MADness and Melania

As I’ve mentioned before, Island of the Mad, though originally intended as an escape from the events of 2017, has become all too relevant to daily life.

Take the recent fashion choice of our First Lady as she set out to comfort a group of underage political prisoners:

As various writers have pointed out (here and here, and here, although for some reason that one takes a while to come up) the phrase I don’t care is a loaded one, uncomfortably close to the equivalent of wearing a swastika. (Which, by the way, that same clothing company also produced [claiming in indignation that no, this was the Hindu suastika] —perhaps to go along with their holocaust-uniform shirt [But that’s a sheriff’s star!]

In Italian, Me ne frego was a slogan of Mussolini’s Fascisti, and although it’s usually translated “I don’t care” or “I don’t give a damn”, it’s considerably ruder than the English words would suggest. (Fregare means to rub: gesture optional.)

To have a First Lady proclaiming that she really doesn’t give a fuck is…startling.  Still, it’s hard to believe that this particular First Lady, fluent in Italian, born in a town that felt Mussolini’s power during WWI, and above all a woman who wore clothes for a living, would be unaware of this garment’s overtones.

The only answer is that there is a force of Resistance within the White House.  At which point one has to wonder if Mary Russell has been in touch with #freemelania, and given the younger woman a few tips on subversive behavior.

Island of the Mad.

Putting the FUN back in fundamental decency, since 2018.


  1. Libby Dodd on June 26, 2018 at 10:25 am

    You are awesome!

    • Amy Kotthaus on June 26, 2018 at 6:04 pm

      Isn’t she? I cried after reading Island of the Mad, because it was just so relevant to what is going on and, frankly, scary. I appreciate it when authors bring attention to these things.

  2. Merrily Taylor on June 26, 2018 at 10:32 am

    I hope it’s that, and not a complete indifference to what’s going on on our borders!

  3. katharine Donahue on June 26, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    I assume you meant WWII, not WWI…?

  4. Jack McKinney on June 26, 2018 at 11:28 pm

    And I should add that I use the word ‘movement’ in the loosest possible terms.

  5. Barbara Kline on July 2, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    Dear Mrs. King,

    Island of the Mad was so bang on relevant to what is happening today in our country that the novel was just flat out spooky. You rock, Mrs. King.

  6. susan on July 26, 2018 at 10:15 am

    i know you dislike Trump. luckily we live in the US and can speak our minds. and when one disagrees with Trump, at least no one will call you racist. however, i think you need to look into the back story about the jacket. i was shocked too and thought how awful she and her husband must be. but the reason for the jacket was to thumb her nose at the press. i am with her on that. the media stinks. it doesn’t matter what “side” (why are there “sides” exactly?) you are on.
    now that i have expressed my opinion…well. enough.

  7. Barbara on August 8, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    First of all, I adore Laurie King! Secondly, I really don’t care what Melania was thumbing her nose at with her jacket, she is the First Lady for heaven’s sake. Notice “lady” is part of her description! I don’t expect her to be dressed to the “nines” every time we see her, however I do think back of other “First Ladies” and believe there is still some expectation that they dress appropriately for the occasion. I am sure that “my age” is showing in this comment, but please lets not forsake all of our dignity!!!

    • Minnie on August 16, 2018 at 11:58 am

      You must have really been upset at Michelle Obama. She never met a sleeve she would ever wear, and half the time she looked like she was going to a garage sale. Melania Trump wore the jacket ONTO THE PLANE and changed clothes for her actual official visit at the landing site.

      Folks need to get over that election and grow up.

      • Laurie King on August 16, 2018 at 12:21 pm

        Well, if I had arms like Michelle Obama’s, I’d probably go sleeveless too. As for The Jacket, my point was mostly curiosity about our current First Lady’s motivations, since no one in her position could possibly think that a garment like that would go unnoticed.

Leave a Comment