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Tweets of Our Time

Tweets of Our Time: Ted Cruz and the Butter Cow


(Top image: Illustration by Sam Taylor; Ted Cruz photo via @tedcruz)

I suppose it is easier for us here in the UK to regard Ted Cruz from across the distance of an ocean. Ted Cruz, from here, falls somewhere between a ventriloquist's dummy and a placid murderer. He seems sweet, almost, but with a dark sticky edge, like an aged aunt who ushers you into her immaculate front room – doilies just everywhere, in the aunt's room – and brings you a small china plate with two soft peanut cookies on it, then sits on the very edge of her armchair cushion, hands nestled between her big auntie thighs, the auntiest of aunt poses, and then whispers: I know exactly how much blood is in the human body. Chilling, but also cuddly. It's a unique vibe. I feel like it would be harder to get along with that at close proximity – if, say, Ted Cruz were a politician in my country who was capable of making life-altering decisions for me. From over here: I don't mind that Ted Cruz seems placid and cheery like a sort of dizzy cartoon bear. Up close: I probably don't want to hear his opinions about abortions.


Here's Ted Cruz with a cow made out of butter, anyway:

Hard to know where to start with this one, but let's try. We have to try.

– I mean, we've got to lead by acknowledging this is the flattest and least-convincing "wow" in human history. Consider the sentence, "Wow, a cow made of butter." That wow is the slow wowwww you do at a school reunion when someone you hated in sixth form is telling you about their new company car. The wow you do when your mum shows you a meme on her Facebook that you already saw on WhatsApp two weeks before. That's the wow you do when someone asks you to react to something – their hair, a new outfit, what you think of this lasagne they just made – but also you're simultaneously looking at your phone. That right there is what's known in neurobiology as "the detached wow".

But then watch this video of Ted Cruz talking about queso. So the old meme goes: get you a man who looks at you the way Ted Cruz looks at the concept of queso.

So from this evidence, this much we know: the man is a fan of dairy. The man is capable of enjoying things. But is he capable of translating that joy into internationally humanly recognised words and emotions? He is not. We loop back to the wow: my conclusion is that it is a sincere one. Ted Cruz is amazed by the butter cow. He's just physically incapable of showing it.

– A word on Ted Cruz's Dress Down and Look at a Cow Made of Butter Outfit: this is all politicians' dress down outfits at once. This is all politicians are capable of relaxing in: lose the suit jacket, slink the tie out, lose a button or two and roll those sleeves up three neat times. Crinkle the shirt at the elbow and look like absolute shit. A sheen of the day's sweat over everything. Appalling. However: it's also the exact same look Kevin Spacey rocks in those scenes in House of Cards where he goes and really evilly eats a load of barbecue. And so we can only ask this, we can only speculate: did Ted Cruz take this photo then immediately sit down with his sleeves rolled up and eat an entire cow made out of butter? I am erring to the side of: yes, he did. He ate that butter cow. – Motherfucker who made a cow out of butter and why.


– I want to know what is going on in Ted Cruz's house that his daughter's first words were "I like butter." Now listen: I have never raised a child to the proper age where it can begin to talk and say things. To express itself with language. I admit a void in my knowledge, here. But I have never heard of a kid say anything other that "mum", "dad" or "dog" as a first word. To string a sentence together – a perfect little nub of a sentence; meaning in exact alignment with form; "I like butter" in many ways a flawless sentence, an exquisite illustration of the power of the English language, that a concept can be conveyed in four short sharp noises, a preference expressed, that the protein-like strings of thought that reside inside our brains can be compacted into three small words, the intent of them clear like a bell, and expressed out of the mouth – but also what in the fuck: how many butter and butter-related scenarios are being enacted in Ted Cruz's house every single fucking day of the year? Kids, typically, say what they see: they say what's important to them, they find names for the caregivers who bring them warm spoonfuls of mashed carrot. Ted Cruz's daughter was born into a world where the most pressing thing that needed labelling, above all others, was butter. Now why is that.

Ted Cruz, tearing through the threshold, two fat pats of Lurpak in each hand, yelling;

Ted Cruz, smearing room temperature butter across his cheeks like a quarterback, yelling;


Ted Cruz fills a swimming pool with butter and divebombs into it while yelling;

Ted Cruz opens the fridge and the only thing in there is row after row of silver-foiled butter, and Ted Cruz is hissing the word "BUTTERRRRR", looking like Paul Bearer came back from the dead and got a shitload of botox to counteract the effects of that (death), and then slams the fridge shut because all the butter was salted and he wanted unsalted, and he is yelling;

Ted Cruz, eyes fluttering between wakefulness and sleep, softly thrashing in his sky-blue pyjamas, in the feverish fit of a nightmare, and his lips seem to be pressing into the same sound-pattern again and again, buh-tuh, buh-tuh, and also he is yelling;

What is going on in the Cruz household? There is something we don't know. This tweet only raises questions.


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