TERZI: Trump Administration Taking Fire? Call In The Clowns (Or Ben Carson)
Ben Carson: The Sharknado Presidency’s Comic Relief
It’s only Tuesday, and HUD Secretary and sleepy retired brain surgeon Ben Carson is already wishing for a do-over button that could reset the whole week.
On Monday, the former 2016 Republican presidential candidate gave a controversial speech in which he referred to slaves as “immigrants” who worked “harder for less” and came to the United States pursuing a “dream” of “prosperity and happiness in this land.”
You obviously have Internet access, seeing as how you’re reading this article, so I’m pretty sure you already knew about that little nutty gem. The story carpet-bombed social media rather relentlessly and has been meme-tastic all over Twitter.
But that wasn’t the only ridiculous thing Ben Carson said during Monday’s speech. In fact, he only had his crazy knob set to eight with that comment, which someone might play off as a vernacular faux pas. His other, lesser-known flub came when Carson attempted to give his audience some insider-information about brain surgery… information that he seemingly culled from the pages of a Philip K. Dick story.
“I could take the oldest person here, make a little hole right here on the side of the head, and put some depth electrodes into their hippocampus and stimulate. And they would be able to recite back to you, verbatim, a book they read 60 years ago. It’s all there. It doesn’t go away. You just have to learn how to recall it. It can process more than 2 million bits of information per second. You can’t overload it. Have you ever heard people say, ‘Don’t do all that, you’ll overload your brain?’ You can’t overload the human brain. If you learned one new fact every second, it would take you more than 3 million years to challenge the capacity of your brain.”
Unfortunately for Dr. Carson, it would appear that his own brain has already surpassed its capacity. Because what he described on Monday? Yeah… it’s not actually possible.
As Gizmodo, The Washington Post, and Wired have all pointed out, the surgical procedure Ben Carson described on Monday wouldn’t actually do what he thinks it would do. We haven’t yet developed the technology necessary to produce the sort of recalls Ben Carson seems to believe are perfectly plausible today, right now.
It sort of makes you glad that this guy isn’t performing brain surgery anymore, doesn’t it? The last thing anyone should want is Ben Carson rooting around in their head, trying to help them remember what they ate for lunch on their first day of the fourth grade. You’d go in thinking it was an honor to have Ben Carson working on your cranium, but you’d come out thinking you were a cantaloupe in a shootout with a penguin in the old Wild West while Gary Busey danced romantically with a tumbleweed.
But it’s more than possible Ben Carson’s hiring was a strategic move on the behalf of Donald Trump. Carson has a steady and prolific track record of hilarious (and sometimes terrifying) gaffes. One might argue that Trump hired Carson not to actually lead HUD — a government department Trump seemingly knows little about, despite being a real estate tycoon — but to occasionally fumble around in the media, embarrassing himself so the White House itself gets a respite from whatever shady shit they’re up to at that particular moment.
While Ben Carson’s slavery comments soared to the apex of social media trending stories on Tuesday, relatively little has been said of Trump’s new Muslim ban, or the GOP’s new Obamacare replacement (which I’ve taken to referring to as “TrumpDoesn’tCare”). Carson’s ridiculous speech seemed to inadvertently smokescreen the questionable things the Trump Administration tried to pull off since Monday.
Was that intentional? Was Ben Carson’s speech scheduled with the hopes his silliness would go viral and deflect people from other activities throughout the Trumpocalypse? Probably not. I don’t think Donald Trump is capable of thinking that far ahead, if I’m honest. Not even with a figure like Ben Carson, who once claimed matter-of-factly that the Pyramids were built to store grain, that vaccines are bad for you, and that Obamacare was the worst thing to happen to America since 9/11. And let’s not forget the time he likened homosexuality to bestiality or NAMBLA membership, of course.
I think it’s probably safe for us to assume that Ben Carson is little more than the unintentional comic relief in a horror movie that has thus far made us jump in our seats a few times, but has also given us quite a few laughs. Donald Trump’s inauguration ushered in the Sharknado Presidency, and Ben Carson is the plucky screwball who never seems to fully appreciate the gravity of what’s happening around him. He’s there to amuse us and distract us from the campy gore that drives the makeshift plot forward.
So when Ben Carson says something ridiculous, don’t get offended, folks. Just giggle. Take a moment to appreciate whatever comedic gold can be wrung out of this haphazard administration “President” Trump tossed together. The movie is pretty terrible, but keep calm and carry on. There are only slightly less than four years of this nonsense left to endure. We’ll make it.
Featured image courtesy of Sean Rayford/ Getty Images