So basically The Daily Show printed out a bunch of Trump tweets, framed them and hung them all over an exhibition space for everyone to come see. Why? Because they can, apparently. It’s called the Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library and it’s open to the public all weekend. If you’re in New York City, you can check it out at 3 West 57th Street, right across from Trump Tower, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. today through Sunday, although you could also not do that.
When you walk inside, you will be greeted first by metal detector-wielding security guards and then by a spinning glass case. Inside the case is a pair of arms topped by a pair of tiny hands clutching a tiny iPhone. Here:
Behind the arms is a large screen playing a video introduction by Daily Show host Trevor Noah. You can pass through one of two doors into the main room, which, again, is pretty much just his tweets printed out and dressed up nice. For instance:
The tweets are paired with little cards that provide some jokey context, like at an art museum:
I found this pairing to be particularly gross:
Ha ha, the line where he admitted he’s a sexual predator can also be applied to his tweets! Classic Trump.
There are some placards that aggregate a bunch of tweets about a similar topic, such as Hillary Clinton, global warming or Jeb Bush:
Above each placard is a framed medal, memorializing the subject of said tweets for their valor. Congrats, Jeb, on your valor.
There are some interactive exhibits, like one where you read a tweet and then slide it aside to discover whether it was true or false:
Or the one where you type your name into a “Trump nickname generator,” and then a staffer nearby writes that name onto a name tag for you. Here, I copied down the URL so you can do that without getting out of bed, unless you wanted to go back to sleep, which sounds pretty nice if you ask me: tdstrumpnicknamer.com.
There are also a couple video exhibits. One is a presentation of Trump tweet statistics, like how often each of his family members gets a mention. Another is a short film, hosted by Jordan Klepper, explaining the history of Trump’s Twitter. Then there’s a large live feed of Trump’s timeline which, allegedly, will sound an alert when he tweets anew. The centerpiece of the whole affair is a large golden toilet which I guess you can sit on and type a tweet yourself, which shows up on a large monitor. Also there’s this painting:
Is this funny? The whole thing, I mean. I can’t tell anymore. This whole genre of satire has emerged in which essentially you hold up something Trump said or did and say, “Ha ha, isn’t that hilarious?” Which, sure, it is, in a way, but I don’t need you to tell me. We live in Trump’s world. When I pick up my phone, there he is. When I put it down, too bad, he’s on TV or the front page of a newspaper. When I close my eyes and cover my ears and shout “la la la la la la!” he’s wormed into in my head anyway. I don’t know what the formula is for good Trump satire, but I have a feeling it should do more than put a gilded frame around his bile. This whole exhibit is a quote-tweet with high production value. It’s suffocating enough out there—I want my comedy to give me some goddamn oxygen.
Trevor Noah offered some brief remarks at the library’s press opening last night. “It’s about giving context to the tweets,” he said. “Not absorbing them one bite at a time but rather looking at them as a body of work—some of the greatest moments, some of the greatest ideas that have been shared in 140 characters or less.” Sorry, but, just one more time: Who wants that?? We’re stuck with this guy for four years! We have no choice but to gaze at his “body of work” all day every day!
I did ask Noah whether, with so much Trump fatigue in real life, he has any concern about Trump fatigue in comedy. When is enough enough? I will admit it was a dumb question to ask because he was taking questions in character and not answering them seriously at all. Can’t blame a guy for trying, am I right? Anyway, he said this: “Trump fatigue? I don’t know if you know the president but fatigue is not a part of his lexicon. You do not get tired of Donald J. Trump. He gets tired of you. Donald Trump has shown that he has an ability that few human beings possess, to ramp up the news cycle when that fatigue sets in.”
“I remember a week sitting in my office with my colleagues,” Noah went on. “I looked at them, they looked at me and we said, ‘It seems we have gotten used to this. It seems the news has died down.’ Shortly thereafter, James Comey met his end. And that was when we knew: You can never have Trump fatigue. You can only get used to what is, and thereafter there will be something new. So as soon as you get comfortable, prepare for the next shit storm my friend, because it will be coming.”
He’s not wrong. Trump has already attacked his Deputy Attorney General on Twitter this morning. When he pressed “Tweet,” a red light went off in the Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library and an alarm rang his own words: “Bing bing bing bing.” The shit storm is coming. There’s nothing we can do about it. What would be nice is if our comedy institutions could find some way to joke about the shit storm that isn’t simply repeating it verbatim, some new and radical means of making the world funny again rather than lying down in the bed that’s been made for us by madmen. Until then I think I will weather it all from the Trump-less walls of my own home, thank you very much.
The Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. all weekend, at 3 West 57th Street.
Seth Simons is Paste’s assistant comedy editor. Follow him on Twitter.