CHATHAM – Over a zoom cocktail hour with friends, local dentist Doug Nairn tried to make a complicated analogy comparing the end of the Trump Administration to the plot of the Francis Ford Coppola film Apocalypse Now, only for it to disintegrate immediately.
The analogy started with Nairn expressing how relieved he was that the Trump presidency was over, saying it was “just like Apocalypse Now.” When his friends asked him to elaborate, he said “you know, Colonel Kurtz is Donald Trump, and, uh Martin Sheen is Joe Biden… Rudy Giuliani is the guy who loves the smell of napalm in the morning… wait, how does Apocalypse Now end?”
The analogy came after several of Nairn’s friends described Joe Biden’s victory over Trump in the presidential election using pop culture references, ranging from the destruction of the Death Star to wizards celebrating the defeat of Voldemort. Nairn saw how well-received these analogies were, and immediately jumped in with a comparison to a movie he did not remember well and had little in common with the current political situation.
“I really just seized on the fact that Marlon Brando was like Trump, in that he was crazy in this movie, and kind of overweight,” explained Nairn. “And the whole Vietnam war was a bad situation, just like the last four years with Trump in office, and I thought that the rest of it would just fall naturally into place. But it didn’t. Kind of like Martin Sheen’s mission to find and assassinate Kurtz in Apocalypse Now. My Apocalypse Now analogy is analogous to Apocalypse Now, is what I’m trying to say.”
Most of Nairn’s friends were sympathetic to his plight and tried to help him make the analogy work. Bethany Johnson, who Doug knows from high school, suggested that maybe he was thinking of the fraught process of filming Apocalypse now, and Garth Brole, Doug’s co-worker, thought maybe he was thinking of Platoon, but the entire group agreed that these examples also did not represent the current moment very well.
“Doug has a history of making poor analogies,” explained Bethany. “I still remember when he likened the Iraq War to an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, or even in high school when he said the Y2K virus was like a different episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. I think he just wanted to sound smart this time, so he picked a non-Fresh Prince analogy”
At press time, Nairn was chatting with a dog-walker on his street and describing the COVID pandemic as “Kafka-esque”.