These impossibly cheerful essays on the routine horrors of the present era explain everything from the resurgence of measles to the fiasco of the presidency.
In Nothing Is Wrong and Here Is Why, acclaimed Washington Post satirist Alexandra Petri offers perfectly logical, reassuring reasons for everything that has happened in recent American politics that will in no way unsettle your worldview.
In essays both new and adapted from her viral Washington Post columns, Petri reports that the Trump administration is as competent as it is uncorrupted, white supremacy has never been less rampant, and men have been silenced for too long. The “woman card” is a powerful card to play! Q-Anon makes perfect sense! This Panglossian venture into our swampy present offers a virtuosic first draft of history—a parody as surreal and deranged as the Trump administration itself.
“One of the difficulties of being alive today,” she notes, “is that everything is absurd but fewer and fewer things are funny.” Written with devastating wit that reveals a persistent, perhaps manic optimism about her benighted country, Petri’s essays have become iconic expressions of rage and anger, read and liked and shared by hundreds of thousands of people. Nothing Is Wrong and Here Is Why shows why she has emerged as the preeminent political satirist of her generation.
Washington Post columnist Petri (A Field Guide to Awkward Silences) takes on the Trump presidency and related issues with this superb and stinging collection of new and previously published pieces. She skewers triumphal accounts of Trump's inauguration (sarcastically writing that "Bono, and Bruce Springsteen, and Elton John, and the Rolling Stones, and Beyonc , and all the top artists were there"), mocks conspiracy theories by recasting the "deep state" as a regional college ("Does Deep State have a football team? No, but it controls the outcomes of all football games"), and analyzes the Mueller Report with a pitch-perfect parody of a middle-school book report ("One way in which this book did not succeed was its lack of female characters"). Also included is Petri's Post column "Trump's Budget Makes Perfect Sense and Will Fix America, and I Will Tell You Why," which the White House, mistaking it for sincere praise, publicized in its "1600 Daily" e-newsletter in 2017. But the best essays are those in which she is dead serious, including 2018 pieces on families separated at the Mexican border and Christine Blasey Ford's decision to reveal her past with now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Acidic and spot-on, Petri's work captures the surreal quality of Trump's tenure as perhaps no other book has.