Whether election day sent you retreating to a nearby cave to play out the five stages of grief or left you befuddled as to why anyone would worry about a Donald Trump-led future, it's safe to say that, after an arduous 2016 election season, every person in America was enveloped by an emotional cloud that shows no signs of dissipating. John Oliver is with you -- but he also wants to make sense of Where We Are Now.
Oliver's HBO series Last Week Tonight usually slices a week's worth of news into two or three strong-lede segments. On this week's episode, the comedic activist spent all 30 minutes wrapping his and his audience's minds around the past, present, and future. He covers the election day results ("It's the kind of thing you never expect to hear, like 'Vanilla Ice is picking up his Nobel Prize in physics'"), the year's wonky media coverage, Facebook's fake news epidemic, Trump's promises for the future ("It sounds like you're reading the to-do list on Satan's refrigerator, which Satan no longer needs, as Hell has frozen over"), the conspiracy theories that fueled (and could continue to fuel) the Trump machine, and what people should watch for, and possibly do, over the next four years.
By the end of the segment, Oliver warns his audience not to normalize the situation. Yes, we can support the country, and in theory we can all support a sitting president, but this election, this president, is unlike any other before. "A Klan-backed misogynist internet troll is going to be delivering the next State of the Union address. And that is not normal -- it's fucked up."
The Trump episode was the last of Oliver's second season, so the host dedicated the final moments to telling off 2016, a troubling year that may be the preface to even more troubling times, if the host's predictions on the president-elect come to light. But Oliver taps into something anyone on any side of the line can agree on: screaming obscenities as loud as you can is a great way to let off some steam.