I grew up thinking that our childhoods were something we left behind. I mean, we kept the lessons and traumas and memories, but there was no turning back time: once childhood was gone, that was that. Then I started listening to people talking about how things they see in the present ruin their childhood. I’m not a fan of comics, love it when women land roles that have traditionally been owned by the patriarch…I mean, when they land roles that have been traditionally played by males, and couldn’t give less of a fuck about superhero movies, but something ruined my childhood. That something is Donald Trump. Here are eight ways in which the Cheeto in charge messed up my past:
1. Supervillains ain’t shit
So we grew up thinking that supervillains were badass. They had brains and muscles and powers. Think about Magneto, Juggernaut, Lex Luthor, Venom, Ultron, Mr. Sinister, Bizarro, Bane, Shredder…you get the point. They were evil…and muscular and could kick ass and had enough brain to come up with great plans that endangered the world. Now we finally get our own supervillain…and it’s a fat Oompa Loompa with an awful comb-over, no brains, and an ill-fitting suit. What the fuck? Childhood = ruined.
2. Being smart counts for nothing
My parents didn’t go to college, but they instilled in me the idea that doing so would open doors. From an early age, everyone around me kept repeating that being an educated person was the easiest way to leave the barrio and “be somebody.” I paid attention and ended up with three degrees. Then Trump, whose IQ is a few shy of that of a fence post became president and sent out an unspoken message: “You don’t need brains to go places! You can go places with no brain. Trust me, I go places. I go to the best places. I know people in those places. Good people. They’re friends of mine. Bigly. Covfefe, mufuckas!” Childhood = ruined.
3. The American Dream is dead
The United States of America is a truly great nation. Some of the best music, literature, films, and medicine, to mention a few things, come from the U.S. of A. I wanted to come here and pursue the American Dream. I wanted to hustle hard and get a slice of the pie. Instead, I moved here and ended up with Trump running the show…while tweeting from the golf course. American Dream = ruined.
4. Where’s the music?
I grew up on a steady diet of rock, jazz, and blues. Then Trump won and he had Toby Keith, Lee Greenwood, 3 Doors Down, The Piano Guys, and DJ RaviDrum at his inauguration and then invited Ted Nugent and fucking Kid Rock to the White House. Music is dead under Trump, man. He’s to musical taste what the durian is to fruit. Kid Rck and Ted Nugent? Fuck you. Childhood? Ruined, man!
5. What do you want money for?
Education lead to opportunities and opportunities lead to better things. I went to college and learned that what I was aiming for was something called upward social mobility. People with great jobs made good money, had nice houses, and dressed well. In perfect circumstances, they also traveled extensively and had a bit of culture on their bones. Then Trump became head honcho and all I see is a millionaire dumbass who can’t sustain a conversation, can’t find a suit that doesn’t look like shit on him, can’t find a decent barber, and can’t find his way to a decent tanning salon. I don’t even want money now. Well, almost.
6. Living a long life
I think we all want to live a long life. It’s been a dream of mine since I learned about death. Now the Cheetoh is all “Fuck poor people! Being alive is a preexisting condition. No health care for you, poor brown man. Die already.” Childhood is ruined, just like my future.
7. Respect for women
Learning to respect women and making sure that everyone who messed with one got what he deserved was a huge part of my childhood. Now we’re supposed to treat them like meat and grab them by the pussy.
8. Racism is in!
Racism was always there, but now it’s in. As a kid with friends of all colors, I wanted a future where racism was something you only found in history books. Well, guess that’s also ruined now that Trump is here.
I’m sure this guy will ruin my childhood in many more ways in the coming months. Check back with me at the end of the year. I mean, if we’re all still around. If not, I’ll see you in the desolate, scorched land after the apocalypse. Please say racist things then so I can beat the shit outta you without the cops showing up…
Gabino Iglesias is a writer, journalist, and book reviewer living in Austin, TX. He’s the author of ZERO SAINTS (Broken River Books),HUNGRY DARKNESS (Severed Press), and GUTMOUTH (Eraserhead Press). His reviews have appeared in Electric Literature, The Rumpus, 3AM Magazine, Marginalia, The Collagist. Heavy Feather Review, Crimespree, Out of the Gutter, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, HorrorTalk, Verbcide, and many other print and online venues. You can find him on Twitter at@Gabino_Iglesias