Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A tall tale of a toad named Donald and the role of ritual in public speech

From our Calaveras County Mark Twain series.

Here is how the blogster came to nickname a toad Donald, after Donald Trump.

In the dark, wet early morning hours, a big toad, half up on its hind legs, was sitting in the middle of the country road, facing the oncoming car. The driver saw the toad and evaded it.

Donald, I'm nicknaming the toad Donald, after Trump!

Can't you see, the Donald is exactly like the toad, all puffed up facing the eighteen wheeler of StopTrump barreling towards him, yelling: Come on, come on, I challenge you. I bet you are being driven by a Muslim, better, a Muslim woman. It's gonna be a fight, a beautiful fight. All those cars before you...I made them miss through my sheer beautiful willpower, my intelligence...come on, it's gonna be a beautiful fight.


The blogster continues to be bored by all the air time and ink/black bytes spent on the toad after a couple of folks already said what needed to be said.

Bring up all the left, right, and middle-ish arguments you want, they are mere decoration.

The point of The Donald is that he has broken the rituals of presidential candidate public speech.

All the crap, the dumb things that our rituals of discourse generally and successfully prevent people from saying, he just says them.

That, my friends, is what infuriates the righteous and not so righteous alike. "We" know we are looking at a ritual - or at least we should realize that by now - but ignoring a strong ritual, or a taboo, is what gets you run over by the proverbial eighteen wheeler.

Somehow, humans don't seem to take well to deep seated rituals being challenged, even if it is all theater.

Have you forgotten the sitting president's remark that politics involves a lot of theater?

The story is really about us: we don't elect a pacifist into office (sorry, Bernie), we are busy making enough money to live or to rake in more, we don't want to let go of the notion of dirty work that needs to be done - but we don't want to be responsible.

No, please, don't come up with that Hitler again, because that one would never have made it without a decade or more of support from "conservative" Germans. Heck, in the last free elections in the early 1930s, "the Germans" did not vote Hitler into office - he was heaved into the job by the other conservative parties.

The story of The Donald is a tall tale, nothing more, nothing less.

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