AltFacts: Lord of the Flies, White House Edition

If, like the AltFacts team, you’ve been thinking the current national administration resembles Lord of the Flies, nature may agree. If you missed that William Golding novel in high school, it’s about an island where pre-adolescents have been left to fend for themselves. They start out resourceful, but quickly disintegrate into pig-worship and all sorts of misbehavior, including murder and excessive conch shell blowing.

The modern reenactment being staged in the White House includes, among all the general back-biting and misbehavior, the casting of an actual fly, whose demise was ordered (without due process, one might point out) by the president and immediately delegated to then-Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.

The resulting farce could have starred Jerry Lewis, as Priebus chased the insect (we mean the bug, not anyone else) around the oval office, limbs flailing and a curled-up newspaper swinging (copies of the New York Daily News are kept in the office for just such occasions). What seemed like his moment of triumph – when the fly landed to catch her breath – became his downfall, as he swatted her where she’d perched, right on the infamous hair of Fearless Leader. The reverb sprang the fly straight out of the building (one oval office window now sports a fly-sized hole), but Mr. Chief of Staff went from prie-bus to under-the-bus the next day, when he was dismissed by text message. And the president took full credit for deporting the fly.

OK, we made that last paragraph up. But the first two are pretty legit. The last one’s a metaphor.

The departure of Mr. Priebus has certainly conjured up a lot of reporting around his juvenile and odd treatment within the administration – revealing details of the odd bubble universe we’ve installed in that big white DC mansion. If you’ve ever been part of a cult (AltFacts won’t tell you how we know this), you know that one of the insidious parts is that you forget there’s a world outside that follows different rules. You get caught up in the rules that cover your daily existence, forget the larger picture and lose all perspective. We’re imagining an experience rather like that for current White House staffers. And we miss the TV show “BrainDead,” whose little-watched plot centered on alien bugs eating the brains of US politicians. We didn’t realize at the time that it was a documentary, and it probably explains the origin of that fly.

Recent shakeups have also left us mourning the loss of Melissa McCarthy. Oh, don’t worry, she’s still okay, but with the recent departure of RI native Sean Spicer from the national stage, “SNL” loses one of its most potent and enjoyable viral acts, and Ms. McCarthy may have to retire a character more memorable and absurd than most of the fictional personas that have traipsed across the live stage in New York over the years. At least Alec Baldwin still has job security.

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