sometimes people who worry about such things, will use the word “trump” instead of the more percussive ,and possibly more noxious, “fart” ,to invoke the notion of rampant flatulence ; such is the power of language that his name now conjures up the moniker “Duck Fart”. So it is now looking as though we now have “President – Elect DuckFart ” to conjure with and eventually “President DuckFart “to follow early in the coming year as he enters the hallowed walls of the White House. It seems appropriate somehow to finish such an awful year which just now includes the death of Leonard Cohen, with such a named Leader of the Free World.
It has a certain ring to it ,conjuring up a notion of Donald Duck ,which makes him as American as Donald’s stable-mate , Disney’s Mickey Mouse.Some might call him the “Ugly American”.He fits the stereotype of the loud and obnoxious Yank, perfectly. Some obviously take the opposite view and also think him the New Messiah who will cure all ills.
Sometimes he’s known to the public as “The Donald” and actually called this sobriquet. I suppose that’s to stamp him with some kind of populist iconography and distinguish him from the even more (to my mind)distinguished cartoon Donald Duck , of Walt Disney fame . This new creation, “The Donald” is actually more akin to that other impetuous mad quacking fowl , Daffy Duck who works for Disney’s opposition, Warner Brothers . To afficianados of such opaque nonsense, Daffy is another basket of duck -eggs entirely;the yin to Donald’s yang .You might say the world is divided into fans of Donald and fans of Daffy . The personalities are at opposite ends of the cartoon spectrum.I have to say I always had a secret love for the madder Daffy Duck.That’s because he is only a cartoon and is never allowed to climb through that “fourth wall” and leave the silvered screen. He’s safe in there; safe to do all that crazy stuff that wouldn’t actually work out too well in the real- world; safe for him and safer for us ,looking in. Those amazing anarchic cartoons always beat the Disney duck-animations , hands down. Much of that was to do with the sublime characterisations of the wonderful Mel Blanc , the man of a Thousand Voices who lispingly “voiced ” him for some fifty -two years and of course there were the animating skills of the wonderful Bob Clampett , Chuck Jones and the amazing Fritz Freleng to savour….Daffy Duck was the ultimate “everyman” screwball character. He was crazier than Bugs Bunny ,who as you might already know, was completely bug-house.Daffy was bug-house to the power of ten.
Daffy first appeared in the 1930s during the era of President D. Roosevelt’s presidency and immediately set the tongues of the teeming theatre-goers wagging.He was something completely new and novel to film-goers of that time : an assertive, completely unrestrained, combative protagonist…who was as nutty as a fruitcake. People were unused to seeing a cartoon character doing the wild , mad anarchic things that he did and he was a sensation .They were already learning to expect the unexpected. Daffy became a huge star of the” Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies” cartoons. Disney’s creations were asinine and politically conservative by any comparison. So the battle -lines were drawn. In one film Daffy might be a lunatic -vigilante or at another time he’d appear as a greedy glory-seeking shyster who’d stop at nothing to promote himself. He could be the supreme egotist….
Now ..that’s not quite all , folks……
All of this is the product of creatives…writers and artists , working in the medium of film, in a fantastical ,fantasy scenario outside of real-time. In the same way we can watch Laurel and Hardy’s car getting cut in half in a sawmill and really know that they walk away unscathed…and we can all laugh loudly and leave it at that….but what are we to do if the population actually votes the crazy , Daft Duck into the presidency of the USA. ?; a self-aggrandising not-quite-real creation of his own -making with his own “Daffy Towers” and his own private “Daffy Jet”….with plans to build a 2000 mile wall to separate the USA from Mexico, while Bugs is busily sawing off Canada at the other end….and even crazier…he still believes he’ll get Mexicans to pay for the pleasure. Of course, that might be his eventual “get-out” clause when that mad plan is finally shelved or quietly dumped….his fans are not going to be pleased at all…but let’s face it , we all know you can’t do stuff like that in real life…don’t we? …Well…don’t we?
That said , I wouldn’t have wanted either Donald or Daffy running the show in the White House at any time .
“The Donald” is literally already a cartoon ,in any case .He’s already been lampooned in political cartoon strips for some thirty years now, that I can remember ,notably in Gary Trudeau’s daily strip “Doonesbury” and has even appeared in an episode of “the Simpsons”. Both these cartoons have already outlived several Presidents that I recall and will doubtless be there when “The Donald” is only a memory .I’ll give him this …he stuck to his mad ambition. Remember , though that once you become President you will always retain the title until death….and all the hassle that goes with it..so be careful what you wish for.
There have been forty five previous presidents .During my own lifetime .I’ve lived through from number 34 to number 44. Eleven in all. I was only an eight year-old when Eisenhower left the Oval Office in 1961 , so I don’t really remember him too much, but after that I was up to speed for John F. Kennedy ,LB Johnson,”Tricky Dicky” Nixon,Gerald Ford,Jimmy Carter, Ronald “Ronno” Reagan, George W . Bush, Bill Clinton,Wee George Bush Junior, and Barack Obama.Each one of them came and went…all eleven of them.Some of them lived through some very interesting and very violent times but the only one who came close to the fantastical other nether -world of the movies ,that “The Donald “appears to inhabit was “B” movie actor Ronald “Ronno” Reagan….that is until now.
President Donald DuckFart has just now entered the building.Watch with alarm as the realisation gradually dawns on him ,as his hair turns grey, that it’s real- life at last and not simply a cartoon on a screen.