Sunday, October 29, 2017

Scabs and banjos

Chris Matthews, speaking of Donald Trump on Meet the Press today: “He knows he can find the issues that rip the scab off this cultural divide, and he plays it like a banjo.”

Matthews has turned to rip the scab off before. He’s invoked the banjo before as well. But to compare scab-ripping facility to banjo chops — four-string? five-string? clawhammer? Scruggs-style? — that’s something new. I’d liken that move to straining after rhetorical greatness and pulling a groin muscle. Or something.

As you may have guessed, I’m not a Chris Matthews fan. I still recall with pleasure his 2007 appearance on The Daily Show: “This is a book interview from hell!”

Related posts
Chris Matthews disappoints : Chris Matthews explains it all for you : Chris Matthews on sex

[I’ve added a comma to the Meet the Press transcript. Why not?]

comments: 3

Slywy said...

I'm guessing that this is about how the banjo is a horrendous instrument in the wrong hands. Or something like that.

Andy M. Stewart and Gerry O'Beirne used to perform a couple of songs that required a ukulele (The Echo Mocks the Corn Crake was one, IIRC), played by Gerry. The things Andy used to threaten to do to it . . .

Pete said...

Mixed metaphor aside, the comparison is completely inaccurate. There’s no way Trump has ever been focused enough to learn something as challenging as the banjo. At best he’s a kazoo man.

Michael Leddy said...

My guess is that the comparison has to do with someone strumming furiously (as with a pick and a four-string banjo). But that only occurred to me this morning, maybe because my son Ben is a super-skilled five-string player.

I just remembered play [someone] like a fiddle, to skillfully manipulate someone for your own purposes. But that’s a well-recognized idiom. Maybe Matthews is creating his own Ratherisms.