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Posts Tagged ‘Trumpland’

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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kicking cripples

Everyone on the planet knows Trump is ratings obsessed. Numbers, even inflated imaginary numbers, are his bread and butter – quantifiable proof of success.

Ratings are the results of direct competition. A ranking of winners and losers. One of the supposed driving forces in Trump’s life remains his father’s conception that one was either a Killer / King or you were a weakling/loser.

Ratings, and by extension poll numbers, are unlike any wealth he’s ever collected. Since ratings are based on pure dominance. Audience size is the only metric of success. TV ratings are a corporate popularity contest. More personal than real estate with his name on it. More satisfying than any bank account accumulation.

But why.

Sure, it appears to be pure textbook narcissism. It is all grandiosity. Ratings satisfy Trump’s driving need for admiration. And ratings validate the mountain of lies designed to prop up a fantasy image of self.

BUT.

If Trump is just personality disordered, then, we would not be in such a predicament. The predicament is one of chaotic meaninglessness. Trump has crashed through the “fourth wall” of our 24 hour news cycle.

Trump refuses to adhere to the banality of talking points designed to bore and demotivate the audience. Trump as stolen the metrics of entertainment and applied them to our politics. So we are dislocated and confused.

BUT should we be confounded by the success of Trump at redefining the political dialogue? No. Because his message is based in how we consume our entertainment now. Where we are shocked is that such a “serious” sphere as national politics could be so easily adapted into a ratings generating machine.

As long as Trump’s message is simply stated, summarily repetitious, and designed to amp up emotional response / drama, he will continue to dictate and dominate our political discourse – unchallenged.

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Every college’s Communications Mass Media class teaches something about how commercials and advertising use a propaganda model to entice and persuade.

The oldest trope is the NEW AND IMPROVED ploy – which always implies forward innovation, while never pointing to the shitty useless history of the product.

Meaning, if laundry detergent has room to be constantly improved, just how ineffectual was it to begin with?

With the rise of Trump, we witnessed the conclusion of various propaganda systems converging. A topic for another longer post, but one of the curious results of the success of Trump’s narrative is how it opens up opportunities for Corporate exploitation.

In a world where political boycotts of Corporations are common. Where the attempt to lower an economic consequence to change a profit engines’ method of operation, grassroots organization determines the effectuality of such a protest.

Recently, these protests have taken on an antithetical aspect – Corporations have been targeted for reward for their socio-political stances (Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day).

So now, how should we take the news that DOVE produced advertisements that “clap back” at TRUMPLAND’s assertion of “alternative facts?” Putting aside the obvious dire real world implications of such Newspeak, just what do we do now that this discourse has entered into the advertising?

The co-mingling of all these aspects seems dangerously problematic.

1. DOVE’s whole advertising purpose is to create an image of the world made better by its products. Ultimately, creating a lasting brand loyalty and constant need of its products.

2. DOVE rightly recognizes that it’s consumers responded positively to its feminist-lite DOVE SELF-ESTEEM PROJECT campaign and the Corporation was rewarded for its liberalish seeming stance. Especially, in the free “viral” sharing on social media by consumers who support the “message” of the ads.

3. Seeing the success of its soft social commentary, the assessed risk of conservative political backlash in the form of product boycott is weighed against the free goodwill “viral” spread among more liberal consumers. Obviously, DOVE chooses to risk the backlash in both directions.

4. DOVE understands that exploiting the blatant propaganda of “alternative facts” does not endanger their own persuasive rhetoric. Exposing the political absurdity of the lies does not have enough connective tissue to their own advertising lies – the consumer will delight in taking the piss out of TRUMPLAND, but will not question DOVE’s larger profit-driven motivations.

Hashtag Exposed!

Hashtag Exposed!

So what does this all mean?

I am not sure other than it is yet another piece in a puzzle. Another site of resistance we must be weary of embracing, since such focal points are less supportive than they appear.

When this sort of Corporate action is embraced, we must understand how its message is geared less against TRUMPLAND than it seems.  Since the propaganda modes are intertwined and reliant upon each other.

The status quo must and will be maintained at all costs and as such Corporations like DOVE have a real and vested interest in assuring that the curtain of lies is not torn completely off the wall.

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drawing by Kate Atherton

Trumpland, America’s Worst Theme Park

In America’s new theme park, Trumpland, all the attractions are grotesque, tragic, mirror-reflections of common sense. While billed as “…an America  First fun time…,” once you get into the park its too late. You’ve already been had. The lines are super long, everything is covered in a nutty grease, and nothing really works.

Trumpland promises so much. But Trumpland is NOT a family theme park. Unless your family is awful. And I mean like super-awful. Drowning boxes of kittens, awful. Punching old ladies for their pain meds, awful. But even then, you are NOT guaranteed a good time, either. Otherwise, Trumpland is an utter disappointment to all paying customers!

The park has only been open a little over a week. But aw shucks, has the golly gee wiz shine wore completely off.

Instead of promoting the exciting new attractions like the Immigrant Green Card Roller Coaster that loops and stalls through a life sized international airport, senior management of the park spent their first week moaning and whining.

Seriously, founder, chief flower arranger, and President Donald Trump spent his days between crying like a giant babyman who can’t find a decent wet nurse to role play his diaper fantasy and signing oversized souvenir proclamations.

Both the Trump Babyman Role Play costume AND these poster sized “executive orders” are already on sale in the many, many Trumpland gift shops.

Inexplicably, now, certain people are not even allowed to enter Trumpland. A fact that customers are not told about until after they have purchased their park tickets and booked their vacation accommodations.

This new move baffled other theme parks who have reassured all paying customers they will not be turned away from their resorts.

The Trumpland shareholders seemed divided about the sense of these new requirements. And some are wondering if the park is even worth defending any longer. We will all wait to see how the park fares in the coming week. If it lasts beyond that, is anyone’s guess.

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