By Mike Tully
In 1932, songwriters Sydney Edmund Tolchard Evans, Stanley Damerell, Robert Hargreaves, and Harry Tilsley wrote a silly little ditty that became a hit at the time and has endured in American culture. The song, “Let’s All Sing like the Birdies Sing,” is familiar to anybody who has visited Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room – and possibly found it an annoying earworm for hours after the visit. The lyrics start this way:
Let’s all sing like the birdies sing,
Tweet, tweet tweet, tweet tweet.
In 2017 that song should replace “Hail to the Chief” as the Presidential Anthem. Our new President, who bears a disturbing resemblance to a giant canary, has been tweet, tweet tweet, tweet tweeting his way through his presidency, usually from the bowels of pre-dawn sleeplessness. While that might not be a good way to govern – it isn’t – or an effective way to communicate – it isn’t –tweeting is his favorite mode of expression.
The President may be the most famous American canary since Tweety, an iconic presence in Warner Brothers Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons. The little yellow fellow starred in 47 of them and adults and kids alike could recite his signature line: “I tawt I taw a putty tat. I did! I did!” For some reason Warner Brothers and Mel Blanc thought it endearing to inflict Tweety with a speech impediment, so what he was actually saying was: “I thought I saw a pussy cat. I did! I did!”
What is it about canaries and pussies? Consider and compare the two most famous American canaries:
Tweety Bird: “I thought I saw a pussy cat. I did! I did!”
Tweety Trump: “I thought I’d grab a pussy. I did! I did!”
The latter quote, a reasonable paraphrase of what Tweety Trump said during an “Access Hollywood” recording, attracted revulsion and denunciation and seemed to derail his campaign – at first. For example, Representative Jason Chaffetz of Utah withdrew his support from Trump, telling CNN that he had a 15-year-old daughter. “Do you think I can look her in the eye and tell her that I endorsed Donald Trump for president when he acts like this?” asked Chaffetz. He’s now in position to answer his own question, since he changed his stripes and later endorsed Trump. (Great parenting, Jason!) But Congressman Weathervane is not alone, since Trump won anyway. The voters did not believe Trump was evil — just twitterpated.
The term “twitterpated” appeared in 1942 in “Bambi,” a heart-warming Walt Disney cartoon classic that traumatized a generation. Bambi and his friends noticed that fellow forest critters were acting peculiar and questioned Owl, who explained they were “twitterpated.” “Nearly everybody gets twitterpated in the springtime,” explained Owl. “For example: You’re walking along, minding your own business. You’re looking neither to the left, nor to the right, when all of a sudden you run smack into a pretty face. Woo-woo! You begin to get weak in the knees. Your head’s in a whirl. And then you feel light as a feather, and before you know it, you’re walking on air. And then you know what? You’re knocked for a loop, and you completely lose your head!”
In other words: horny.
Perhaps that explains the President’s pre-dawn behavior, when he grabs hold of his tweeter and spurts out bizarre nocturnal transmissions: he called American voters stupid; he insulted Huma Abedin, Rosie O’Donnell, Ariana Huffington, Katy Perry and Kristin Stewart; he disparaged the Super Bowl; and he falsely accused former President Obama of eavesdropping on him. His presidential tweet storms have left his staff flummoxed and flat-footed. White House Chief of Staff and official cuttlebone Reince Priebus has sacrificed sleep while trying to bring order to the twitterpated tumult. Spokesman and bird cage liner Sean Spicer has had to debase himself as chief apologist. One would feel sorry for Spicer if he didn’t remind us of Eddie Haskell.
But the “I sold my soul award” goes to congressional Republicans like Chaffetz and Speaker of the House Eddie Munster who see Trump as a vehicle for their ambition and ignore the lunatic tweet-storms. One can easily imagine them joining an updated version of the “Birdies” song:
Let’s demolish Obama care
Tweet, tweet tweet, tweet tweet;
Let’s eliminate Medicare
Tweet, tweet tweet, tweet tweet.
Those in the Trump Resistance Movement are more than happy to see the President and his congressional allies tweet, tweet tweet, tweet tweet their way to oblivion, but they don’t envision Trump as a canary. Instead, they visualize a rodent-like creature that flies at night and deposits guano, because it’s hard not to suspect the Twitterpated Tweeter is bat-poop crazy.
Mike Tully is a descendant of a pioneer Tucson family, is a Martindale-Hubbell AV-Preeminent rated attorney, former Justice of the Peace, educator, recognized expert in bullying and cyber-bullying prevention, and blogger.
© 2017 by Mike Tully
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Copyright 2017 Southern Arizona News-Examiner