Friday, December 30, 2016

The Coming Of The Controller!


I've been amazed at the dexterity with which Donald Trump (soon to be my next President...sigh) has been able to herd and corral the bulk of the Fourth Estate. Admittedly his task has been made easier because of years and years of Right Wing berating of "The Media" and how they imagine it has cut against their issues time and again. Sometimes the complainers are even right, but of course because sometimes they are correct, it's then elevated into a generalization of being the case at all times. That's pure poppycock!


The media is motivated in this humdinger of a capitalist country by one thing, greed. Save for a few outlets, the media here is private and so dependent on the classic model of selling its wares to the greatest number of folks possible at all times. That means that the truth and even the facts can get battered and bruised quite a bit as the hawkers yell for customers.


It's how Trump was able to succeed in the first place. He spent so little money in the campaign for the simple reason he's a spectacle, a loudmouth bomb thrower who is capable of saying outrageous things at any moment. So when he gave a speech (show) the cable news outlets glommed all over him in hopes that he might spit out an incendiary jewel they could trade on for hours and hours if not days. He was "good copy" and so they went to the trough time and again and fore swore their responsibility to serve as a responsible vehicle for the democratic process.


Trump had to be killed in the crib, put down before he got the wind at his back. He was not, as is the all-too-common wisdom now that is was an inevitable result, but he was propped up by the desire for shock value until finally he was able to break through with a message which rose above rancor and racism, if only slightly.


I must admit it's laughable when reporters ask one another (notice how they talk each other more and more and to other folks less and less) what is the bigger picture when Trump makes some Twitter utterance. The mistake is in believing he has some larger scheme. He's a grifter who has for the time being gotten over on his marks (the entire country) and he's living day to day trying to keep the con alive. He's helped by the fact the marks themselves will assist in the delusion because they are reluctant to admit they've been had. Sadly that last part is key for the grifter to keep control of the fraud.


And now as President-Elect (gasp...it hurts to type such things) he continues to manage the press like a passel of hogs, popping out swill via twitter which gets them all agitated while he goes on about his nefarious business. Ask too many questions about conflicts of interest with the people's business and his increasingly oily family, and suddenly we're in a nuclear arms race.


It's going to be like this for a while and the sooner the press learn not to twitch every time he mutters a fire-breathing epithet maybe we can get through this with minimum damage. I'm not hopeful.

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4 comments:

  1. A nice selection of exciting covers here with the exception of the modern one - as nicely drawn as it is its pretty flat compared to the others that invite you to pick it up to see whats happening ( that seems to be the way they like covers now just posters / splash pages). Regarding Mr Trump, on ITV in the UK last night Charlie Brooker (a satirist) did a mash up of Trump so It looked like on long event - he hardly had to manipulate it it the garbage that mad came out with would have been funny if It wasn't so potentially serious for us all (not just in the US)it was just as the papers described the programme "Charlie Brooker's TV Wipe was like reliving a nightmare" of course to be fair we had Brexit, Bowie and a host of other celeb deaths, Syria etc in there a well. Anyway have a great New Year lets hope 2017 is not going to be as bad as we think it may be (could it be much worse that 2016?)

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    1. What's missing the newer cover is context, a sense we are seeing a scene from an actual story. As for Trump, it's clear this is an awful situation shared with the world at large. Trump's immature nature (stiff-necked defiance of facts excused as firm resolution) is showing up in the current Russia blather. He's clearly wrong on this but will continue to contest the facts, and what's truly pitiful is the extent his bewildering knot-headness is supported by his devoted followers and fellow travelers in the Congress, even those who know better. It's bullshit pure and simple. Maybe that's how you drain a swamp, fill it with crap.

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  2. As usual, I get some insights from my comics. Back in Thor 154-157, we met the Mangog,the embodiment of an evil race that was imprisoned by Odin's spell in a giant monstrosity whose only goal was revenge and destruction. By containing all of this malign energy, Mangog had the concentrated rage and hatred of a "billion billion beings." For several issues, while Odin was conked out in his "Odin-Sleep" (no doubt after a long bender involving the "Odin-Keg"), Mangog grimly lumbered across Asgard, destroying all in his path, with no other goal than to end the universe. Just as he's about to draw the Odinsword, with Thor and his warriors fighting valiantly but futilely, Odin wakes up and dissipates the Mangog back into the separate beings. "Mangog, thou wert never strong!'Twas all an imagery!'Twas all an illusion!"

    So how the hell did Trump win? The answer is he didn't. Trump is a vessel who thinks he is the captain. What won was anger and hate that was so tired of perceived mistreatment, misrepresentation and disenfranchisement by the world that it lashed out. What they want can't be articulated, because anger is largely incoherent. Perhaps they'll be calm and happy for a short while in their victory, but I doubt they'll be satisfied by what's coming.

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    1. I had not thought of Mangog, but your comparison feels very apt to me. Need to read that story again with this insight and see how it feels to me. I suspect the great Kirby was giving me guidance and I didn't even know it. I'm visualizing the "Odin-Keg" as this very moment.

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