That sarcastic and dismissive headline doesn’t do this Roger Cohen column justice.
Roger is the worst of the New York Times old guard, and old Roger outdoes himself in this column about contracting the coronavirus while oscillates between maudlin self-pity and rants about President Trump. It is awesomely bad in the way that Troma is awesomely bad, but without any of the self-awareness.
Fighting the Virus in Trump’s Plague – NYT
Trump’s Plague? Except that Roger thinks he got it in a crowded Paris bar.
I think I picked it up in a crowded Paris bar watching a soccer match. Whether soccer or life is more important is an open question to me.
I got it in a crowded Paris bar. I would rather watch soccer than live. Also it’s Trump’s fault.
I assumed I would not get Covid-19 if I took basic precautions. Now I have Covid-19.
I hung out in a crowded Paris bar because soccer is more important than life and I also took basic precautions. And all of this is Trump’s fault. Somehow.
I don’t want to mock a sick person, but this is just bad.
My president, Donald Trump, is a proud nationalist. He embraces its mythology of violence as he flirts with cataclysm. Jump! he says. How high? says his cabinet. He’s ready to fight his battles down to the last sucker. If he goes down, it will be in flames.
What does any of this have to do with Roger contracting the virus in Paris?
This is followed by histrionic self-pity.
I stared at the walls. I thought, my world is gone. More than half a life lived in the Cold War, who cares about that any longer, or the values it bequeathed. A phrase of Albert Camus came back to me: “The most incorrigible vice being that of ignorance that fancies it knows everything and therefore claims for itself the right to kill.”
My daughter and her husband, both doctors, say I have a moderate case.
And then there are all the references to Stefan Zweig and his world dying. Followed by gibberish.
The plague is back. In fact, as Camus observed, it never goes away. It is waiting to exploit stupidity. Trump wants violence. Do not give it to him. Turn the other cheek. Be stoical. Be the person who stops the tank by standing there.
Deep thoughts from Roger. Or is this as close as anyone at the New York Times can get to condemning BLM?
We must all fight, in the way my body is fighting now with every ounce of its strength to see off the enemy within, if the orange face of the plague is not to devour us all.
Orangeman bad. Literally. This may be the most incoherent and broken New York Times column ever.