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A “Funny” Thing Happened On the Way to the White House: WTF Edition

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Northeastern chapter.

Hey there, Collegiettes – Before we get to the humorous part of this post, we need to be serious for a minute. Last Tuesday, our nation held an election with an outcome that surprised basically everyone, including Trump’s campaign staff and the RNC. No matter who you supported, we all need to acknowledge that minorities and marginalized groups in the US are terrified of a Trump presidency and what it means; as women, many of us are likely uneasy as well (I know I am).


Because of this pervasive feeling of dread that so many people are experiencing, it’s both important and incredibly necessary to address the seriousness of our new political reality before we move on to the comedy portion of this column. With that, let’s start this post-election recap off with a Barack Obama-style “let me be clear” disclaimer:


Let me be clear; Donald Trump isn’t funny anymore. He never really was. Sure, he was always absurd in a kind of cartoonish, satirical way that made us all wonder “is Donald Trump an article from ‘The Onion’ come to life..?” We found him funny when we didn’t take him seriously and maybe that was our mistake; maybe we should have taken him seriously from the start. After all, he launched his candidacy by declaring that Mexico isn’t “sending its best [people]” to the US. (“They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”) That’s a pretty serious – and seriously f*cked up – thing for a presidential candidate to say.


But, those hateful, ignorant words came from the mouth of a ridiculous reality TV star with a coiffe that looked like it was styled by an easily-distracted Rumpelstiltskin who stopped abruptly as he was spinning Trump’s straw hair into gold. Now take that and combine it with the fact that Trump entered his campaign announcement by descending on an escalator in Trump Tower into a crowd of people he paid to attend the event. Of course we laughed at him. Who wouldn’t?


But no, president-elect Donald J. Trump is not funny. We should all take him very seriously and treat him as the terrifying person he has demonstrated himself to be.


That being said, the phrase “gallows humor” exists for a reason. Turning to comedy in the face of tragedy is a time-honored tradition for many. (It also helps that “gallows humor” is a phrase that couples perfectly with the question most of us hear repeatedly when we’re in pain: “How ya doin’? Hanging in there?” There’s a wonderfully pervasive ‘hanging’ theme that runs throughout.) Gallows humor is a coping mechanism – a way to relieve some of the tension, anxiety, and deep sense of mourning that we feel when we experience trauma. And I can personally attest that it helps get you through the worst of times, because dark humor is one of the best ways I’ve coped with the loss of my father almost ten years ago; it’s the reason I got into stand-up comedy (briefly) and why I often crack dark jokes through even the worst of times.


But we have 4 years to get super dark. For now, let’s keep the humor light with 10 post-election tweets/Facebook posts that made me laugh out loud:


1. Former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett schools the now president-elect on basic electoral… spelling?


2. Netflix and Chill already makes me anxious, so I’m not super stoked about this new option tbh…


3. It doesn’t matter if the glass is half full or half empty if it’s just going to get run over by a train..


4. Locate the nearest liquor store and start drinking ASAP (you probably won’t want to be sober for the next 4 years anyway).


5. I’d like to raise the possibility that this election didn’t specifically make your IBS worse… it just made literally everything worse.


6. Joe Biden will save us all.


7. This is some peak gallows humor. *insert ‘OK’ hand gesture here to show maximum appreciation*


8. Memes have NEVER brought out the best in us, but I think we can all agree that this past year memes brought out the absolute worst in us. (I cannot believe I actually wrote that sentence in complete seriousness; this is a dark moment for me.)


9. I’m gonna go ahead and posit the idea that we aren’t moving in the BEST direction…


10. Waking up always sucks, but every morning (AKA “mourning”) this past week had an extra layer of “HOW IS THIS REAL LIFE I REFUSE TO ACCEPT REALITY OR LEAVE THIS BED” to it.


11. BONUS TWEET (because this is exactly what I’m talking about with the value of gallows humor):


So in short, this sucks. But we as a nation – and as individuals – have made it through so much already, and we’ll surely survive this as well.


If nothing else, at least we can all take solace in the fact that as awful as many of us feel right now, at least we don’t have to endure another election cycle for a few years…





Northeastern '16

I was a student. Now I am not.