Justin Trudeau is a fun guy who likes to do fun things, particularly in front of a camera. On Halloween, he decided to have some fun by dressing up in costume, as he had done every year that he's been prime minister.
It was a wild eight seconds. Trudeau came down the stairs dressed as, like, a regular nerd, but then when he opened his dress shirt he revealed that he wore a Superman shirt underneath. He was Clark Kent! Wild! It was actually a pretty good costume in my opinion, because it's pretty simple but not obviously phoned in, and it can also easily revert to just being regular clothes, which is good if you're trying to hook up with somebody or if you're working in the federal legislature.
Anyway, as you know, this became a Whole Thing. It was a phenom. The news broke first on Twitter, where it quickly spawned a number of quick writeups from media outlets around the web. These stories about Trudeau wearing a costume quickly bounced back and created new ripples of reaction on Twitter, mostly from American liberals who were jealous of our country's obnoxiously twee prime minister or from critics who found the costume either undignified (the right) or bitterly ironic (the left, hello!). These reactions to the story quickly became new stories about the reactions themselves, building the house of cards even higher. It's wild. Hundreds of hours of labour, tonnes of carbon, kilowatt hours of electricity, a fraction of the collective economic power of ten millennia of accumulated human history, all of it harnessed in the service of an eight-second video of Justin Trudeau coming down a flight of stairs wearing a graphic tee under a dress shirt. We truly live in a breathtaking kaleidoscope.
And here I am with the metacommentary. This is how the world works now. A small army of people building a vast architecture of words amid an overwhelming stream of information. The trivial and the profound, the vital and the poisonous, the true and the false—it is impossible to tell the difference now, and meaningless to try. The spectacle is everywhere, and now there is only content. The objects strike us with the speed of lightning and we are the long rumble of thunder that reverberates out into the darkness.
It's a good life if you don't weaken.
So it's been a busy couple of days on the Halloween beat this year in Canada. It also turns out that Connor McDavid—the 20-year old who has already made more money playing for the Edmonton Oilers than most of us will see in a lifetime—wore a Donald Trump costume to a party over the weekend and captioned a photo "Make America Great Again" on Instagram. I guess the guy probably isn't very woke by online standards, which is unbelievable for a hockey player.
Fire up the Google Docs, coach; I'm going in.
Follow Drew Brown on Twitter.