Entry from April 13th, 2018
Gross-out, bodily function, body-shaming humor, the objectifying of women, violence, bloodshed, the glorification of guns and money – when I think of the kinds of films and TV shows that have been successful the past quarter-century, it becomes obvious that Hollywood is no less guilty than Fox News for cultivating the soil that would give birth to the shallowest, most deranged dumb-dick ever to strut and fret its way across the world’s stage – I’m talkin bout Donald J. Trump. When I wake up every day, the first thing I do is check my iPod to see the latest happenings with his administration. Then it’s onto YouTube, and Twitter, and the BBC, and the German newspapers. I don’t like it, but in another way, I love it. It’s like cigarettes. I think about quitting every day. But then I think if I quit, I’ll miss the most important part of the reality show, that which everything’s been building up to since that famous and symbolic footage of Trump on the down escalator with his vapid rent-a-wife to announce he would be seeking position as leader of the free world.
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.
By now, even Trump knows the down escalator was apropos and that he made a massive mistake, but his bloodpride and child’s mind won’t let him do anything about it. Besides Humpty Dumpty, he calls to my mind Phaeton of Greek mythology, who without any skill, experience or know-how, borrowed his father Helios’ magnificent sun chariot and lost control of it,
Again, the culm and smouldering smoke did wrap him round
The pitchy darkness of the which so wholly had him hent
As that he wist not where he was nor yet which way he went.
~ (Ovid, Metamorphosis – Golding translation)
burning up half the earth, and was himself destroyed by a thunderbolt.
The day I quit paying attention to politics, I tell myself, is the day the thunderbolt bound for the flame-colored Trumpian fleece will first appear – hopefully by that time he won’t have already burnt up everything on earth to save his own hide. Mal schauen (we’ll see), as the Germans say.
Anyway, after I am done with my dose of politics in the morning, I turn on classical music and the chattering of the pundits leaves my head. Angels of peace fill the room. I can almost feel my spirit expanding. It’s art my spirit craves, not politics, not news that’s already old news when it’s a day old. I seek the eternal. The story of man, of the earth, of man’s wholeness on earth and the imagination. That which is unchanging under any form of government – democracy, dictatorship, oligarchy. The truth of mere being, the language and impulses of the human heart, genuine feeling, man’s harmony with nature, anything that forgets to get dated and is so true and soul-satisfying that no one ever talks about it – that’s the real news of the day.