Opinion

In Saudi Arabia, Trump Touches Glowing Orb and Unleashes Memes

What is the orb and why is it so strange? The internet has a few suggestions.

Egyptian President al-Sisi, Saudi King Salman, and US President Trump touching the “orb” during the opening of the Global Centre for Combating Extremist Ideology (screenshot by author for Hyperallergic, via Washington Post)

This past week, we followed Cheeto Jesus on this first Presidential trip abroad. Where did he go? Saudi Arabia and Israel, which should tell you all you need to know about a politician who is despised most places — except for these two countries, it appears.

If only to accentuate the ridiculousness of Trump’s desperate PR tour, he posed with two of the region’s leading autocrats at the opening of the new Global Centre for Combating Extremist Ideology: King Salman of Saudi Arabia and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

The resulting image is a perfect example of the bizarre, troll-friendly White House that we’re currently enduring. If the role of the art critic is to write critically about art, using all the tools at their disposal, it is also about understanding the environment within which images circulate and germinate. This image isn’t any different.

The responses, as you’d expect, were as hilarious:

Even the Church of Satan had to make a public statement:

Though to be honest, Saudi Arabia seems like the perfect spot to open a Global Centre for Combatting Extremist Ideology, since that Kingdom does more to export hateful ideologies (including Wahhabism) than any other, so they’re in a position to halt them all. Sadly, we know they won’t (unless doing so will somehow benefit them and hurt Iran).

Possibly related: A sinkhole has opened up near the “Winter White House” (aka Trump’s Mar-o-Lago Resort).

comments (0)