Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Drumpf Seen from Across the Pond

Someone on Quora asked "Why do some British people not like Donald Trump?"
Nate White, an articulate and witty writer from England wrote this magnificent response.

'A few things spring to mind.
Trump lacks certain qualities which the British traditionally esteem.
For instance, he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no self-awareness, no humility, no honour and no grace - all qualities, funnily enough, with which his predecessor Mr. Obama was generously blessed.
So for us, the stark contrast does rather throw Trump’s limitations into embarrassingly sharp relief.
Plus, we like a laugh. And while Trump may be laughable, he has never once said anything wry, witty or even faintly amusing - not once, ever.
I don’t say that rhetorically, I mean it quite literally: not once, not ever. And that fact is particularly disturbing to the British sensibility - for us, to lack humour is almost inhuman.
But with Trump, it’s a fact. He doesn’t even seem to understand what a joke is - his idea of a joke is a crass comment, an illiterate insult, a casual act of cruelty.
Trump is a troll. And like all trolls, he is never funny and he never laughs; he only crows or jeers.
And scarily, he doesn’t just talk in crude, witless insults - he actually thinks in them. His mind is a simple bot-like algorithm of petty prejudices and knee-jerk nastiness.
There is never any under-layer of irony, complexity, nuance or depth. It’s all surface.
Some Americans might see this as refreshingly upfront.
Well, we don’t. We see it as having no inner world, no soul.
And in Britain we traditionally side with David, not Goliath. All our heroes are plucky underdogs: Robin Hood, Dick Whittington, Oliver Twist.
Trump is neither plucky, nor an underdog. He is the exact opposite of that.
He’s not even a spoiled rich-boy, or a greedy fat-cat.
He’s more a fat white slug. A Jabba the Hutt of privilege.
And worse, he is that most unforgivable of all things to the British: a bully.
That is, except when he is among bullies; then he suddenly transforms into a snivelling sidekick instead.
There are unspoken rules to this stuff - the Queensberry rules of basic decency - and he breaks them all. He punches downwards - which a gentleman should, would, could never do - and every blow he aims is below the belt. He particularly likes to kick the vulnerable or voiceless - and he kicks them when they are down.
So the fact that a significant minority - perhaps a third - of Americans look at what he does, listen to what he says, and then think 'Yeah, he seems like my kind of guy’ is a matter of some confusion and no little distress to British people, given that:
* Americans are supposed to be nicer than us, and mostly are.
* You don't need a particularly keen eye for detail to spot a few flaws in the man.

This last point is what especially confuses and dismays British people, and many other people too; his faults seem pretty bloody hard to miss.
After all, it’s impossible to read a single tweet, or hear him speak a sentence or two, without staring deep into the abyss. He turns being artless into an art form; he is a Picasso of pettiness; a Shakespeare of shit. His faults are fractal: even his flaws have flaws, and so on ad infinitum.
God knows there have always been stupid people in the world, and plenty of nasty people too. But rarely has stupidity been so nasty, or nastiness so stupid.
He makes Nixon look trustworthy and George W look smart.
In fact, if Frankenstein decided to make a monster assembled entirely from human flaws - he would make a Trump.
And a remorseful Doctor Frankenstein would clutch out big clumpfuls of hair and scream in anguish:
'My God… what… have… I… created?
If being a twat was a TV show, Trump would be the boxed set.'

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism; the game!

Here's a cute little parlor game which I just now invented after stumbling upon the following at Wikipedia: (see below... )
But before we wade into that heavy current, here's the game!

'The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism'!

Items needed for the game are 1. at least a single copy of the 'Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism' (one for each player if possible), 2. a large bottle of vodka. and 3. writing implements (paper and pen, pencil, i-phone/pad, gadget, etc) for each player.

1. The game can be played alone or with trusted friends. Very important.

2. Each player reads the 'Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism'.

3. After reading each of the 'Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism', the player will write down an instance of that sin as committed by Donald J. Trump (hereafter referred to as Drumpfen-plotz). Only one case need be cited; more are allowed, remember,
however, that 'brevity is the soul of wit'.

4. The large bottle of vodka is drunk by the players upon completion of all writing. 

5. The players exchange their responses and comment on what a POS Drumpfen-plotz truly is.

Fun for the whole family!   Let's begin! 

The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism
The US psychiatrists Sandy Hotchkiss and James F. Masterson identified what they called the seven deadly sins of narcissism:

    Shamelessness: Narcissists are often proudly and openly shameless; they are not bound by the needs and wishes of others. Narcissists hate shame, and consider it "toxic", as shame implies they are not perfect and need to change. Narcissists prefer guilt over shame, as guilt allows them to dissociate their actions from themselves - it's only their actions that are wrong, while they themselves remain perfect.
    Magical thinking: Narcissists see themselves as perfect, using distortion and illusion known as magical thinking. They also use projection to "dump" shame onto others.
    Arrogance: A narcissist who is feeling deflated may "reinflate" their sense of self-importance by diminishing, debasing, or degrading somebody else.
    Envy: A narcissist may secure a sense of superiority in the face of another person's ability by using contempt to minimize the other person or their achievements.
    Entitlement: Narcissists hold unreasonable expectations of particularly favorable treatment and automatic compliance because they consider themselves special. Failure to comply is considered an attack on their superiority, and the perpetrator is considered an "awkward" or "difficult" person. Defiance of their will is a narcissistic injury that can trigger narcissistic rage.
    Exploitation: Can take many forms but always involves the exploitation of others without regard for their feelings or interests. Often the other person is in a subservient position where resistance would be difficult or even impossible. Sometimes the subservience is not so much real as assumed.
    Bad boundaries: Narcissists do not recognize that they have boundaries and that others are separate and are not extensions of themselves. Others either exist to meet their needs or may as well not exist at all. Those who provide narcissistic supply to the narcissist are treated as if they are part of the narcissist and are expected to live up to those expectations. In the mind of a narcissist, there is no boundary between self and other.

Impeach the

Thursday, December 27, 2018

General Deferment meets Cadet Bonespurs

So, the Drumpfen-dunce finally went to a war zone.
Iraq... and set about dispiriting the troops by telling them that the USA was being unfairly abused and used to police the world.

"America shouldn't be doing the fighting... for every nation on earth." Quoth the Drumpfen-douche.

And then, to pour salt into the wound he'd just inflicted on their fighting spirit, he whined that the USA wasn't getting reimbursed in many cases.
 Yes! He reduced the service of the Seals to a monetary transaction.

This is clear evidence that the man, Donald J. Trump, has no soul. Drumpfen-yutz, the Orange Autocrat, the Mango Mussolini wanna-be, the Amber Caligula considers that service to country is only respectable, valuable duty if the US is getting paid for it.
He has no soul.
He shed it long ago; traded for the insulating delusion that the world is here to serve his needs and for which he owes nothing in return but the simple benediction of his presence, the god-king.

Indict and impeach this POS.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Ban the Nazi Flag

nota bene: In the following jeremiad, the terms Nazi and fascist are used generically and interchangeably. Moreover, the terms white nationalist, white supremacist and alt/right, are, for me, rightfully conflated with the terms, Nazi and fascist.

Now, to our program...

With the recent spate of bomb threats, the murder of the eleven in the Pittsburgh synagogue and increasing accumulations of hate crimes, I have been discussing the matter of the rise of fascism in the US and around the world. In response to the sight of the symbols of hate groups,  I have publically and repeatedly called for banning the public display of all Nazi insignia as well as the Confederate flags as hate crimes and open acts of sedition.

Surprisingly, I have received a lot of push-back from those Constitutional purists who clutch the First Amendment and Freedom of Speech as one does a magic cloak which protects all, no matter how hateful or deleterious their speech.
Hear! Hear!
And bullshit!

The presence of fascists in our society should be seen with the greatest of alarm. The sight of a Nazis swastika or a Rebel flag should  raise shrill klaxons of warning within our souls.
Fear! Fire! Foes!

(There should be absolutely no toleration of fascist in our society. More on that another time.)

The main bulwark of the naive citing of the First Amendment to defend the rights of fascists is the 'slippery slope' argument, which goes as follows; once the symbols of one group are banned there will be nothing to stop the banning of all symbols. Say good-bye, they say, to the Christian cross, the Masonic square and compass, the Golden Arches!
This might also be called the 'hair on fire' defense.
In response to that, one must first accept that the 'slippery slope' is one of the most insipid and invalid of false arguments. There is no slippery slope; all determinations of legality in a democratic society are controllable. As Reinhold Niebuhr asserts; Nothing is inevitable; not even the most probable.
There is no run-away cart. There is no slippery slope.
And your hair isn't on fire.

The other, less sophisticated response to the call to ban the symbols of hate, slavery and oppression is this: by making that call, I am, myself, being a fascist.
(The rubber and glue argument)

Poppycock, balderdash and blatherskite. 

(and now a side-bar..)
[Fascists direct their hatred towards racial groups, nationalities and religions. Memberships in one or more those groups is not voluntary but is a condition of one's birth. The condition of one's birth is a personal choice. One's heritage is not a personal choice.

Being a fascist, on the other hand, is a personal choice. It is therefore, the choice to be a fascist (white nationalist, etc) which is repugnant, not the person. The person who embraces fascism become repugnant through the hateful actions of fascism.
I do not despise fascist for their ethnicity or their religion or their gender. I despise fascists because they have chosen to be fascists. My hatred of fascists does not therefore make me a 'reverse-fascist'.
As a point of fact, it is a moral imperative to hate hate, to detest fear-mongering, to deride and denounce fascism, bigotry and anti-Semitism. Anyone who tries to hedge their bets about fascism is ethically imperiled.]

Back to our story...

'But what is the point of banning these symbols?', asks the nice lady in the back, clutching her pearls and wringing her hands, patiently waiting for the side-bar to conclude.

The point, dear lady, is this; Banning the public display of these symbols deprives the fanatics of their own collective identity. Rallying to the flag of the Nazi regime (the black, left-handed swastika), white nationalists, who promulgate these malignant credos, feel bolstered and emboldened by being members of a larger group. There is safety in numbers, after all.

Ask the fictional Harvard symbologist, Robert Langdon. I'm certain he'd agree with me; by depriving the symbols to which group-members would rally, the group is no longer a cohesive group.  The unifying symbol of their ethos is gone and with it the unity of the group.

(If you don't believe Dr Langdon (ahem), then consult Joseph Campbell, who is, by far, the better source on symbology and the power of myth. (Seeing as he was an actual scholar...))

'But, but, but, they can make new symbols'...
(the motor-boat defense...)

Quite true; the human mind - even one filled with hate - is an ingenious one. New symbols will be invented. Being deprived of a symbol, the leaders of the group will invent another symbol. Some of those are already on display at the rallies "of very fine people" who march with tiki-torches and promote racial and religious hatred.
(seen here)

The new symbols are powerless. They will never have the emotional impact of the older ones because the new substitute symbols are not so deeply associated with the violence and egregious acts of the earlier group. 

Consider: Most educated, informed people associate the Nazi flag with Hitler, the Holocaust, genocide, the Second World War, the destruction of Europe and the deaths of millions. Any new symbols of fascism would not have that dire association and hence would have far less emotional impact. They would lack the 'fear factor'. That dearth of emotional impact would be felt by the members of the fascist group, as well, and would be far less a unifier than the older ones.

So, my thought runs, that if, as a society, the USA were to ban the flags and symbols of Nazism and the Confederacy from public display, that would be a most practical first step to eliminating the hateful ethos that the symbols represent.

Mind you, that it is but a first step, not the solution.

(Epilogue: In Germany, where the display of the Nazi flag is a criminal act, the fascist have resorted to displaying the flag of the Confederates States as a substitute symbol for their fascist ideology. In Munich, the Rebel Stars and Bars hold considerably less power than, say, in Atlanta, Georgia, Richmond, Virginia or Oxford, Mississippi.)