Rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture.
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
The Final Solution: No Trump Bidding
PTSD Art Therapy Project by Cpl. Andrew Johnston
One of the legacies of the election is to see the whole
world as the election. Certainly the recent Republican victory is reflective of a jingoist,
xenophobic turn in many major western countries. Brexit had already occurred
before the election and the right in France, in the guise of Marine Le Pen’s
National Front, has been inflamed by the spate of terrorism. Italy is the latest
to join the band wagon “With Populist Anger Rising, Italy May Be the Next Domino to Fall,” NYT, 12/2/16). But rather
than leaving a big hole in our dialogues (some people were afraid that the
level of political discourse generated by the Trump candidacy was so great and
all encompassing that it was going to be difficult to resume normal
conversation after all the brouhaha was over) the election has spawned a whole new set of projections. The
juggernaut continues and the world seems to be characterized by Trump clones
who take extremist positions based on little evidence so as to dominate situations
and attract the marginalized elements in any organization who're seeking a way
to upset the apple cart. Whether they are Trump supporters or not makes no
difference. You begin to regard certain people who play on fear and prejudices
in the way you did Trump and you feel the same helplessness as the wildfire
begins to spread over a drought inflicted landscape. Subliminal and not so
subliminal prejudices have been ignited by both Trump and henchmen like Steve
Bannon, but these have found there way into the culture to such an extent that
it’s hard not to be overly reactive to anyone who dramatically postures to make
their point. Those who were sure average Americans with common sense values
would repudiate Trump have been traumatized and like a lot of people with PTSD,
they're suffering from counter reactions characterized by their own particular
kind of myopia.
Francis Levy's debut novel, Erotomania: A Romance, was released in August 2008 by Two Dollar Radio.
His short stories, criticism, humor, and poetry have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, The Village Voice, The East Hampton Star, The Quarterly, Penthouse, Architectural Digest, TV Guide, The Journal of Irreproducible Results, and other publications. One of his Voice humor pieces was anthologized in The Big Book of New American Humor (HarperCollins). He is presently the Co-Director of The Philoctetes Center for the Multidisciplinary Study of Imagination (philoctetes.org), where he supervises roundtable discussions on topics as varied as “The Psychology of the Modern Nation State” and “Modern Traffic Theory, Behavior, and Imagination”.