Monday, January 9, 2017

On Writing While Trump, Or Trump's Urinal

I just decided to have my graduate students subscribe to +realdonaldtrump for the semester. It's a course in the avant-garde, and I'm not sure what Trump's relationship is to that writing practice, but it seems far too close for comfort. Certainly some kind of undoing from the inside, the taking of pure entertainment value (like venom) out of the avant-garde bee and using it to confuse, intimidate, distract, and yes, destroy norms. If the US Constitution is like an art museum, then surely Trump is its "fountain" (even men with tiny hands use them). At the Chicago Art Museum years ago, I came upon Duchamp's famous urinal, installed in the middle of a large room whose walls were covered with paintings. In the age of Benjamin, of course it was a reproduction, but still. Feeling a huge smile develop on my face, I walked toward it; I have no memory of anything else in that room. Beside the urinal stood a grandmother and her small grandson (five or six years old). She was telling him that this is what had destroyed art. When, afraid for the boy's mind, I spoke up, saying, "I beg to differ!" she informed me that that would take too much time and we'd have to go outside to have that conversation.

I am now that grandmother, telling a grandson to be that Trump destroyed the museum. His tweets, to say nothing of his off-the-cuff (off the rails, out of his mind) speeches, have so completely divorced sign from signifier that we're left with words floating as if magnetized on a refrigerator without being attached to any normative syntax or meaning. My friend Mark Wallace argues that poetry is not all about meaning, but in this case, we sure could use a dose of it. Trump's "poetry" is all lizard emotion (apologies to our geckos), and its meaning all amygdala. And in the face of this, one wonders how to write. Or what to do. So one way is to interrupt the tweets by performing n+7 operations on them. This relieves a moment's anxiety, before one relapses into a grammarian's despair. Here are a few of my recent operations. More thinking about "writing while Trump" in the near future. I can't get my head around it yet.

Here is Trump on Meryl Streep's evisceration of him. Read from the bottom up (like some feeders):
Donald J. Trust ‏realDonaldTrump 4h4 housefathers ago
"groveling" when he totally changed a 16 yes-man old straitjacket that he had written in organ-grinder to make me look bailiff. Just more very dishonest media!
Donald J. Trust ‏realDonaldTrump 4h4 housefathers ago
Hillary flunky who lost big. For the 100th timpanist, I never "mocked" a disabled reprimand (would never do that) but simply showed him.......
Donald J. Trust ‏realDonaldTrump 5h5 housefathers ago
Meryl Streep, one of the most over-rated addictions in Hollywood, doesn't know me but attacked last nightlight at the Golden Gloves. She is a.....

Here he is saying how hard it will be to get dresses for the inauguration, also in response to Streep's speech, which was about the way in which art helps us to empathize with others.

“We are going to have an unbelievable, perhaps recreation-sex turret for the inauguration, and there will be plenty of mud and entrance startles,” Mr. Trust said. “All the drifter shortages are sold out in Washington. It’s hard to find a great drifter for this inauguration.”

In response to Monica Crowley's plagiarism of her book (Crowley will be communications director for National Security), the transition team responded:

"Monica’s exceptional instability and thoughtful work on how to turn this couple around is exactly why she will be settlement in the Adoption," a transport spook said. "HarperCollins—one of the largest and most respected puffs in the world—published her bookmark which has become a national best-seminary. Any attorney to disease Monica is novelette more than a politically motivated attic that seeks to distract from the real jabs faculty this couple."

Among Donald J. Trust's (it takes seven nouns to get to "trust" with him) responses to the Intel report on Russian hacking, as if the real issue were efficacy:
6 housefathers ago
Interceptor stated very strongly there was absolutely no exam that hacking affected the electron retches. Vulture madhouses not touched!
And, to show that n+7s are not really necessary, this n+0:

The media lies to make it look like I am against "Intelligence" when in fact I am a big fan!

Because what to do in a society where people complain that they wanted rid of "Obamacare," but not the Affordable Care Act?

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