Culturally Discombobulated

73 long, dark nights for America: View from the hotel room

Seventy-three long, dark nights to go.

Trump’s Daily Twitter Highlight: Dwyane Wade’s cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago. Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!”

Clinton’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “Helping small businesses succeed is about more than policy—it’s personal.

Daily election article of interest: The Media Con Job

So the purpose, if you can call it that, of these daily blogs, is to record some quick thoughts on this election – ideally reflecting thoughts I’ve had, articles I’ve read, or things candidates have said or tweeted during the day – just before I go to sleep for the night. That’s partly why the idea of dreams have figured quite prominently. I traveled to Chicago today for the weekend and I didn’t have too many thoughts on the election. Indeed, perhaps tonight could be free of any election orientated nightmares as I’d been mostky avoiding the news todqy as well as other election stimulai. Then, just before bed, I looked out of the hotel room window.


74 long, dark nights for America: “A man named Nigel Farage” and opening up a can of worms

Seventy-four long, dark nights to go.

Trump’s Daily Twitter Highlight: What do African-Americans and Hispanics have to lose by going with me. Look at the poverty, crime and educational statistics. I will fix it!”

Clinton’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “Countless women fought to win the right to vote. On the anniversary of the 19th Amendment’s adoption, let’s recommit to protecting it.

Daily election article of interest: Hillary’s Lifeboat to the GOP.

Look who has stayed around in the news cycle. It’s bad enough that James Corden has become a star Stateside, but I am certainly not ready for Farage to be a regular in the news here,  too.

Only seventy-four nights to go now.

And thinking of nightmarish things before bed, a woman on a rush hour D train this week caused a panic when she threw crickets and meal worms over fellow commuters. In the melee someone pulled the emergency brake, meaning all those (some suffering panic attacks) in the carriage were stuck there for half an hour in the sweltering heat. The woman proceeded to urinate in the carriage. 

Yesterday it featured on the front page of the New York tabloids. It seemed an extreme version of a scenario that plays itself out daily on the New York subway: individuals with clear mental problems who rant or shout or does some extreme anti-social behavior. Despite New Yorkers’ reputation for aggression and rudeness, these incidents are usually not met with aggression. Most understand that these are people who for whatever reason are not getting the help they need. It is a sad reality of using public transport in a major city that you will encounter disturbed, broken people who may make you recoil or may make you want to help them – but there’s little that you can do. In extreme circumstances such as this, trying to calm down the individual – as people did in this case – and wait for the authorities to arrive and hope they take them for psychiatric help rather than to the police station is about the best you can do. 

But it turns out the meal worm woman is not mentally incapacitated, because we would forgive her her actions, no, she is, in fact, something for which there can be no forgiveness – a performance artist. Apparently, this was a piece that was intended to highlight people’s attitudes to mental illness – something people might feel difficult to make careful consideration about when they are having a panic attack in a confined space they’re trapped in. A previous and equally charming piece by the artist was putting online a purportedly real video of her pretending to be a mother who is stabbing her baby to get revenge on the baby’s father. The performance artist considers herself a provocateur: I suspect most of us consider her a troll, though, if anything, she seems appropriate for this age of Trump. Perhaps we’ll discover Trump’s own campaign is a similarly misconceived work of performance art.

“It was about seeing people’s reactions to racism. I wanted to see what could be the most outrageous thing I could say and still win primaries.”

75 long, dark nights for America: Clinton releases attack ad

Seventy-five long, dark nights to go.

Trump’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “Hillary Clinton’s short speech is pandering to the worst instincts in our society. She should be ashamed of herself!.”

Clinton’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “”Trump’s bigoted rhetoric and policy proposals aren’t a dog whistle. We hear him loud and clear.'”

Daily election article of interest: Blue Cities, Red States

Complete with a soundtrack one might expect from a cheap thriller the new Clinton ad has all the hallmarks of the best (and the worst) of American political ads resulting in the creation of something both hysterical and adrenalized – I think Karl Rove would approve.

76 long, dark nights for America: Featuring Special Guest Star – Nigel Farage

Seventy-six long, dark nights to go.

Trump’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “Great Governor is in Indiana to help lead the relief efforts after tornadoes struck. True leadership.”

Clinton’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “”He is taking a hate movement mainstream. He has brought it into his campaign.” —Hillary to on Trump.'”

Daily election article of interest: Trump Is Making More States Competitive. Red States.

Like the jingoistic Toad of Toad Hall he is, Farage poop-pooped his way across the Atlantic all the way to the unlikely setting of Jackson, Mississippi where he testified on the virtues of Brexit to the Trump faithful.

It was the first time these two demagogues, yoked together by their populism, had come face-to-face, an arrangement orchestrated by Bannon, Trump’s new campaign chief. Not that I imagine there was much in the way of name recognition for Farage in Jackson. This is the sort of audience that would respond deliriously to the crazed evangelizing of a Sarah Palin, that’s how you stump on the right here, and Farage’s plain-talking John Bullshit geezer persona just doesn’t resonate – it’s too alien.

That’s ultimately what Trump and Farage have in common, their particular brand of demagoguery doesn’t maintain its potency when – somewhat appropriate for nativists – it is removed from its native soil. Something is lost in the translation, and I think it is the underlying seriousness of them as public figures. We can all laugh and make the same rote observations about them: the Cheetos orange skin tone, the curious bouffant, that every Farage photo op must take place in a pub and have him holding a full pint of ale. From a distance that is the indelible image – the clown as politician, it makes you wonder just who are these idiots cheering for them, voting for them? But up close, and particularly if you are their potential constituent, then at a certain point there is the realization that that “funny” speech is made for you, and for your neighbors, and for your colleagues, and then you notice that it is your colleagues, and your neighbors, even you, who are responding viscerally to it and … well … then they don’t seem quite so funny after all.

Just seventy-six more dreams to go.

77 long, dark nights for America: Focus on Clinton

Seventy-seven long, dark nights to go.

Trump’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “Hillary Clinton strongly stated that there was “absolutely no connection” between her private work and that of The State Department. LIE!”

Clinton’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “On average, it takes black women until today to catch up to white men’s 2015 earnings. Time to close the pay gap.

Daily election article of interest: Donald Trump’s Campaign CEO, Once Wrote a Rap Musical

When Clinton and not Trump has been making the news headlines for the day you know that this is not a positive thing. Democratic strategists might be best advised keeping her entirely out of the news as much as possible until after the election.

Today’s news is concerned with her emails again as lawyers for the State Department announce they expect to release 15,000 emails in October – so a release just weeks before November’s election and unlikely to help her with that whole “trustworthiness” problem she has. One can’t but help note that if the GOP hadn’t nominated a choleric id of privileged entitlement wrapped up in a silly haircut as its candidate they would be well placed to take back the White House.