The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Elliot: Backdoor news & tariffs ahoy

Donald trump speaks to a room of supporters in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Thursday, July 28, 2016. Trump was joined by Iowa GOP members Joni Ernst, and Terry Branstad. (File Photo/The Daily Iowan)

In the grand whirl of things, we’re lucky to have such items of distraction as sports. No, not curling.

Curling might be a sport (it also might be Northern hokum, which is colder and less folksy than Southern hokum), but it’s Canadian, which is the newest curse word in American English. We as a people need new curse words all the time, because the old ones are old and worn and kind of like ex-girlfriends. Or ex-boyfriends. Or ex-nonbinary gender friends. Or ex ​— well, you get the idea. Which by this time is probably an ex-idea.

In any case, curling is Canadian, our newest backstabbing enemy, and so the Trumpster has slapped a tariff on curling. Not sure whether the tariff applies to curling irons.

Maybe. They might be Canadian, too. In any case, just to be safe, the Trumpster has also slapped a tariff on thinking about curling.

Naturally, as soon as you tell people they can’t think about curling, that’s all they think about. Try it out. Tell someone to not think about pink curling in the room, and all she or he or it (if the only animate being you could find was your dog) can imagine is pink curling. Filling up a room. It’s enough to curl your teeth.

Luckily, we have other sports without any tariffs. Yet. So we can think about, say, the NBA Finals.

Well, think about them quickly, because the Finals were here and gone as quickly as a subatomic particle. That’s the great thing about subatomic particles; they’re gone so quickly while you’re trying to remember their impossible-to-remember names that it doesn’t matter you can’t remember. If only humans were more like that.

In case you missed them, the NBA Finals were entirely predictable, and thus no great loss that they were gone so quick.

LeBron and his 11 YMCA guys named Hank were never going to beat the Golden State Warriors, not in this eon. LeBron and YMCA were never going to even ruffle the Warriors’ feathers, had the Warriors decided to wear feathers. They might as well have worn feathers. They were screaming eagles, and the Cavs plodded like a mule train. Think Death Valley, bauxite mines, and leaky canteens.

Think the Cavs’ defense trying to employ a bauxite and 1.

Think J.R. Smith needing a new app for his smart wristband, an app called Know the Score. Not to steal the title of a public-radio classical music program or anything. Especially because it’s unclear exactly how much having Beethoven or Bach on his team would have helped J.R.

Of course, all the entertainment distractions in the world don’t amount to a hill of apps, as Humphrey Bogart said in Casablanca.

And god knows, these brave new times absolutely require a hill of apps. Someday soon, smartphones will be so heavy with apps that people won’t be able to carry them around anymore. The smartphones will have to sit on the desk at home, trying to remember the days when they were part of the smart set. Kind of like landline phones back in the day, when you could have any phone you wanted so long as it was a landline and ugly. Those were the days when Ma Bell was a convenient villain. And a convenient villain is a nice item to have, because it means you don’t have to think too much about who’s the next backstabber who deserves a good, old-fashioned tariff.

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