It’s happened! There is now a 45th President of the United States, and America is now officially in a Brave New World. Can you smell the change in the air? Are you ready, as Jack “King” Kirby once put it, for the world that’s coming? Unsurprisingly, the internet this week was focused on the inauguration of Donald John Trump, as if everything else didn’t really exist. But just because you watched it happen on Friday on both TV and Twitter doesn’t mean you know the whole story. As ever, there might have been things you missed. Here, as always, is where we come in. Friends, countrymen: These are the things from the last seven days that you need to know, but might have overlooked.
Kellyanne Conway, Who Are You Wearing?!
What Happened: Rule No. 1 of any big political event: Don’t upstage the guest of honor. Especially by wearing a particularly distracting outfit.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter
What Really Happened: Kellyanne Conway is a fascinating figure, and has been since her entry into the Trump campaign during the election. She comes across as somehow independent from, and an integral part of, Trumpworld, as if she’s always pursuing her own strange agenda that can occasionally diverge from what the new president wants. So perhaps we should have expected that Conway would show up to the inauguration in a particularly eye-catching ensemble:
Kellyanne Conway’s inauguration outfit has made my eyes roll back so hard I am now in the past pic.twitter.com/4TZTJBN0mh
— Stephen Leng (@steveleng) January 20, 2017
But what was the inspiration for Conway’s ensemble? Twitter just couldn’t decide:
Who wore it better: Kellyanne Conway or Paddington Bear? pic.twitter.com/CP2M6fzLyD
— Michael Hopper (@mhopp7) January 20, 2017
what’s the civil war anime Kellyanne Conway is cosplaying
— Tim Maughan (@timmaughan) January 20, 2017
Who wore it better? #KellyanneConway #InaugurationDay pic.twitter.com/n2DeXVB6AI
— c??????l? (@OHchrYsouLa) January 20, 2017
Why does Kellyanne Conway look like the old New England Patriots logo? pic.twitter.com/swgdHH53v6
— Tyler Brooke (@TylerDBrooke) January 20, 2017
My aesthetic is Kellyanne Conway revolutionary war cosplay. pic.twitter.com/2ZohhtTR7E
— Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) January 20, 2017
Kellyanne Conway’s $3600 @gucci coat was designed to celebrate the city of … London. #Inauguration pic.twitter.com/OKC9Nr4Wdf
— Kate Bennett (@KateBennett_DC) January 20, 2017
I felt hollow & devoid of joy today until Kellyanne Conway filled & replenished my spirit with pure & unadulterated pettiness #Inauguration pic.twitter.com/Mu1dbU8Kl1
— Monica Rose (@MonicaRoseM) January 20, 2017
Melania is wearing Ralph Lauren. KellyAnne Conway is wearing Lady Gaga
— Kate Esquivel (@djkatekc) January 20, 2017
The Takeaway: And as if the various cosplay jokes weren’t enough, it should be pointed out that the buttons on that coat require special attention.
Is this the Kellyanne Conwway coat? https://t.co/EwfOiQvaqp pic.twitter.com/MT3q3Ks9BS
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) January 20, 2017
The buttons are cats. Cats! No wonder the Internet couldn’t look away from this ‘fit.
Tweeting About Tweeting About Writing
What Happened: Donald Trump worked really, really hard on that inauguration speech, you guys.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports
What Really Happened: In an attempt to drive up interest in the presidential inauguration on Friday, then-President-elect Donald Trump sent out the following tweet early last week:
Writing my inaugural address at the Winter White House, Mar-a-Lago, three weeks ago. Looking forward to Friday. #Inauguration pic.twitter.com/S701FdTCQu
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 18, 2017
There is just so much in this image that’s notable, which might be what Trump himself thought before he shared it with the world. Unfortunately, the reasons why it was considered notable might have been different from what the rest of the Internet was thinking…
@realDonaldTrump that is a blank piece of paper and you’re holding a closed sharpie pic.twitter.com/ekCcH8eTXe
— Jules Suzdaltsev (@jules_su) January 18, 2017
Well, it could be worse:
Cool pic of @realDonaldTrump writing his inaugural address. pic.twitter.com/ycxEftY89G
— Benjamin Siemon (@BenjaminJS) January 18, 2017
Thankfully, the latest in high-tech technology of the technical kind meant that it was possible to get a preview of what Trump was writing on that notepad, if Twitter was to be believed. (Spoilers: It wasn’t.)
“Writing my inaugural address”? @realDonaldTrump doesn’t need to be so shy about his sketch – V. Putin must be v. proud pic.twitter.com/Ktyed3wTYM
— Asa Bennett (@asabenn) January 18, 2017
@realDonaldTrump #NotMyPresident #TheResistance #conflict #Putin #Inauguration
In house security cam Mar a Lago pic.twitter.com/diwnpjAS3F
— Beo Bachter (@kaysintBB) January 18, 2017
Exclusive sneak peek at Trump’s inauguration speech! pic.twitter.com/6W6ex0Ks3z
— Kara Calavera (@KaraCalavera) January 18, 2017
Exclusive: #Trump’s Inauguration speech leaked! #TrumpInaugural #trumpgrammar pic.twitter.com/XzrXXpnjxD
— Gerry Stergiopoulos (@GerryGreek) January 18, 2017
Hell, even celebrities couldn’t resist:
The fact that social media was roasting the tweet didn’t go entirely unnoticed, but that’s not to say that the media wasn’t throwing its own shade. Including pointing out that that desk he’s sitting at appears to belong to the receptionist at Mar-A-Lago. (Still, he really did write the speech, apparently.)
The Takeaway: Also, did anyone notice that thing about Mar-A-Lago being “the Winter White House”? Is that a thing now?
Why Didn’t Kanye West Perform at the Inauguration? He Wasn’t Asked
What Happened: Considering the trouble the Trump team had in finding people to perform during the inauguration, one would think they might turn to Trump’s pal Kanye West, right? Wrong.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports
What Really Happened: Ahead of Friday’s big day, the question on many lips was “What the hell is going on with the musical entertainment at the inauguration?” After all, even the Bruce Springsteen band dropped out this week, following Jennifer Holliday’s pulling out after receiving death threats over her participation. But salvation, for one brief shining moment, seemed to be at hand:
Do u think Kanye will perform at trumps inauguration
— Kilo Tango (@Ktttttttttttttt) January 9, 2017
Ah, yes! Kanye! The man who met with the Donald in December and then went on to tweet about the importance of their communication. He’s one of the biggest musicians on the planet! Surely he’d perform, right? Short answer: no. But not because he refused to; instead, it turned out, he wasn’t even asked, with a Trump spokesman saying, “He considers himself a friend of the president-elect, but it’s not the venue. The venue we have for entertainment is filled out, it’s perfect, it’s going to be typically and traditionally American, and Kanye is a great guy but we just haven’t asked him to perform.”
That statement–and, particularly, the idea that Kanye wasn’t “typically and traditionally American”– generated a lot of coverage in the media, and on Twitter, too:
they have asked *everybody* to come to this sad ass inauguration but kanye aint good enough? whew. hope the cooning was worth it.
— king crissle (@crissles) January 19, 2017
Kanye not invited to play the inauguration because he isn’t ‘traditionally American’ but they are having Michael Flatley riverdance. Okay.
— Matt Haig (@matthaig1) January 19, 2017
Wait so Kanye was just being used & played for a sucker by Trump all along? Boy, I sure hope Don wasn’t doing that to any other supporters.
— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) January 19, 2017
trump: makes one black friend
trump: you can’t come to my parties tho https://t.co/JFWiHMs2H3
— sunflower queen (@christielock) January 20, 2017
The Takeaway: Of course, for some, there was a potential upside in the snub:
I hope Kanye runs on the stage and interrupts by saying Obama had the best inauguration ever! #Inauguration
— devon sawa (@DevonESawa) January 19, 2017
A Poem for Trump
What Happened: It’s rare that poetry makes the news. This story might reveal why.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports
What Really Happened: This one is both strange and wonderful. The Scotsman, which as the name suggests, is a Scottish newspaper, ran a report early this week about a poem written by an American writer named Joseph Charles MacKenzie celebrating Donald Trump’s rise to power from the perspective of his Scottish roots. (Trump’s mother Mary was Scottish.) The poem was… well, it opens with “With purpose and strength he came down from his tower/To snatch from a tyrant his ill-gotten power,” and includes this excerpt:
“But for all his great wisdom, the braw gallant man
Is matched by his children, the handsome Trump clan,
And the flower of Europe, Melania the fair,
Adds a luster and grace with her long flowing hair.”
That should give you an idea of the quality of the poem. Twitter was, obviously, impressed:
Disappointed Trump did not select my poem for the Inauguration:
Can you believe this
Shit, because this is some shit
I cannot believe.
— David Connerley Nahm (@DCNahm) January 17, 2017
I just read Trump’s inauguration poem. It is possibly the worst poem I have ever read. Even as doggerel, it’s HORRIBLE.
— Jennifer de Guzman (@Jennifer_deG) January 17, 2017
Trump to Inaugural Poet:
“Dude, write a poem that makes everybody remember why they hate poems.”
— Airea D. Matthews (@aireadee) January 17, 2017
Pretty soon, the media started to get excited. (Well, maybe horrified.) Meanwhile, the mention at one point in the poem of “hapless old harridans” in reference to women opposed to Trump got some readers particularly interested:
BRB, changing my name to “hapless harridan” https://t.co/Pnv0gYKfZc
— Ginger Justice (@SuziSteffen) January 17, 2017
I’m getting “hapless old harridan” added to my business cards. https://t.co/snPreqZuDv
— Kathleen Crowther (@Sacrobosco2013) January 17, 2017
Meanwhile, the Political Elite were somewhat confused by the whole thing:
THIS CANNOT BE TRUE PLEASE TELL ME THIS ISN’T TRUE. https://t.co/dMdj1kMO2W
— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) January 17, 2017
Funny story: It wasn’t real. Or, at least, not as reported. As was pointed out, the poem was essentially a piece of Donald Trump fanfic that got its signal boosted by the Scotsman purely because of the nationalist connection. It was not, as many believed, any kind of “official” inauguration poem, and had no actual connection with the Trump camp. So, you know, maybe things won’t be as bad as feared, after all; at least we’ll be spared more bad verse.
The Takeaway: Of course, for those who wanted a more authentic Scottish response to the new American president, Twitter was happy to help with that, too.
Don’t worry guys I wrote a REAL Scotland-inspired poem for Trump that might reflect our feelings more accurately pic.twitter.com/mKymZ1Gwpt
— Loris (@PygmyLoris) January 17, 2017
Meanwhile, at the Confirmation Hearings…
What Happened: Hearings for cabinet positions continued last week, offering all kinds of revelations to the general public. Including the surprise revelation of an all-new threat to school kids.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports
What Really Happened: But that’s enough about Friday’s shenanigans! There were, after all, other shenanigans to enjoy this week, such as the confirmation hearings for Betsy DeVos, nominated for the position of education secretary on Tuesday. Sure, plenty of people were skeptical that someone who wants public funds diverted to religious schools wouldn’t be the best person for the gig, but surely she would do a good job at her confirmation hearing, right?
Betsy DeVos refuses to say guns shouldn’t be in schools. Cites grizzly bear protection.
No, for real.
— Nate Boateng (@nateboateng) January 18, 2017
“We need guns in schools to defend ourselves from grizzly bears.” Thank you, @BetsyDeVos
— Lindsey Tepe (@l_tepe) January 18, 2017
wait, did Betsy DeVos really just cite GRIZZLY BEARS as a reason the federal government shouldn’t keep guns out of schools?
— Tom McKay (@thetomzone) January 18, 2017
#BetsyDeVos must not know 33,000 Americans are shot and killed annually. Grizzly bears kill maybe 3 Americans annually. #DeVosHearing https://t.co/HRDdOH8KyA
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) January 18, 2017
when there are 3 deaths by grizzly bear each yr but 33,000 gun deaths and yr listening to @BetsyDeVos speak pic.twitter.com/4eXD4Zaq9N
— Gina Fuchs (@ginaAfuchs) January 19, 2017
OK, OK. But that’s Twitter, and Twitter hates everything. What does the rest of the world think?
Turns out, everyone agreed that she bombed.
The Takeaway: Probably this?
I think the grizzly bear would make a better Secretary of Education than Betsy DeVos #DeVosHearing
— Barack Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) January 18, 2017