- Donald Trump’s Crisis of Legitimacy | The New Yorker – > “Trump is using the precious capital of the bully pulpit to talk about confederate monuments in between savage attacks on fellow Republicans,” Holmes, the former aide to McConnell, told Politico Playbook. “Just think about that. Not tax reform. Not repeal and replace. Not North Korean nuclear capabilities. No focused critiques on extremely vulnerable Democrats who have opposed him at every possible turn.” – (trump politics rhetoric )
- Trump’s ‘On Both Sides’ Press Conference: A Key Image – The Atlantic – Spoken words are authentic words, right? – (politics rhetoric trump )
- President Trump must go – The Washington Post – Significant because it doesn’t call for Trump's resignation. – (trump politics rhetorical_situation )
- Donald Trump, from His Tower, Rages at “the Other Side” in Charlottesville | The New Yorker – Raging against the light. > he had reduced a moral crossroads for the country to a question of naming rights. Standing in front of reporters, Trump came across as an angry man sheltered by a building bearing his own name in big, gold letters. But for how long? Tenants in some buildings have already asked to have the “Trump” taken off. Where would it stop? Would there, perhaps, never even be a statue of Donald J. Trump? – (trump politics rhetoric )
- In 1939, I didn’t hear war coming. Now its thundering approach can’t be ignored | Harry Leslie Smith | Opinion | The Guardian – Specters. Not to be taken lightly.
> I recognise these omens of doom. Chilling signs are everywhere, perhaps the biggest being that the US allows itself to be led by Donald Trump, a man deficient in honour, wisdom and just simple human kindness. It is as foolish for Americans to believe that their generals will save them from Trump as it was for liberal Germans to believe the military would protect the nation from Hitler’s excesses. – (history politics trump )
- Why is Trump reluctant to condemn white supremacy? It’s his racism — and his megalomania. – The Washington Post – More consideration of the rhetorical situation of Trump's Many Sides statement.
> There is a reason we generally want our presidents to speak out against racism against African Americans amid outbreaks of racial strife and violence. They are well positioned to remind the nation of our founding creed, and of our most conspicuous betrayal of it — of the historically unique experience of African Americans as targets of centuries of violent subjugation, as well as sustained domestic terrorism and deeply ingrained racism, which continues today. – (rhetoric trump rhetorical_situation )
- White House Acts to Stem Fallout From Trump’s First Charlottesville Remarks – The New York Times – The press does rhetorical analysis. – (trump persuasion rhetorical_situation )
- Donald Trump under fire after failing to denounce Virginia white supremacists – This account makes it clear that Trump mis-used the rhetorical moment. Didn't just miss the opportunity to condemn white supremacists but used it to normalize racism. This is not a rhetorically innocent move.
> The president said he condemned “hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides” on Saturday. He then repeated the phrase “on many sides” for emphasis. A White House spokesperson later amplified the president’s remarks, telling the Guardian: “The president was condemning hatred, bigotry and violence from all sources and all sides. There was violence between protesters and counter-protesters today.”
> But there was strong reaction to Trump’s refusal to denounce far-right extremists who had marched through the streets carrying flaming torches, screaming racial epithets and setting upon their opponents. – (politics efficacy trump rhetoric rhetorical_situation )
- Trump lit the torches of white supremacy in Charlottesville. We must extinguish them. – The Washington Post – Trump tries to take naming out of debate. The conservatives make it the center of debate – by declaring the name is not open for debate.
> But this abomination that happened in Charlottesville over the weekend is not up for debate. It’s not a cultural take or a political platform. Racism, bigotry and terrorism in the name of white nationalism isn’t a “side.” It’s a poison. – (rhetoric trump categorization naming )
- Trump babbles in the face of tragedy – The mainstream is raising the specter of Nazism
> this is the natural result of defining authenticity as spontaneity. Trump and his people did not believe the moment worthy of rhetorical craft, worthy of serious thought. The president is confident that his lazy musings are equal to history. They are not. They are babble in the face of tragedy. They are an embarrassment and disservice to the country.
> Ultimately this was not merely the failure of rhetoric or context, but of moral judgment. The president could not bring himself initially to directly acknowledge the victims or distinguish between the instigators and the dead. He could not focus on the provocations of the side marching under a Nazi flag. – (rhetoric politics trump )
- Donald Trump’s incredibly unpresidential statement on Charlottesville – – (politics rhetoric trump )
- Yes, Smartphones Are Destroying a Generation, But Not of Kids | JSTOR Daily – A fair analysis of a popular argument – critiquing the evidence- but weak alternative argument and lame solution. The kids aren't sad, it's the parents, so let's mentor! – (argument a )
- North Korea best not … – Trump remixes Truman – (linguistics )
- US federal department is censoring use of term ‘climate change’, emails reveal – Just leaving a trace of the accepted terms here.
> “These records reveal Trump’s active censorship of science in the name of his political agenda,” said Meg Townsend, open government attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. – (linguistics trump rhetoric semantics )
- Weblogs: Learning in Public- Jill Walker Rettberg | ETC Press – Meh become me. – (#en3177 digital_literacy blogging )
On the occasion of transcripts released:
From Society of the Spectacle, Debord
Everything that was directly lived has receded into a representation.
The spectacle is not a collection of images; it is a social relation between people that is mediated by images. …
The spectacle is the ruling order’s nonstop discourse about itself, its never-ending monologue of self-praise, its self-portrait at the stage of totalitarian domination of all aspects of life.
Trump’s clandestine business discourse is out of place on the social stage of politics. The result is that it unmasks both discourses as spectacle. It calls attention to the construction of the spectacular. Trump’s attempts to create change are shown everyday to be attempts to control message. In the spectacle, changing message is changing reality. It’s all that’s needed for a win.
The spectacle trickles down. Trump’s daily (Daily. He’s working hard) unmasking of the national administrative political spectacle also unmasks the discourse of other administrative contexts and calls them into his crisis of credibility. So that, locally, university administrators lose their agency as Trump reveals that their actions are attempts to shape the message rather than administrate real change. Declare a win, and you’ve won. That is simulation.
And, yes, annotation has a lot to do with it. Annotation becomes curation.
- Depravity Is Downstream of Donald Trump – The Atlantic – > Andrew Breitbart himself thought Donald Trump was a con man and no conservative, but he doubtlessly would have enjoyed the showmanship and sheer disruption of Trump’s primary campaign. – (trump rhetoric politics )
- [toread] The Observer view on Donald Trump’s unfitness for office – Your sixth month diagnosis: vipers, clowns, being held hostage
> Like some kind of Shakespearean villain-clown, Trump plays not to the gallery but to the pit. He is a Falstaff without the humour or the self-awareness, a cowardly, bullying Richard III without a clue. Late-night US satirists find in this an unending source of high comedy. If they did not laugh, they would cry. The world is witnessing the dramatic unfolding of a tragedy whose main victims are a seemingly helpless American audience, America’s system of balanced governance and its global reputation as a leading democratic light. – (politics trump tragedy )
- Donald Trump Tramples on Boy Scout Values | The New Yorker – Best Accidental Trump. Parable. Ever. – (none)
- Here and now – Thinking … I’ll get back to you on it. – (none)
- Trumpcare Collapsed Because Republicans Cannot Govern – Republican ideology doesn't admit support for health care. It's not conservatism. It's Republicanism.
> In truth, it was never possible to reconcile public standards for a humane health-care system with conservative ideology. In a pure market system, access to medical care will be unaffordable for a huge share of the public. Giving them access to quality care means mobilizing government power to redistribute resources, either through direct tax and transfers or through regulations that raise costs for the healthy and lower them for the sick. Obamacare uses both methods, and both are utterly repugnant and unacceptable to movement conservatives. That commitment to abstract anti-government dogma, without any concern for the practical impact, is the quality that makes the Republican Party unlike right-of-center governing parties in any other democracy. In no other country would a conservative party develop a plan for health care that every major industry stakeholder calls completely unworkable.
> The power to destroy remains within the Republican Party’s capacity. The power to translate its ideological principles into practical government is utterly beyond its reach. – (ideology rhetoric politics )
- Defense of Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop offers case study on how to sell snake oil | Ars Technica – A catalogue of some of the rhetorical moves on Goop. – (ecommerce erhetoric snakeoil persuasion )
- David Bromwich · The Age of Detesting Trump · LRB 13 July 2017 – > President Trump, monster and scapegoat, is too rash in his overall demeanour, too uncalibrated in his words and gestures, too ill-adapted to the routines of politics to carry credit even when he is speaking common sense. – (none)
- Trump is ushering in a dark new conservatism – The real nostalgia is for the 1930s, not the 50s. – (politics trump )
- Full Text, Analysis: Donald Trump Jr. Emails On Meeting With Lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya : NPR – Annotation is the new broadcast. – (politics discourse trump )
- “I’ve Made You Believe There Is a Point” | ACADEME BLOG – TED Talks. Simply boring? Or simply boring platform for bogus Thought Leaders, self-promotion, and wasted lives? – (none)
Bolter and Grusin (Remediation) see new media remediating old until the new media becomes established as a media and media-specific affordances become available. Benjamin sees remediation in new materials. When iron, for instance, was introduced in sculpture it took on forms from wood. Benjamin sees this as a failure to see the new in the old and evidence that these introductions of the new aren’t part of the emancipation from capitalism.
This way of understanding is going two ways: 1) towards a sense that what are declared as new and emancipatory (iron and glass, the automobile, Twitter, blogging … ) are not new; they are too much informed by the capitalist superstructure that still controls false consciousness; and 2), in the other direction, that these new media could be seen as emancipatory if that false consciousness is thrown off.
In contemporary terms, innovation is not going to disrupt the capitalist imaginary which forces an understanding of innovation within its limited and limiting framework. Disruption as it appears at TedTalks, in incubators, in administrative talk is not disruptive of the status quo. Disruption becomes one of the myths we use to imagine what might become but cannot become until the capitalist imaginary itself is disrupted.
Here’s Buck-Morss on Benjamin:
[T]he restorative impulse [is] more evident … in the forms taken by the new technologies themselves, which imitated precisely the old forms they were destined to overcome ….
Under the archaic masks of classical myth … and traditional nature …, the inherent potential of the “new nature”—machines, iron shaped by new processes, technologies and industrial materials of every sort— remained unrecognized, unconscious. At the same time, these masks express the desire to “return” to a mythic time when human beings were reconciled with the natural world.
… According to Benjamin, if the “not-yet” of the new nature is expressed in archaic symbols rather than in new forms commensurate with it, then this condition of modem consciousness has its parallel in the inadequacies of development in the economic base. He is most explicit in a passage from the Passagen-Werk exposé. It begins with a quotation from Jules Michelet: “Every’ epoch dreams the one that follows it.” Benjamin comments:
> To the form of the new means of production which in the beginning is still dominated by the old one (Marx), there correspond in the collective consciousness images in which the new is intermingled with the old. These images are wish images, and in them the collective attempts to transcend as well as to illumine the in completed ness of the social order of production. There also emerges in these wish images a positive striving to set themselves off from the outdated— that means, however, the most recent past. These tendencies turn the image fantasy, that maintains its impulse from the new, back to the ur-past. In the dream in which every epoch sees in images the epoch that follows, the latter appears wedded to elements of ur-history, that is, of a classless society. Its experiences, which have their storage place in the unconscious of the collective, produce, in their interpenetration with the new, the utopia that has left its trace behind in a thousand configurations of life from permanent buildings to ephemeral fashions.27
The real possibility of a classless society in the “epoch to follow” the present one, revitalizes past images as expressions of the ancient wish for social utopia in dream form. But a dream image is not yet a dialectical image, and desire is not yet knowledge…. Benjamin was reluctant to rest revolutionary hope directly on imagination’s capacity to anticipate the not-yet-existing. Even as wish image, utopian imagination needed to be interpreted through the material objects in which it found expression, for (as Bloch knew) it was upon the transforming mediation of matter that the hope of utopia ultimately depended: technology’s capacity to create the not-yet-known.
Technology, not yet “emancipated,” is held back by conventional imagination that sees the new only as a continuation of the old which has just now become obsolete. 115-6
In The Arcades Project, from Buck-Morss, Dialectics of Seeing, p 111-115.
The implications for social media and new media: We’re not there yet. Social media is still remediating the ideologies of mass communication; they are still informing and forming the rhetoric of the new, and are insidious in the techniques of persuasion.
But it can be turned. The phenomena of the digital – the internet, the web, social media, digital phones – can be used as dialectic images of critique in the way Benjamin uses the arcades, flaneurs, prositutes and gambling, iron and steel construction, and fashion to investigate early 20th century Europe. An Arcades Project of the 21st century is being written. Our arcade is the internet, populated trolls, a place for gambling and fashion, architected by packet switching, UX, housing texting, selfies, sur- and suivellance … Our themes are the same as Benjamin’s: false consciousness, repetition, delay, porn … and a few new ones: simulacra, psychogeography, networks, image, mobility, identity, quantification …