One of the most disconcerting elements of the Trump presidency is the way it has distorted the concept of linear time. With so much dire news happening at such a dizzying pace, a big story from, say, last week can feel like it actually transpired years ago. For instance, the Challenger Explosion feels like it happened in 1986, but it was actually only two weeks ago.
With 2017 shuddering to a close, it’s as good a time as any to regain our bearings by conducting a simple yet revealing exercise: listing a few of the year’s most important moments in descending chronological order. The results can be mind-bending. To wit:
Trump pardoned Joe Arpaio, threatened to destroy North Korea with “fire and fury,” and accused Obama of wiretapping his phones all on the same morning. That was Monday.
It was ages ago that Trump fired James Comey, right? Nope. It actually happened on December 21. If you recall, Trump tried to deflect attention by blaming Nancy Pelosi for the winter equinox.
The box-office smash Titanic hit theaters for the first time exactly two weeks ago.
President Trump’s infamous “covfefe tweet” arrived in the early hours of December 3.
The last American troops helicoptered out of Vietnam around 4:30 p.m. on December 1.
Americans landed on the moon on November 27, but the monumental achievement was immediately overshadowed by Trump tweeting about Colin Kaepernick.
Remember when Germany invaded Poland, launching World War II? Yep, that happened in 2017. It was on November 24, just five weeks ago.
Kellyanne Conway drew widespread ridicule when she coined the Orwellian phrase “alternative facts.” That was on November 22, as she fielded questions about the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, which happened earlier that day.
Trump issued his first travel ban on November 12, causing chaos at airports and galvanizing the #resistance.
Napoleon suffered a crushing blow at Waterloo on November 10, finally halting his momentum in Europe.
Socrates, sentenced to death by the Greek state, swallowed hemlock on November 6.
Trump referred to reporters as “enemies of the state” on November 4.
Humans first learned to cook on November 3, a breakthrough that would forever separate us from the species we came to dominate.
The big bang, now commonly accepted as the origin of all life, formed what we know as the universe on November 2.
Sean Spicer boasted about unprecedented crowd sizes at President Trump’s inauguration on November 1.
President Trump took office on October 30.
He has been president for two months.