David’s character “Larry David” is, famously, an inveterate curmudgeon who is constantly getting in brouhahas over minor questions of etiquette or misunderstandings. On the new episode, Larry finds himself unable to avoid having lunch with a disliked colleague in the comedy world (Phil Rosenthal, also playing himself). He knows that his usual tricks won’t work on Rosenthal, so he can’t escape by having a friend call during the lunch to say he’s needed back at the office. So Larry hits on a brilliant idea: He wears a red MAGA cap to the lunch. Rosenthal immediately blanches, looks around the restaurant, and discovers he’s getting dirty looks from black customers and other diners. Horrified that people might associate him with Trumpism, he hastily makes his excuses and exits. Larry is triumphant. He even finds other uses for the MAGA cap; sitting at a sushi bar in close quarters, he puts on the cap and finds that the people who were going to squeeze in next to him instead flee in horror. He brags that the hat is a useful “people repellent.” But in a potentially dicey traffic situation with an angry biker, Larry puts on the hat and defuses the situation because the hat signals to the biker that he’s a kindred spirit. . . .I think this nails one major strain of Trumpism.
The MAGA hat has many meanings, does it not? It doesn’t really mean “Make America Great Again.” It’s more like a badge of defiance, of apartness. It says, “You’re all annoying.” It says, “I want no part of this.” It says, “Things used to be better.” It says, “Buzz off.” It says, “I’m deplorable.”
Monday, January 20, 2020
Larry David and the MAGA Hat
Kyle Smith at The Corner: