Friday, January 29, 2016

two fingers up

A recent New York Times book review described some 2016 Republican primary activities as "buffoonery on the right."

Marina Hyde, writing in the Guardian, said in an essay on the Trump candidacy, "When you're hot, you're hot."

That seemed like a buoyant and nostalgic phrase, to me:  I hadn't heard (or read) anyone say, "When you're hot you're hot" in a long time.

Another recent occurrence made me think of the Sixties -- there was a bumper sticker in the Vietnam era that read, "What if they gave a war and nobody came?"

Recently we might have asked, "What if they gave a debate, and the leading candidate didn't come?"  Oh -- wait, seems that shark's been jumped....

Sometimes when you read the Guardian, and their Reader Comments, you get a flavor of the way people speak English in the U.K. (though there's a "U.S. version" of the Guardian, too) -- I enjoy the U-K English -- love the possibilities it opens up -- for expression and meaning and questions.

(Some in the media use words like liberal, conservative, right, left, Democrat, Republican, and want to say one is great and one is bad.  The reason they frame it this way for us [the audience] is because it is not that way.)


Reader Comments on Hyde's Guardian article, "We shouldn't be enjoying the Trump ascendancy - but who can look away?") --

------------------------ Trump is what you get when you marginalize a section of society and make them feel that they have been ignored and sidelined -- the white lower middle and working class. 

If they wanted to vote democrat they would.

It's happening all over the place, politicians who think they have the electorate under their thumb are being surprised when the electorate turns against them. ...


Don't enjoy, and do hit the off button or change channel every time he appears.  It's really very simple.  Some things are just not worth spending time on, and Trump is one of them.  The biggest addicts are the media, particularly CNN who promote his every word and action, even analyzing it as if he had real value.


...Trump sticking two fingers up at the howling social media mob is a joy to watch, if nothing else about him is. ...


Trump is certainly unstatesmanlike and possibly insane.  He has noticed however that many people in his country do not want further illegal Mexican immigration.  Nor do they want further Muslim immigration. 

He has therefore had the clever idea of suggesting that he might do something about these issues.  Therefore he's popular.  Does it need any more analysis than that?


Trump as US President and Corbyn as UK Prime Minister.  I wonder if the "special relationship" will ever be mentioned again : )


The Corbyn and Trump phenomenons are fascinating and terrifying in equal measure.  It's like we are bored with sensible politics and want to flirt with extremism, but probably not to the point of having them in power.


Trump is a popular candidate for the same reason "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" (and spin-offs) are popular TV shows.  Namely, people (and the media) can't look away.

The sheer scale of Orwellian double-think behind the numerous comments on this article saying that one of the richest men in the world is going to destroy the 'elites'! . . .


Being in the "elite" is not simply about having money.  And nobody is saying he will destroy the elite; what he is claiming he will destroy is the padlock the elite has placed on the will of the voters. 

The left wants immigration because its entire base is single women and ethnic minorities.  The right wants immigration for cheap labor.  It is this unholy alliance between the elites that Trump is running on destroying.


I am enjoying the Trump rise!  Anything to stir the pot of the disgusting ruling elite that has infected the media, government and financial institutions.  Sure, I dream of revolutionary anarchy every night, but barring that, this is a very welcome entry to the shit hitting the fan in many years.


Politicians have been going one way for too long, while

ordinary people and their opinions have been ignored. 

People are fed up of the rich getting richer, political correctness, immigration and a politician elite looking after themselves and large corporations.  Trump might not ultimately win, but

politics is changing.


Barking and horrible but he taps into something inside of everyone who's sick of the online form-filling with which we report on ourselves and others to the money makers, the performance measurers, and the attitude transformers.


What's going on in American politics in 2016 is the end of political orthodoxy as a winning formula and the

inability of establishment candidates to connect with the American people. 

It's at least as much an indictment of the system as it is a validation of Trump.


Please talk about the other candidates instead, particularly

Sanders who is being more or less ignored by the mainstream media.

Sanders is going to surprise all these experienced pundits and 'analysts' when the primaries get underway.  All the evidence, all the talk, is that something big is happening.


Unfortunately, the Guardian is wedded to Hillary's campaign, so there's a news blackout on Bernie.

I can hardly wait for the primaries.


Good article, Marina.  I think Trump has jollied proceedings up tremendously.  It would all have been stupefyingly dull without him.


I would blame the media for this ascendancy.  They are giving him what he craves for to satisfy his inflated ego:  publicity.  Who would know about Trump antics, if it were not publicized by the media?

Trump is either

a genius

who completely understands the influence of media and the modern psyche

or an idiot savant

who is the right man at the right time to take advantage of the social climate.

All the things that are supposed to matter no longer matter. 

Ideas, knowledge, competence, policies.  All that matters is presence and Trump is incredibly present.

Just as Cameron taps into the masochistic element of the English psyche which derives pleasure from being shafted by their social betters Trump appeals to the large number of Americans who want everything loud and supersized.


Trump would be a lot more ridiculous, but for his opponents.


Europe could use a Trump of their own.  Someone who puts its citizens first and doesn't give a rodent's rear end about political correctness in order to get problems solved.


We're good thanks.


Yeah, you've got Orban, the Danish People's Party, and thousands of mini-Trumps.  All the hate and more, for less money.


Rupert Murdoch didn't give up his gold-plated wonderful life in Australia and become an American citizen to have his nose rubbed in the dirt. 
My money's on whoever he backs.


It really worked out well for him last two times.


Bernie vs Trump would be quite a spectacle.


The corporate state seeks to get everyone to participate in the political charade of choreographed elections. 

It seeks to make us play by its rules. 

Our corporate media, flush with the dollars from political advertising, fills the airwaves with

the ridiculous and the trivial. 

Candidates, pollsters, political strategists, pundits and celebrity journalists provide endless loops of banal and absurd "political" chatter, all of it. 

We will be bombarded with this propaganda,

largely centered on the manufactured personalities of candidates.  Pick a country!  The propaganda is so effective. 

The media are a corporate monopoly.  They have the same point of view. 

The two parties are two factions of the business party.  Most of the population doesn't even bother voting because it looks meaningless.  They're marginalized and properly distracted.  At least that's the goal.


Duh indeed.  Well described and ridiculed.

Trump is the walking embodiment of governments surrendering to corporations.

We are on the brink of being permanently [romanced] looking at the politicians, cults and idiots with access to power and media.


Trump's ascendancy shows that Americans are fed up with the corruption in Washington politics

and the dumbo consensus propagated by the big tv networks. 

Billionaire Trump is playing up to the fact that he isn't owned by Wall Street and big business.  Very few candidates can do that, for obvious reasons. 

Trump is part of a new trend that we seeing across the West:  dissatisfaction with career politicians, political correctness and the status quo. 

He's crass and unapologetic, but barring any mishaps, it looks like he is going to be the next President of the USA.


It's easy to look away, when Bernie Sanders is running without backing from billionaires and mainstream media. 

He is turning out to be the front runner in the democratic party. 

This is after

he was told by mainstream media

(cnn, Fox etc including their newspaper holdings) that he wasn't even going to get a mention and the population would not support him.

Well with small donations from individuals, he's competing and will be the next President. 

That's a front page story in any paper, if it truly reported what's going on in the world.

[end, Reader Comments]

-- Marina Hyde is author of
Celebrity:  How Entertainers Took Over The World and Why We Need an Exit Strategy.