Oscar Brown, Jr. is a jazz legend; Sin and Soul will live forever (I’m humming “Signifyin’ Monkey”, from an anonymous African fabulist, as I write). Not just an influential musician but a social critic and engaged citizen; Nat Hentoff described him as “authentically hip”.
His song, “The Snake” covers an Aesop legend, the farmer who takes a near-frozen snake indoors and is rewarded by being bitten; reproached, the viper says “you knew I was a snake before you took me in”. The only possible interpretion of this allegory today is that Donald Trump revealed his true nature in the campaign and before, and yet we “took him in”. But he read the words aloud today himself, smirking as usual, at a rally! It’s not only despicable that Trump would dare to besmirch Brown’s memory by associating himself with it, but completely mystifying that he would present himself as that snake so transparently at a large public event.
Maybe this is for the best: Brown’s reputation will survive, along with his music, and now we have a new, perfectly tailored moniker for the Donald provided by Donald Jeenius Trump, the only man alive stupid enough to walk into such a trap.
“Snake Trump”: I like it!
[update 23/II: A colleague let me know that Ezra Klein was on this months ago]