The Politics of Melodrama: Putin y Puto?

By: Bill Whaley
9 May, 2018

BYC at Bareiss. May.18.18 (Communication gobelet (diptyque)_preview)

“A melodrama is a dramatic work in which the plot, which is typically sensational and designed to appeal strongly to the emotions, takes precedence over detailed characterization. Characters are often simply drawn, and may appear stereotyped.” Wikipedia

Given the reductive nature of media reports, whether social, print, broadcast, or El Mitote (gossip), surely the critic can forgive the consumer of information for misunderstanding the difference between facts, information and the fact-value interpretation as an act or expression of the moral choices required when confronting social conventions. As Emerson reminds us in Self-Reliance, “The virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion.” Critical thinking is in decline.

Today, the credibility of the national and local political dialogue has degenerated into the concept of “he said, she said.” Rumor, due to the attack by propagandists on the facts formerly shared as universal concepts in America. Thanks to claims of “fake news,” and a lack of belief in verifiable evidence, due to ignorance and a crisis in critical thinking,” false consciousness,” “cognitive dissonance,” “bad faith,” and “cynicism” have replaced critical intelligence as discourse.

What did we know and when did we know it and does what we know matter in a dialogue where rhetoric, untethered from either philosophy, science, and religion, floats above the social milieu as the fog of Mitote. Today, as during the 19th Century Civil War, we have the Blue pitted against the Red. One need only meet with family members, neighbors, and friends or neighbors to understand this perilous nature of this journey into paradox.

Just as the “science deniers” ignore the human-based carbon effects on Global Climate change, extreme weather, rising temperatures, floods and hurricanes so discussion has been reduced by politicos and tribal media into melodramatic versions of reality. Hovering in the air above the populace, the perceived Mitote of the media, appears as a contest of stereotypical good and bad characters, plotting against each other, neither of whom have a principled foundation on which to stand, according to their mutually contradictory positions. The boomerang flies back and forth, fore and aft like a swirling dust devil.

The Red leader, Donald Trump, POTUS, has been forgiven his peccadilloes with Porn by Evangelical and Conservative supporters, given his promise to nominate SCOTUS justices who will preserve the “Right to Lifers’ Belief in the Death Penalty.” Meanwhile the first lady advocates on behalf of children, a family value fact despite her husband’s Attorney General, who admonishes border cops to rip babes and children from the arms of the “illegal” parents, who seek economic and political asylum from the real and symbolic failure of capitalism, which now seeks to undermine itself by banning the hands-on workforce: fruit and vegetable pickers, construction workers, hotel and restaurant workers.

More particularly, the Red POTUS, who could not resist the charms of the Blue Porn star, has been revealed by his personal attorney as acquiescing in a “pay to play” scheme: Russians and lobbyists pay into the fund set up by the Trump consigliere in return for “influence” and “access.” The list of “meet and greets” between the Trumpers and the Russians, prior to and post-election, has been filmed, noticed, broadcast, and recorded. Collusion is as real as money laundering.

As in Watergate, one “follows the money” but today’s long-term goal, survival of the race, has been replaced by the physical urge to immediately satisfy Trumpean gratification, whether sexual, financial, or vanity and political power. While we watch, sitting on the edge of our seats, eyeballs glued, ears alert, we wonder whether the Red Trump will evade the Blue “Mueller Time.” The hyperbolically expressed reversals depend on the sentiments of the audience, whose point of view has been skewed by the Freudian-Marxist mix of ends and means. Is Donald Trump or Robert Mueller representative of the “Anti-Christ”? Pick your poison.

While the “peace makers” ratchet down the nuclear tension in Korea, the Bolton Reds turn up the nuclear tension in Iran. Even as the Blues predict fire and brimstone, Red Senators consider the nomination of a spy as CIA Chief, a spy associated with torture or the reversal of the Geneva Conventions, born of the Holocaust horror and condemned by the Nuremberg Trials as Nazi crimes against humanity. For the Americans have re-enacted, according to the scandalous reports re: Gitmo and other black sites, the process of torture even as their allies, the Netanyahu Israelis, would “cleanse” Palestine. The historic high ground has turned into a hill for snipers.

The American focus on “torture” can be seen in the corrupt money-grubbing persona of Scott Pruitt at EPA, who makes war on the climate and hastens the end of the connections between the human race and the natural world. Not satisfied with torturing human beings, the Trumpeans seize on the torture of the indigenous flora and fauna.

So, today’s American melodrama above focuses on the struggle to determine whether we will act on the Jeffersonian Judeo-Christian neo-classical notion that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Or rather will we emulate in practice and belief the Red mania expressed at the recent NRA rally, which reminded us how the multitudes worshipped Hitler in Leni Riefenstahl’s “Triumph of the Will” or the Triumph of Trump.

The NRA White Supremacists cheer, in effect, the sacrifice of innocents at Parkland/Las Vegas and reiterate their support for replacing the Cross with the AK 47. The Cult of Trump per the melodrama aims at dividing and conquering in an attempt to revise the moral determination of the 19th Century Civil War. For they would substitute a Red dictatorship of scoundrels for the patriotic ideals of the Blue Republic.

As Walter Cronkite used to say, “That’s the way it is.”

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