For many people, September 11 is a time for solemn reflection. For former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, it seems, the 18th anniversary of 9/11 is an opportunity to just absolutely wild out online.
In the wee small hours of Wednesday morning, Giuliani tweeted what at first glance seemed to be a piece of straight-up fascist propaganda, but upon closer inspection is even worse.
A cop ready to completely whoop some protester ass? God bless America indeed!
But the video Giuliani absolutely needed to share at 2AM isn’t simply an authoritarian’s wet dream—it’s a commercial. For t-shirts. Horrible, fever swamp t-shirts.
Here’s the full, uncut version, complete with the company logo Giuliani conveniently edited out.
As Grunt Style, the company behind the ad, explained in 2018:
This commercial was intended to be our commercial in the Big Game (you know the one). We weren’t denied or rejected by anyone, it was our own decision to not run it. In the end we just couldn’t take the big money risk.
On its website, Grunt Style promises customers “will always be blown away by our products, our service, and our ability to America!” while selling stuff like a “this is my killing hoodie” sweatshirt and a whole suite of American-flags-made-of-guns-and-bullets-and-skulls apparel.
And in a perverse way, Giuliani’s tweet is the perfect encapsulation of where the Donald Trump’s GOP stands today: marking a national tragedy with an us-versus-them threat of violence that only exists to sell merch.
But lest you think Giuliani was willing to kick back and take it easy now that he’d filled his Riefenstahl quota for the day, think again. After a series of relatively innocuous tweets thanking various followers for mentioning that, yes, he was the mayor of New York on 9/11, Rudy offered this deep meditation on the frailty of the human condition. Also Adam Sandler.
For those of you wondering if you should click through to see what the hell Rudy is talking about, I’ll spare you the agony and tell you: It’s a video of Sandler, dressed as “Opera man,” literally singing Giuliani’s praises during the Concert for New York City benefit event on October 20, 2001.