Unusually Seasoned Group Of Rockettes Agree To Perform At Trump Inaugural

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Michael J. Matheron, January 18, 2017

“I wouldn’t feel comfortable standing near a man like that in our costumes.”
Dissenting Rockette referring to Donald Trump

Trump inaugural - Soprano section, Norman Tabernacle Choir, est. 14 October 1066

Trump inaugural – Soprano section, Norman Tabernacle Choir, est. 14 October 1066

Michael J. Matheron, January 18, 2017

“I wouldn’t feel comfortable standing near a man like that in our costumes.”
Dissenting Rockette referring to Donald Trump

Last month we wrote, “from the start, the Trump Transition Team Inauguration Celebrity Division had its troubles.” We went on to describe the massive faux pax sparked by an intern-in-training assigned to President-Elect Trump’s Transition Agency, i.e. rather than booking the iconic Mormon Tabernacle Choir for inauguration day, pushing inept and inapt to their limits the poor lad booked the Norman Tabernacle Choir (NTC, at left). The 1,066 member assemblage represents the direct descendants of the group founded on October 14, 1066, during a lunch break interruption of the Battle of Hastings. In finality, a stout lunch found these Frenchified Normans victorious over a melange of semi-alt-right Germanic mash-ups and some very naughty Britons.

Since signing their Trump inauguration contract, however, we learned the NTC, jointly and severally, is unable to sing a musical note recognizable as human, and despite the promised appearance of Mr. Toby Keith, a Trump-style high self-worth man with a calming Perry Como style voice, on the whole, inaugural events could be outdone by one’s neighborhood garage band.

Now we hear that in the midst of these setbacks, inaugural celebrity act controversies have managed to push the concept of “things getting worse” to the wall, and moments ago, the Trump Transition Talent Procurer Director James L. Dolan delighted us irreverent journalists with his assurance:

DOLAN:“All controversies settled, we now assure the nation that the internationally famous Rockettes will perform at the inaugural but without the normal entertainment cadre 40 dancers out of their stable of 93. The number will be somewhat reduced by a few.”

Not exactly unexpected. We knew that Rockette “line workers” were, let’s say, “ungrateful” for the invite to Trump’s big day. Here’s an anonymous Rockette’s take on Donald Trump: She told a MarieClaire.com interviewer “she felt she was being forced to perform for this monster.” One of her colleagues emailed others, “I wouldn’t feel comfortable standing near a man like that in our costumes.” (Coincidentally, earlier today during my reporting of the Anti-Trump Inaugural Exorcism at the Sisters of Nearly Inexhaustible Mercy convent in Washington, D.C., I’d heard this evaluation of Mr. Trump, verbatim, from a biblically ancient, four-foot-ten utterly angelic, yet frighteningly Trump-hostile nun wearing a “Nasty Nun!” button of extraordinary proportions.)

Sister Mary Mother of Reasonable Virtue was herself a Rockette prior to a faith-awakening contract dispute with Madison Square Garden

In unison, we press types asked, “How reduced?” He Trumpsplained it:

DOLAN: “Reduced? Well people disagree about the word ‘reduced.’ The world contains hundreds of different languages, with a bunch of words for “reduced.” Instead of entering into semantic and semiotic debates about it, we want to focus on President-Elect Trump’s upcoming achievements, like revising health care for Americans so that they have none. Now, that’s a ‘reduction,’ isn’t it? And that’s a good “reduction. Who here would disagree?”

We journalists disagreed. Many of us have to borrow aspirin from our relatives. The Trump spokesman’s analogy, however, calmed many corporate network reporters, especially Chris Matthews, Andrea Mitchell, and David Brooks who let us know their health care was self-funded. (Of the three we believed Brooks the least.)

Unsatisfied with his answer, many of us big-time reporters, You Tubers, bloggers, and mathematics reporters remained mired in Rockettes arithmetic, in particular, the relative appearance or non-appearance of how many acrobatic dancers at Trump’s inaugural. Stoutly, we repeated our question to this poor Dolan fellow, a loudly heralded . . . “Huh?”

DOLAN: “Look,, here’s the deal. A few Rockettes have used Canada’s emergency political asylum immigration plan to resettle in Toronto. And a few have accepted an invitation from Chinese President Xi Jinping to perform for the next three weeks in Beijing, Shanghai, and other enemy cities.”

Of course, reporters know that once in a decade we may argue about the precise number included in “a few.” The usual consensus is three. Baffled by Dolan’s shilly-shallying about a third-grade level query we continued to try to clarify what, in Rockette terms, ”few,” might actually mean to Dolan. Is it a car load, a minivan load, a cargo container load, or a busload? We’re not talking quantum physics or southern U.S. history here. Note that a full force 93 dancers comprise the Rockettes; only 13 hold full-time, year-round contracts, the other 80 are seasonally contracted, and not required to work outside of their contract periods.

Of course, reporters know the precise nature and quantity of “a few” is arguable. Recall we were assured that George W. Bush’s tax cuts would decrease the deficit, or at most, temporarily cause a few subatomic points of increase. “Few,” it turns out has little more than propaganda meanings in many cases, as, apparently, even with the non national security Rockettes. So, true to our craft and admittedly because Trump goon squads had not yet been sighted, we continued to yearn for an actual number in Rockette terms to replace Dolan’s ”a few,”

Thereby, the query “Is a few 50? Is it 3? Is it 103?” Our host demonstrated a true talent, – unteachable – a talent that shapes the Trump gene pool.

DOLAN: “I can answer your second factual question last,but not before I answer your final question, and certainly without any guarantee that I am providing a truly accurate fact or two. I can only answer by posing three questions to you, in random order, but I’m lying about that. Anyhow, what is “lying”anymore? Eh? At any rate, what I do say, should I say anything at all, I may immediately retract. I may even retract during my reply itself. Later, I may disavow being present at this conference. Video and audio tapes can be faked. About your fifth question, why pick “50”? or”3?” or “103”What is it about these self-styled numbers that excites you . . . strikes me as voyeuristic.”

Once physically shaken back into consciousness by a stout colleague, I didn’t know how my journalistic buddies were taking this seemingly roundabout response to a four word question, although clues abounded – many were weeping, some were taking selfies, and some were eating their notebooks. But I did know about me, and I wasn’t taking it well. I’d had it! As readers know, “brazen” does not characterize my reportorial persona, but fer Christ’s sake!

I launched at military speed: : “Look you babbling cretin, how many Rockettes will perform at the inaugural festivities as an entire group on a stage, a podium, a roof, a garage, a kitchen table . . . whatever? How many? Answer with one word that represents a rational number from zero to the number of the entire Rockette contingent of 103, including full- and part-timers? How many Rockettes will perform at the inauguration?”

DOLAN (understandably exhausted replied, head turned toward the exit sign:  None. Zero. Nada.”

That’s three words, but completely acceptable given the Trump World fun house spirit of Trump press conferences. In fact, “None. Zero. Nada.” is precisely what we press guys expected to hear when we dashed out of the starting gate thirty-three minutes ago.

Surprisingly, though, the Trump Transition Talent Procurer Director James L. Dolan brightened. Confidence regained after reading a fact sheet thrown at him by Kellyanne Conway he marched on: 

DOLAN: “Listen, you swamp rats, I’ve been running the Rockettes game for twenty years. Through the years we owners have faced many stumbling blocks, what with injuries to stars, leg transplants, granting leave for funerals, other work avoidance ploys, and such as. So, we were prepared for this stumbling block.

Long ago we formed a “Rockettes Reserve,” a group of stalwart dancers who are always on call for these recurring emergencies despite their own family or otherwise needs. These women previously served for many years as fully-fledged Rockettes. So they know the routines well. They practice whenever they can get doctors’ approval from our staff docs and lawyers.

I’m pleased to announce that just like the National guard types who’ll drop everything to go take a shot at something that needs shooting at, the “Rockettes Reserves,” are on the New Jersey Turnpike motoring to D.C. for inauguration festivities, We call ’em all troopers!

That’s the “Rockettes Reserves.” Troopers. Will they wow the crowd? You bet. Will each of them survive their two-hour long, high-paced wiggles and leg lifts? No guarantees, nonetheless, we hope so, and our hearts and minds will be awaiting to see what happens. But mark me this: No one will ever forget where they were and what they were doing when the “Rockette Reserves” got in a perfectly straight line and tapped and spun and wiggled for their new President just two days from now.

Here’s a shot of them practicing for the seventh consecutive hour during a layover at the Vince Lombardi Rest Stop at the entrance to the New Jersey Turnpike, so quit the bellyaching!

Look, America, you can’t always get what you want . . . or what you need. Get used to it.


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Michael Matheron

From Presidents Ronald Reagan through George W. Bush, I was a senior legislative research and policy staff of the nonpartisan Library of Congress Congressional Research Service (CRS). I'm partisan here, an "aggressive progressive." I'm a contributor to The Fold and Nation of Change. Welcome to They Will Say ANYTHING! Come back often! . . . . . Michael Matheron, contact me at mjmmoose@gmail.com

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