Larissa's Blog

The Mythology of Donald Trump

In his book Mythologies, Roland Barthes examined the ways in which modern society creates myths about its experience. Using semiotics, he wrote of the atmosphere of disorder a stray lock of Calpurnia's hair creates in Joseph L. Mankiewicz's Julius Caesar and how writers on holiday are thought never to stop writing.
The mythology of Donald Trump is that his presidential campaign is a reality show that will be promptly canceled in November. Statements that threaten violence, like his suborning assassination this week, are part of an entertainment, like The Trumpanos or The Walking Trump or Game of Trump. Scary, yes, but contained. He'll just retire after the election, we --- kinda -- think. And give up the media attention, the crowds? Think of Trump's red face as he mocks and smears and threatens. No, in this show, the best, or worst, is yet to come

Sympathy for the Devil

Trump Agonistes? No, not really. I doubt that this embodiment of classic narcissistic personality disorder has anything remotely like inner struggles. All the room in his small soul is taken up by resentments and racism and rows large and small.
Friends, you know I am no fan of Trump. I have lost no opportunity to point out where he is wrong, and I consider him wrong in everything. But now, seeing him as mentally ill, I feel sorry for him. He is a rattlesnake, an unempathetic and vicious man, but a sick one, a tragic one. However, and forever, ‪#‎neverTrump‬, ‪#‎neverthislostsoul‬

Trump and Media Addiction

The reason Facebook and Twitter are addictive is that they operate on variable reward schedules. Sometimes you get 10 Likes, sometimes 100, sometimes none. Rats will run mazes much faster when rewarded variably than when consistently rewarded. Gambling, guys that don't call when they say they will, social media all trigger the addictive response. And Trump is an active addict of outsized proportions with the impulse control of a gnat. Imagine him at work? Yes, another reason ‪#‎neverTrump‬.

The Banality of Donald Trump

Today, or yesterday, Trump targeted the grieving mother of a slain US soldier and asserted that Russia "is not going to go into the Ukraine." I am no longer envisioning Trump as a mastermind of evil. His stripe of evil smacks of banality, as in Hannah Arendt's phrase about Adolf Eichmann. Perhaps this impulsive id-ruled man is average, ignorant and self-seeking and banal.

Are You Trump Ready?

Are you Trump ready? Answer the following Yes or No questions to see if you are ready for a Trump presidency.1.     Waterboarding is not a war crime. (Y/N)2.     It is okay to kill the families of suspected terrorists. (Y/N)3.     Asking the Russians to hack US databases is funny. (Y/N) 4.     Everything Trump says is funny. (Y/N)5.     The children of immigrants are immigrants even if they were born in the USA.
If you answered Yes to any one of these questions, congratulations! You are absolutely Trump ready. Yes, just one Yes answer qualifies you  -- - you know we wouldn’t give you a hard test!

Rage: The Dominant Affect of Fascism

RAGE: the dominant affect of the Trump campaign. What intoxicated followers of Hitler was der Fuehrer's anger, which he empowered them to express by example. Trump has taken a page from that book. Fury and targets to vent it on: it's an exhilarating combination for those whose anger has been stuffed in the subterranean depths of their souls for so long. Not to mention a party for those who wear their hate on their sleeves. ‪#‎rageaholism‬ ‪#‎neverTrump‬ ‪#‎racismandrage‬

Thanks for downloading The No-Net World and Exorcism

Thanks to all of you who are buying my audio poetry with music by Bobby Perfect. It costs a penny or less to buy or stream from iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Deezer, etc. So far, "Warsaw Ghetto" with riffs from Tom Robinson Band and my translation of Pushkin's "I loved you once" are the favorites. Bless you for your kind support and learn more about my albums here: 

Trump University: Creating Racism 101

As the recruitment guide for Trump University's prospects specified, economic vulnerability and fear are fertile grounds for victims of fraud. Trump's campaign runs true to this strategy. "Your problem," he tells voters,"is immigrants, Muslims, and Mexicans, and I, The Donald, will solve it."
How well is Trump University doing? People who were not racist before are racist now, and long-time racists are more active than ever. Look at this endorsement from Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, now running for the Senate in Louisiana:
"I thought, wow, here's a man embracing the core issues I've fought for my whole life."
Even if Trump loses in November, and this is no certainty, graduates of Trump University are not going away anytime soon.

The Trump Abuser-Victim Paradigm

Whenever I hear someone say "only I can fix this," "only I care for you," "you can't do this without me," a red flag goes up in my deepest heart. Abusers of all stripes, from wife beaters to quack doctors to dysfunctional parents, use these phrases on their victims, to isolate them and keep them from seeking real help. Trump's manipulation of his followers' fears is a toxic tool of a toxic candidate. But we are not helpless, Mr. Trump, and we can overcome our problems without you; in fact, we must, since you are one of the main problems. ‪#‎neverTrump‬ ‪#‎Trumpspeech‬ ‪#‎Trumpspeak‬

Trump as Signifier

Symbols are more real than what they symbolise; the signifier precedes and determines the signified - Claude Lévi-Strauss
What this has to do with Donald Trump is that the Twitter-addicted media hound is more real as a symbol than as a man to his followers, who cannot see beyond the glare of his image. And Trump, who recently said "no press is good press," knows this well. He has created a mythology greater than any fact of his acts and deeds.
Lacan's formula for metaphor: f (S')S = (+) s
(S is Signifier and s is signified)
Trump is teflon because he is the Signifier, and what and how he has signified is lost in the process for so many, too many

The Normalization of Donald Trump

The Republican Convention is contributing to the "normalization" of Donald Trump. See, the festivities with family and friends seem to say, this is not the man Bernie Sanders characterized as a pathological liar, this is no bigot, misogynist, and bully. Why, he even seems . . . presidential. Poll numbers are rising with the hype. Do remember, friends, what Trump is and what he stands for, and educate others between now and November.

Not about Economics

I watched televised coverage of the last Republican convention. The Obama Hope poster renamed "Rope" and showing the image of the President being lynched. And monkeys, and God help me, all manner of vile stuff. They allow this? I thought. No, I realized today, they sow this. And that was before Trump. The President is right: If you support Donald Trump, it's not about the economics.