Bright Shiny Things
So many absurdities. White House officials making up massacres and hawking costume jewelry out of the West Wing. Picking fights with Australia, a department store and Sweden – who picks a fight with Sweden? The gilded life style and the silly necktie. And then there are the really scary events. A national security situation playing out at a dinner party. The director of the National Security Council lying about meeting with Russian officials to people inside the White House. The rescinding of an administrative order that protects very vulnerable young people – right? because transgender kids don’t have enough to deal with – let’s make going to the bathroom at school a hassle again. The report of the White House plan to mobilize the National Guard troops to deport the undocumented. Was that real news, or fake?
Be Real – Shatter the Spectacle
In a Spectacle Society, the Marxist theorist Guy Debord wrote in the 1960s, authentic social life is replaced it’s representation. So,
“Whether we love Trump or hate him, is it possible we are all equally addicted consumers of spectacular images he continues to generate? Have we been complicit in the rise of Trump, if only by consuming the images generated by his person and politics? Do the critical counter-images that protesters create constitute true resistance, or are they instead collaborating with our fascination with spectacle? We may insist that this consumption is the basic work of concerned citizenship and moral vigilance. But Debord would counter that such consumption reflects little more than a deepening addiction. We may follow the fact checkers and cite the critics to our hearts’ delight, but these activities, absorbed by the spectacle, have no impact on it.”
–Robert Zaretsky, New York Times, 2/20/17
So be real. Read real news. Learn real things. Work with real people to make real and lasting change. Turn away from the Spectacle, go local with politics and organizing. Because we are snowflakes and a lot of us moving in the same direction makes an avalanche.
Maybe Mr Peabody could brief the president?
My theory, DJT is in debt to members of the Russian plutocrats, BIG LEAGUE. Members of his campaign staff discussed sanctions with Russian officials? Follow the money.
…also happens to be a dining room. Maybe it’s me, but doesn’t its seem a bit odd to remain at dinner while dealing with a crisis? The phone call comes – Aunt Elizabeth has died; there’s been an accident; North Korea launches a missile…and the guy taking the call stays seated at the dinner table? Who does that? Like, “Yeah, I’m listening, I just don’t want my soup to get cold…” #WhataShitStorm.
How has this slipped under our radar? Yet an other piece of evidence that Donald J Trump is, well…different. Back in December, Esquire reported that the man who is our President holds his tie together with tape – like – Scotch tape!
Look! Right here –
A Closer Look…
His tie hangs like a big, red arrow, pointing at his little bits. He can’t even dress like the 99% of the nation’s grownups.
…when professional wrestling is so lucrative? Let us welcome the new head of the Small Business Administration.
The sound of Trump Trump Trump
Reminds me of the tramp tramp tramp
Of their boots boots boots
For Us to Progress?
Think about this…Donald Trump bankrupted his casinos four times. How is it possible to lose money when you own a casino? People literally leave money on your tables to be raked in. Successful businessman? Well, he played one on TV…
Yup. Okay. Trying to get head around the idea of a Trump presidency, coupled with the House and Senate controlled by the Republican party, and a Supreme Court vacancy, and trying not to give into panic. Living in the bluest part (the People’s Republic of Camberville) of the bluest state (the Commonweatlh of Massachusetts) it occurs to me that my immediate family and I, will be okay. And my immediate community will be, more or less, okay too. At all levels of government – municipal, state and federal, my elected officials [with the exception of the president-elect] are Democrats, and progressive Democrats at that. We’re a sanctuary city and have long history of welcoming immigrants. We’re also economically well off. The cornerstones of our regional economy – higher education, medicine and financial services – are evergreen.
We have been here before. Our deep divisions, the feeling of fear and the overall sense of mistrust brings to mind the civil rights and anti-war era of the 1960s and 70s. Fire hoses. Dogs. Riot gear. Yup. We’ve seen it before. And we’ve seen the elements that come together in Trumpism before too – Joseph McCarthy. Wounded Knee. Dread Scott. Manzanar. Take your pick. The struggle has been real, and the struggle is far from over.
Of course, I could be wrong. Perhaps the Trump administration will bring great and necessary changes to the governance of our beloved country. Our success is tied to his success. However, with re-treads like Chirsty, Gingrich and Giuliani returning to power, my money is on more of the same, only worse.
The world can be a dangerous place. We all know that. We expect our government to keep us safe in an increasingly complex and interconnected world. Government is made up of hardworking, dedicated people – while there are many extraordinary people, both elected and unelected who work in government, to the best of my knowledge, no one in government has any super powers. No one can leap tall buildings in a single bound, stop a speeding bullet with their bare hand or run faster than a train. You work hard, you try your best, but at the end of the day, you are human. Resources are limited. Timing is everything. You work with what you have.
By owning what happened in Benghazi with strong, formal language (“on my watch” “as Secretary of State”), then pivoting to the loss of a colleague Chris Stevens and the other men who died that night, evoke the fog of war.
Put it this way, who would you rather have in charge of the Situation Room?