The Macron / Trump thing that played out on TV news over the past few days is not what it seems.
Predictably, it was from the start misreported by the networks who always make the mistake, editorially, of speaking to filmed images in their reporting.
No, dummies! Actually, you don’t have to report things that way just because it’s television. Paradoxically, in this sort of story, wise words and news analysis are far more important than images.
Trump’s and Macron’s bromance antics in front of camera were very obviously insincere – certainly on the part of Macron, who is intelligent, compared to Trump, who’s as thick as pig shit.
But even Trump was playing a game – not with any finesse, of course.
The political establishment in Trump’s own country can’t abide him, for the very good reason that he totally lacks the grace, intelligence, and dignity desirable – though in recent decades not always present – in a President of the United States.
So, the POTUS, rather childishly, used this state visit to show the swamp of Washington that at least one other national leader (apart from Kim Jon-un) has respect for him. And clearly, more than respect ... love.
That was the unsubtle message. And Macron was, superficially at least, prepared to reciprocate all those undignified hands-on signs of affection that Trump lavished on him.
Now, I know there were as a background to this state visit quite a lot of opportunities to be seized for geopolitical posing and positioning in what is now, frankly, a very volatile world.
But I don’t think those opportunities will lead to anything – because all intelligent observers will (following initial sniggering) have been disgusted by the tackiness of the displays put on by both men.
The games Trump and Macron played for the TV cameras are not right or fitting for national leaders. In the long term, they will both lose because of their antics.
And while Macron did do well to keep a straight face as the chump that is Trump chuntered on inarticulately during their speeches at the White House on Tuesday, frankly those scenes will not sit comfortably with the French people or the international community.
Trump is clearly a narcissist of the most vulgar variety, and I have long suspected that, for all his waffle about democracy and liberty, Macron is also a narcissist, albeit of a rather subtle variety.
I’m going to end this posting with a link to a very good American satire about Trump, by the New York-based comedian Randy Rainbow. In this, Mr Rainbow (his real name, apparently!) lambasts Trump to great effect.
The piece includes the line, addressed to Trump: “You are a grabby, braggadocious creep-o.” The musical routine takes a while to get started but it is hilarious and performed with an arch campness of a high British rather than American standard. Enjoy, and at the same time, be afraid …