Donald Trump is part of the peculiar breed Herman Melville described in his novel “The Confidence-Man,” in which the main character uses protean personas, flattery and lies to gain the confidence of his fellow passengers to fleece them on a Mississippi River steamboat. “Confidence men,” as Melville understood, are an inevitable product of the amorality of capitalism and the insatiable lust for wealth, power and empire that infects American society.
The term “reality TV” should be a warning that what you’re about to watch is anything but— as nearly anybody, upon sober reflection, would know from having pressed the “record” button on a video camera at a family gathering. People act differently when they know they’re being watched, with some preening or hamming it up while others retreat into tight-lipped, stone-faced silence.
Pwesident Twump wasn’t the first to exploit this character trait, and certainly wasn’t the best at it, but he managed to fool enough people for long enough to win their votes. Well played, sir, and may Gaia helps us all.
Is reality magic, natural, or super natural? Will totalitarian hucksterism overpower cosmic powered biology manifest as human?
We are riding this wave together. It’s a big one. We see a wall before us when we catch it and stand up. It looks impossible. Cosmic powered biology manifest as human perceives the wave, drops into the power, and uses the force to ride a reality wave at life-speed. That’s how it works alone and how it works together.
Thank you Chris Hedges. What a great point of reference. Is diversionary entertainment more interesting than evolution accelerating at an accelerating rate? That’s the wave we ride. Come on safari with me.
Almost half of us boycott elections and don’t vote; Make it wave energy, register as nonpartisan independent ecological socialists and throw a monkey wrench by writing in None of the Above. Cosmic powered biology began surfing at the moment of big bang. Evolution is accelerating at an accelerating rate. Humans can make their own wave via autonomous democracy.
Oh? You’re not a nonpartisan independent ecological socialist?
Will you argue against a balanced budget required for reasons of democracy efficiency having nothing to do with economics?
The punchline here is that the 2017 film ‘The Greatest Showman’ completely & fraudulently rewrote Barnum’s biography as a noble struggle for racial & social equality. Sadly, liberals ate it up, swallowing it whole. This seems astounding to me, because a 20 second google search locates half a dozen articles debunking the film. But none of them bothered.
And this is to me the most chilling fact: liberals have also succumbed to illusion, to magical thinking. Instead of ugly ogres like Trump, they favor good looking, well-spoken frauds, like Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez, and Beto O’Rourke. A more pleasant Kool-Aid I suppose. We’re doomed.
Morris Berman is a good source to read on this theme. His conclusion is that the USA a nation of “hustle artists” and it was a nation in fact built on that. The “founding Fathers” were very much like Trump today. They were hustlers covering up their schemes in flowerly sounding language as they stole everything they could. (The Boston Tea Party was not about higher taxes, the tax on tea was in fact lowered with the act that the peoples dressing up as the natives reacted to. It was about protecting the SMUGGLERS in Boston that were shipping in tea to undercut other sources. After the US revolution US Citizens paid higher taxes then they had under the crown)
The “Historians” that came after them to record the “greatness” of these men were much the same. I recall reading one back and forth debate on George Washington where it was pointed out that the man grew to be the richest in the Colonies through the hustle , using friends in power and his connections to swindle a whole pile of ex-soldiers out of their land. The one guy defending him acknowledged that this was true but that he changed and on becoming President was above reporach if you would. That pretty easy to do once you “The richest man in the Colonies”.
Hedges does not tell most of us nothing we did not already know, his vitriol and excoriation of Trump in my view, is redundant to many, what we need Mr. Hedges, with all due respect, is solutions.
The only period in Murkin history that “hustle artists” were under control was during the 1935-85 timeframe when the New Deal kept corporations under control.
Hedges correctly points out that we don’t have a Trump problem, we have a corporate control of gubmit problem.
As I’ve said before; Trump is America-America is Trump. As a society, we need a reality check in the worst way.
The Fixation on the Spectacle
A small buoyancy of mood based on a distraction unfettered by daily responsibilities is justified during the leisurely time of day.
Even sixty years ago this may have been casual occurrence once a day of the local theatrical bunch drifting into your senses, or the evening at a speak easy. Since then, it has become an experience that repeats with increased frequency. With the advent of radio, television and internet, it has become a fixation and an obsession. For some it has become the only thing. The fixation then becomes the filter for reality, and NOT something that occasionally removes one from mundane and the everyday.
You are unable to think things beyond the filter. The ability to connect aspects that affect you and cause you pain are removed from directly impacting the senses. One speaks with dramatic emphasis about any such impacting events, if one speaks at all. It would be a herculean task just finding another who is willing to listen to such speech. The thought, the speech and the action are defined within the filter, and terminate in that frame.
So instead of looking for ways to alleviate the problems and take meaningful action, our minds bounce of the walls of the confining filter, and dig rabbit holes to hide in.
I have two very close friends who display this pattern. I might be stuck in it is some ways myself.
Predators who prey upon the gullible to make money and are able to amass some degree of comfort are not themselves immune from such fixation filters. Thus we get the likes of Beto and Alexandria.
If it satisfies your senses and exhilarates to a dopamine hit enough you will repeat the action as often as possible.
That is no different from the days of Barnum than it is today.
That is my particular beef with Hedges as well.
And, of course, like Beto, Alexandra, Sanders, Tlaib and the others, the biggest fraudulent liberal PT Barnumesque huckster of all was that showman JFK and his “New Frontier” scam, right?
Sorry Yunzer, but no - it is not the same thing.
A politician is there to massage every muscle of your brain - He or she is there for the greater good.
Some of their greater good is greater than some of the other’s greater good.
If you want to salt their faults, go ahead.
What a load of crap. The film received 1 out of 5 stars by critics I trust, pretty much. I wouldn’t walk across the street to see it if I was paid.
And, politicians at some point reveal themselves, to a great extent, by their voting record.
" Talk is cheap " could of been about the Clintons, Biden and …well, the list grows longer by the month, really. The coming pressure of catastrophic collapse will certainly separate the wheat from the chaff.
Sweet land of libertines
Of thee I sting
One desire Chris Hedges and I seem to have in common: to take the face of the con-loving American public and press it against reality even though, because of how averse most of them are to truth, that face is steamed and singed as that con-drunk public SCREAMS with agony at feeling the truth!
Interesting. I have also read research on why we have the interstate commerce clause in the Constitution. George was a land speculator and was the largest land owner in the colonies at the time of the revolution. Unfortunately for him, George owned major properties in several different colonies with different rules and regulations relative to the transportation of commerce. George didn’t want to pay for the transportation canals that he needed to get his goods from his lands in one colony to another, or the various tolls that would have to be paid to the various States. So as the constitution was being written behind locked, closed, and guarded doors to keep the public at bay from the negotiations, George insisted on the interstate commerce clause. The end result was the the government built and paid for the interconnected canals for George, and he could freely transport his goods with no state fees. Nothing has changed to this day. The elite robber barons still rule this country.