By now you've all seen the embarrassing videos from the G-7. The first features an obviously mentally lost Zhou having to be, um, fetched by his keeper Jill. The other shows a slow Zhou bringing up the rear of the fatuous G-7 participants, shuffling along. (By the way, did anyone else notice the pixie looking outfit Justin has on?) Monica Showalter discusses them in a brief post and captures most of it:
The first video shows him wandering into a cafeteria for the public instead of the special accommodations reserved for the G-7 leaders. Notice that the crowd guffaws as someone throws out a flip question, which he has to ask her to repeat. When he gives a dullard's answer, the laughter roars harder. It's an obvious mockery of a lost old fool looking for the buffet table at the senior citizens' home, or maybe the right bingo hall on a Thursday. Nobody applauds Biden's entry as if he were there to see him, nor do they indicate terror and awe or basic respect for the leader of the free world. Nope, for them, he was "just trying to get some ranch." Or perhaps they were when he obviously wandered in, not knowing what day it was or where he was at. After futzing about looking as lost as he probably is, caretaker Jill Biden strides in and leads doddering forgetful old grandpa, who couldn't read his brief about where the lunchroom was, away, taking him by the hand.
I'd been wondering how Zhou got to be where he wound up. The explanation that he went to the wrong cafeteria makes perfect sense in context. Anyone who has experience with people who are slipping into dementia knows that they tend to fixate, especially, on their meal times. Most likely while the other participants briefly milled about before lunch, chatting, Zhou was totally focused on getting to the trough--all he could think of was that it was feeding time. Keeper Jill probably momentarily lost track of Zhou while chatting up Justin in his bizarre, adolescent looking outfit, then had to rush off in search of her charge.
One thing to notice. Showalter states that the people in the cafeteria guffaw the second time at his "dullard's answer" to the "flip question" directed to Zhou by a diner who pretty obviously realized that Zhou was lost. Actually, that second guffaw--and it was a real guffaw--came when Keeper Jill rushed in with both hands outstretched to retrieve Zhou. The guffaw began when she addressed Zhou with a brisk "C'mon!"--as if she were speaking to a child--grasped his hand in both of hers, and led him away.
With regard to the second video, the photo op with the Queen, Zhou's shuffling gait was on display--he seems little more mobile than the much older Elizabeth. What struck me about Zhou as he trailed away at the rear of the group--one of the others appearing to stay with him lest he be lost again--was the way his arms hung limply at his side, rather than swinging a bit. Taken together with the shuffling gait, the impression can only be described as doddering.
And so on to confront Putin. Not gonna back down. Always providing that he remembers where he is and with whom he's speaking. Pathetic.