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Trompf from Here on Out (9)

July 28, 2019

8-27-19 Nothing to see here, folks.  Keep moving.  On or about July 29, in an epiphanic moment, the author’s obsession with Trompf suddenly fell away.  So I followed his wishes, et voilà the narrative, as well as the narrator (moi), brightened up and became constructive. Since then, I’ve checked the political nouvelles each day, but frankly I’ve become bored with T’s pitiful antics.  It isn’t veritable chaos anymore.  It’s more like the amateur culinary disruptions of a senile uncle at the Thanksgiving gathering.  You’ve learned to ignore him, but you have to glance his way de temps en temps, because at any temps he might burn the house down.

I’m ready to get down to some meaningful work, like saving the planet.  So this did catch my eye today:  at the moment when predatory Brazilian capitalists (incl a T/McConnell donor) and politicians have set the planet’s lungs on fire, in order to profit from soy and beef trade, Herr Trompf announces that he has instructed his Ag lackey to allow an increase of logging of the planet’s largest intact temperate zone rain forest.

8-26 Looks to me as though the toaster has popped, at long last.  (Well I’ve been wrong before, but) political and business people, in the US and abroad, especially Europe, are sidelining Trompf.  They are inventing ways to work around him.  The reason is that, in the face of critical national and world conditions, his recent actions have persuaded everyone, not only that he is crazy (which they can live with, if he serves and does not damage their interests), but that because he is crazy he is impossible to work with, to solve problems, and indeed he makes matters worse.  Illustration:  at a time when the capitalist system can be expected to end a long expansion and shrink into recession, T’s tariff war is endangering the world economy, but his response is erratic and includes calling the Chair of the Fed Reserve an enemy of America, and ordering America’s corporations to withdraw from China.  (1) People who are charged with maintaining a healthy economy and a cooperative world order cannot do so if a major factor, the American presidency, is not clear and steady, and (2) Libertarian fascist CEOs are horrified by the thought of being told by government what they must do.  Other illustrations are nuclear Iran, and climate.  This is Charles Koch’s opportunity to reassert his ownership of the Republican Party.  Indeed Rs such as ex-Cong Walsh and TX Gov Abbott are asserting their ability to be more Trompf than Trompf, and sane besides.

Are Walsh and Jennifer Rubin (WaPo) rolling a snowball at the top of a hill and hoping to start a landslide of R public honesty about T’s state of mind? I admit it’s difficult for professional people to know what language to use when there is no medical diagnosis. Josh Dawsey, in the same newspaper, takes the opposite approach, offering an epic catalog of T’s remarks during “68 Minutes in Biarritz,” under the term, “unconventional mind.” Reader, draw your own conclusion. That was at the meeting of the G-6-and-a-fraction. Btw Melania also is remarkably insightful, having gotten to know Kim Jong Un without coming near him. And have you heard the one about nuking hurricanes.

8-17 Trompf could tear a baby from its mother’s breast, in the middle of Fifth Ave., and not lose supporters. Maybe gain some (here’s a report on that rally). But in a tight moral situation, Republicans quickly excuse themselves by blaming the victim, as in: Illegal Mom Risks Starving a New U S Citizen, or Shameless Baby Risks Starvation in America by Having Immigrant Mother. If the Republicans do not remove T from office, the only reasonable inference will be that they are the Party of Death Worship, and its politicians are driven by a death wish. If we believe that this is not “normal” in a democracy, we must not conduct the nation’s business as usual.

8-15 WaPo: Trompf looking at buying Greenland. Well, it can’t hurt to make an offer. “Trompf’s Folly”? Could be big. Seriously, you can make this shit up; but with a crazy person in the all-White House you don’t have to. Just sit back and laugh. Except that he’s so pathetic and dangerous (and you know, he’s getting worse). Some fine journalism by Damian Paletta though. The entire article is beautifully tongue-in-cheek in the American frontier deadpan style, using a double point of view of sincere “top aides” and naive objective reporter.

8-12 I say again, Herr Trompf will not be the R nominee (even if he has not been impeached).  A year from now, at their nominating convention, the Rs will be the same American Fascist (AS) Party that they were before T swept them off their Guccis; but they will also be the same by-any-means-necessary, whatever-it-takes-to-win party, whose owners, managers, and operators will know that with T they will be Losers.  He will have pared his voter support to white supremacists and other desperate racists, fundamentalist Christian supremacists (much overlap), and the obesely rich (the Koch bros for example).  That is, at most, the 40% of the electorate that gets buried by the landslide.  They will lose the presidency anyway.  Their move will be to cut their losses down-ticket.  The Great Replacement will be their replacement of Trompf. (On the other hand, maybe this.)

8-11 This is Just Crazy: Life provides the plot with an elaborate illustration of the unhealthy, fantasizing and fantastical, pervasively destructive, “sick imagination.”  Will it provide an equally enlightening illustration of healthy imagination?  Soul will show us its paths, its motions, its pathologies negative and positive, as we participate with our imagining and our images.  In our extremities, archetypes will out.  Democracy will live or die.  A healthy imagination is reality-based—insistently, in yo face if you deny reality.  This is true of both the fictive imagination and the factual imagination.  In politics, almost as much as in art.

But Trompf and his sukkups and the oligarchs are the image of Great Depravity (to coin a phrase). The nihilly-nully of the supremely ignorant.  Soul plunges dark into the depths of its negative pathologies.  It shudders, and we feel the earth quaking.

8-9 The name of this game is “loser take all.”  The first to sit down was the last one standing (when she got back on her feet).  The Tower of Power is cracking, acting more and more crazy, as he becomes more and more desperate to dominate, but less and less able to do so. Life is closing in on him, in the form of the crude realities of his physical and mental decline, pressures (incl impeachment) exerted by his political adversaries, and revelations of his corruption.  His ignorance and incompetence are clearly on display.  His administration is a wreck. His policies are self-defeating. His agents are attacking children.  His responses are increasingly narcissistic, inappropriate, grotesque, and fascistic.  His lackeys are ineffectual or damaged beyond the pale.  Ordinary voters are speaking out against him. More people are laughing at him. He has gone from clown to life of the party to laughing stock. The evil that he encourages is showing a life of its own, beyond his control. Mad dog gunmen are slaughtering the innocent in his name.  The citizenry can no longer tolerate the violence.  The chaos in which Trompf thrives is being brought to heel, but he is raving mad.

Meanwhile 20 or so Dem candidates for his position are showing the country what it is like to be a responsible leader: compassionate, reasonable, just, and constructive.

So things are going to get worse with desperation and then better. We just don’t know how desperate, bad, or good.

7-28-19 Herr (Vlad) (the emotional impaler-impaled) Trompf, MF, is all about trolling now {*}.  He will be more and more outrageously provocative, by going farther and farther into cruelty, thereby grabbing the center of attention, drawing attention away from anything that might damage him, and giving his sick supporters the ego-gratifying daily fix of believing that they are triumphantly “owning” the “libtards.”  T and his sickies must dominate, because they have to believe that they are superior, they rule, they deserve to rule, they can do whatever they want, they are invulnerable. So The American Pr*sident will viciously and relentlessly attack his fellow citizens, including political opponents who have been elected by the people to represent them in governance; in typical racist/sexist fascion, he will move to strip them of their personhood, humanity, and claim to citizenship.  There is a madness in Trompf’s method. He’s crazy, and he’s good at being crazy. He’ll try to troll his way to re-election.

This Trompfy state terrorism is a killer mentality, that gets its thrills from the spectacle of its life-defying contortions. It’s MO is to assault people and then blame them for bleeding. It must be resisted and politically crushed by our refusal to be cowed. Do not be silent. Do not cooperate. Fight back!

{*} See e.g. Angela Nagle, Kill All Normies: Online culture wars from 4chan and tumbler to trump and the alt-right. The reviews, of course, are polarized, and some are propagandististic and polarizing, so I’ll quote this one by “Blair” (from among those on the site linked) because it rings true to me:

“I was expecting to be interested in this, but I didn’t expect to be so impressedby it. Angela Nagle writes so even-handedly and with such a fair critical eye about recent iterations of disruptive political groupings on both the right and left. On the right is the now-notorious alt-right, divided between the ‘alt-light’, typified by meme-making/gleefully antagonistic trolling/use of 4chan-derived argot, and the more genuinely fascistic tendencies often masked by the headline-grabbing behaviour of alt-light figures such as Milo Yiannopoulos. On the left is what Nagle sometimes refers to as ‘Tumblr-liberalism’, the extremely performative culture of calling-out, victimhood and competitive identity politics that seems driven by (and here I will quote Nagle quoting the late Mark Fisher, as it couldn’t be paraphrased any more perfectly) ‘a priest’s desire to excommunicate and condemn, an academic-pedant’s desire to be the first to be seen to spot a mistake, and a hipster’s desire to be one of the in-crowd’.

Nagle draws a line through history from the ‘culture wars’ of the 1960s to those of today, arguing that the transgressive, countercultural spirit historically embodied by the anti-establishment left has been sublimated much more effectively by the modern right. She also undertakes an in-depth (though concise) review of the many, many factions of what is often sweepingly referred to as the alt-right, from ‘chan culture’ to the alternately pathetic and terrifying ‘manosphere’. Not only is this pretty fascinating in itself, it also brings to light the serious theoretical and academic roots of certain strands of this movement – something often ignored by liberal pundits who concentrate instead on clutching their pearls at the outrageous antics of high-profile figures like Milo and Alex Jones. The idea of a handful of demagogues and professional trolls riling up people who essentially don’t understand politics has been a common theme (deployed with varying levels of sensitivity) in analysis of the Trump and Brexit victories; Nagle’s study shows this to be dangerously reductive.

Kill All Normies  is an accessible but unpatronising study, perfectly balancing academic critique, political commentary and assured, intelligent, non-embarrassing writing about the internet and its unique subcultures. It is so refreshing to read something like this, that comes at the topic from a left-leaning perspective but refuses to toe the line with regards to the frustrating, ever-shifting rules of engagement that now seem to define online discourse. The version I read had some typos and needed a bit of tightening up from an editorial perspective, but it was a review copy. And that is genuinely my only criticism. Somehow Nagle also manages to write a conclusion that tears everyone a new arsehole AND ends on a contemplative note.

I thought I knew quite a bit about this topic already, but I learned so much from this book, particularly about the historical context of these movements. Thoroughly and enthusiastically recommended to anyone with an interest in the current political climate as it manifests in online culture.”

[Pages (8) and (10) of this episode.]

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