Home The Guardian Very heterosexual couples and 18th-century airports: it’s 4 July, Trump-style | Hannah...

Very heterosexual couples and 18th-century airports: it’s 4 July, Trump-style | Hannah Jane Parkinson

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Donald Trumps Independence Day extravaganza was special, says Guardian columnist Hannah Jane Parkinson

I cannot wait, as a global citizen and (for obvious reasons) constant consumer of news, for independence from Donald Trump. I will be celebrating every single day. Many of us will. And if you needed another reason (I anticipate that you do not), Trumps latest boneheaded episode was to give an Independence Day speech that referenced American takeover of airports in 1775. The first ever flight is thought to have taken place in 1903.

Trump, becoming the first US president to make a 4 July address in almost 70 years, stuck to his script for once. Its just that the script was mostly wrong. As well as confusing the American revolutionary war (AKA the war of independence) with the war of 1812, Trump went on to make further historical errors. There was plenty more going on throughout the celebrations lets take a look.

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Tiffany Trump at the 4 July celebrations. Photograph: Al Drago/EPA

Guys, in some hugely exciting news, Tiffany was allowed out of the basement again. Shes absolutely chuffed about it, as you can see. Have you ever seen anyone more smug at being embraced by direct sunlight? Melania, meanwhile, does not seem too pleased, but that may be because Tiffany is copying her signature shoulder-robing. And Melania is definitely the inspiration for this, because the only media Tiffany has consumed in months is damp, 70s back issues of Jackie magazine that old crockery was wrapped in, next to a broken treadmill (she lives in a basement).

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Donald Trump and guests watch the Blue Angels flyover. Photograph: Reuters

Notice how almost everyone in this picture is enjoying the Blue Angels flyover. Melania is clapping in glee. Mike Pence looks like he is reciting an ode to the flyover. Mark Esper (acting defense secretary), to the left of Trump, is so thrilled with this flyover he has his leg at a jaunty angle. The man at the front, cosplaying as Evan Davis, is besotted. Now look at Trump. Dude looks like he doesnt even know what hes looking at. Dude looks like hes never seen a plane before (NB planes did not fly in 1775). He looks like an animal seeing itself in the mirror for the first time and trying to work out what the hell is going on.

At least there are two others also not beaming. The officer to the left with his hands clasped, who looks as though hes just looked up to the board and seen its 44 minutes to the next bus. And the guy to the left of him, who dropped a pill almost twice the strength that hes used to.

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Donald and Melania Trump at the celebrations. Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock

Tell me this isnt the opening shot of a performance by a duo in the over-25s category who inexplicably made The X Factor final. Donald and Melania met 30 years ago at technical college in a northern town, brought together by their love of harmonies and aspirations beyond the Leeds to Liverpool canal. Donald spent a long time as a cruise ship entertainer while Melania abandoned her dreams and became a primary school teacher but lived to put on the end-of-year shows. Now theyve given it one last shot, and here they are, while a third assistant director who thinks hes the next Scorsese shoots them over the shoulder about to belt out Marvin Gayes My Last Chance.

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Fireworks at the 4 July celebrations. Photograph: Jos Luis Magaa/AP

I have absolutely zero snark to contribute here, because these are great fireworks. They just are. Trump has of course refused to comment on how much the total celebrations cost US taxpayers, but conservative estimates put it at around $2m. Im not saying a single catherine wheel and a sparkler each would have cut it, but that is a lot of money literally gone up in smoke.

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Mike and Karen Pence at the event. Photograph: Tom Brenner/Reuters

Here we have vice president Mike Pence and his FEMALE WIFE, Karen. Karen is wearing a stars-and-stripes scarf, to remember which countrys independence she is celebrating, while the couple hold hands to assert that they are a HETEROSEXUAL COUPLE in a HETEROSEXUAL MARRIAGE.

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Jon Voight with fans at the event. Photograph: Susan Walsh/AP

I still feel so disappointed in Jon Voight. How can a man who gave us one of the greatest films of all time (Anaconda, and this isnt up for debate) and one of the worlds most beautiful women, Angelina Jolie (again, no debate) have ended up saying that Trump is the best president since Abraham Lincoln. It is like when your phone gets too hot in the sun and starts malfunctioning and Siri starts just yelling random stuff that makes no sense. Or, as Robert De Niro put it, its delusional. Anyway, heres Voight, posing for a photo that will end up sloshing around the jpeg sea of minor celebrity selfies.

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Musicians at the 4 July celebrations. Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock

When I was at school I was desperate to play an instrument, but basically had no musical talent whatsoever. Some years later I joined an orchestra but mostly this was to be eligible for a ski trip. When it came to an actual recital we had to give, I essentially mimed blowing on my French horn (shut up) throughout, hoping the others, who were actually playing and had some talent, would carry me through. This picture reminds me a lot of that.

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The military flyover. Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/AP

Im not saying this looks like a harrowing, dystopian vision maybe the bits of The Handmaids Tale where they hang people en masse (ie every other scene) but also, thats exactly what this looks like.

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Donald and Melania Trump. Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/AP

You know that thing where your friend invites you to their debut slam poetry performance? That.

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Donald Trump saluting at the event. Photograph: Tom Brenner/Reuters

This is a picture of Trump saluting. There are a lot of pictures of Trump saluting during the celebrations and Id bet my bottom dollar this is because the name of Trumps speech was Salute to America, and Trump is a man who only understands things in a very literal way. He does not understand metaphor, or analogy, or metonymy, or even just nuance. This is a man who almost certainly asked But where were the dogs? as the credits rolled on Reservoir Dogs. Its been 895 days since Trump took probably the most powerful office in the world and I will never, ever, ever get over it.

Hannah Jane Parkinson is a Guardian columnist

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us

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