Meryl Streep has become the latest to take a swing at Donald Trump and has done so effectively and to my great admiration, but in my opinion she unnecessarily marred her presentation. Her gratuitous swipe at the NFL and the MMA were uncalled for and served to cause the nodding heads of those already sold on the Trump agenda, and also to turn off people who aren’t but who happen to love the NFL or MMA.
Streep stressed that these two entities were “NOT THE ARTS,” when in many people’s view, the elite achievers in both of these leagues indeed reflect artistic expression. They are certainly expressions of passion, of a maximizing of human potential born of talent, drive and the moment, which is not a bad definition of the arts, and however you look at it there is hardly a need for a fissure between aesthetics and athletics. In part due to what seemed a lingering cold, the talk in general was imbued with a gossamer overlay of a somewhat imperious tone.
Apart from slapping the ball out of Tom Brady’s hands and swatting my man Conor McGregor in the corned beef and cabbage, I think she did fine. Jimmy Fallon is I suppose understandably reluctant to stir up his good thing to be of much value in terms of social commentary, so Streep had to be the one to address the 800-pound partially deflated basketball in middle of the room.
From the vast available trove of ignominy she picked a few of Trump’s most vile campaign moments and described them fairly for their emptiness and cruelty, and expanded further to encourage reflection on just how degraded a person’s humanity has to be in order to stand as author to such turpitude.
Reliably, Trump took to Twitter and impugned Streep’s acting as overrated when even the most deluded Trump water-carriers must understand at some intrinsic level that his opinion of people is solely incumbent on their most recent criticism or endorsement of him. Were she to have urged "coming together as a nation" and "giving the president-elect a fair trial" and "respecting the office first and giving the will of the people a chance to be heard," his assessment of her would instead be that she is our greatest living actress and a national treasure.
She believes, as I do, that he is a dreadful human being and a dangerous US president, and I am glad she said so. I just wish she hadn’t run the end-around on the NFL and dropped a double-leg takedown on the MMA to do it.