|And finally they decided to burn Savonarola in the public square instead. Anonymous painting, 1498, via Wikimedia Commons.|
Shorter Thomas L. Friedman, Mystax Vanitatum, "Another Age of Discovery", June 22 2016:
What with the internet, virtual reality, Donald Trump, Facebook, sequencing of the human genome and machines that can reason better than people, our current era seems like a completely new ballgame in human history, but isn't it all kind of familiar? I mean, I'm thinking of that High Renaissance, 1450 to 1550, when they got movable type, the heliocentric model of the planetary system, and a western route to India, stuff that is a lot like the Internet. And then where we have Trump, they had Girolamo Savonarola, who took over Florence from 1495 to 1498 even though he was completely uncool and not even that popular, so it's practically the same thing, and whose relatively short sermons and pamphlets were just like Twitter.Inorite. I'm heading down to Mar-a-Lago with all my Armani suits, the 10,000-bottle wine cellar, and the collection of fancy old erotica to burn it all in the public square. Does Mar-a-Lago have a public square?
I love how Trump has raised himself from monastic obscurity to fame by denouncing the corruption of the clergy, like when he met with the conservative evangelical leaders just yesterday, promising to stuff the courts with anti-abortion judges and give everybody religious freedom to interfere with the freedom of people they disapprove of, and Huckabee thanked him in advance for the way he's going to "lead the nation out of the abyss". And the way he's convincing us all—nobility, rich merchants, prosperous artisans and guild members—that we have to dump all our fabulous Renaissance-style luxuries and clamp down on sodomy, adultery, drunkenness, and immodest dress (though Savonarola did promise to make Florence "more glorious, more powerful and richer than ever, extending its wings farther than anyone can imagine").