The Imagineers who built the Disney empire knew that one wrong detail or lapse could ruin the whole experience.
So from the biggest ride to the interactions between cast members and guests to the average trash can, all Disney parks are designed and managed with the maxim “everything speaks” in mind. The tiniest detail wasn’t spared, and if something was wrong, it diminished everything.
When I saw Twitter light up with outrage over Melania Trump’s choice of wearing stiletto heels as she and the president walked to Air Force One on their way to tour Hurricane Harvey flood damage, that’s the expression that came to mind.
The outrage was real, or at least as real as outrage on Twitter gets. Mrs. Trump was hit for being out of touch, and looking like a disaster tourist.
But as with all Twitter outrage, there was backlash to the Twitter outrage. She was defended, even by liberals, for having the right to wear whatever damn shoes she wants, and also, it’s a massive flood swamping a huge city, and who gives a shit?
I think we can all agree that the following three maxims are all equally applicable to this situation:
- It’s wrong to shame a woman for her clothing and/or appearance
- This is the kind of nit-picky shit that Fox News and right wing infotainment deluged the Obamas with for eight years, and it’s crazy-making
- Those aren’t safe to wear in a disaster area and don’t send a great message to people who’ve lost everything
Since the election, the Trump family in general has been criticized for being cold, unfeeling, and unable to grasp everyday human concerns. Keeping the maxim “everything speaks” in mind, Melania’s flood shoes don’t really matter much, but they do reinforce that stereotype about the family.
They’re shoes you wear to look, not shoes you wear to participate. They don’t mean a lot, but they do speak. Imagine Michelle Obama walking to Air Force One wearing those shoes, while headed out to tour a flood zone. Do you think Sean Hannity would ever stop shrieking about it? Rush Limbaugh would get a week of shows out of it.
Then again, maybe that’s the exact reason to leave it alone. If you’re doing something because right wing talk radio did it too, that’s a red flag that you should stop doing that thing.
The Obamas were relentlessly attacked for their clothing choices, their dining choices, their religious choices, and their every mannerism and word. Is it fair to do the same thing to Melania and Donald Trump? Aren’t there enough legitimate reasons to hit out at the Trumps, like their flagrant corruption and almost total disinterest in doing anything to help anyone who isn’t them?
Of course, by the time the outrage circle had completed itself, Air Force One had landed in Corpus Christie, and Mrs. Trump had taken off the shoes and replaced them with white tennis shoes. In fact, she’d changed outfits completely, and added a hat that read “FLOTUS.” Because there was a chance people might not know who she was.
Or perhaps they’ll be on sale soon.
The president was wearing a white hat blaring “USA” which is for sale at the low, low price of $40 on the Donald J. Trump store website that still lists him as president-elect.
This is the hat he’s been wearing in recent Hurricane Harvey-related photos, including one where he sat alone with a blank notebook staring into space listening to a conference call while Vice President Pence and the cabinet handled things in Washington.
If you want to get mad at the Trumps, get mad about that. It’s not just the disinterested incompetence – it’s the effort to profit off the disinterested incompetence.