Twitter is wonderful. In fact, you should follow Random Nerds on there. However, we find the 140 character limit a bit, well, limiting sometimes when it comes to our ‘Cool thought, but there isn’t a whole article here’ ideas.

Too Long; Couldn’t Tweet is where we share those 141+ character thoughts stuck in limbo between tweet and post.


Every Monday-Thursday night, I send out a newsletter called The Evening Commute, which delivers “The top 5 news stories to break while your 9-5 was breaking you” in a handy, easy-to-read email:

However, while I do appreciate the excuse to constantly check Twitter, I’ve found that more and more of my information-aggregating day is getting taken up with simply trying to wrap my head around the continuous incursion of news that has become our new normal in 2017. And, loathe as I am to give one man all the credit for this axis-tilting onslaught, the truth is there is but one solitary figure responsible for these circadian seismic events (shadowy cabal not withstanding#).

To give you a peek behind the curtain, The Evening Commute’s first story block used to be reserved for the ‘biggest’ news story of the day; yet the past few weeks have all but secured that premiere spot as the exclusive abode of “The Daily Donald” — our diurnal summary of the (relevant) comings-and-goings of the 45th President of the United States:

Every journalistically-promising new day, a gnawing belief in editorial duty forces me to reckon with the latest democracy-rattling adumbration to spew forth from the White House (and then make sense of it all, in two paragraphs or less). Though to be honest, I think I’ve actually gotten pretty good at ingesting the astringent madness and regurgitating it in an equitable way that does its best to ignore the fact that this ‘isn’t normal.’

Then yesterday’s news cycle happened.

And make no mistake, when all is said and done, Valentine’s Day ’17 will blow Pearl Harbor out of the history books when it comes to days that reside in infamy…

More immediately, though, yesterday’s revelations mean “The Daily Donald” will no longer be just a (well-written and thorough) summary of the daily comings-and-goings of our (would-be) authoritarian-in-chief. Instead, it will be a (well-written and thorough) chronicle of the rending unraveling of an administration and the moral democracy it purportedly represents.

Because, to use a pop-culture euphemism, we have officially jumped the shark.

For those too high-minded to appreciate decades-old sitcom references, “jumping the shark” is a phrase popularized by radio personality Jon Hein in the 80’s that was originally meant as a critique of the fifth-season episode of Happy Days in which Fonzie literally jumps over a shark while on water-skis#. Since then, to quote Wikipedia, its usage has “subsequently broadened beyond television, indicating the moment when a brand, design, franchise, or creative effort’s evolution declines, or when it changes notably in style into something unwelcome.”

“Something unwelcome.”

Leave it to the anonymous editors of Wikipedia to put our current political turmoil in such beautifully innocuous terms.

Because, in the plainest and most objective of senses, that’s exactly what yesterday’s news was.

Even the most ardent Trump critic doesn’t want to have to go through the months-long process of congressional investigations that’s presently perched on America’s horizon. Just the thought of the endless he-said/she-said and rhetorical spinning is enough to make even the most grounded of (news) anchors feel untethered. But unfortunately, the boat is already heading for the ramp at full speed, even as the blood in the water tempts those most looking to swallow us whole.

All we can do is keep our arms locked, our knees bent, and hope we make it to the other side relatively unscathed.


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