In the wake of President Donald Trump threatening nuclear war with North Korea, a lot of people are speculating that Trump’s comments were inspired by the words of President Harry Truman after dropping nuclear bombs on Japan during World War II. Truman commanded the Japanese to surrender, or face “a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this Earth,” which sounds admittedly similar to Trump’s promise that North Korea will face “fire and fury like the world has never seen,” if they continue with their nuclear tests.
But some have posed another theory. Particularly, Politico seems to have posed it, as helpfully retweeted by Keith Olbermann:
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) August 10, 2017
It’s true. Steve Bannon‘s career has been a tour-de-force of the world’s sleaziest jobs. White House advisor and Trump campaign CEO. Breitbart founder. World of Warcraft gold dealer. Investment banker. When Trump finally fires him, he’ll probably end up writing for Bleeding Cool.
Bannon was more than happy to employ low wage Chinese workers to farm gold in an MMORPG and sell it to players, and he had no qualms about mobilizing gamers to help get Donald Trump elected. He once said of gamers, “These guys, these rootless white males, had monster power.” But Bannon almost certainly thinks actually playing video games is for cucks. There’s no way he’s going to talk to Trump about an obscure garrison mission in World of Warcraft, accidentally inspiring Trump’s “fire and fury” quote.
So what, then, could have been the true inspiration?
When we first heard the quote, we though immediately of this famous headline from The Daily Mirror:
The filth and the fury that headline was referring to was the Sex Pistols‘ 1976 appearance on British TV show Today, where guitarist Steve Jones and presenter Bill Grundy had a profanity-laden exchange that would have made The Mooch proud after Grundy made a proposal to “meet” Siouxsie Sioux after the show.
“You dirty sod. You dirty old man,” said Jones, who has already dropped an f-bomb earlier in the interview.
“Well keep going, chief, keep going,” Grundy prodded him. “Go on. You’ve got another five seconds. Say something outrageous.”
“You dirty bastard,” Jones offered.
“Go on, again.”
“You dirty fucker.”
“What a clever boy.”
“What a fucking rotter.”
Who knew that Steve Jones was qualified to be White House communications director?
Of course, the headline itself was inspired by the title of William Faulkner‘s 1929 novel The Sound and the Fury. Which means that it was The Bard himself, William Shakespeare, who truly influenced Trump. Faulkner’s title was inspired by a line from Macbeth:
“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
An idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing? Who does that remind you of?