My Blog Week: June 28 to July 4
A Word on the Week
The Bobbing Cork
Suppose you attend a gathering, and there are ninety-nine other people in your seating section, some wearing masks, some not. Some yell and sing, some choose to keep quiet. You are a mask-wearer, and you don’t propose to inhale deeply in a crowd. You’re here to represent a cause, to report a story, to test your courage…maybe only to be entertained. You might assume there are one hundred stories in this section of one hundred people.
You might assign to all non-mask wearers the designation of knuckle-dragging MAGA. They might assign to all mask-wearers the designation of antifa conspirator. Paranoia, that useful device, replaces variable explanations with one explanation. All disappointments and inconveniences become an enemy’s scheming. The listening to of reasons, which might have a number of relatable shades, tempering intolerance with fellow-feeling, becomes dispensable…
If the worm in the brain isn’t actively telling the thralldom that compassion itself is a trap.
The president read a speech at Mount Rushmore, intended, it would seem, to give permission to militant racism, and instigate alt-right acting out. Read is the word. His passive irresponsibility seems to come from a personal narrative, that some great wave of popular demand having placed him in the White House, he must accept a fate on which America insists. Trump is not a government person. He shouldn’t have to know things that he appoints people to know for him. America wanted him because he was an outsider. He doesn’t owe expertise (of any kind) to his supporters; they don’t ask it.
He reads speeches detachedly, and mockingly, as far as he understands humor. That very minimal effort is a reiteration of the message: Trump is to be delivered by mechanisms of the state, for the exhibiting of Trump to his audience, their wish. He doesn’t bother to prepare. It’s not his fault he can’t read the teleprompter; it’s nothing to him whether the word is swift-something or sweep-something…
He caters to whomever has his ear. They have experience; he has none…he is only fulfilling the great mandate: the people wanted him, and he is he.
It will always be this way. A person who won’t plan has no underlying plan. A person who won’t learn has no underlying knowledge. Trump worries about looking foolish. He worries, like a dog, about failings he knows to have been seen. The orangeness he imagines hidden behind a “tan” excuse; the flabbiness under his tent-like suits, and he doesn’t find his unnatural appearance embarrassing. He worries when Twitter criticizes him for walking and drinking weirdly; his personality compels dwelling on this. There is no governance in Trump. Governance is what flunkies are supposed to do, not bothering the Man of the People with details. If there are COVID failures, it must be enemies at work, the Obama administration, China—even the testing for COVID—but Trump does not do public health…how would he know?
The only thing he relates to or thinks about is the personal. When or if we see debates, he won’t talk about policy. Recent interviews suggest he can’t, not knowing of any. The race-war strategy is a superimposition, an agenda Trump will give lip service to because he doesn’t take responsibility for strategies. He appoints the advisors who tell him things. He, having heard or been told these things, sometimes repeats them, embellishes them, at appearances and press briefings, but they are not his things.
Maybe things will work out, maybe they won’t. We’ll see.
The upcoming book by his niece, then, is likely to get under his skin in a way no former staffer’s can. That Trump is a bull-in-a-china-shop on policy doesn’t matter to Trump. His hair and makeup secrets do.
On Monday, a new Totem-Maker, the character being given a social life, but wanting work. Tuesday, The Mirrors (part seven), a visit to Charmante’s home, a new angle on an old tragedy, and a visitation. Wednesday, a new Battle Stations, “Dark Humour”, a body disappearing with unacceptable implications. Thursday, Frédéric Boutet’s “Madame Paul”, the story of an errant husband. Friday, Eight, “Picking Brains”, the sixth on propaganda. Saturday, an excerpt from Figure, Book Two, “Jerome”, and a glimpse of Ebrach at practice.
Images on my posts often have a link to related information (click first image), sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical, sometimes in answer to a direct reference. Since people can be leery about links, I include them here: what they are, what sites they point to.
My Blog Week: June 28 to July 4
Excerpt: A Figure from the Common Lot (Jerome)