Two Slideshows about Trump

But you know I predicted it; I knew he had to fall.
How did it happen, I hope his sufferihng was small.
Tell me every detail, I’ve got to know it all,
And do you have a picture of the pain?

Phil Ochs, “The Crucifixion”

I really had planned on posting a nice, uplifting Donovan slideshow after last week’s horrific “War on Drugs,” but recent events kind of forced my hand. Some people will find much of the first (and some of the second humorous), although in a rather rueful, pained way (some people will be offended by both, but they probably aren’t likely to see them in the first place). The resignation of Scott Spicer as White House Press Secretary last week and the firing of Reince Priebus  as White Chief of Staff yesterday for having displeased Hair Furor, just made both of these terribly timely (The Pride Parade and Unhappy Anniversary have been previously published on The Daily Kos). Despite the introductory quote from Phil Ochs,  there is nothing particularly prophetic about predicting their downfall. This is simply what happens who choose to associate themselves with Trump. The title is partly a misnomer, because only the second slideshow is really about Trump; the first focuses on people in his orbit and explores his effect on them which–despite all the notoriety, temporary power, and occasional wealth their relationship with our fearless leader brings them–seems to be more traumatic than anything else.

As I suggest above, this slideshow focuses on those who hitch themselves to Donald’s star rather than Hair Furor himself. I consciously crafted it to generally fit the narrative of  one of Loudon Wainwright III’s older songs, “Unhappy Anniversary.” It basically is a love story told in reverse (sort of like Harold Pinter’s Betrayal), which I always assumed was a semi-autobiographical take on Loudon’s marriage to Kate Mcgarrigle (this was just an assumption on my part, I have no inside information). I had been playing with the idea of using it as a way of illustrating some parts of America falling out of and then in love with Trump (remember, we are going backwards in time). Anyway, this is the result (I think from late last May), and I am reasonably happy with how it turned out.

I realize that I am employing some awfully broad stereotypes here, particularly when I look at the “Trump voter” in general rather than at specific individuals, and for that I apologize if anyone is offended. For all I know, the poor whites in those photographs didn’t vote for Trump (and much of his support came from people–usually white people–who were not impoverished at all); it is at least as likely that the poor people didn’t vote at all, and I suppose it is at least conceivable that one or more of them voted for Hillary. In a similar vein, I suspect that the woman in the photograph at the top of this diary is in fact expressing ecstasy rather than horror at suddenly being within touching distance of her American idol; it’s probably an accident of timing that it comes across as horror in the photograph. Still, it was too good not to use.

As the Firesign Theater said, “Forward, into the Past!”  This slideshow I made over a year ago (actually the first one I did, I think with iDVD rather than iMovie, which is why it tends to use different kinds of technical effects), at the beginning of April 2016, when it was only starting to become apparent how popular Hair Furor really was. Its obvious intent was to persuade people not to vote for Trump, and its lack of success is probably a pretty good measure of my power and influence. Looking at it now, though, I am struck by  how sympathetic it was to our current president, who–through circumsances, his own choices, as well as their consequences–became the person he is. The sympathy is mostly the result of Don Mclean‘s brilliant, scathing, and little heard song, although I do seem to have chosen a number of photos in which the then-presidential candidate looks distinctly depressed and–therefore–a possible object of empathy.

The following is from my introduction to the video on YouTube:  A slideshow on the life of Donald Trump. Set to “The Pride Parade” by Don Mclean. The song is from the album “Don Maclean,” which was the follow up album to his massively successful “American Pie” (still widely available on DVD). I had always assumed the song was an immensely probing, rather cynical self-evaluation following his sudden success. It obviously has a much more universal application than that, as I hope this slideshow shows (frankly, it always seemed to be about me); however, it applies quite well to our own Hair Furor.

By the way, although I obviously made it to convince people not to vote for Trump, I have to admit I now see it as profoundly empathetic to him, not as a presidential candidate, but as a suffering, isolated human being (apparently he does have an almost pathological fear of being alone). By the way, a few footnotes, the guy with the moustache early in the slide show is Trump’s father, Frederick Trump (slumlord and, apparently, KKK member). The really creepy looking guy sitting in the wing chair holding the American flag is Roy Cohn, Trump’s acknowledged mentor in dirty tricks and a self-loathing homosexual (he has a big part in Tony Kushner’s Angels in America), he also appears in a number of pictures with Trump indulging in New York City night life–I know Trump is supposed to be a teetotaler, but he sure looks stoned to me); the guy in the mug shot is Jeffrey Epstein, financier and noted pedophile. Trump has at various times claimed to be one of his best friends, and other times to have never met him. I think he was the man who procured the 13 year old girl that Trump is alleged to have raped back in the nineties (to be fair, apparently he also did some procuring for Bill Clinton too). The guy in the hospital bed that Trump appears to be looking at (they are actually two separate photos) is a very young John McCain (you might remember there was something of a controversy when Trump said McCain was no hero; only losers are POWs, after all). I am assuming you recognize Ronald Reagan, Ben Carson, and Chris Christie (I’m still impressed by that photograph of Christie talking to Trump; I didn’t even think it was possible to get a fake, forced laugh across in a still photo, but it actually does). The guy Trump is shaking hands with in the photograph above the one where he calls Fox News viewers the dumbest voters in America is David Bossie, the head of Citizen’s United (he is basically the one who opened the floodgates to money taking over U.S. politics, which of course it was well on the way to doing anyway). He also apparently helped Trump set up his campaign and hire his first group of campaign staff, as the Donald tried to assuage his wounded ego by running.

Next week, I promise something more upbeat, unless–of course–events intervene.

 

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