To me, President Trump represents a certain band of terror, which is chaos. The man is awful, but he’s stupidly awful. Watching his news conference, it’s obvious he’s in way over his head. He might lead us into an economic disaster or a war, but he also may just stumble idiotically through four years.
This administration is basically Bush II, but without the facade. George W was a philandering, dipshit entitled and connected rich kid from the northeast who could act just foolish enough to convince middle America he wasn’t an elite. Dick Cheney was Return of the Jedi-era Darth Vader. Both hid their hatred behind a cross.
Donald Trump is George W Bush on steroids, but Mike Pence is Vader from the pre-Rogue One era. Trump embodies extreme values because they got him on the news (originally) and elected (currently). Mike Pence actually believes this stuff, and I think him in the Oval Office is far more dangerous than Trump; his campaign of neocon extremism is practically branded as Christian, and with the Islamic State on the rise the last thing we need is warmongering zealots at the table on both ends.
As the Davos conference takes place, it seems a good opportunity to look at how the left in modern America can be segmented into two blocs: those who apologize for and endorse the Davos ideal of globalization and capitalism, and those who do not.
The first group would seem more likely to vote based on identity politics or single issues (any sort of social justice or rights-based topic) while the second group would be focused on the economy. Hillary Clinton vs Bernie Sanders. The great neoliberal vs progressive divide.
This will be a very important distinction in the coming elections as class divides will give an opportunity to completely re-structure how America votes, and Davos apologists will only ruin the potential for a new American left. (Worse, capitalism is the system that has fostered slavery, patriarchy and oppressive social norms into every day life that went so far, entire states are now being politically upended. This will only continue so long as capitalism remains the thesis of the American hypothetical.)
There is great cause for concern regarding the power resting in the Trump administration on the far right, but equally concerning is the lack of a cohesive counterbalance. Liberals seem so eager to forget Bill Clinton was about the same type of shitty person Donald Trump is; and both wholly endorse a brand of economics that has and will ever only favor the rich.
Last year was, while distressing, certainly interesting. This project is the result of it. Some of these are songs I was demoing earlier in 2016, one I wrote in the past week; all in all it’s what I’m calling an audio self-portrait regarding the last 12 months or so.
Written on my guitar setup and recorded with a four-track in a garage in Washington and a warehouse in Portland; thanks to Doug for letting me record on the piano and Drew for lending me the synth and acoustic.
The past 24 hours have been something of a whirlwind in terms of news, but a few events transpired that really underscore how media is changing in the current administration.
As the allegations against the President-elect broke, senior adviser Kellyanne Conway was sitting for an interview with Seth Meyers. Within 24 hours, Donald Trump was repudiating CNN’s Jim Acosta, calling the network fake news.
Since the dawn of the televised age, newscasters and celebrities alike have been a part of the American home. What’s interesting is as the information age gained steam, the media lost household trust while the entertainer seemed to gain it. There are all sorts of reasons for this, which I’ll be getting in to over the coming weeks, but the end result is a media sphere where more and more entertainers must ask the questions journalists no longer have the sociocultural capital for.
It’s now obvious the new administration will hold nothing but contempt for the press; what will be interesting is to see how the general public reacts to information about the politics of the world depending on the source that publishes it.
The Daily Show is the obvious catalyst for the current slew of politically minded television, but while that may give entertainment journalists a reason to live, the broader implication—that our society at large has no nationally trusted source of objective information—seems much more poignant to me. A society that can not recognize the importance of national discourse over individual opinion will not last as a society for long.
(Continuing the First Friday show tradition, I debuted a new piece, What The Devil Really Did Say. February will likely be a small show; summer should be fun.)
Fascinating times we live in. Excruciating if you’re watching the news. Times like these show the true colors of both the media audience and the outlets themselves.
I’m not one to view the news from a partisan angle, and so this whole international election tampering looks like one giant circus to me. The President-elect has somehow managed to improve Russia’s stance among GOP voters while the entire government is going insane about it.
If Russia, in a state-approved act, did in fact fuck with the US election in some way (other than phishing John Podesta), then it’s a serious international issue that Donald Trump would be a fool to disregard. Everyone else should get off their high horse when it comes to fucking with the democratic process in other countries.
At the same time, however, when The New York Times starts going on and on about piles of evidence of international wrong doing, providing none in the mean time but quoting sources in Senate Intelligence committees, well, I balk at that since it’s how we end up at war.
Now because of all this, the traditional alignments that were disrupted by Trump getting elected are now rippling out to trust in community and media. It’s going to be a long, weird road downhill from here.
By the end of the day, a new charge will appear on my credit card from GoDaddy.com. I’ll be charged for two more years of owning this domain, which I bought January 5, 1999. I was sixteen years old; today, this site turns eighteen.
At 34, I’ve never had a relationship last more than two years, a job more than three. I’ve never been in the same place more than five consecutive years. I’ve had a cat for 12, but she was a gift from an ex-girlfriend so it wasn’t much of a choice on my part. Long term commitments have never come easy to me.
And yet this site has always just been there, almost naturally. I started building websites at 14 but it wasn’t until 16 where I imagined that this would be the future; everybody would have a web site. (I should have known that, instead, it would be the corporations who would have websites that people would buy in to.)
Who knows where it will go from here, but for the anniversary the site should be just about fully functional in the new design & framework. There’s more to come.
For anyone out there who thought that the new year would bring any sort of reprieve from the daily anxiety of 2016, I present to you the US House of Representatives. It should not be surprising that after leading congress to all-time low approval ratings, the GOP would take it upon themselves to get to work only in an attempt to undo eight years of legislation.
Though I am sure it’s happened, I can’t think of a time when the motivation of a congress was not to pass new laws but repeal old ones. From the Affordable Care Act to regulations and corporate taxes, the Trump administration is effectively tearing apart what little left of the state benefits the poor.
This is a controlled burn.
Some changes are being made around here; though I’m no fan of traditional holidays, the first week of the year happens to be the anniversary for Distorted Perspective. In a few days, this site will be 18 years old, which is really weird to me because I haven’t ever done anything for more than a few weeks without getting anxious about it.
Either way, the layout is new, most projects have been edited and/or refined, and a lot is still to come.