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[Xmca-l] Re: Imagination;semiotic mediation


We are taught to think that Trump is boorish and uncultured and from the
wrong side of the Hudson because of his hair-trigger reactions. How is it
possible to teach us to do this--WITHOUT noticing that this very teaching
reliably informs us that the whole playground game started with a taunt
from Senator Rubio? (It was, actually, a very well aimed taunt, designed to
bring out the ease with which this potential president can be jerked
around, one that suggests strategic knowledge of Trump's greatest
weaknesses; it was not, as Rubio himself claimed, something he just
stumbled into by accident in the desperate flailing of his dying campaign).

We are taught to think that this is all highly regrettable. How is it
possible to teach us to do this--WITHOUT noticing that the very people
teaching this are the ones who created this carnival atmosphere where
serious discussions are impossible--mostly these hard, unfunny 24-7 comedy
shows which are always so hard up for their hard, unfunny material,
relying, again and again, on the puerile devices of profanity and
industrial quantities of canned laughter? How not to notice that people who
most "shocked, shocked!" are precisely the people who have littered
politics with what are essentially unserious, unsocial, non-political
lifestyle issues? (Not just the comedy shows. which have been the death of
comedy as well as the death of politics, but the Evangelical Christians,
and above all the 24-7 news people who have to talk about politics all day
and all night without ever really talking class or social issues of any

Here's what I notice. We notice Trump's boorishness and not Rubio's just
because Trump is bigger than Rubio (I am not referring to their male
endowments). We notice vulgarity in others but not in ourselves because
when I do it on national television and you laugh at it in the privacy of
your own home, it's just not so "in your face" for either of us.

I notice that white working people have been successfully taught to ask
that if Trump's so dumb, how come he's rich? I notice that the simple job
of the media is to demonstrate that although he is rich, he is actually
rather insecure, thin-skinned, infantile, and his chain is easily jerked.
This shouldn't be that difficult, and it's only mildly subversive of class
politics in the USA, since there is only the slightest suggestion that some
people who are rich are actually not particularly mature, trustworthy,
or deserving of life-and-death powers over you and your children.

But then in order to do this very simple task, the media now argue that
although he's rich, and although he's from the East Coast, he's from the
wrong side of the river, and his playground demeanour shows it. In other
words, although he's rich, he's really poor.

No wonder Trump is so popular!

David Kellogg
Macquarie University

On Mon, Mar 28, 2016 at 2:39 AM, Greg Thompson <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com>

> Should we say anything about the fact that nobody has mentioned the "hand
> envy" moment of one of the recent Republican debates (the one where
> politics was raised to new lows)?
> http://www.businessinsider.com/new-yorker-cover-about-trumps-hand-size-2016-3
> (you should really check out the original debate - really amazing stuff)
> Nor has anyone said anything about the hailing hand gesture done at some
> Trump rallies (note: this is a Trump-supporting page, but no, I'm not a
> Trump supporter, it had the least ads of any of the descriptions I could
> find):
> http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/03/08/trump_controvery_over_trump_pledge_salute.html
> Did everyone just assume that this is common knowledge? Or did people not
> know about these hand-y origins?
> And if you didn't know about this, does knowing this deepen the meaning of
> the image?
> and a recent Daily show segment where Black Trump responds to the New
> Yorker cover:
> http://www.mediaite.com/online/the-daily-shows-black-trump-reenacts-the-donalds-crazy-rant-about-his-hands/
> -greg
> On Sat, Mar 26, 2016 at 11:36 PM, Annalisa Aguilar <annalisa@unm.edu>
> wrote:
> >
> > BTW:
> >
> > Eugenics has the Greek etymology of eu- meaning "good" or "well," and
> > genos, meaning "race," "stock," "kin," that is... "well-born".
> >
> > This may relate to the short fingers, which also makes a reference to
> > mating, and also possibly, just possibly sterilization.
> >
> > The image becomes cleverer every second!
> >
> > :)
> >
> > Kind regards,
> >
> > Annalisa
> >
> --
> Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
> Assistant Professor
> Department of Anthropology
> 880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
> Brigham Young University
> Provo, UT 84602
> http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson