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Posts Tagged ‘Reality Show President’

“Everyone an outlaw, until it time to do outlaw shit.”

I picked this up because THE NATION recommended that if I, a pasty suburban leftie liberal, wanted to understand the “forgotten man” Trump voter, I should read this. I find out near the the end, that the goddamn NATION magazine paid the tab on HST’s drink account to dictate this into a handheld tape recorder. Shady.

But the suggestion is not “that” wrong. As with everything HST wrote, there is a near perfect, poetic epiphany right near the end of the article/book that just sparks with soul cleansing crystal magic poetry. In the case of the Angels, HST crafts it out of the sheer loserdom that defines the cyclists’ whole reason for being.

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“In terms of the Great Society the Hell’s Angels and their ilk are losers – dropouts, failures and malcontents. They are rejects looking for a way to get even with a world in which they are only a problem. The Hell’s Angels are not visionaries, but diehards, and if they are forerunners of the vanguard of anything it is not the “moral revolution” in vogue on college campuses, but a fast-growing legion of young unemployables whose trapped energy will inevitably find the same kind of destructive outlet that “outlaws” like the Hell’s Angels have been finding for years. The difference between the student radicals and the Hell’s Angels is that the students are rebelling against he past, while the Angels are fighting the future. Their only common ground is their disdain for the present, or the status quo.” p. 256-257.

Lost by their own hobbying, lost by their own addictions, lost by their own purposeful sense of community and belonging. But still given a certain nodding respect by conservative society and it’s wide belted police force. Because, the Angels, are, when it is said and done, still young white boys and probably could be rehabilitated.

HST does an amazing thing, much like Arendt, he unpacks the bluster to strip the myth down to the most banal reality of the outlaw. While he never coins the phrase, the HELL’S ANGELS can be seen as a study in the “banality of hooliganism.”

HST spreads out how popular culture, namely the movie THE WILD ONE inspired the conception of the Angels. Not only were the Angels fans, they sought to emulate and surpass the look and attitude of the bikers in the movie. But the press conflated real news with the events in the movies, to heighten the fears of small town America, when their windows rattled when a bike barrelled past.

It is really the long stretch where HST does a play by play of the party at Bear Lake illustrates just how absurd the whole game of cat and mouse becomes – where the most dangerous thing are the “squares” armed to the teeth and those teeth floating in a bile of pent up fearful rage. The begrudging respect the police afford the motorcycle revelers and the pure drunken inaction of the revelers themselves, puts a fine point on the weekend adventure.

But there are honestly disgusting and troubling aspects to the Angel’s – their attitude toward women, sex, and rape is primal and tribal. But, I wonder, to what extent does their embrace of demeaning and owning women, beating them into submission, and forcibly raping them did not just give full articulation to the mores of the post-war American spirit?

Not to mention their reactionary racism. While they seem to have no issue with individual blacks, they hate “the blacks” writ large. They fear retaliation after kicking the shit out of a young black guy in their bar. The white paranoia was conservative and unironically embracing the “law and order” tactics that are used to corral and harass them, as well.

But the most embarrassing part of the book is when the Keasey/Ginsburg crowd adopts the Angels. I mean why wouldn’t old Uncle Alan want to make it with some greasy smelling bears while quoting Whitman as he came? The Angels were made for his fiddling bits, the slumming would be delicious. He even wrote a four page nonsense poem about them – under the pretext of convincing them not to wail on his gentle anti-war protesting friends. Oh the wiles of the poet, his song weakening the brutal heart of the barbarian to spare the valley of the river nymphs!

Bleck.

HST’s book is an artifact to a time when America was still outraged by the unkempt appearance of the Hell’s Angels, before the “look” became ubiquitous. Now the sight of a bearded, shirtless, leather vested man’s man roaring down the highway, spilling beer and flipping off the camera is used to sell watches to stock brokers, not to instill fear into the hearts of upstanding mom and dads.

And maybe that is what the Trump supporters are most angry about. They are no longer feared and their existence considered outlaw. They are “forgotten” because their idea of outlaw culture is no longer outlaw.

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needWe are all familiar with those horrible late night reality shows and the “afternoon judges” programs that litter the cable schedule. Shows like Cheaters, Blind Date and Judge Matthis / Judy / People’s Divorce Court. They are defined by the shoestring budgets, failed catalog model casting, and incomprehensible story lines.

These shows are cynically designed to appeal to drunk insomniacs, unemployed high school dropouts, and low IQ trailer park idiots. The main appeals of these shows are bright colors and flashing graphics scrolling over the casts’ humiliation parade.

These shows are time killers. They are meant to be constantly droning on in the background – their perfect audience is distracted, sleepy, high on drugs, woofing down junk food in the middle of the night. To the tv stations that broadcast them they are schedule stuffers, cheap revenue generators/band aids. They keep the station on the air and bring an audience to the low rent bail bondsmen and local ambulance chasers and for profit degree mills who cannot to advertise during peak hours. They are trash shows deigned to bring an distracted audience of idiot losers to the garbage advertisers.

The Trump Reality Show Presidency entered its late night syndication phase a few weeks ago. His administration moved beyond any sort of narrative structure. Not that they were ever that concerned with consistency of message, in fact, they seemed to thrive on the reactive outrage of their policy-less actions.

BUT. Now the Trump Reality Show is blatantly just serving the needs of its bottom line – the Presidency’s whole purpose now is to make Trump Inc. money. The ultimate gangster, Trump, is levying the Office to grease the wheels of his meager business ventures. The examples are amazing and varied. HERE HERE AND HERE.
So. It is not original nor new to say that Trump is profiting from the Presidency. What I am arguing is for a new way to understand just what is going on and how to better oppose it. Since we’ve entered the “syndication” (inclusive of the mafia syndicate implications) phase of the Reality Show Presidency,  we can assume certain expectations.

First, in true syndication re-run fashion – we’ve seen everything Trump has to offer. We’ve seen all the episodes many times before and know what joke is coming next. While there is some comforting entertainment value to tuning in every night, Trump is not going to deviate from the already broadcast script.

Second, Trump’s antics, if there is any design to them anymore, are a being used to generate revenue for his family. While the news nation focuses on the next “insult or outrage,” Trump is barely concealing using the influence of Office of the President to grease the wheels of international business deals.

Third, Trump’s re-run content is actually overshadowing the first-run original content that is being crammed in-between commercials. For instance, the Health Care Act that was just passed in the House should be the headline, but instead, we are bludgeoned with the idiocy of Trump returning to the fact that he won the election.

In the end, there is very little that Trump, himself, can do anymore that is new. We’ve seen his carnival sideshow act before. So just like Elminadate or a re-run of Major Dad, we should tune in only when sports are on. Otherwise, the first run shows are far more dangerous, right now.

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bomb throwing bunnyIn the reality show landscape of our current political state, all news is punditry and all punditry is news, the “fake news” cry is legitimized by the ahistorical zeal of combative (and escalating outrageous) opinion.

And Trump is the embodiment of this ahistorical, opinionated, “knownothing” specialist. His mastery is outrage and inflated self-promotion. His appeal is that he is boring, predictable, and completely without mastery or insight.

He sounds like the undereducated, “common sense” every person, the common schlub, who’s deepest thinking is religious or trades’ based (mechanic hobbyists or overweight outdoor’s men).

Trump has the platform to shout these banalities to the world, so when he angrily opines about chicken buckets or celebrity weight gain, he reifies the basic thoughts of the distracted masses. He appeals to the hopeless, economically trapped middle class, since he broadcasts their specific grievances – grievances based in the crisp unfairness of the world, in all its full, escalating anger.

But the distracted mass is most concerned with the poverty of their daily life overwhelmed by the inoperability of systems they are financially and physically constrained by – debt, underemployment, constant barrage of status affirming materialism. They are literally starving in their bloated bodies poisoned by the chemical additives disguised as affordable food. Their lives are angry and inflamed and they lash out with provocations meant to quell the waves of empathy they refuse to feel for those most like themselves.

Their patience disappears into a long, frustrated sigh of resignation. In order to distract themselves from personal injustices (real or perceived), their anger jumps from micro to macro in half of a step. And then, across a national stage, populated by beautiful people with perfect smiles talking about things that barely touch any of our lived experiences, comes the blistering voice of Trump.

His limited vocabulary offering up the limited solutions that most people conclude on their own without a second thought. Trump is not a refreshing gush of honesty. In fact, Trump is the most dishonest mockery of the common sense solutions.

Trump pulls from the drama of reality tv narratives, as we’ve seen, but adds to it the selective coherence of conspiracy theories and “refreshing” acknowledgement that the world is unfairly screwed to fuck “us.”

And it is all based in an fake relationship with reality – bad faith, lies, distortion, and ruthless public relations spin. Trump’s ability to plant stories or seed the news with stories about himself are well documented. He understands the cult of fame is based in endless propaganda, so he became a bumbling, lying thug of publicity.

All the outrageousness and terrible misinformation Trump spews aside, his real resonant message remains – “See how unfairly I am treated? ME? Donald Trump? I understand how fucked the System is for YOU, since it is screwing me too!”

Even though that is complete and utter bullshit, total crap-mouth shit-talk, it resonates with the distracted middle class, who feel the same way about all their bad decisions and inability to wiggle out of the economic snares trapping them.

Trump is America’s temper tantrum made flesh.

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