Friday, January 13, 2017

Deep State Stumbling

L. Frank Baum created the Land of Oz to be a satire.  All the major characters were stand-ins for known figures and political stereotypes.  The Emerald City was Washington, the Heartless Man of Tin was industry.  And the Cowardly Lion...well today that one couldn't be more obvious.
Probably the most important pillar upon which the Deep State rests is the Media and yes, the Media is very much part of the Deep State.  
Never forget for a moment what we are up against is more of a class than it is an actual conspiracy.  After all there is no need at all to conspire when they all think alike. 

One look at the Obama administration will tell you that. In a dazzling trapeze act the likes of which the country has never seen before, its members have for the last eight years flipped constantly between media jobs in NYC and political appointments in DC.  Everybody on one side either knew or was outright related to someone on the other.  Each side looking after the other's interests because of course they were completely shared interests.

The problem with the principle problem with this class is it's bone deep parochial attitude.

The ongoing expressions of shock on the part of the cultural establishment—expressed on a daily basis by The New Yorker, New York magazine and The New York Times, anything, apparently, with New York in its title—reflect their fears that the development of a more careful, regulated and corrected world is about to be undone. That the unapologetic white male has returned. You could hardly find a more threatening and throwback version of that than Trump—a rich, voluble, egomaniacal, middle-aged pussy hound. To write him you would need some combination of authors like Norman Mailer, Terry Southern, Harry Crews and Gore Vidal, all notably out of step with current cultural norms.

The culture norm is as starkly confronted as the political norm with proof that it’s not speaking to the lives of a sizeable part of the nation: that same pussy talk that shocked cosmopolitans turns out not to be of much concern, and even to express a casual day-to-day reality, for many Americans. Media fragmentation has created all sorts of thriving niches that accommodate the views of eager consumers, lessening the need to speak to a broader, more difficult-to-reach audience—the once-great mass market. (With no one speaking to it, it's had to largely contend itself with an expanding diet of sports—another overlooked point of the Trump voter connection, his several decades of red carpet presence at major sporting events.) And, too, convincing higher-fashion cultural consumers that their concerns are paramount ones.

These are just “white man’s problems,” said an agent who in 2013 rejected a collection of short stories about middle-aged terrors and angst by 53-year-old Pennsylvania and working-class son Kevin Morris (transformed by the mysteries of American life into a top Hollywood entertainment lawyer), who promptly took that as the title for his book—think Richard Ford, John Cheever and Bernard Malamud, all writers who are also out of fashion—which he then self-published through Amazon. (The self-publishing world is an extraordinary and vibrant parallel culture, hardly recognizable to the official bookish world). When Grove/Atlantic’s Morgan Entrekin shortly thereafter bought Morris’s first novel, All Joe Knight, about sex and race and money, told through the eyes of a lower-middle-class white kid who grows up to be an alienated middle-aged white guy, “we struggled,” he said, “to think of like-minded writers who could blurb the book and could hardly come up with any.” The book, published shortly after the Trump election, and, in its political incorrectness and protean language, something of an instant samizdat-like favorite at least among other older male writers, has yet to be reviewed by The New York Times.

(*Side note I'll be tacking up another Dark Winter chapter tomorrow.*)

INSTINCTIVELY OR BY CANNY PLAN, Trump converted the conservatives’ parochial and rate-limiting culture war on abortion and gay marriage into a much more visceral campaign against the political pieties of sophisticated America, with Trump as the ultimate revenge on upper-middlebrow cultural life. It’s the mannered and effete against the profane and immediate.

For Trump, Hillary Clinton, in her guardedness and suspicion, in her inability to express herself with any openness and spontaneity, summed up out-of-touchness, struggling to attract crowds of a few hundred, while he was pulling tens of thousands.

Trump’s attacks on the media served to say that his language, his expressiveness, his ability to connect with the audience was more potent than the media’s. (In an interview with Trump shortly after his nomination was secure, he told me he was sure of victory when for the first primary debate, the usual audience increased almost tenfold because of his presence: “I’m more entertaining than the media.”) The media, in thrall to the culture establishment—and signed on to its cultural rules and concerns (hence its Pussygate shock)—was inauthentic and he was the real thing. For “CNN sucks”-screaming Trump supporters, CNN sucks for, in fact, the same reason that it sucks to everybody else—it’s phony and slavish—but Trumpsters were suddenly saying it, screaming it. (Liberals took this as an attack on free speech; on Trump's side, the view was that the media stifles real speech.)

This attack on careful, orderly, prescribed culture is what happens when the culture stops talking about real things—at least what a significant part of the country regards as real and important. Or, it is—and certainly is inevitably thought to be by those cultural standard bearers under attack—a sinister onslaught against enlightenment itself.


Indeed, the election reengages a gender battle that many people on the New York side of the Trump gap had thought was mightily going in only one direction. The vestigial and primitive American man, unreconstructed, baying at the moon (probably high on opiates)—the alt-right in the liberal view—voiceless for many years (or, anyway, wise to shut up), now had Donald “Let me be your voice” Trump. The obvious message of his sudden resurgence of course is that he didn’t go away or reform: He was just shut out. Without any place in upper-middlebrow culture, except as an occasional enemy of reason or subject of scandal, there was no bridge to who he was—no humanity left for him. 

Hence we turned into The Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz, a brainless man of straw more to mocked than feared.

But since Deep State Class never reads the classics they wouldn't know that the Scarecrow eventually became King of the Emerald City.


Sillon Bono said...

>>> After all there is no need at all to conspire when they all think alike.

It is more like how ants work, they all seem to do their own thing, then one discovers something useful for the colony and leaves signals for the others.

They all push in the same direction without even knowing why are pushing, what are they pushing and what the consequences of pushing are.

That's how (((THEM))) operate too.

It is the intelligence of the masses, inject an idea and soon there are nests spreading that idea everywhere, (((They))) created it in the 20's perfected it during the 30's and set it upon the world in the 40's

The current meme war is nothing but the same mechanics at play.

George said...

I was slow to pickup on the Wizard of Oz = Populism. Here is a good link that explains it in more detail.

I had never understood why the shoe were silver when I read the book but ruby in the movie.

Cataline Sergius said...


In the book the Silver Slippers represented the Free Coinage of Silver.

They switched them to Ruby Slippers in the film because the coloring process was still pretty new in 1939. And red would show up on film waaaay better than silver.