TRUMPED!! AGAIN!!

We are living in a new world, folks!  Same as the old, only better, stronger, more bravado, more daring — less giving or forgiving.  It is a world now ‘hoist on its own petard’ in the waning days of triumphant capitalism, and the full-fledged emergence of the SELFIE generation.  And, look at them… they just adore being trumped by Trump!   The ego! the bravado!  How delicious, how seductive, how, well, you know… selfie! Take my own picture?  Make my own television show?  Like, yeah!  And, mind you, Donald’s inflated sense of self matches extremely well with America’s newfound and ill-founded sense of national exceptionalism as well.  So the Selfie generation, and American exceptionalism… meet Donald Trump.  And what a small bomb that is.  George Bush was simply prelude — “you’re either with us or against us.”  Donnie goes much further.. he goes the distance.  Taking the playbook right from Queen he sings “We are the champions of the world!”  And his prescription for our recent doldrums: Make America great again!

The question is: how many times will we go to this dance, play this charade, and beat our chests about freedom and democracy.  Who’s kidding whom?  Was Bush senior an improvement on Ronnie?  Was Clinton and improvement on Bush? Was W an improvement on Clinton? Was the Peace President an improvement on W?  What does improvement mean in any event: higher standard of living; world conquest; better movies; more McDonalds; world peace; environmental security; free healthcare; better drugs.  ‘Splain it to me please.  Make the entire world look like America or perhaps, Disneyland?  Do you not yet understand that the country is not run by you or your votes?  If it was not clear enough before 2010… it is now.  The Supreme Court of the US made it perfectly legal and perfectly clear in the Citizens United case.  No more reading between the lines: Your country is run by big business and big money.  Your cherished freedom is whether you choose to eat Burger King or McDonalds.  Your touted democracy is a kleptocracy, where your elected officials benefit handsomely from the generosity (bribes) of the oligarchs (donors).  And there is a revolving door between government ‘service’ and corporate America and lobbying.

Why else would Donnie be so impressive?  Let’s just drop the charade and invite one of the clowns into the fun house.  Donnie has plenty of access to cash; although some oligarchs may prefer Hillary, thinking she is more manageable as a woman.  She is not!  She’s got balls of steel! But, she will do her master’s bidding as well as Donnie the shark!  This is the masquerade we are playing my friends.  Choose your poison; it’s your life, and your death… so enjoy it.  And enjoy the spectacle while it lasts.  The distraction is what they depend upon so you really will not upset the apple cart.  Alternatively, you could just say fuck this: and start a revolution.

45 Responses to TRUMPED!! AGAIN!!

  1. Pingback: TRUMPED!! | kulturCritic

  2. anon says:

    The current elections in North America remind me of “… first as tragedy, then as farce…”

    • F. Elaine Anderson says:

      Hmmm…Current elections? Can you cite some elections somewhere, sometime that actually were something more than a joke?
      As the saying goes, if voting could actually change anything, they would make it illegal. I quit playing along. I don’t even engage in the pretense of granting legitimacy to government anymore.

    • Disaffected says:

      You beat me to it…

  3. F. Elaine Anderson says:

    Nice piece.
    If I had the simple choice of entertaining myself with enjoying the bread and circuses of the empire or taking up arms against it, I say, hear ye hear ye, y’all: my sword is at the ready! At least I would exit life patting myself on the back.
    But the sobering impediment for me here is that there has never been a revolution that did anything more than switch one set of archons for another. The hierarchies of power remain intact. There has never been an armed struggle, no matter how just, that has done anything more than slow the advance of “progress”, if that much!
    Civilization thrives on violence.
    And – as much as I love DGR – if by some happy miracle, Aric McBay’s strategy could bring down civ worldwide, so long as the human race remains addicted to grains, civilization would rise again from the ashes, upon the same fields of mono crop staples and slave labor as it did the first time.
    Nevertheless I am indebted to DGR, and to you, and Feral Jesus and all the other voices that are daring to challenge the assumption that civilization has a right to exist.
    If there is hope somewhere in ever freeing the earth from the death hold of this cancer, I see it in waging ideological – cultural – and spiritual warfare.
    In the meanttime, I pray: God, damn civilization. Amen.

    • kulturcritic says:

      And I am with you Elaine. I could not agree more. Anyway you twist it… we are fucked!

    • Disaffected says:

      No need to take up revolution. This time it will come to us as part of the collapse. The “revolution” will be our abandonment by the global capitalist set, as our usefulness to them will be over.

      • F. Elaine Anderson says:

        Oh, for heavens sake, Disaffected, may I take that as an AMEN?!
        (Let’s make that ” for earth’s sake” while we we’re at it.)
        Given your prophetic insight, my sage advice to all us civilization addicts is: learn to hunt, learn to fish, learn to forage.
        Unlike Smokejack (a kinder soul than I ) I’m not entirely convinced that civilized “man” (ahem!) is worth saving – but I will certainly vote for the salvation of the traditional Inuit and the San of the Kalahari and Sandy’s indigenous neighbors up in his chilly neck of the woods, and the other true human beings. And pray they can hold out against the onslaught of civ until it blows itself up with its little petard.

      • kulturcritic says:

        No moral imperative on this issue, DA? Or is morality a hu/ha… for both you and I?

        • Disaffected says:

          I think there’s a certain moral imperative in everything we do on the personal level kC, but I think many of us mistake that for an ability to change things on a larger level that have long since been decided by decisions we’ve made all along the way. Both Greer and Kunstler speak to this all the time under the rubric of our propensity for “magical thinking.” Certainly the religious adherents among us, with their whimsical beliefs in an all powerful “eye in the sky” who can unilaterally set all wrongs to right, are the most transparent in that regard, but they’re hardly the only ones guilty of that foolishness these days, nor are they the most numerous. Greer’s “secular religion of progress [/technology]” types are even more ascendant these days, and combined with their latent religious beliefs, which in many cases many of them also continue to harbor, are many times more dangerous.

          All that said, I’m beginning to moderate my views on much of this now, as I’m beginning to view it all as so much water under the bridge. All of the Hail Mary passes we see pitched in the MSM these days are increasingly transparent to all involved as little more than desperate attempts to revive Business as Usual (BAU), which I think at a gut level, most people the world over now recognize is never coming back. Here in the US, only the most delusional, at least among the people I know in what is a fairly upscale community, are focused on anything greater than maintaining what they already have. But since I’m “lucky” enough to have a foot in two worlds, I can tell you my mid-western (NE, IA, MO, and KS) relatives haven’t been nearly so lucky. Accordingly, THEY are the ones who are supporting Trump and his extreme stupidity.

          But back to your original question, I think most “moral” questions, especially when pitched in a political context, are increasingly, even as they have always been, merely appeals to our more basic instincts. Politics, like religion and advertising, is usually nothing more than an attempt to appeal to and make people act upon subconscious impulses they don’t even realize they have, never mind understand. Controlling people at the subconscious level has always been the goal of leadership everywhere, so in that respect at least, our times are no different. The great difference today is that the use of Mass Electronic Media allows the message to be updated almost continually, tailored to it’s target audiences specifically, and thanks to the reach of global capitalism, to be virtually universal in its reach. In light of all that, it’s no wonder that the delusion of magical thinking – the naive belief that anything is possible – has completely supplanted moral thinking – the mature knowledge of what is actually possible and what the many trade-offs will be if it is actually implemented – has permeated everything we say and do these days.

          • kulturcritic says:

            The sad fact is, DA, in Russia… even in the heart of Siberia, there is belief in the system… the capitalist system…that they can continue to go to their little shopping malls and buy all the goodies that capital (or CREDIT/DEBIT cards) allows.  It is a very sad state of affairs here.  As they try to live “as if”… as if this were America in the 1970s.  A puffed up sense of self even haunts the younger generations (under 50 years old).  The cult of the individual is strong and obnoxious.  And yes, I think “delusional” is a very appropriate word in this regard.

            • Disaffected says:

              The sad fact is, kC, since the fall of the USSR and the last “official” vestiges of socialism (I know, I know, it wasn’t “true” socialism, whatever in the hell that is), global capitalism (which had the doubly good fortune of being ascendant just as electronic information technology exploded) has existed in a complete moral, intellectual, and philosophical vacuum. There simply IS NO competing narrative out there other than one of seemingly medieval primitivism, which seem all the more medieval, given the fact that technology itself is now ascendant. Any and all calls for restraint against such a juggernaut are, quite predictably, dismissed without consideration. And thus, appeals to limits of any kind, never mind one so basic as the energy source of sources itself, get dismissed just as quickly as well.

              And yes, I’ve become acutely aware of the hubris of the younger generations of late, even as I’m keenly aware of my own mother’s admonitions when I was younger that I would one day regret mine when I was her age. It stings doubly on both counts, as I, like most of us I imagine, always imagined that I would be immune to such follies of youth and old age.

              But in the end my old friend, neither you or I are immune to the foolishness of our age, especially this one. I think you’re likely in a better position to cope with it all than I, although our fates cannot be known for certain. My only hope from here on out is to continue to gain perspective throughout what is sure to be a tumultuous lifetime and not be too much of a burden on the people around me who will be enduring the same.

              I think the most important thing that any of us can do, and I’ve said this here before and I’ll reiterate it here again, is to make our peace with our own mortality, so that we don’t carry the extra burden of assuming that we should somehow be magically made immortal – either by religious or technological means – around with us as well.

              DA

  4. northsheep says:

    As always, I am immensely entertained to see electoral targets our oligarchy throws up for Americans to fire their votes at. The choice of Trump feels like desperation now that Hillary is in the doghouse of the collective consciousness. What can possibly follow an act like that?

    • kulturcritic says:

      Look, perhaps you vote for the one most likely to drop the bomb sooner rather than later… that way we don’t have to worry about being fed over the long haul. LOL

    • Disaffected says:

      The president – whoever it eventually turns out to be – is just a puppet anyway, so we won’t get anything out of Trump that we weren’t likely to get anyway, but he would signal the acceptance by the masses of a certain “anything goes” mentality. In that sense, presidential politics is mostly a signaling device to the shadow government about the level of depravity we’re willing to accept, and since we’re nearing the end of our rope now as a civilization, that’s evidently quite a bit..

  5. smokemasterjohn says:

    Interesting that THIS space doesn’t seem to consider Bernie’s campaign anything worth discussing any more than main stream media does. I am staking my last sense of systemic change on Bernie’s candidacy. If that doesn’t go all the way, then I have other options to deepen and develop (DGR et al). There is no other candidate that is even worth the time of day… but we ARE our own worst enemies. The Tea-Partisan Clown Car is just openly circus and yet it has the serious consideration of roughly half of the US population. I have zero love lost for civilization, but I DO believe that there is value to the survival of man, and I DO believe that man has the option, and still can exercise it, to be something more and better than has been in the first 10,000 years (that we know about). Just the gospel according to John (1/7.3 billionth of the world viewpoint on that subject). You mileage may vary.

    • kulturcritic says:

      Bernie’s part of the menagerie, smokemaster… just another clown in the circus. Knock yourself out. I will watch from the sidelines here in Siberia. LOL

    • kulturcritic says:

      Also John… you are not reading me clearly. No candidate will make a difference. It is an illusion.

    • Disaffected says:

      I sincerely hope that Bernie Sanders does get his day in the sun, if only to permanently disavow everyone of the notion that such a candidate could ever get elected, and if he did, that he could ever enact meaningful change. Personally, I’m quite sure that he and Elizabeth Warren (who has already greatly moderated her most controversial views) would simply be torpedoed by whatever means necessary before he/she ever got close to the prize, but neither will ever actually get elected regardless. We’ve covered all this ground 50 years ago with RFK and McGovern, and things have only gotten more conservative since. No one who doesn’t 100% support the MIC, the GWOT, Wall St, and Global Crony Capitalism stands a snowball’s chance in hell of winning. Everything else is purely smoke and mirrors.

      But mankind as a whole is out of options at this point. We’ve made our choices, embraced capitalist exponential growth industrialism fueled by fossil fuel energy, and have now so severely overshot the planet’s carrying capacity that our immediate future is completely locked in: a massive die-off to 500M or almost certainly considerably less over the course of only a few generations and all the pain and suffering that will entail. In that sense, we’re no different from any other species on the planet, who we’ve also been extinguishing in record numbers of late. Humans aren’t “special” or “exceptional” in the least, other than their own hubris and belief that the usual rules of physics don’t apply to them. Denial is a powerful drug, but in the end, it only hastens our demise. And Americans and their embrace of a primitive pseudo-religion which they mistakenly believe tells them they have the divine right of dominion over all they see have led the way at every step along the way in humanity’s descent. Exceptional? Yep. Exceptionally arrogant and exceptionally stupid.

      • F. Elaine Anderson says:

        Amen…

      • smokemasterjohn says:

        You say it Yahweh and I’ll say it mine. “And Americans and their embrace of a primitive pseudo-religion which they mistakenly believe tells them they have the divine right of dominion over all they see have led the way at every step along the way in humanity’s descent.” That’s about 15% of the Americans I know, not the 100% that you give it. Mankind has options. They don’t include “no damage” or “no stress”. We let OUR chance to drive the bus pass, and now Nature will drive it – the same Nature that the oligarchy has been ignoring for the last 200 years. It’s not going to be a pretty ride, but I don’t see humanity quite as screwed as the majority here do. That’s fine. I also believe in “Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way.”

        • kulturcritic says:

          The Curriculum is too overwhelming, Smokey John… u do not grasp the severity of its attraction. May your god bless you.

        • F. Elaine Anderson says:

          But, smokejack, you see, we are leading! We’re leading the way out of empire – we’re simply saying that the only way out, is OUT. And whether you opt for giving it a little push, like my friends in DGR, or whether like most of the guys in this “community”, you opt to stand aside and watch it self-destruct, we all are nonetheless issuing the call to divorce the values of the dominant culture. Now!
          So long as you continue to believe the charade that it’s in some way “fixable” — you continue to support the powers that be. By participating in its political processes you are not waging a meaningful protest as they have duped us all into believing, but you are instead granting empire legitimacy.
          15%? Huh?! You must live in Vermont! LOL
          Christendom is the “handmaiden of the World”, and has been so quite enthusiastically since the fourth century. (Which is not to say that it wasn’t already moving in that direction with the rise of the network of bishops, directed from Rome, by the turn of the second. That, I’m starting to suspect, was the very root of the subversion of the subversives, [Sandy probably knows a lot more about this than I do, but I’ll go ahead and throw that out there]. Whenever the social unit of the human race gets much bigger than the tribe or the clan – people you actually know face to face – and long distance supervision creeps in, it inevitably starts turning ugly)
          And yes, John, there are indeed a few radical theologians like Ched Myers and J. Dominic Crossan who are calling civilization the enemy that it truly is. I hold these men in very high regard; however, they are merely voices of individual Jesus people. The fact remains that Christendom in the USA today is little more than State Worship and I say the Christian Left and the Christian Right are both implicated in this idolatry. If the archons needs a scripture to justify their ideology, the church will hand it to them on a silver platter – with crackers and grape juice on the side.
          I happen to believe that the vibrant, fearless and exuberant first century movement that claimed as their icon a controversial anti-imperial personage executed by Rome has bequeathed me a first rate blueprint for a waging ideological warfare. And I’m almost as surely convinced that the institution of the church, with its hidden history of radicality, is a potential dream come true of an organizing base for a rabble rouser. At the same time, i am under no illusions about what I am up against.
          And in regards to Diasaffected’s remarks about the moral imperative, the only way to hold on to a modicum of sanity is to divorce (while we’re at it!) the addiction to “results”. So this guy went out and broadcast a bunch of seeds, you see, and whether he slept or didn’t, the seeds did whatever it was the seeds were gonna do…..

          • Disaffected says:

            I’d have to agree with Elaine regarding the 15% John. I’d have to say Christianity’s “hold” on America (realizing that of course most American Christians don’t actually “walk the talk”, but they vote for it and support it in every other way) is more like 90-95%, especially in the part of America I come from. That said, I read Chris Hedges regularly and I consider him a man of great wisdom, intelligence, integrity, and insight, although he’s also an extreme outlier. But in all other respects, Christianity since the reformation has been nothing but the hand-maiden of the rich and the powerful, which is why it was reformed in the first place. If there was an actual persona named Jesus Christ and he were alive today he would have nothing to do with any of it, and in fact we’d likely have a “new”, new testament, although it would be denounced as “blasphemy” and only come out semi-officially hundreds of years from now.

          • kulturcritic says:

            J. Dominic Crossan!! Wow! What graduate program did you attend? Impressive. I have no qualms with your major points. But, I would say, the Church is part and parcel of the problem. Any hierarchy, religious, political, or otherwise, which controls the masses, is a problem. But so are the masses a problem. There are far too many people peopling the globe. And of course, Christendom endorses more and more procreation! LOL

  6. the Heretick says:

    Desperate people take desperate measures, of that you can be sure, and the party hasn’t really started. Living a lie, after a while, leaves people completely disoriented, swimming in a sea of Stockholm Syndrome.

    The mere fact that two such “outsiders” such as Sanders and The Donald are getting the press they are? Passing strange. But then, there is such a gulf, such a yawning abyss, between the poor proletarians and the pampered upper crust. The owners of our planet take everything and twist it to turn the narrative into something irrelevant to the subject, divide and conquer being the order of the day.

    Working for $9 an hour while some live in $1,000,000 homes, suburban sprawl stretching to the horizon, to infinity and beyond, and the money coming from jobs which support the status-quo, bribes to support a crumbling system groaning under the inequality of it all. The skills which pay are skills which relate to the dominant system, and there’s the rub, it’s a system which breeds strife and eats resources.

    If the USA did not consume 1/4 of the world’s energy while having 5% of the population, how attractive would this country be? Suppose we all had to go work in the fields? No Ford F-150 pick em up trucks and $2.50 gas? Gonna mow that golf course by hand? Take a bunch of push mowers.

    I don’t believe the system of huge central governments can endure, the logistics are too difficult, too remote, too impersonal. Between The Donald and Uncle Bernie we are seeing some glimpse of the truth, naked self interest and kindly dreamer. The liberal lie is being exposed for what it is, amelioration, half measures, preserve the system but take the edge off, surgery with a dull knife.
    Of course the capitalist vision is a lie, we know that, go to the head of the class.

    Nah, it’s really too ridiculous, artificial spermatozoa being the latest (as if the real thing is so rare), synthetic financial instruments, beam me up Scotty.

  7. F. Elaine Anderson says:

    Sandy, my academic “credentials” are less than inspiring. State university system; grad school dropout; Linguistics. LOVE languages, love language analysis! But then I found out I was born 50 yrs too late to sit around the campfire with Jaime de Angulo and absorb indigenous languages/stories. Was informed by my fav prof that the last stronghold of descriptive linguistics is the Summer Institute. They are……Bible translators. The other option would have been to spend the rest of my life rolling on the classroom floor laughing. As in: Do you mean to tell me you are researching language universals from the point of reference of —– one language. Eize chutzpah!! Yes if course – English IS the universal language, you know. Well, I declare…..
    You and all the guys who comment here are such serious thinkers that I have to stretch to keep up!
    No, everything I read by J. D. Crossan was accessible. I probably do qualify for a pat on the back though for trudging and slogging my way thru the theological Ched Myers”

    • F. Elaine Anderson says:

      Arggh. Slip of the thumb – theological jargon and concepts in Ched Myers “Binding the Strong Man: a political reading of Mark’s story of Jesus.”
      I’m not educating myself. I’m questing after the Holy Grail of “Strategy and Tactics for driving the alien spirit of civilization from the face of the earth.”
      And I completely agree with all of your comments about Christendom, kC. My point though isn’t to promote Christendom; its to practice subversion within it by means of its own radical [and forgotten ] foundations. I walked out on the church when I was teenager with the battlecry of: “If what they say is true, the lord of the universe is a tyrant. And I’ll burn in hell before I’ll worship a tyrant!” …. Still just as legitimate of a battlecry as ever. :)…. Now I’m like The Shining: “I’m baaaack.” So here I am back in the -by the way! politically and theologically conservative – branch of Christendom that I was raised in. I suspect it might be the sweet revenge of the first century radicals for an admirer of theirs to use their teachings against the scion of the organization that sold them out so long ago. But in any case, look, Sandy. I think wherever we are, whatever our talents and intellectual capabilities may be, whatever venue we happen to feel comfortable in, let’s subvert, subvert, subvert. Infuriated, broken hearted and weary, nonetheless – let us subvert, without getting too attached to wanting to see results.

      • kulturcritic says:

        You are a rare treat, Elaine. Much like my compatriots, Heretick and DA.

      • kulturcritic says:

        And now, my dear Elaine, given your dashboard confession — grad school Linguistic D.O.– I have a treat for you. I presume you have not seen this post of mine from February of this year. So, here! Enjoy it.
        https://kulturcritic.wordpress.com/posts/the-politics-of-recursion-hierarchy-and-the-fate-of-the-west/

        • F. Elaine Anderson says:

          Sandy – Dr. Krolick!
          In your measured and moderate way, you delivered in that “theoretical linguistics post” one of the most powerful indictments against civilization that I have come across. After I finished reading it, all I could do was pace the floor, in a daze, eyes full of tears, experiencing concurrently all three modes of the anti-civ warrior: Outrage! That the particpatory, here and now life, experienced within the community of one’s human and wild relations, has been stolen from us…Exhaustion at the realization that even the very languages that we speak entrap us in the values of civilization… and an aching Grief over the one sin that rules them all – the sin of civilization. And wait, yes, the fourth mode, the one Derrick and Lierre talk about: love. Love for the Piraha, whom I had never heard of before.
          If smokemasterjohn reads this, he will understand why I said I would vote to save the indigenous peoples, and not the rest of us.

  8. F. Elaine Anderson says:

    Not to be taking up too much space here (If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space. Wah ha ha)
    Disaffected’s nice turn of phrase is “IT”! – there is no competing narrative.
    THAT, y’all, is precisely what is so compelling and powerful and exciting about the first century Jesus radicals. This is straight Crossan stuff here, Sandy. They took all the titles of the Roman emperor – Divine Son, redeemer, lord, the Very God, savior of the world, the one who brings peace on earth (and it gets even better! according to the poet Horace, Augustus even atoned for their sins!). They claimed all the attributes of the emperor for their own icon. They threw their own miracle stories out there against the miracle stories of the dominant culture. Whereas civilization thrives on violence, they practiced nonviolence. Whereas civilization teaches us to lust for domination over others, they taught service to others. Whereas civilization enculturates us to hatred (Derrick Jensen has articulated this so well in Endgame – hatred of others hatred of children hatred of ourselves hatred of our own bodies hatred of the wild) they taught love. Whereas civilization rewards greediness, they practiced their own little share economies. They were having a blast laughing at empire. And they backed up their laughter with their own bodies and lives.
    So look y’all –+ can we create a counter narrative for our own situation? And have as much fun doing it…

  9. F. Elaine Anderson says:

    Probably so! Although the dignity and the power of the World that ruled over them must have felt just as unassailable in their day, the ideological foundations of the Greco-Roman world do seem quite neat and linear over against the utter baroqueness of the over-blown complexity of our own times. Someone with a great sense of humor – Colbert or Macias, e.g. – could probably see how to do this much more easily than I, but I’ll think I’ll continue to poke around and look for the breaches…..

  10. Malthus says:

    Craziness is going to save the day. We are going through insanity now and the next step is craziness. Surprise the bastards with loon-icy. Just wait till they see me walk through Wally World just wearing a thong and carrying a spear. They will freak out and probably shoot me. At least I won’t die in some hospital from one of the many mistakes they make.

  11. F. Elaine Anderson says:

    Hahaha. Invite me when you do. I have a lovely spear of native river cane with tufts of bobcat fur and owl feathers that I can bring. Though I do believe I’ll wear a tad more covering than thou. I think it was Derrick Jensen, no?, who said that in a culture as insane as ours, the only way to stay sane is to be crazy. And hey, I’m all for laughing them into oblivion. Lampooning with a spear, haha. 🙂

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