Trump, Politics, Mythology & the Eternal

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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 biggest and most dangerous 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
about,
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 everything on 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.

Anaway, 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.

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22 thoughts on “Trump, Politics, Mythology & the Eternal

  1. Can’t agree more. I’ve been listening to classical music for days. Rarely does anything satisfy my soul like it. Only nature, and that’s about it.
    I stopped watching TV last year. I just can’t. I’m so fed up with everything. I’m much better off doing soul searching.

      • I wouldn’t really call it discipline. I didn’t just decide not to watch TV. I just didn’t feel like it one day, and then the following and the following. At one point, I realized I’m more at peace with myself without.

      • My problem begins with my YouTube addiction. I don’t watch actual TV. I go on YouTube and one video leads to the next and the next thing I know I’ve wasted several hours. Must take your lead.

      • I did that too and then stopped altogether. It can be fun but then soooo tiring sometimes, so I’d stare at the monitor afterwards thinking – And, this is what you did today? For real? Wow!
        I’m my best critic. After reprimanding myself for being a lazy, unproductive, and time-wasting good-for-nothing, I was left with no choice whatsoever. You can’t blame me for quitting with all this guilt on my mind.
        Besides, a funny thing happened, I finally have my peace of mind I’ve been longing for so long. It’s all a habit, a lousy one, and terribly addictive. Now, I relax with music and birds singing outside. The world will survive without my likes.

  2. I don’t need to go in search of news since he feeds on staying front- and center-stage in the daily news. I work with music in the background and stay grounded with poetry. I’m currently reading A SMALL PORCH by Wendell Berry.

    His poem “To the National Security Agency” is a gem. “I am away in a quiet valley, / am busy at my quiet work // Don’t try to call. I have no phone…”

  3. This is helpful, mercifully so! knowing that you have these news-reading habits and that you’re ambivalent about their efficacy, it helps me to feel less lost, less ‘crazy’ (in the awful sense of mass-media mad rather than the glorious sense of being a mad poet). Just hearing the details of your habits makes it easier to allow my own political addiction to slacken and fade…

    & I really love that concluding paragraph: it is beautiful, & divinely human, & humanely divine: “I seek the eternal.” Amen and amen!

    I’m sure you’re familiar with this outburst from our friend William Blake, but it seems fitting to copy it yet again:

    I am really sorry to see my Countrymen trouble themselves about Politics. If Men were Wise, the Most arbitrary Princes could not hurt them. If they are not Wise, the Freest Government is compelld to be a Tyrrany. Princes appear to me to be Fools; Houses of Commons & Houses of Lords appear to me to be fools – they seem to me to be something Else besides Human Life.

    • Glad you enjoyed and can relate… actually I knew you could relate so it’s no surprise. I have never seen that quote from Blake… at least not that I can remember. It great. Blake is always spot on. Must be all those strolls he took through hell.

  4. And this, my friend, makes pursuing a degree in Geistenswissenschaften seem worth it again. I do think we can’t stick our heads in the sand and stop watching, participating, etc., but knowing we have something more human to turn to is a daily redemption. Agree wholeheartedly, could have written this myself (though the Helios chariot was a nice reference, would not have thought of that!).Cheers.

    • Daily redemption sounds a lot better to me than getting caught up all the time on what’s going on OUT THERE. Out there will take care of itself. Much more interesting is what’s going on within. Cheers!

      • I believe in a healthy balance of both. Some people with some sense have to keep those guys in order! Leaving them to it will end up in not having the space to look within. That is, if they f up everything, we struggle to have the means to survive and don’t have the time for looking within as much…

  5. Your reference to mythology also brings to mind Joseph Cambell and his description of the European dragon. The one that hoards gold and women, not able to enjoy either. A fitting description of the current US president. It’s time for a hero/heroine to enter this story…

    • I haven’t heard Campbell’s description of the European dragon, but I’m sure it’s spot-on. He’s one of my faves & a big influence too. You are absolutely right about our need for a hero or heroine. I. AM. WAITING,

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