On Saturday the 21st of January, Sean Spicer (newly appointed White House Press Secretary) gave his first speech since President Donald Trump’s inauguration. He used this opportunity to criticise ‘deliberately false’ media coverage, alleging (in contradiction to all the available evidence) that ‘This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period’. This prompted White House counselor Kellyanne Conway to clarify that Sean Spicer was dealing with ‘alternative facts’. In the days following this event, Spicer’s comments concerning French electronic duo Daft Punk resurfaced, adding further embarrassment to his tragic commencement of politics under the reign of Trump.
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During the 2014 Grammy Awards, Spicer tweeted that he was witnessing 10 seconds in the spotlight for ‘Daft Funk’, which he followed with the eloquent comment ‘u r blowing it’.
After a re-tweet highlighting the previous achievements of Daft Punk, Spicer clarified that he ‘Was an early and still fan but come on helmets? tey need to grow up’. (I have pictures of both these tweets which I could send you to insert after each of these paragraphs if you need them)
It seems clear that while a grasp of basic written communication skills may be important for most entry-level positions, this is not the case if you are applying for a job as a senior White House official under a Trump presidency.
Daft Punk have worn their signature helmets since the 90’s and the head gear is both an interesting artistic statement and the touch of a true mastery of spectacle and performance. In an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine Thomas Bangalter (member of Daft Punk) likened their style to that of ‘Warhol, mixing mass production and art’, he also expressed his gratitude towards the anonymity that the helmets offer. Maybe, Spicer’s tweet was intended as clever artistic commentary pertaining to the government’s role in protecting the anonymity of the individual in a surveillance state – I guess we’ll never know.
It is important to note that in this particular year at the Grammys Daft Punk received awards for both Record of the Year and Album of the Year. The last artist to win both of these titles was Adele in 2012. They accepted their awards in their helmets while singer Pharrell did a speech on their behalf. They later returned to the stage with Pharrell and Stevie Wonder to perform their hit ‘Get Lucky’.