Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Mask is the Reality

In a New York Times editorial, Gail Collins outlines a witty (and boy do I need that) ten-step plan for getting through Stuff. On the other hand.... Collins writes:

2) Acknowledge that Donald Trump is not crazy. Obviously, he has been known to act crazy in public. But if you met him at a private social occasion you would probably find him to be a fairly pleasant person.

I say that as someone who once got a letter from Trump telling me I had the face of a dog. But the next time I saw him at a lunch meeting he was fine. Told interesting jokes about how much money he got for product placement on his TV show. Obviously, this isn’t the equivalent of “Theodore Roosevelt reincarnated.” But we’re trying to work with what we have here.

But that precisely is the problem. The disconnect between what is said to Everyone and what is said to Some People. This has to do with (insert name here I can't write it yet)'s need to get the most attention, obviously.

That friendly casual “Oh I was just kidding”—or in this case Collins's reactive version of that, sort of “Well, that makes it better, because now I see the real guy in private” is exactly one of the locations of the violence.

I'm not talking about integrity here. I'm not talking about acting like a wanker (or the opposite) both in public and in private—the public/private split is purely republican (small r) in any case, nothing to do with democracy.

It's the idea, rather, that there is a real person behind the clown mask, and that if we could only see that real person while the clown is screaming, we could chill.

That's horrifying, Gail Collins.

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