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BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal

Bill D 09 Feb 17 - 05:33 PM
robomatic 09 Feb 17 - 08:40 PM
Bugsy 09 Feb 17 - 09:04 PM
Acme 09 Feb 17 - 09:19 PM
Nigel Parsons 10 Feb 17 - 03:40 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Feb 17 - 03:55 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Feb 17 - 04:13 AM
Senoufou 10 Feb 17 - 06:30 AM
gillymor 10 Feb 17 - 06:38 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Feb 17 - 07:05 AM
Acme 10 Feb 17 - 07:06 AM
Bee-dubya-ell 10 Feb 17 - 10:22 AM
Bill D 10 Feb 17 - 11:17 AM
robomatic 10 Feb 17 - 11:22 AM
DMcG 10 Feb 17 - 11:47 AM
robomatic 10 Feb 17 - 01:03 PM
robomatic 10 Feb 17 - 02:45 PM
Greg F. 10 Feb 17 - 02:56 PM
robomatic 10 Feb 17 - 03:06 PM
Donuel 10 Feb 17 - 04:21 PM
Jim Carroll 10 Feb 17 - 07:26 PM
Bill D 11 Feb 17 - 10:32 AM
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Subject: BS: Finally, explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Feb 17 - 05:33 PM

https://thinkprogress.org/this-french-philosopher-is-the-only-one-who-can-explain-the-donald-trump-phenomenon-47afad40647c#.pvw7i3xm7

Read it all if you can tolerate philosophy. It doesn't help now that he has the job, but it clarifies a lot.


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Subject: RE: BS: Finally, explanation of Trump's appeal
From: robomatic
Date: 09 Feb 17 - 08:40 PM

I haven't tried your link but there are significant parallels between Trump and Berlusconi, who was re-elected PM of Italy more than once.
I think he got his comeuppance over legal/ monetary conflicts.

Right now I'm watching an interesting old flick: "A Face in the Crowd". Demagoguery is nothing new in American politics. Just that I don't have the good feeling I used to when I could assure my foreign friends that "political jokes are fine, as long as they don't get elected."


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Subject: RE: BS: Finally, explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Bugsy
Date: 09 Feb 17 - 09:04 PM

It all scares the hell out of me.

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: BS: Finally, explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Acme
Date: 09 Feb 17 - 09:19 PM

I thought of some of the goofy Italian elections (including porn stars running for office) but this has resulted in something that looks more like it's out of one of the equatorial banana republics, with Trump trying to be a strongman instead of simply the president. (My apologies to the equatorial nations that don't have crackpot leaders).

And more to your point, I love the French philosophers and used Barthes a number of times in my philosophy and English theory classes. Thank for the link!


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Subject: RE: BS: Finally, explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 10 Feb 17 - 03:40 AM

The New European 'newspaper' has possibly hit a new low this week (it's a weekly, broadsheet sized, English language, newspaper) a full front page picture of Trump, with the barcode strategically place across his upper lip.


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Subject: RE: BS: Finally, explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Feb 17 - 03:55 AM

Both Trump and Brexit were foisted on the world on the basis of fear and mistrust of "strangers in our midst" - leaders of an ailing society maintaining the status quo by dividing the exploited - a classic tactic of divide and rule.
Immediately after Brexit, racist incidents in Britain soared - Trump went to the polls on an openly racist agenda - Mexicans and "alien bad dudes" and "terrorists in our midst" - a doctrine of hate that echoes pre-war German with Trump the demagogic leader instead of Hitler.
His power lies in his wealth, not in rhetoric or his charisma - the man exudes repulsiveness on the platform - he lacks both Hitler's and Mussolini's ability to mesmerise.
His 'concern for the people' is illustrated by his contempt for them as customers and his crude disregard for women.
The claim that he is the "people's choice" is a myth - he actually won 46.2% of the vote compared to Clinton's 48.1% - he is a minority President who came to power by way of a democratic anomaly in the American voting system.
He selection of followers is an indication that he is attempting to create a Plutocracy and his behaviour is indicative that he is prepared to dismantle parts of the American Constitution in order to do so.
His dream for America is a reincarnation of Hitler's dream of a 'Reich that will last a Thousand Years'
Only the extremist right can possibly welcome this dangerous man as a saviour of the world and their refusal to discuss his policies and their implications, as far as I'm concerned, earns them 'Thatcher's description of "The Enemy Within".
Hopefully America will wake up before his diseased politics spread - his fouled up world isn't the one I wish to bequath the next generations.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Finally, explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Feb 17 - 04:13 AM

Nothing low about the barcode Nigel - a stroke of genius.
That sums the man up perfectly - a wealthy would-be dictator - satire at its very best.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Finally, explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Senoufou
Date: 10 Feb 17 - 06:30 AM

Jim, your post at 3.55am was superb. I agree with every word. I've sat here translating it for my husband, and he too feels it absolutely hits the nail on the head. He says, "Bravo Monsieur Carroll!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Finally, explanation of Trump's appeal
From: gillymor
Date: 10 Feb 17 - 06:38 AM

Thanks for the link to the article in the OP, Bill. Interesting.


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Subject: RE: BS: Finally, explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Feb 17 - 07:05 AM

Many thanks Sen - very much appreciated
My very best wishes to both of you
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Finally, explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Acme
Date: 10 Feb 17 - 07:06 AM

It's a good read! Roland Barthes was a smart guy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 10 Feb 17 - 10:22 AM

I read the linked article last night, just before retiring. It caused me to have a dream in which Donald Trump was dressed in wrestling tights and hitting Chuck Schumer with a folding chair. It was rather shocking. I usually dream about things that aren't likely to happen in real life.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Bill D
Date: 10 Feb 17 - 11:17 AM

Bee-dub.... I never internalize stuff 'quite' that clearly.... but you sure hit the nail on the.. umm... succinctly describe the point.

Trump won by playing directly to those who do not care whether he is lying or not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: robomatic
Date: 10 Feb 17 - 11:22 AM

I just read the article. Isn't this the old "Bread and Circuses" argument, i.e. the masses have devolved to mixing their politics with entertainment rather than issues and sober reflection?


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: DMcG
Date: 10 Feb 17 - 11:47 AM

I scanned the article this morning and have just finished a more leisurely read. Robomatic's remark that the article is the "Bread and Circuses" one has some merit, in that it emphasises people value being entertained quite highly - I think of many popular films, for example, that are high on spectacle but have almost no storyline. Also the idea that Trump won because he was playing a different game has merit. Both of these go some way towards explaining why the results were what they are. But they don't resolve it for me, because they neglect two factors that are important. There are those who take the ake viewpoint that some voters were completely neglected under the traditional system and they saw this as a way getting some influence. Like it or not, there are significant numbers who thought - and still think - like that. Equally, this article posits that there are some who value entertainment and spectacle so highly they are prepared to risk losing everything - rights, welfare, what have you - in favour of being entertained. Again, such people definitely exist. For example, compulsive gamblers need the thrill of the bet even if it eventually costs them their home. The article seem to be proposing it was these seekers-after-spectacle-at-all-costs that were the deciding factor. That could be right, but I don't see the evidence for it. And making that case can easily be presented as "the voters were just stupid", but in a more sophisticated language.

Don't get me wrong: I am not Trump supporter. But this article seemed to be an "easy" explanation (albeit a more erudite one).


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: robomatic
Date: 10 Feb 17 - 01:03 PM

I'm puzzled that some posts are deleted as off-topic when I've been through many threads that wander extensively- and sometimes well-intentionedly into fields that are still reflective of what the OP meant. I am not aware of having any posts deleted for cause with or without explanation, and while I am a liberal (for Alaska), I am not one by comparison with many of the posters in these BS forums. Which is why I find 'em interesting and worth participating in.

I take DMcGs comments as expansive of what I was saying in my post preceding. At the risk of going 'off' topic I'll add my general feelings that there is no perfect system. When a system is applied to government it inevitably involves constraints, and it follows that some people will experience those constraints more than others. Some of those people are murderers, others are jaywalkers, and some don't want to pay taxes. Any system of government has inherent strengths and weaknesses relative to others. The democratic-republican form of government is bound by the weaknesses of its electorate. Often the weaknesses are like plywood, one subsection of the voters is not as weak as most of the others, so the body politic as a whole is strong. Other times the cracks in the system align among groups. Fear is a great source of alignment, and my opinion is that unfortunately in this past election that is exactly what happened.

Another thought going through my mind is that maybe systems of government, or peoples, have lifetimes just as individuals do. The Chinese Dynasties ran through lifetimes. I'm by no means convinced that's the case with the USA, it's just another fear to throw on the fire.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: robomatic
Date: 10 Feb 17 - 02:45 PM

Let's hear from Private Willis:

When all night long a chap remains
On sentry-go, to chase monotony
He exercises of his brains,
That is, assuming that he's got any.
Though never nurtured in the lap
Of luxury, yet I admonish you,
I am an intellectual chap,
And think of things that would astonish you.
I often think it's comical – Fal, lal, la!
How Nature always does contrive – Fal, lal, la!
That every boy and every gal
That's born into the world alive
Is either a little Liberal
Or else a little Conservative!

Fal, lal, la!


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Greg F.
Date: 10 Feb 17 - 02:56 PM

More to the point regarding President Hump, let's hear from Lord Mountararat:

I don't want to say a thing against brains - I've a great respect for brains - I often wish I had some myself!


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: robomatic
Date: 10 Feb 17 - 03:06 PM

I'm minded of one of the most under-rated movies of all time:

"From this day on, the official language of San Marcos will be Swedish. Silence! In addition to that, all citizens will be required to change their underwear every half-hour. Underwear will be worn on the outside so we can check. Furthermore, all children under 16 years old are now... 16 years old!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Donuel
Date: 10 Feb 17 - 04:21 PM

Guys in overalls who watch wrestling and NASCAR are unemployed in the rustbelt. There, life is a whole lot of nothing with little hope. Many have tried the prosperity Christianity and lost even more.

They are Nihilists in Christian clothing.

Their one point of bigoted pride is at least they aren't black.
They are the perfect no nothings for the Trump base.

The only polls Trump wins is among existing Trump supporters.
Every National poll he loses.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Feb 17 - 07:26 PM

Trump appears to be backing down from his racist ban and has suggested he will revise it next week - sanity has appeared to triumphed fort the time being
For crying out loud - leave Ake to he goose-stepping - he's laid his cards on the table
Who would bother reasoning with Nick Griffin?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Bill D
Date: 11 Feb 17 - 10:32 AM

Well.... I am recovering from surgery..(doing fine, thanks).. and am not at the computer all day long, so have missed some of the ...ummmm... 'discussion'.


I have been sent a basic list of the deletions by a mod, and I see why an attempt was made to steer the thread in a useful direction.... but I also see why it always resembles "herding cats" to get Mudcatters with strong opinions...(are there any other kind left here?).. to stick to a point.

This is one of the awkward situations where almost everyone is sorta 'right', but many are also just using the thread to tout personal views and losing track of what is claimed by the article I referenced.
I am considering asking for ALL posts to be restored, but reserving the option of just flatly closing it if it continues to deteriorate into another "us versus them" thread creep.

Stay tuned... and please refrain from the usual metacomplaints while I decide what to request.... please?


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Greg F.
Date: 11 Feb 17 - 10:46 AM

sanity has appeared to triumphed for the time being

Sanity from the Hump administration? - if nothing else, that's a bit premature. Overall, its a contradiction in terms


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Acme
Date: 11 Feb 17 - 11:04 AM

You should perhaps instead post links to the four other presidental-themed running posts where the same exact fights have been waging for weeks. This topic was different and interesting. IMHO.

When I was in high school I played a lot of chess, and was in the habit of viewing events as they might have taken place in the context of the game. Too many good discussions lately fall into a messy version of 52 pickup.

Here is a link to an English translation of the original essay. Pages 15-25 via Google books, you can read it all right there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Bill D
Date: 11 Feb 17 - 11:08 AM

You are making my point, Greg... just the use of "Hump" is excessive and provocative... hold off for awhile..


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Acme
Date: 11 Feb 17 - 11:24 AM

The way Google has the preview set up you can't download that book or just the essay, but I captured screen shots of each page to turn it into a pdf. (Different browsers might have more access to capture it, I'm using Chrome.) If someone wants a copy of that pdf, PM me your email address and I'll attach it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Bill D
Date: 11 Feb 17 - 11:40 AM

I can do the same, ACME... I will peruse the original essay later. My brain & body are in restricted mode right now...

for those who care... I am... *tending* toward asking for (almost) all posts to be restored, with a warning about possible closure, rather than deletions. It ain't easy, and I might get outvoted...


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Bill D
Date: 11 Feb 17 - 03:58 PM

Some posts are now restored...others I'm aware of are merely arguing about the rules ...or contain personal insults... or are not relevant once the flow was changed.

IF the article could lead to positive discussions about how to approach this new administration in this society, we might all learn something.

   I have posted on Mudcat since Nov. 1996, and started... relatively.. very few threads... but I am kinda protective of the few under my byline..


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Donuel
Date: 11 Feb 17 - 05:02 PM

Since January I wrote two anti Ake posts. I regret them both.
He has made us think. There are times he has been a backstop for the left. We are actually fortunate to have a wall to practice against.
I bet we are similar when it comes to separation of church and state, equality of the sexes, one person one vote, free speech, respect for different races, Magna Carta and a round Earth.

We need mutual respect or we can radicalize each other. Trump feels good bullying people. I need to resist that temptation as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Bill D
Date: 11 Feb 17 - 06:08 PM

I have debated Ake also... as well as several other stalwarts- on guns, evolution, astrology, music genres, American culture, language usage, logic, gender and its variations... and no doubt on silly minor themes.... but I try always to debate the reasoning, the facts and the basic conceptual differences.... NOT the character of the person. I discovered that it makes no sense to go at it really hard with those you don't feel are intelligent enough to comprehend your reasoning... all you can do is state- fairly briefly- YOUR point and let it drop. It did take me awhile to get this thru my own head... :>(

Even if you never convince them of anything, it is possible to reach a 'certain respectful tolerance' of your opponent(s).

Now... IF anyone has more to add on the OP article or its relevance, I look forward to it... but not to debate about the rules of debate or to the character flaws of our fellow posters... ok?

(I know... I shouldn't have said this much, but I'm kinda drawing on my 'good guy' credits.)

If we have exhausted the original topic, someone can close it down... but I am currently thinking about other philosophical themes that might bear on the chaotic state of our (the USA) circumstances... pragmatism, utilitarianism... etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Donuel
Date: 11 Feb 17 - 06:14 PM

A medical explanation may also include thyroid problems


Adrenal fatigue can cause a rise in evening cortisol levels that interfere in sleep. Undiagnosed thyroid issues very often lead to adrenal issues. The early stages of adrenal fatigue/insufficiency is usually high cortisol as the body reacts to stress.

Trump admits he only sleeps for four hours.

An irrationality can result from sleep deprivation.

The problem with this diagnosis is, I have never thought Trump was rational.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Greg F.
Date: 11 Feb 17 - 06:22 PM

just the use of "Hump" is excessive and provocative..

OK, but Gee whiz, Bill - he was called a great deal worse in the "nicknames" thread........ just sayin'.......


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Bill D
Date: 11 Feb 17 - 07:18 PM

I haven't even opened that one...


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Acme
Date: 11 Feb 17 - 08:16 PM

I'm finishing reading a book that came out in 2016 called The Nix. It's set in 2011, so there is no mention, that I can recall, of Trump. There isn't mention of Obama, either, and much of the action in a flashback features the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. The book was probably finished and in the editing and publishing process before Trump declared he was running - there are interesting observations about how news and publishing see events as fresh, having a short shelf-life (and there will be standard newspaper editorials that say the same thing, if you look for them). Thing is, the novel was trying to create what appears to be an outlandish situation with a politically powerful yet emotionally volatile character. Who knew someone even worse would come along and make the events in the novel pale in comparison.

The process of passing one text over another, of comparing stories from different authors and different times to bring into focus similarities could give remarkable insight into this modern power broker who was given so much free publicity by all of the media outlets. They no longer need to give equal time and the carnival aspect (going back to the wrestling vs boxing analogy) seemed always to be promoted because in a few weeks this particular event would be stale. Only to have more and more outlandish statements or revelations happen and keep that juggernaut moving.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Bill D
Date: 11 Feb 17 - 09:22 PM

He stated himself that "All press is good press." The whole campaign was like a slow-motion car wreck with everyone in the Press unable to resist watching and 'reporting' his every remark, no matter how trivial.

"passing one text over another, of comparing stories from different authors and different times.." is a way to sort out language with serious content from vague promises & generalizations. Compare an Obama speech on topic A with what Trump said on the same general topic....


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 11 Feb 17 - 09:24 PM

well whatever his shortcomings, at least he hasn't settled for being a 'principled opposition'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Feb 17 - 09:28 PM

Greg, I think the deal is that if you use a nickname once, the humo(u)r comes across. If you use it ALL the time, it becomes overwhelming. You have a tendency to use derogatory nicknames to the point where it makes people scream.
Just sayin'.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: DMcG
Date: 12 Feb 17 - 02:52 AM

I wonder to what extent the checks and balances made it easier to elect Trump, even though they were designed to prevent any one person getting too much power. I can imagine a cohort who are so anti government they would vote for anyone making that claim - and to be fair Obama and many others have done well on the "I am change" ticket. For others the idea of a businessman in charge held attraction so that is a second group. But I suspect the knowlege he would be under near constant observation together with the belief the checks and balances would stop any really outragious actions make him seems a much less risky bet than the utterances alone would suggest. For example the Bill Clinton saga might temper any inclination to grab women.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Greg F.
Date: 12 Feb 17 - 09:33 AM

10-4 Joe, but may I draw your attention to "Jom"?


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Jeri
Date: 12 Feb 17 - 10:02 AM

This bully's tactic backfires when the person targeted doesn't give a shit and everybody else thinks the person's a jerk. Joe's right - it makes me want to scream, but I really, really hate intentional stupidity.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Feb 17 - 11:19 AM

Well, Joe, if you use a nickname for a politician or other individual not on this forum, there isn't much scope for objection as long as the nickname is not racist, sexist, etc. Politicians in particular are time-honoured targets for ridicule and long may it be so. It tells us that we live in a free country, for one thing. And, while it's not exactly a nickname, I've typed "Jaysus" here hundreds of times and no-one has objected. There may be those who are silently bored by it I suppose. John Major was lampooned by the cartoonist Steve Bell hundreds of times in a particular way, namely as wearing his spotted Y-front underpants outside his trousers à la Superman manqué, and Cameron was depicted hundreds of times with a pink condom on his head. I don't think it made people scream enough to stop buying the Guardian. I'm guilty of occasionally distorting people's pseudonyms here (I'm trying to cut it out), but at least it's not their real names I'm changing for the worse. We all seem to accept "ake" and "Raggy" though if it's someone I dislike that I'm addressing I will do what my mum always did and revert to formality. I knew I was in trouble if she called me "Stephen." I never call akenaton "ake." There are some people I just don't want to get that cosy with. You may have noted that two of us who unashamedly post under our real names are routine targets for aggressive name-distorters. Jim Carroll is Jim, not Jom, Christmas or Mr Carroll. My name is Steve. Not Shaw, Stevie or Mr Shaw (with ot without initial capitals). If you don't want to be friendly, Steve Shaw will do nicely. People have managed to be very stern with me here whilst still calling me Steve, including you. I don't see you mods picking up people for abusing our real names. Here's a little exercise for you. Look at people such as yourself, Acme, DMcG, McGrath and Bill who always address me civilly and always as "Steve." Despite occasional profound areas of disagreement, I find it next impossible to get into mud-wrestling with you. When you target Greg for lampooning Trump's name, just get bored by it and recognise that he's the wrong target.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Senoufou
Date: 12 Feb 17 - 12:21 PM

I quite like being 'Sen' on here. I certainly wouldn't scream about it if it became a 'thing'. (I also like Bercow's nickname The Squeaker)
There is far more devastating stuff going on in the world than people calling other people a name.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Senoufou
Date: 12 Feb 17 - 12:22 PM

Forgot to add, hope you're recovering well Bill. Best wishes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Feb 17 - 12:24 PM

Me too, Bill.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Feb 17 - 12:34 PM

Affectionate shortenings and things like that are one thing. It's easy enough to spot when someone is modifying someone's name in order to be aggressive. The point I was trying to make is that it's the kind of behaviour that invites aggression back. I don't often see the mods stamping down on deliberate misuse of chosen or real names (and I reiterate that I'm not innocent). It's a sign of a less than perfect ethos and we'd be better off without it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Bill D
Date: 12 Feb 17 - 01:40 PM

I'm doing pretty well, thank you. Surgery was laproscopic and minimally invasive.... they had to go thru one area of abdominal muscle they hoped to avoid, so it's no lifting 'heavy' (20 lb +) stuff for 3-4 weeks instead of the promised 1... but I can manage that.

As to names... I treat 'Ake' as a simple short form rather than a nick. I forget that he spells Akenaton differently....I also never bothered to type out "The Right Reverend Sir joHn from Hull"

I know that some of what *I* do is affected by time and slow typing skills, but Jeri does have a point about how insulting names lose their effect when the target doesn't react. Still... others do react in various ways to obvious 'insulting nomenclature'. It's just an extra bit of fuel on a fire that is already burning quite well.

-----------------

But to reply to DMcG, who added something to the topic:"
I wonder to what extent the checks and balances made it easier to elect Trump, even though they were designed to prevent any one person getting too much power. I can imagine a cohort who are so anti government they would vote for anyone making that claim...
"

Yes... there was much of that happening. The standard remark was "He speaks plainly and *stands up for what he believes". And THAT was often code for "Obama was too intellectual."
   Did they really assume that he would behave 'better' since he'd be watched so closely? I suppose so... but it hardly negates all the offensive earlier behavior. I'd bet that 30% of his base would have voted for him if he'd been publicly groping women all thru the campaign... just to be voting against "Clinton".
   Now... I mentioned pragmatism as a possible attitude. Remember... when Nixon was shown to be a 'crook', a large % of his based washed their hands of him... though a few just HATED to be 'wrong'. I suspect that if the Russian connection and losing health care and a general increase in obvious mental instability become daily issues, both Republicans in Congress and in the electorate will be willing to see him go... after he gives them tax cuts and the SCOTUS add-on they want.
   Smarter people than me claim that he will never last 4 years.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 12 Feb 17 - 02:18 PM

I can't really see what people have got to complain about with Trump.
before the election he went round acting weird and saying he was going to do mad shit.
now he's going round acting weird and doing mad shit.
as for not lasting four years - that tactic worked pretty well for Thatcher.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Feb 17 - 03:49 PM

This guy's going to go the course. When Maggie got in in '79 we all said she'd be gone within months. Days of false hope. He's staying unless someone, somewhere, can pin something terrible on him that we haven't yet heard about. And he may win a second term. Be very afraid.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 12 Feb 17 - 05:16 PM

i bet you - even if they found bodies in oildrums in the garage- the cia would sort it out for him.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Bill D
Date: 12 Feb 17 - 05:58 PM

The CIA is not happy with him... but that's a side issue. My hoped for discussion was about the basic cultural/psychological reasons for his popular appeal... not just your predictions. I am not a betting man... I was not sure Nixon would get re-elected, and I was surprised DT 'won'... and I see various ways he could wear out his welcome early, given his astounding 1st 2 weeks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Greg F.
Date: 12 Feb 17 - 06:43 PM

the basic cultural/psychological reasons for his popular appeal

The miserable state of underfunded U.S. education has a great deal to do with it. Remember Trump "love[es] the poorly educated" - and with good reason.

But if you think it's bad NOW, wait 'til DeVos gets thru with it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Bill D
Date: 12 Feb 17 - 07:00 PM

"Underfunded" by itself has little to do with underlying reasons. Attitudes about funding levels in competition with military and other **important** goals need a kick in the rear. And the overwhelming insistence on 'states rights' in determining educational priorities IS a cultural/psychological factor.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Donuel
Date: 12 Feb 17 - 08:02 PM

Congratulations Bill. I felt bad a thread started by you was too easily dismissed. It was sort of like Elizabeth Warren being told to sit down.

Half a dozen times I've put out some fires and left some embedded suggestions which has changed behavior significantly.

As a vulgar populism sweeps the country I have witnessed the audacity of an established old bigotry is causing fist fights in strip Mall Parking lots and belligerent pick up truck drivers.

As Colbert and John Stewart asked for a return to sanity we should preserve the golden strings of musicians opinions to gather, soothe and educate instead of adding hate. Folk music may be the panacea of these times.

As a classical musician I know the unique brother and sisterhood among musicians in concert together and separately. It is a powerful source that can change emotions like no other expression. Music surpasses partisanship. It doesn't always work but it is beautiful when Bernstein accomplished this in both Israel and Berlin.

Admin gradually set up verbal metal detectors until we were all reminded of a kind of security that became the focus and a game to be waged and challenged. Old habits gradually fade.

Bill pass along my sentiments if they are concordant in any way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Greg F.
Date: 12 Feb 17 - 08:10 PM

"Underfunded" by itself has little to do with underlying reasons

I don't recall blaming underfuding "by itself" ;>)

The end product of uneducated/undereducated individuals who cannot think critically or logically & thus can't tell fantasy from reality is also a cultural factor of some moment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Feb 17 - 08:29 PM

Well I imagine it could be the same in the US as it is here (going from results of polls). There is a total lack of political education. If you ever bring up the topic you're in danger of being suspected of being a revolutionary commie. Keeping people ignorant is vital to the right. Ignorance leave you vulnerable to specious arguments, prejudice spouted with authority from on high and downright lies. You won't question those things unless you have at least some knowledge of politics and the wherewithal to ask questions sceptically. You talk about democratic deficits, disenfranchisement and the like. The biggest defect of democracy by a country mile is the ignorance of those who are entitled to vote. Politics is by far the most important thing that affects people's lives. Yet we really don't want the inconvenience of people actually understanding it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Feb 17 - 12:55 AM

you know what they used to say. its the economy - stupid!

in a way i guess it is.

forget the weirdness of this man's behaviour, the xenophobia a distressing side issue, but not really the central point.

the point of his appeal is that he has an explanation and a proposed solution for America haemoraging manufacturing jobs to countries to the east and south.

he is proposing import taxes on foreign goods, consequences for firms who relocate outside the USA. he saying if you want a stake in America's wealth , it costs. there are responsibilities

Can it work? Can it stop or even slow down the apparently inevitable?

the point is he's recognised a major problem. and he's having a bash at it. and that recommends him to an awful lot of people.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: DMcG
Date: 13 Feb 17 - 02:22 AM

I don't think there is the remotest chance Trump's plan will work. However, let's have a think about a way it could (however unlikely).

Import taxes have been anathema for years - every trade deal and economist (maybe) has argued against them. And the reason is pretty basic. For most products the size of the international market is many times the size of the national market, so the ease of selling internationally is a key factor in how big your company can become.

But the costs of this are that smaller local competitors are squeezed out or taken over and, in the fight for competitiveness, the jobs move to the lowest cost, which is typically abroad.

So imagine we now have steep tax barriers. The big firms are hit, and hit hard. Job losses are inevitable. But along with this, the scope for the smaller business focused on local markets could pick up. Over a period of a few years, many of the lost jobs could be picked up elsewhere. Then, why concentrate on goods we can sell internationally? If your product line is, for example, locally raised/grown food, the international market is not too interesting to you. Equally, if the tariffs on imported food are high, it stimulates your local market.

And there is also a possible environmental benefit - losing all those air miles transporting goods everywhere. And then finally there is all that money raised from the tariffs. Trump would put those in lowering taxation; other would prefer to invest it in education and other social goods.

Can it work? As I said, not a chance in my opinion. But it is self evidently crazy? No, it is not. It is just at odds with everything we have done for decades. That does not mean it is crazy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Mr Red
Date: 13 Feb 17 - 04:46 AM

Trump admits he only sleeps for four hours.

Thatcher famously only got half normal sleep. She ended with Alzheimer's. It is not automatically a correlation, given the vagaries of "current medical understanding on the subject", but:

There is a blood brain barrier, and veins in the brain differ by being concentric tubes. Inner caries blood, the outer is constricted during waking hours, but during sleep it expands and carries fluid to flush out all the by-products of the burning of fat/sugars etc with oxygen. Principle of that detritus are prions. Now you may make the connection.

Not a given, but a gamble. Reagan? Wilson?

you heard it here- One more reason to get a good night's sleep TED talk.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Feb 17 - 05:43 AM

Linking dementia to lack of sleep is a conclusion way too far from what little evidence there is.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Feb 17 - 07:59 AM

That's not the point - whether it works or not.

The point is that he's opened up a dialogue on an issue none of the others won't face. And they won't face it, because by and large they're not from a class that is affected - yet.

Of course - neither is Trump from that class. His comittment to succeeding is hugely suspect of course.

But that's why he's won an election.

Badmouthing him about being what we can all see is a strange and uncultured man, is not germane to to anything.

People will be looking for him to deliver, and my feeling is that he won't have to deliver very much, because no one else has started to engage with the plight of workers displaced by the policies of multi nationals.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 13 Feb 17 - 08:13 AM

I don't think economic disenfranchisement is as central an issue as it's made out to be. Yes, there are some people who've gotten raw deals from globalization, and I understand their anger. But I think there are a lot more Trump supporters who believe they've gotten raw deals because they've been told they have. They accept the premise while ignoring the fact that they're actually doing quite well.

There's a housing development near where I live that I drive through occasionally. House prices start at $450,000, every house has a two-car garage with two almost new cars in it, and almost all of their professionally maintained lawns had Trump-Pence campaign signs on them during election season. The only economic hardship most of those folks will face this year is having to decide whether to buy a new boat or a new motor home because they can't afford to do both.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Feb 17 - 09:29 AM

Interesting piece of insight from The Irish Times's American correspondent this morning
Jim Carroll

TRUMP HAS ALREADY MADE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN BY INSPIRING HIS OPPOSITION
Listen up, haters. The brief reign of Donald the First has been completely head-spinningly nuts so far. But let's stay calm and look for the silver lining, or in this case, the garishly gold lining. Trump has indeed already made some of America Great Again. Just not the aspects he intended. He has breathed new zest into a wide range of things: feminism, liberalism, student activism, newspapers, cable news, protesters, bartenders, shrinks, Twitter, the American Civil Liberties Union, Saturday Night Live, town halls, George Orwell, Margaret Atwood, Hannah Arendt, TV presenter Stephen Colbert, and the separation of powers among them.
As Trump blusters about repealing Obamacare, many Americans have come to appreciate the benefits of the law more. Lena Dunham credited the "soul-crushing pain and devastation and hopelessness" of Trump with helping her get a svelte new figure. Trump may even have pierced the millennial malaise, as we see more millennials showing interest in running for office.
Every time our daft new president tweets about the "failing" New York Times, our digital subscriptions and stock price jump, driven by readers eager for help negotiating the disorienting Trumpeana Oceana Upside Down dimension rife with gaslighting, trolling, leaking, lying and conflicts.
Similarly, whenever Trump rants about Alec Baldwin's portrayal of him and tweets that Saturday Night Live is "not funny," "always a complete hit job" and "really bad television!," the show's ratings go up. They are now at a 20-year high. Trump was roundly mocked for turning his Supreme Court announcement into an episode of The Bache-lor, but it must be said that the president has more talent for devising cliffhangers than anyone since Charles Dickens.

Unbelievably schtocky
Administration officials told The Times that the White House even got Judge Thomas Hardiman, the runner-up to Neil Gorsuch, to play along and help make the final rose ceremony suspenseful by feinting a drive toward Washington. It was unbelievably schlocky, and yet the end result was a national civics lesson, with a whopping 33 mil¬lion-plus people tuning in.
Ordinarily staid senate hearings for cabinet choices are now destination TV. As Trump puts forth people who want to plant Acme dynamite in the agencies they will head and as Republicans at the federal and state levels push their conservative agenda, Americans have a refreshed vigour for debating what's at stake for the environment, education, civil rights and health insurance - and a new taste for passionate, cacophonous town halls.
Trump has made facts great again. By distorting reality so relentlessly, he has put every¬one on alert for alternative facts. "With great assurity," as Trump likes to say, the president has also made White House press briefings relevant again by raising the stakes. The 'Time's Michael Grynbaum calls Sean Spicer's live briefings "daytime television's new big hit" - outdrawing soap operas such as General Hospital and The Bold and the Beautiful.
As he alarms and exhausts, the Short-Fingered Vulgarian deserves this credit at least: We're all on our toes now. The pink pussyhats are at the barricades, on the watch for any curtailment of women's rights and any mansplaining by older white Southern men.

Misery of staffers
The president loves his pat-and-yank handshakes and hugs and blown kisses with m ale VIPs. "I grabbed him and hugged him because that's the way we feel," he said of greeting Japan's prime minister. But The Times's Maggie Haberman reports that the White House radiates with the misery of staffers.
The riled-up art scene has taken to trolling the Troller in Chief. The Museum of Modern Art dropped its customary detachment on politics to protest Trump's ban on refugees from seven predomi¬nantly Muslim countries by replacing artwork on display by Cézanne, Picasso and Matisse with contemporary works from Iran, Iraq and Sudan.
The Public Theater an¬nounced it would open Shake¬speare in the Park in May with Julius Caesar, a play about a populist seeking absolute power. The play, the theatre said, has "never felt more contemporary".
Still, the main way that Trump is proving that America is great is that the affronted and angered are rising up to take him on. Institutions designed to check a president's power and expose his scandals, from the courts to the comics to the press - are all at Defcon 5 a state of military alertness - except for the Republican Congress, which seems to be deaf.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Donuel
Date: 13 Feb 17 - 10:36 AM

Jim using words like schlock I'd swear you were American. Fun post or its accuracy.

Mr. Red you may have an insight. Proving it takes time and research.
On a TV call in show I suggested that Reagan had Alzheimer's a full five years before we were told. The TV panel of psychiatrist and doctors had a good laugh and ran from any real response.

Big Al, TODAY Trump meets with the Canada PM Trudeau. T wants to get rid of NAFTA.
We have an export value added tax. Some car parts go back and forth 7 times and would be made too expensive to survive a value added tax each time it crosses the border with Canada. If we asked Trmp about this I am sure he is unaware of the coat benefits of his crazy repeal plans. H does not even know about the benefits o a weak dollar vs a strong dollar. Your plan can work with enough codicils and changes to the tax code but then the Trump plan is no better than what we have as far s simplicity goes.

I can ask a senior Federal Economist about this complex issue for you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Feb 17 - 10:54 AM

I don't really think a federal tax officer/expert will add to the gaiety of nations. I think Trump has correctly recognised that they are part of the problem. Having a general view of taxation, finance, etc doesn't seem to work. most working musicians can tell you that. we haven't all got 2.3 kids, and some businesses don't fit into the net yield nonsense. We need more flexibility in financial institutions and taxation.

What Trump has promised to do is cut a swathe through the laws of the land and screw the bastards who are screwing America.

I'm not sure he can do this. His attempt with the anti immigration law shows that the lawmakers aren't just going to fold in terror and respect in front of the President. But then again - i didn't think he could win an election.

the term Maverick could have been invented for guys like Trump. like you say watch and be afraid...he doesn't seem to get on with anybody very much.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Greg F.
Date: 13 Feb 17 - 11:29 AM

But I think there are a lot more Trump supporters who believe they've gotten raw deals because they've been told they have

Agreed, BW- but I think you have the percentages of the two groups reversed.

Part of the "Make Amerika Great" campaign's appeal was a longing for a return to ther past - a MYTHICAL past that never existed. Like the folks waiting for the railroad to come back thru town or the closed mines to re-open. The railroad ain't coming back, folks- and that economic hole you're in? You've just put into office a cadre of the very people that dug that hole for you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Feb 17 - 01:30 PM

"Jim using words like schlock"
That's a direct quote from the Irish Times, but I understood it is a Yiddish word - I heard it used by my Jewish friends a lot in Manchester.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Vashta Nerada
Date: 13 Feb 17 - 03:17 PM

the term Maverick could have been invented for guys like Trump. like you say watch and be afraid...he doesn't seem to get on with anybody very much.

That's not the American understanding of the term maverick. If someone is "a maverick" they're independent, it's meant to praise their ability to function apart from the herd. It doesn't mean scary or can't get along with everyone else.

I think the term you're searching for might be "grouch" or "outlyer."


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: akenaton
Date: 13 Feb 17 - 03:57 PM

"Maverick" is perfect.

The important thing is that the corrupt political system and its tame rat the news and entertainment media is being exposed. They are all crawling out from under their stones spitting bile......THEY are afraid....very afraid. The myth is crumbling.

Regarding Barthes, I agree with DMcG he has exposed one small area of a huge movement......in the main the public are starting to reject neo- liberalism and social "liberalism", they don't believe it anymore, they want a life for their children and themselves.
They have finally made the connection between left, right, and the media.......the biggest con in history.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Greg F.
Date: 13 Feb 17 - 04:23 PM

in the main the public are starting to reject neo- liberalism and social "liberalism", they don't believe it anymore

And instead are embracing, with Trump and the Trumpists, corporatism, cronyism, oligarccy, "trickle-down" economics, environmental pollution union-busting, racism, destruction of Medicare & Social Secutity & public education, etc. etc. AS THE WAY FORWARD?

If you're right, Ake, "the public" are even more ignorant and stupid than I've given them credit for, and are ba perfect example of cognitive dissonance.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Feb 17 - 05:24 PM

you can't be serious Ake.

self interest is the dynamo that drives Trump. i don't think great insights into the human condition are his stock in trade. that's more Billy Graham and the Pope.

however the massive indifference to the fate of displaced workers was a massive marketing opportunity that he was smart enough to recognise.

the main party candidates are all in hock to the big companies for their campaigns.

then comes this guy who is very media savvy. he doesn't need an advertising agency - he's a gift to whichever party backs him. i bet he did it for relatively speaking nothing. and because he's not in hock he can say the unsayable.

god alone knows what he will achieve for the people who have given him their trust, but they'd better count the cutlery before he splits - going on his past record.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Greg F.
Date: 13 Feb 17 - 05:29 PM

god alone knows what he will achieve for the people who have given him their trust

Doesn't take a deity - excluding the 1%, what he will achieve for for the people who have given him their trust is ZIP.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: DMcG
Date: 13 Feb 17 - 05:37 PM

I won't dwell on it unless we have to, Ake, but I think it is clear enough that while I think Bartnes does address one of many factors behind the election, I don't go along with the comment about IIiberal values. I would also make a very much stronger distinction between neoliberalism, which is essentially about deregulation of business and trade deals, and social liberalism, which is about how we treat each other. These are quite different, and blurring the distinction is at best unhelpful.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Mr Red
Date: 13 Feb 17 - 05:44 PM

maverick - Meriam Webster no word of respect.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Donuel
Date: 13 Feb 17 - 07:28 PM

Big Al, Come to think about it, We are on our second Billie Graham, we have two Popes in the Vatican and for President we have Bannon and Trump on top of the emergency shadow government.

We seem to have plenty of redundancy when it come to the transfer of corruption and fraud.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Acme
Date: 13 Feb 17 - 07:35 PM

There are too many organizations and teams calling themselves "Mavericks" for the negative reading you're implying, Mr. Red. And Trump ain't one of 'em. (Partly because he's feuding with Mark Cuban who owns the Dallas Mavericks.) To paraphrase what Lloyd Bentson told Dan Quayle in their VP debate, I know Mavericks, and you're no Maverick.

He was a Roy Cohn toady and that alone should have alarmed the majority of the population into never considering his candidacy.

Angels In America was written to reflect the time when the AIDS crisis was full-blown, in the Reagan era. I'm willing to bet if we look through that text and pass it over today's events we'll find lots of plot elements and epigramatic lines that address the political turmoil of today. Trump isn't a closeted gay man, he's a predator who is out in the open and getting away with it. Cohn taught him well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Bill D
Date: 13 Feb 17 - 08:35 PM

akenaton, you said in part: ..."the corrupt political system and its tame rat the news and entertainment media is being exposed."

In your first sentence you have made 2 assumptions/claims. It is NOT obvious to everyone that the political system 'as a whole' is corrupt, nor that they control and/or significantly influence the media. There are examples of corruption and unwarranted influence, but sweeping generalizations are no more useful in analyzing the issues than they are when politicians use them to cajole the public.

Jim Carroll, DMcG, Big Al, Steve Shaw and Donuel have all tried to get at the basic point, and I agree with much they have said and if I had more time, would like to enlarge, discuss and critique some of their points. I simply don't sit here 12 hours a day monitoring the posts.
   I do recognize when someone takes a few words from someone's comment and instantly does a 90 degree turn in order to REstate their own pet themes and beliefs. It's like watching KellyAnne Conway... or many other political figures... respond to a question by changing the subject in order to regurgitate their side's talking points.

   I renew my requests to help clarify the issues... and "They are all crawling out from under their stones spitting bile.. is not exactly helpful...

'nuff said...


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Feb 17 - 08:38 PM

"Maverick" actually has too many positive connotations for it to be even remotely applicable to Trump. Brett and Bart Maverick, who I watched avidly when a sprog, were ultimately men of good character despite cheating at cards. Maverick cattle were always depicted as wild, free spirits in the westerns. Wrong word. He's the enemy within. If he's a maverick bovine, he's one that's carrying tuberculosis, beef tapeworm and foot and mouth disease. Or, in his case, foot in mouth disease. And he's farting out airship loads of damaging methane to boot.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Feb 17 - 09:11 PM

ah yes...fond memory...as my old Daddy used to say...


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: gillymor
Date: 13 Feb 17 - 09:30 PM

I'll concede that Trump is part Maverick, the part that goes in the barn door last.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Donuel
Date: 13 Feb 17 - 10:35 PM

Subject: RE: BS: Executive orders?
From: Donuel - PM
Date: 05 Feb 17 - 01:32 PM

Without argument much more of this Russian oily love story with Trump was known as early as July by US intelligence. It was classified. It is now partly declassified. This case will deliberately open slower than a flower for all to see.

We are dependent on both our side and Russian sides of this deal to open it up for us to judge if this is treason or just a cash deal.

What this is about is the Russian state owned oil corporation who suddenly says they gave away one fifth of state owned oil profits {perhaps sold) to an unknown entity.

maraca? Mexico? Mongolia? or maybe a multi billionaire.

We know about Trump's representative named Price and how all this coincides in space and time. Price became a hot potato and separated from the Trump campaign.

We now know who and how much this deal to remove sanctions is about.

There are CIA factions who consider themselves unbound by the Constitution and the business of America is business and wants total classification. There are those that want the Russian deal to become transparent.

Trump wants intelligence to shut up.
He wants media to shut up.
He accuses them of traitorous betrayal.


To put a fine point on this:

The deal now has proof of existence but there is no proof as to Trump's personal cut of the 19% of all Russian oil profits.
Yet. I suspect it will be made public in time.

.........................

Now it is about General Flynn's part in this deal, but the CIA recorded Flynn up to his ass in the art of Trump's deal. Trump still thinks the presidency needs his deal making talent. Sorry Donald, good deals might be good for you but America is about a new deal beyond profit, beyond fear, beyond our borders.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Donuel
Date: 13 Feb 17 - 10:50 PM

The purchase of Alaska was no secret.
The Louisiana purchase was no secret.

Why is the Russian oil deal a secret?
Tillerman knows.

How will we judge Trump for this?
We shall see DMcG.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Feb 17 - 03:43 AM

"you can't be serious Ake."
'Fraid not Al
SOMEONE HAS TO KEEP THE FLAG FLYING
Jim Carrroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: akenaton
Date: 14 Feb 17 - 04:04 AM

Bill, how can you say in all seriousness that the political system is not massively corrupt when it has been exposed as such during the run-up to the election. Firstly the Democratic Party working against Mr Sanders to enable Mrs Clinton, an establishment icon to win.
Half the Republican establishment briefing against their own Presidential candidate to undermine him in every way they could.
I believe that many in the Republican hierarchy would have actually preferred to see a Clinton Presidency.

These matters would never have come to light without the "whistleblowers" who are now demonised by the Democrats as Anti American, :0).

We have exactly the same situation in the UK where the Established Parties are all dedicated to stop CHANGE in its tracks. Any real change like our exit from the EU are because of the populist revolution appearing all over Western Europe and the US.

It appears to me that the "left" are living a couple of decades behind the action. As I have said before, to effect change we need unity of purpose not division. Donal John has been democratically elected under the rules and must be given a chance to put his policies into practice........Detante with Russia, Jobs for the American people, an affordable healthcare service, an end to illegal immigration, don't seem like the works of the devil to me?


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: akenaton
Date: 14 Feb 17 - 04:13 AM

Why is this idiot with his Nazi insignia allowed to post on this forum. Does anyone find this sort of thing funny?....or is it simply desperation.....it does seem strange when members are trying to have a civilised discussion and having their posts removed.

What the hell has Nazi Germany got to do with this thread?


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Stu
Date: 14 Feb 17 - 04:27 AM

" Any real change like our exit from the EU"

Nobody's attempting to stop that, it's that May et al don't have carte balance to act on all our behalf via the scrutiny and debate of our elected representatives and those responsible for overseeing the rule of law. This is precisely the "taking back control" you wanted, and now you whine about it.

There are choices besides a disastrous hard Brexit; were you in business you'd understand that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Feb 17 - 04:38 AM

"Why is this idiot with his Nazi insignia allowed to post on this forum."
For the same reason someone is allowed to present statements from an extreme racist like Ann Coulter, a misogynist, hate-mongering journalist who advocates poisoning politicians and locking liberals up in Guantanamo.
"What the hell has Nazi Germany got to do with this thread?"
It has everything to do with your politics and your adoration for Fuehrer Trump
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Feb 17 - 04:41 AM

Ake
If you object to strong debate, desist from using language like "They are all crawling out from under their stones spitting bile"
Jim Crroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Feb 17 - 05:24 AM

I think I must have missed something. That'll teach me to have the audacity to go to bed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: akenaton
Date: 14 Feb 17 - 07:38 AM

The spitting bile remark was aimed at the media, not the Mudcat membership. Although there have been about half a dozen threads dedicated to the insult and ridicule of President Donal-John.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Feb 17 - 07:54 AM

"The spitting bile remark was aimed at the media, not the Mudcat membership."
You aim the same level of bile at liberals and lefties.
Amazing for a "socialist"
You decide not t comment on a neo-fascist journalist who advocates poisoning opponents of Trump
Double standards again.
The flags remain until someone removes them - they stand for what needs to be said
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Donuel
Date: 14 Feb 17 - 08:53 AM

I celebrate whistle blowers.

Russia is said to use Snowden as a good will bargaining chip soon with Trump so Snowden may be extradited and imprisoned.:^(


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Vashta Nerada
Date: 14 Feb 17 - 10:28 AM

Bernie Sanders is an Independent who serves under the flag Democratic Socialist or Progressive. The so-called "Socialist" participating in this thread is actually a Trump apologist, a GOP/Tea Party supporter. Who for some reason can't admit to it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 14 Feb 17 - 10:54 AM

I tell you what. you gotta admire the foresight of those guys who refloated the Trump name after all his projects turned to shit.

They've got the keys to Fort Knox now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Feb 17 - 11:01 AM

"Although there have been about half a dozen threads dedicated to the insult and ridicule of President Donal-John."
Nowhere near enough and why on earth should we not be able to acknowledge his character - or is that form of censorship what we can look forward to in your Brave New World
Jim Carroll?


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Bill D
Date: 14 Feb 17 - 11:35 AM

Ake... and Jim Carroll... this is why the mods have deleted posts and closed threads. You cannot keep the personal insults and irrelevant bomb-tossing out of it!
See PMs...


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: akenaton
Date: 14 Feb 17 - 12:16 PM

Hi Bill Thanks for the PM, I have replied.

Hope you also sent one to Vasha.......who seems to disbelieve my socialist credentials.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Stu
Date: 14 Feb 17 - 12:35 PM

"who seems to disbelieve my socialist credentials"

You're not a socialist Ake, although I don't doubt you were one. A socialist would NEVER support ultra free-marketeers like Farage, the UKIPs and Trump; it runs counter to everything they believe in.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Feb 17 - 01:27 PM

Are you a mod now, Bill? Life can get confusing!

To her eternal credit, one moderator takes on akenaton publicly on the forum. Another one is privately willing to tolerate him as merely someone he disagrees with. I think it's more serious than that. A lot of the most frequent below-the-line contributors (both usual suspects and not) find the content of many of his posts to be deliberately provocative, wrong-headed and bigoted. I don't take offence at anything on this forum, but I do not want my views to be placed as somehow equal but opposite to his. His views on Trump, socialism, immigrants, women and gay people are utterly obnoxious to me and they are not in any regard equal and opposite to mine, Dave's, Jim's or anybody else's - and let's keep that separate from forum behaviour, an entirely different potential source of complaint against a number of us. Different but not separate: if this person is allowed to continue to sully the forum in his particular way, then the weaknesses inherent in human nature will inevitably tempt others to have it back at him and the place will be dragged down. I'll finish this little rant with my usual closing remark. This isn't my gig. So I'm just sayin'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 14 Feb 17 - 02:06 PM

Farage is just a bedfellow.

like Dennis Skinner, i'm a socialist and i want out of the eU.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Bill D
Date: 14 Feb 17 - 02:18 PM

?? Steve...I don't think I have said anything to suggest *I* was a mod. I personally think that it would be difficult to discuss the issues at the same time as being a moderator/censor on the topic.

I am reminded of a line I heard many years ago when someone was asked if they 'did something'.. "No I didn't... and if I had, I'd deny it."

I used it a couple of times myself long ago when I was questioned about 'having an affair' with some woman... it simply wasn't relevant for THAT person to know one way or the other.

I do know that above the line, one person has limited rights to edit the "In Memorium" thread... there was one VERY brief experiment a long time ago when Max tried allowing folks to edit their own posts, but I think it proved too difficult when editing changed the flow of the discussion as people altered what they had written. (It was supposed to be just a way to change bad spelling and flawed HTML... but...)

----------------------------
I have gotten a couple of PM replies from Ake, who says HE will try to follow my suggestions, but I fear the topic is dying under the weight of "Traditional Mudcat Thread Creep"

I am trying to follow news & ideas in the FaceBook thing, where very few remarks are deleted. At least there posts usually slide out of sight after a while and can be hard to find again due to the overwhelming volume. I prefer the Mudcat format, as it 'can' allow more serious discussions...over years, even.... but Google doesn't index FB, and a search doesn't lead new people to a topic. Sadly, FB has lured a huge # of folks into it's ad-ridden, format with tons of shallow crap mixed with real treasures.

"It was all so different before everything changed."


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Feb 17 - 02:21 PM

"Are you a mod now, Bill? "
Perhaps he sould be - as long as he is even handed
I'sd be more than happy to be moderated if Teribus's serial insulting was brought into check
If there were Oscars bor ill mannered rudeness...... but I suppose that's what we get when insecurity goes untreated
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Vashta Nerada
Date: 14 Feb 17 - 03:34 PM

Look again at the essay from the first post:

But why can't voters see that what Trump offers is just an act? As Barthes illustrates, that's asking the wrong question.
It is obvious that at such a pitch, it no longer matters whether the passion is genuine or not. What the public wants
is the image of passion, not passion itself. There is no more a problem of truth in wrestling than in the theater.

This analogy reveals why the attacks on Trump are so ineffective. Recently, Rand Paul and others have taken to calling out Trump
as an "entertainer," rather than a legitimate candidate. This is as effective to running into the middle of the ring during
Wrestlemania and yelling: "This is all fake!" You are correct, but you will not be received well.


This is describing a downward spiral of the American political society. Under this lens, with "normal" politics and Trump politics being equal, "traditional punditry [was] incapable of understanding his appeal." The article was written before he became a candidate. Trump simulacrum as a political statesman was misunderstood by many voters to be real. More than a few French philosophers are turning in their graves at this moment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: akenaton
Date: 14 Feb 17 - 03:59 PM

The problem with Barthes proposition of course, is that the movement against the establishment is not confined to those who voted for Donal-John, the whole of Western Europe has had enough of being lectured by a well off elite on how to conduct themselves socially and politically while their jobs a standard of living go down the pan.

Barthes considers politics to be a showground in which victory in elections compensates for an ever falling standard of living and political incursions into traditional social values, I consider that he has made an accurate assessment of the situation which pertains at the moment, but do not believe for a minute that "ordinary people" as opposed to the political and social elite are stupid. They vote with their bellies, not by the influence of highbrow psychology.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Bill D
Date: 14 Feb 17 - 05:46 PM

Vashta.."a downward spiral of the American political society." may only be one of many eddies in a larger current. I'm not sure that this is any worse than the mid-60s when the Dixiecrats reversed the party names and ideologies.... or any worse than the hateful mess of 'reconstruction' after the Civil War.
   There are many problems today, but we simply cannot lump both major parties and all the minor ones into the same clogged pile of &#$%*.
They are not simple mirror images of one another... they function on different levels with different goals and different methods. It is useless to chant "Throw them all out! Term limits!" Any serious change will require working from within... from various angles... to create a genuine concern for some sort of Utilitarian view that allows **fair** treatment for everyone... rich AND poor. Right now we have the Golden Rule... "He who has the gold makes the rules.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Greg F.
Date: 14 Feb 17 - 05:50 PM

the hateful mess of 'reconstruction'

????? Are you talking "Birth of a Nation" or Eric Foner here?


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Vashta Nerada
Date: 14 Feb 17 - 05:53 PM

Jed Legum wrote the piece and excerpted from Barthes' essay in which Barthes wrote about wrestling vs boxing. Barthes was a philosopher and culture critic who died in 1980, about the time that Trump was palling around with Roy Cohn, so if he had written about Trump, it would probably have been in the context of choosing a better quality of mentor.

The "well-off elite" - you don't even know who that is. You don't seem to recognize that the western middle class white male, when compared to the rest of the world, IS the well-off elite, even though he thinks his standard of living is being diminished because women and minorities are FINALLY rising as far as income and fair treatment. A crass over-simplification of a shifting society where for centuries conservative white men (and some of their women) have had the upper hand, now comes down to those individuals deciding that everything can be solved (for them) if a clown is put in office instead of someone with drive and intellect. From another essay about Barthes:

"Mythologies" is often an angry book, and what angered Barthes more than anything was "common sense," which he identified as the philosophy of the bourgeoisie, a mode of thought that systematically pretends that complex things are simple, that puzzling things are obvious, that local things are universal — in short, that cultural fantasies shaped by all the dirty contingencies of power and money and history are in fact just the natural order of the universe. The critic's job, in Barthes's view, was not to revel in these common-sensical myths but to expose them as fraudulent. The critic had to side with history, not with culture. And history, Barthes insisted, "is not a good bourgeois." 1


The altruistic political movement today is multicultural, has educated men in conjunction with lots of women and previously marginalized minorities; it is educated, and I suspect you're as dismissive of education as you are liberal politics.

"Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge." --Isaac Asimov

Bread and circuses.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Bill D
Date: 14 Feb 17 - 05:55 PM

Ake...in one sentence you use a silly 'name' that no one else uses... Donal-John... and slip sideways into a pronouncement about "the whole of Western Europe" and " a well off elite".

Then you expound on what Barthes 'means'. I'm not at all sure that's his view and I have no time right now to re-read it and decide... it's Valentines Day here and I have a good lady to celebrate with.

We'll see how this progresses overnight.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Feb 17 - 06:15 PM

I did try to tell you, Bill.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Greg F.
Date: 14 Feb 17 - 06:39 PM

Half[sic] the Republican establishment briefing against their own Presidential candidate

What that actually demonstrates, Ake is that (tho a critically endangered species due to the rise of the alt-right, anti-government "Tea Party" bozos) there are still a few Republicans who retain at least the rudiments of intelligence and of a sense of decency and who recognize the clown now in the White House for what he is and has always been.

It would be even better for the country if at the end of the day they weren't such gutless wonders.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Greg F.
Date: 14 Feb 17 - 06:43 PM

Oh, and Vashta: good job!


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 14 Feb 17 - 07:54 PM

They vote with their bellies, not by the influence of highbrow psychology.

The aim of psychology is not to influence, but to analyze. Psychologists who study voting behavior aren't trying to get people to vote in a certain way (unless they're working for a political campaign). They're trying to determine why people vote the way they do.

And claiming that people "vote with their bellies" is simplistic. Yes, there are some for whom economic disenfranchisement is a bitter reality. They do vote with their bellies. But they're not most people. Trump received the votes of about 63 million people. If there were that many people in the US "voting with their bellies" we'd be in a depression that would make the 1930s look like a boom decade.

People are complex. They behave the way they do for a multiplicity of reasons, some good, some bad. And voting is as complex as any human behavior.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Acme
Date: 14 Feb 17 - 08:39 PM

Term limits are the idea of those who think politicians get too fat in office. I happen to think that they defeat the benefits of having experienced politicians who know how the government works stay in office and train others as they arrive. The Tea Party made such a dent in the Congress and Senate when Bush was in office that they didn't really know what they were doing, they just tried to push through what they wanted. A third to a half of them have already left office, now that they have an idea of what is involved. The most satisfactory way to get rid of politicians is to unelect them, but you need to convince those who vote for that party that change is needed. It does eventually happen.

Gerrymandering and the Electoral College need to be removed, today we need one person one vote, and every vote needs to count. The GOP has managed to lock down so many congressional seats because of their artful dilution of Democratic voters in "safe" districts that one day that may be a case before the Supreme Court - if someone can figure out how to bring it forward.

Trump doesn't understand all of that, and the GOP is reaping the rewards of an undisciplined administration that frankly doesn't seem to care if they look presidential or even legal. This conversation is about how Trump fooled enough people into voting for him, voters who hope that some crumbs will fall their way during this administration so that they personally will benefit, to hell with everyone else who has to live with the low pay or pollution or deportations or financial chicanery, they are conservative voters who don't want consumer protections in place.

That other essay linked to above looks at various French philosophers:
(Foucault was the tough one, Derrida was the dreamy one, Lacan was the mysterious one — I like to imagine them sometimes as a black-turtlenecked, clove-smoking boy band called Hors de Texte, with the hit album "Discipline 'n' Punish.") Instead of constructing multivolume monuments of systematic thought, Barthes wrote short books built out of fragments. He was less interested in traditional coherence than in what he called jouissance: joy, surprise, adventure, pleasure — tantric orgasms of critical insight rolling from fragment to fragment. He proclaimed the death of the author and advocated a style of reading he referred to as "writerly," in which readers work as active creators of a text.

I have read these authors, and I also like Lyotard, who has written about archetypes and narrators. I detested Ronald Reagan as a president, but recognized his actor's ability to tell a story. Bill Clinton could mesmerize listeners as he described clearly how things work. Obama was an excellent speaker, tying all of the threads of a story together in what we recognize as presidential speech.

Trump just can't do it. He doesn't understand how to focus on others, he can't tell a good story, he can't stay on script because his thoughts always come racing back to himself. He's still trying to re-write the result of election night, galled by the idea that he didn't win the popular vote and therefore must erase Hillary and her supporters by suggesting millions of illegal voters cast those three million votes that put her ahead.

Trump is an archetype, and I'd like to see this conversation identify what that archetype is. A petty apologist from Scotland would like to shut down discussion that accomplishes this: I would ask that people simply ignore his uninformed remarks, and proceed with the conversation as if he isn't in the room. In other words, don't feed the troll.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Feb 17 - 08:47 PM

Voting may be a complex matter but, because of voter ignorance, a very simple factor comes into play, namely ruthless manipulation. Sixty-three million people voting for a misogynistic, bigoted bully were not voting rationally with a full knowledge and understanding of the complexity of the issues and challenges facing the country and the wider world. Seventeen million people who were swayed by the lies of little Englanders were not voting rationally to get the UK out of the EU. The Dutch are going to give a far-right candidate the highest number of votes and the French are in danger of electing a fascist. If the EU collapses, which it may well, Europe, freed of its EU obligations to be democratic, abide by the rule of law and observe human rights, may start to face the same kinds of political turmoil that led us into two world wars. After all, there is the fuel economic turmoil just round the corner I demur totally from the received wisdom that all these people voting for dangerous solutions are doing it because they feel "disenfranchised." That is made-up shit, to coin a cliché, innocent of evidence bar that derived from vox pops instigated by tendentious-minded men-with-mics. Jesus, even in the finest democracies a very large minority are "disenfranchised" at every election. The kind of democracy we brag about in our western civilised countries is a sham that relies on the electorate being ignorant of what is really at stake and being far too easily satisfied that, once every few years, they "get to have a say." Ignorant people are very easy to manipulate. Western democracy dictates that we make people happy because they think they can choose, then carry on acting like a near-dictatorship. Thank God for the courts, but even they are now threatened and vilified on both sides of the Atlantic. Be very afraid.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Feb 17 - 08:58 PM

Jaysus, my watery eyes failed me at the proofreading stage. You can probably work it out, but here's what it should have read:

"After all, there is the fuel of economic turmoil just round the corner. I demur totally from the received wisdom that all these people..."

And I agree about akenaton, who I don't hesitate to name, and I'd counsel against trying to play the role of his wise uncle. That merely gives him precisely the succour he needs to carry on, fortified. Keep him at disdainful arm's length. He's poison.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: akenaton
Date: 15 Feb 17 - 03:19 AM

Bill, the name is not meant as an insult, I am sure it reflects the background of Mr Trump's mother Maryanne MacLeod.
As I explain before it is a Lewis Tradition to use linked Christian names.
I agreed with you to embark on a civil discussion, as it is your thread would you please put an end to the personal remarks from others here.....as a liberal and a democrat, I'm sure you will see that as fair.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: akenaton
Date: 15 Feb 17 - 03:39 AM

"The altruistic political movement today is multicultural, has educated men in conjunction with lots of women and previously marginalized minorities; it is educated, and I suspect you're as dismissive of education as you are liberal politics."

You suspect wrongly again Vashta, education is vitally important in the construction of a new type of society, Unfortunately "Education" is often used as a cover for propaganda.

I have never seen such a clear example in my life, of the political elite banding together to protect their privileged position, it is utterly shameless and will lead to absolute outrage.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: akenaton
Date: 15 Feb 17 - 04:06 AM

B W L...After an election the losing side always looks for an excuse as to why they lost. Barthes' proposition is IMO a sort of excuse, as DMcG said ..an "easy" answer. I agree the situation is extremely complicated, but the populist movement in Western society....the reaction to Neo-liberalism AND to social "liberalism" is the main reason the political elite are being rejected.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Feb 17 - 05:34 AM

This has become little more than a series of adverts on behalf of an extremist right wing President who has used a foreign power to gain office
Ake refuses to respond to the facts of Trump's extremely dangerous rule, instead he describes education as "propaganda"
The world has been here before - hence the flags
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Stu
Date: 15 Feb 17 - 06:35 AM

"Unfortunately "Education" is often used as a cover for propaganda."

This is a bold assertion, and I'd like to:

a) See it refined to be more specific.

b) Provide proven examples of that show education being used as propaganda.

I've never come across education being used as propaganda, so want to know where this is happening.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Feb 17 - 07:15 AM

Propaganda works best when education is in deficit. That's exactly what the power-hungry prefer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Acme
Date: 15 Feb 17 - 09:08 AM

The topic has again (as he wished) returned to Ake's world view. Another thread trashed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Donuel
Date: 15 Feb 17 - 09:10 AM

Stu, Ake has improved his rhetorical game. I knew he could.

I can give innumerable examples of education morphed into propaganda from ancient times right up to the moment of now.

Be that as it may I would like to clear up the conceptual interplay of psychology in society and politics. It can be used for any damn thing. It can be a tool of fear, it can be used predictively, it can be used forensically, it can be high or low brow. The paradigm of psychology is that it is a descriptive tool for the motivation, manipulation and categorical understanding of the mind of man.

With few exceptions psychology is closer to philosophy than it is to neural science.

If Trump has an appeal I would assume it is with like minded individuals who see a benefit in bullying, strategic lying, narcissism and unbound greed. In their mind those same traits would be called, forceful, spinning, self confidence and great financial ambition.

I think most of the folks here assume Trump has great appeal when in fact he does not.

.....................

I give a heartfelt like for the ideas of Vasta, Stu, Red, Bill, Greg, dmcG, acme, Jim and even Ake, but for different reasons.
Al, if you knew more civil servants you would know more about their moral rectitude, which is not part of the problem.


The real game changer to come is the selling out to Mr. Putin by Donald Trump for $. Ideas of 'appeal' will be seen by all in a new light. There will be back peddling, running for cover, changing of stripes, walking back and lots of egg on faces.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Feb 17 - 09:14 AM

Education morphed into propaganda is not the same thing as education used as propaganda. In fact, true education can't be used as propaganda. Half-truths, bigotry, misrepresentations and downright lies are the sine qua non of propaganda. Never the truth that real education seeks to elicit.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Feb 17 - 09:16 AM

Used as a cover for propaganda is what I meant.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Feb 17 - 09:21 AM

Ireland's media catching up here.
It has been announced that Trump was fully aware of the negotiations between his supporters and Russia prior to his inauguration - Don the don's tweets have gone ballistic denying the charges and denigrating the Security Services
If Flynn has gone can Trump be far behind?
Wishful thinking maybe
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Greg F.
Date: 15 Feb 17 - 09:59 AM

One doesn't need old-style "propaganda" in the brave new Trumpist world of "alternative facts", outright lies & fact-averse BS eagerly lapped up by a brain-dead electorate.

See also

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/15/conspiracy-laden-blog-no-place-white-house-press-corps


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Feb 17 - 10:12 AM

This in an analyisis of Trump's take on truth
HOW TRUMP CREATES HIS OWN REALITY
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Stu
Date: 15 Feb 17 - 10:21 AM

"I can give innumerable examples of education morphed into propaganda from ancient times right up to the moment of now."

Of course, but Ake's post is inferring this is happening now, in the UK and US. This might well be true, but I am not sure what he means by 'education' for instance, which could mean anything from teaching pre-school kids to leaflets in the doctors to a zillion other things. I'm trying to get past the sweeping generalisation to see if there is any substance to such a claim, and if so let's see it.

There's no doubt about one thing, we're loosing our way in the west for sure.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Donuel
Date: 15 Feb 17 - 10:51 AM

The General Flynn thing is just a crack that in time will become a crevasse and then a canyon for traitors.

When listening to Senators who are briefed by our intelligence agencies, listen for the admission that General Flynn's crime is only the beginning, only the tip of the iceberg. This is not just about Russian Hacking the DNC to corrupt an election, it is not just about a plot to eliminate sanctions quid quo pro. I have told you what it is but it seems no one believed me. (which is fine by me)

Trump has lived by the deal and will die by the deal.

Then as Mr. Red revealed, The Pence Party will ensue, to the distress of the country and my personal dismay.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Donuel
Date: 15 Feb 17 - 11:00 AM

Jim, "In Trump's case, he has a troubling tendency to launch attacks at targets that are actually veiled criticisms of himself. It's a genius strategy, really: a preemptive strike that not only removes the card from his opponent's deck, but also accuses them of the very thing that he is guilty of." I have pointed out this strategy here for 10 years.

This political tactic goes back hundreds of years.
If anything Trump overdoes the perverse prevarication of the bigger the lie the more believable it becomes. His whoppers are so huge they don't work except for misdirection and distraction.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Vashta Nerada
Date: 15 Feb 17 - 11:39 AM

Excellent points, Jim and Donuel. From Jim's link:

A few examples: After a photo emerged of Hillary Clinton being escorted up some steps, Trump spent weeks on the campaign trail taking shots at the Democrat's perceived health woes, even though he himself is said to suffer from bathmophobia, or a crippling fear of steps and slopes. His childish nicknames for his political foes—"Little" Marco Rubio, "Lyin'" Ted Cruz,' "Crooked" Hillary"—are words that have been used to describe Trump for decades, while his narrative of a corrupt Clinton Foundation more closely resembled his own. Even his continued assault on CNN, which President Trump has labeled "fake news," appears remarkably disingenuous when you consider that CNN chief Jeff Zucker and Trump are longtime friends (Zucker hired him for The Apprentice, and he reportedly keeps a framed Trump tweet in his office), and the cable news network played a substantial role in helping Trump get elected POTUS—from round-the-clock coverage of his rallies, at times airing just an empty podium, to its army of pro-Trump campaign propagandists, including: Kellyanne Conway, Scottie Nell Hughes, Kayleigh McEnany, Jeffrey Lord, and Corey Lewandowski, who remained on Trump's payroll for the lion's share of his CNN tenure.

It's like my dog, who telegraphs any time he did something wrong. Sometimes he meets me at the door with that behavior before I even see the destruction, but Trump's tweets are meant to hide his weakness by accusing others instead and try to deflect anything that might come his way later. In this way, my dog has more moral fibre and character than Donald Trump.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: akenaton
Date: 15 Feb 17 - 11:50 AM

We are supposed to be interpreting Barthes proposition, not indulging in a weepfest over the result of the election.
Your or my opinion of Donal-John is of no interest to Bill who sees these matters from a higher level.
Please stick to the subject.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Feb 17 - 11:57 AM

"We are supposed to be interpreting Barthes proposition, not indulging in a weepfest over the result of the election."
As you refuse to respond to anything that is said it is none of your business what we are supposed to be discussions.
If you wish to manipulate this discussion have the good grace to participate in it - or is this another glimpse of Trump's 'Big Brother' Brave New World, censored from above?
In other words, put up or shut up
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Feb 17 - 12:48 PM

Passing by... for the moment... 'most' of the posts since I gave up last night, I want to expand on Acme':

"Trump just can't do it. He doesn't understand how to focus on others, he can't tell a good story, he can't stay on script because his thoughts always come racing back to himself. "

I read many years ago an article in Esquire magazine from Oct. 1962. It referenced an apocryphal professor..."It purports to describe six breakthroughs in behavioral science by a (fictitious) Professor Herschel McLandress, including McLandress's discovery of the McLandress Coefficient, the average time that a person goes without thinking of himself or herself, which (he wrote) reflects the intensity of the person's identification with his own personality."

This was measured by statistics from their writing, speeches, conversations... etc.
Some people got 'ratings' of 1-4 hours...(I think the article rated Ghandi at a couple of hours) actors, often in minutes. Nixon supposedly was about 3 seconds. Reviews of Galbraith's book were not always sure how seriously he took his own creation... but it seems to me it was a semi-humorous attempt to make a serious point about how to evaluate the basic ways 'important' people present themselves to the world. I'd bet McLandress/Galbraith would have had some fun with Trump.

Read articles here:

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1963/12/4/prof-mclandress-ptake-an-ibm-machine/

http://isaac.blogs.com/isaac_laquedem/2006/04/john_kenneth_ga.html

https://books.google.com/books?id=cTvLmq8GSw0C&pg=PA160&lpg=PA160&dq=mcClandress+coefficient&source=bl&ots=Kc2GXpfArM&sig=lCi2Iu3cQV23AhHyzXdFw-wL2Dk&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiq4POFzZLSAhVDzFQKHbPRB24Q6AEISTAJ#v=onepage&q=mcClandress%20coefficient&f=false

That last one is a link to a couple of paragraphs in Google Books.

A search for "McLandress coefficient will find others.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Feb 17 - 12:59 PM

akenaton ... are you channeling Kellyanne Conway? I just saw a video by a champion debater who explained her system of confusing the public by beginning to answer a question, then deftly changing the subject.

You rehash some of your themes above:
From: akenaton -
Date: 15 Feb 17 - 03:39 AM

Then later plead with OTHERS to follow MY wishes.

This is not a topic where anyone can be 'right' about reading motives or pontificating on historical truths... it is just an attempt to relate various news items to their conceptual relevance.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Donuel
Date: 15 Feb 17 - 04:15 PM

Bathmophobia , Really?

The next time you see Trump walk down the steps from Air Force one note the death grip on the railing.

Obama used to make a point of not touching the railings and sprinted down the steps.

Since I disavow such a thing as Trump appeal I can not comment on Barthes' explanation but there is a WWE Trump connection.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Mr Red
Date: 15 Feb 17 - 05:00 PM

McLandress Coefficient a phrase for what we all know in the back of our minds - a description that could achieve critical mass in the glaring light of modern trumpery

and the coefficient for Obama - must be at least an hour.

politics - poly meaning many, ticks are bloodsucking insects. And we dun gotta a lotta politicks right now, y'all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Feb 17 - 08:49 PM

...as in Political experts..

An 'ex' is a has-been, and a spurt is a drip under pressure.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: akenaton
Date: 16 Feb 17 - 05:38 AM

"akenaton ... are you channeling Kellyanne Conway? I just saw a video by a champion debater who explained her system of confusing the public by beginning to answer a question, then deftly changing the subject.

Then later plead with OTHERS to follow MY wishes"

Bill, if you really desire an adult discussion, is unhelpful to impugn the motives of your debating partners, surely in such a situation trust should be a priority?

I notice a distinct bias in your stance in which you ignore all attempts to make this discussion a personal vendetta "Nazi insignia," "non person" "anti education" etc, yet take me to task over semantics.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Feb 17 - 05:47 AM

And at this point, Bill...


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: akenaton
Date: 16 Feb 17 - 06:41 AM

Barthes speculates that many "ordinary people" view political elections as "theatre", entertainment.....but during my pretty long life I have seen and taken part in many such elections...the vast majority were won by the most boring and conventional candidate.
There are a few people who enjoy it when the political mask slips and the real self serving, unscrupulous, money grubber is exposed, but not a lot. Most are concerned about their lives, their jobs, their healthcare, the education of their children and other basic issues.

At the present time added to these worrisome issues are unregulated immigration, a decaying infrastructure, housing problems, drug abuse,
the demise of the Church in society, and a general familial and societal decline.

Perhaps the wisest thing would be to turn off the TV and examine real life.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Feb 17 - 06:47 AM

Listening to an interesting discussion on radio this morning
Trump's team have now lost three leading members thanks to their Russian connection.
His support in the Republican Party appears to be crumbling and talk of him being impeached is in the air - it's even been suggested that his dealings with Russia are an imprisonable offence.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: akenaton
Date: 16 Feb 17 - 07:01 AM

Bill, I suppose you will assume that my last post is an example of my "changing the subject" half way through my post , but in reality it is still on topic as I am simply trying to give my opinion as to why Barthes is wrong in claiming that a need for "political theatre" explains Donal-John's appeal.

Additionally my concentration is being interrupted by a strange buzzing sound?.....Can you hear it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 16 Feb 17 - 07:12 AM

no...stop being crytic


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Raggytash
Date: 16 Feb 17 - 07:14 AM

Interesting that you include this Akenaton:- "the demise of the Church in society"

Would this be the same churches that have covered up the widespread abuse of young children over the course of many decades and are still doing so.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Feb 17 - 07:54 AM

THE CHURCH AND TRUMP
I very much doubt if the buzzing in your ears is your conscience or humanity Ake
You are still not defending your support of Trump - none of you are.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Stu
Date: 16 Feb 17 - 08:52 AM

"the demise of the Church in society"

Thank god. The church is just another way of exerting control and influence over people and acts in it's own self-interest.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: akenaton
Date: 16 Feb 17 - 09:49 AM

Sorry Al ......no flies on you ....eh? :0)


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Feb 17 - 09:55 AM

Ake
Why do you refuse to defend Trump rather than prozletizing for him?
You have the facts - they are there for you to knock down
This is totally mindless cowardice

For that matter, why do none of his supportes defend his behaviour - perhaps because it is indefensible, maybe?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: akenaton
Date: 16 Feb 17 - 10:09 AM

Ahrrrgh!!! my ear drums are bustin'.....every things gone RED....


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Bill D
Date: 16 Feb 17 - 10:09 AM

"...surely in such a situation trust should be a priority?"

That is essentially what Trump's spokespeople are telling us. "All this negativity is not helpful", they say."Give the man who was 'legally elected' a chance."

All we can do is look at the clearest accounts of data about him we can find and read his words and decide whether any of it seems *trustworthy*. The polls show that fewer are 'trusting' every day.

Here, all *I* can do is similar reading of various comments and asking myself how they relate to what went before and whether I can see any positive patterns. Right now, I see a few remarks from a few posters who try being overshadowed by a running battle between you, Ake, with your digressions, and Jim, who feels obligated to challenge you on HIS reading of those digressions.

I think we have reached the dead end that Steve Shaw predicted.. I did get some interesting commentary on the issue... and even the digressions are enlightening in their own way.

Ok, mods... shut 'er down. I'll let those who care PM me if they have anything monumental to add.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: akenaton
Date: 16 Feb 17 - 10:39 AM

Oh come on Bill, The threads not about Trump per se Jim wants me to defend him, I'm not interested in that, rather what motivated so many to vote for him....the running battles are not my doing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Acme
Date: 16 Feb 17 - 10:41 AM

Akenaton still can't tell the difference between the actual author of that 2015 essay and the 1957 material that was cited that has nothing to do with politics, it has to do with spectacle (used by the modern author who suggests politics is also spectacle) - it cracks me up when Ake says, for example, "Barthes speculates that many "ordinary people" view political elections as "theatre", entertainment."

Judd Legum wrote: "Recently, Rand Paul and others have taken to calling out Trump as an "entertainer," rather than a legitimate candidate. This is as effective to running into the middle of the ring during Wrestlemania and yelling: "This is all fake!" You are correct, but you will not be received well." I don't consider Rand Paul "ordinary."

Barthes isn't discussing these modern politics because he has been dead for many years, but he is making observations about types of human behavior that apply to today. Learning to read and think critically is difficult when there isn't a chink in your wall built to shut out new ideas. You try to twist Barthes or Legum to your way of seeing things without letting in any fresh air, new ideas.

Interesting also that while Trump is a philandering abuser of women, it's okay with Ake that he's in office. We wouldn't be having this discussion if Trump was gay, would we? I should caution you that many of those French philosophers were gay also, they were thinkers, accustomed to viewing the world from the margins, writing back to the center with their observations.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Acme
Date: 16 Feb 17 - 10:52 AM

I didn't see your remarks as I prepared mine, Bill. They may put a twist in the conversation, though by reading the character of participant discourse, it probably wouldn't last much longer anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Feb 17 - 11:50 AM

"Ahrrrgh!!! my ear drums are bustin'.....every things gone RED...."
And still you refuse to qualify your support for this fascist criminal
It's your feckin' face that should be going red - with shame for your cowardice
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Mr Red
Date: 16 Feb 17 - 11:59 AM

bugger the face, the neck is already ............


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Feb 17 - 11:59 AM

Ake
The man is a proven misogynist
His policies have been ruled both racist and unconstitutional
His own party now has begun to have qualms about supporting him
He is attracting the dregs of American extremist right-wing society, from the Klan to scum like Ann Coulter
His links with Russia have been obvious since day one
His attitude towards global ecology are a nightmare
In the short time he has been in office he as offended nation after nation
His offensive loutish behaviour is immediately obvious the minute he appears in public
There has never been a Western world leader who has elicited such animosity in such a short time
Discuss!!
I don't expect you to, but at least we will have a clear picture of what it takes to be a Trumpite
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Feb 17 - 12:00 PM

"bugger the face, the neck is already ............"
Nice one Mr.... (whoops)
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: akenaton
Date: 16 Feb 17 - 12:04 PM

Yes have fun children ....now that the grown ups have left.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Feb 17 - 12:49 PM

"now that the grown ups have left."
No answer is answer enough Ake
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 16 Feb 17 - 01:11 PM

Well no Jim.....

to be honest, its your side that's got to answer the questions.

Precisely how is a country that doesn't manufacture anything, doesn't dig up its mineral wealth, to support its wealthy citizens? of which there are an increasing number...

Real estate and gambling...we seem to have settled for that in this country. Although obviously the real estate is only worth anything in wealthy enclaves.

Trump has come up with an answer....protectionism. and a lot of people have bought it..... people who repeatedly get called stupid and klan followers on this thread and many like it.

The democrats could have could have come up with some answers or reassurances. The other republicans could have signified that they vaguely aware of the straits in which many parts of the country were in.

but answer came there none.

Make no mistake, Trump is quite a lot bonkers. I've never seem anyone stalk round the stage yelling that he was going to put his political opponent in jail before. I thought he was mad.

But I think it is dishonourable to keep badmouthing all the people who voted for him, when the other side found them to be invisible.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Feb 17 - 01:43 PM

"But I think it is dishonourable to keep badmouthing all the people who voted for him,"
I am not Al
Trump won the day iby instigating fear and Xenophobic mistrust to a degree that has not been seen since the 1930s
Whatever their reason for voting, I have concentrated on what Trump has done and what he intends to do - not on those who voted for him and it is that I believe it
I get tired of pointing out that (a) The Nazis took the majority in the 1930s and (b)Trump was elected on a numerical minority.
It is down to those who support Trump to explain why, given what is happening.
The damage he isdoing is beyond question.
Another piece of news for his supporters to ignore
He has just announced that, rather than explaining his links with Russia he intends to prosecute those who have exposed his possibly criminal and certainly unconstitutional activities - that includes members of teh Security forces.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Feb 17 - 01:48 PM

By the way Al, by describing Trump as "Trump is quite a lot bonkers", by your own logic, aren't you "badmouthing the electorate" by electing such a man?
Can't have it both ways
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Stu
Date: 16 Feb 17 - 02:36 PM

"But I think it is dishonourable to keep badmouthing all the people who voted for him, when the other side found them to be invisible."

This is the case both sides of the Atlantic and something I agree with Ake on; there is a huge section of society that no-one was listening to. It's easy to lump all these folk into a single mass of "deplorables", but that would be a mistake.

There is no sharing of wealth, zero hours contracts are becoming the norm and are difficult to live on and our sponging politicians have abandoned large swathes of the population: the tories never cared anyway and Labour has become a London-centric and out of touch with the country at large. People are distrustful of the media and all this plays into the hands of demagogues and alt-right 'patriots' like Farage and Trump, who find fertile ground to sow their poisonous, evil seeds of discontent and targeting foreigners and other helpless scapegoats.

The world is changing, and we need to be sure the process we've made on so many fronts in society are not pissed away because people want to give the toffs a kicking. Farage and Trump are shills for the establishment they claim to abhor, we need to find a way to engage ordinary people and develop new industries so we can make things again, backed by science and technology.


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Subject: RE: BS: Barthes: explanation of Trump's appeal
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Feb 17 - 03:14 PM

" there is a huge section of society that no-one was listening to
There's a vast difference in recognising what people ssay in order to respond to it and using discontent to gain office and turn a democracy into a plutocracy Stu
Jim Carroll


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This Thread Is Closed.


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