Tagged: P T Barnum

My old Manhattan home

Those who seek literary or cinematic references for the rise of Mr Trump only elevate the clown into a proper harlequin. Trump’s origin is closer to the gutter, PT Barnum and his nineteenth-century circuses, which passed off coal dust as gold to unenlightened and uneducated commoners. Barnum staged minstrel shows, including minstrelized versions of Shakespearean drama. Mr Trump’s orange-face, fright wig, and malapropistic stump speeches are straight off the minstrel stage.

Pundits wonder whether Evangelical Christians will continue to back Trump in light of his “locker room banter.”  What they are really asking is whether people who believe dinosaurs were on the ark need to justify their support of Trump.

The current responses to neoliberalism are right- and left-wing populism and a curious resurgence of mercantilist ideas. No wonder neoliberals continue to sleep well at night.

It goes with out saying that political, economic, and cultural mercantilism is backwards.

Re “Oldchella“: Nothing wrong with old people making music. It happens in symphony halls nightly.

A girl in trouble

Gif is pronounced like gift sans t.

“No taxation without representation” implies “no representation without taxation.”

Prince quit twitter when he reached 143,999 followers.

The “prosperity gospel” carries on the long tradition of hucksterism (raised to an art form by P T Barnum).

Nothing can replace the classic styling and comfort of Tretorn canvas sneakers.

Shapes of things

Re Jared Diamond: Guns and Collapse are not taken seriously in the academy. Books published for the commercial market intentionally cultivate controversy, at the expense of erudition.

Wishful thinking masquerading as journalism. How often I could apply this criticism!

Re Perez Hilton: Mining the trash bin of popular culture for profitable nuggets is America’s oldest profession. See P. T. Barnum.

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The cynicism of right-wing politicians is unabashed.

Right-wing parties and their politicians are especially prone to using the most symbolically violent language available. It appears that in the upcoming election, the UK Conservatives must shore up their populist flank on the far right. The swamp metaphor, an echo of Enoch Powell’s infamous “Rivers of Blood” speech, does the trick.

A similar phenomenon occurred in Germany in the 1890s. The aristocratic German Conservative Party was dragged into populist demagoguery by the presence of anti-Semitic peasant parties which threatened to pick off tradition Conservative “safe seats.” Occupying a position between the anti-Semites and the Conservatives stood the Bund der Landwirte (Farmers’ League) comprised of a rump of 5,000 Prussian large landowners and several hundred thousand peasants. The BdL’s political discourse was simultaneously populist, anti-Semitic, and elitist.