The Cable Guy came by our place the other day while I was out in the back tending the tomatoes. We don't have cable -- partly as a defense against cable "news" -- so I thought it was odd. Dude says he needs to get to a pole, can he come through our place. I say the pole isn't on our property, it's on the neighbor's. Wouldn't it be easier to go through their place?
"Oh no, that's all right, I can get to it just as easily from your side." OK, I said. How long is it going to take? "Ten-fifteen minutes. Just have to check something. Do you have Comcast?" Noooo, I said. Cable teevee is not allowed in our home.
"Oh. That's interesting." And he goes about his business. No doubt wondering about out sanity.
Practically everybody out here has cable or satellite teevee. Many of our friends and neighbors wouldn't dream of living without it. It's one of the basic utilities like electricity and water. Gots ta have it.
Well, we never have. Even though we're out in the wilderness, we're not that far from Albuquerque and it's a straight line from Sandia Crest where the broadcast towers are to our place, so an outside antenna works fine to bring in local broadcast stations. We have about thirty right now, and more are being added all the time. Many of them are "Christian" -- or some bizarre interpretation of it. Ranting and raving mostly. We pass those stations by.
Since we aren't exposed to cable "news" we aren't exposed to the kinds of hysterics that are apparently typical of the genre. Apparently, too, Mr. Trump drives the cable "news" hysterics into hyperdrive each and every day (almost) with his rage-tweets and attack-tweets, much of it ridiculous, which sets off yet another round of hoo and haw, and obsessive coverage of "Twitler" on both cable "news" and all over the internets.
It's frustrating to the cable "news" specifically and to the news media in general because Trump just won't shut up, and he won't behave like a "normal" president.
The Rules are out the window and news media in general, cable "news" in particular, don't know what to do.
From outside, this situation is interesting in part because it seems quite deliberate -- I'd go so far as to say staged in some respects.
Twitler's attacks on cable "news" especially seem calculated to drive traffic. He's been a godsend to the bottom lines of many a media mogul throughout his campaign and "presidency," and losing him and his tweets would be horrendous, no? They need him, and by golly, he comes through. Doesn't he?
Remember before the election (that he was supposed to lose to Herself) how Trump was planning to set up his own cable network -- or maybe it would be a YouTube channel, or something... -- to defy the gatekeepers and speak directly to the public regarding matters mundane and important and keep his ugly mug in front of the Rabble all the live long day? He would use the platform to counter the lies and deceits of the Clintoon II Regime, but not only them. Oh, no. From his media perch, he'd take 'em allllll down. Remember? Sure you do.
Well, here we are now, 6+ months into his own regime (that wasn't supposed to happen) and sure enough, he's behaving just like he planned to if he had lost (as he was supposed to), only now he doesn't need to set up his own network, because the presidency is a media platform in its own right.
All he has to do is tweet or say something outrageous on mic or camera, and it's off to the races.
Ka-ching. Every utterance of his is money in the bank.
So it's in their interests to keep him around and twit-storming like mad, but it "diminishes the presidency" which will have repercussions anon. It's having repercussions now, of course.
The president of the United States of America (LLC.) is an international laughing stock, not just because of his idiot tweets but because he demonstrates a total lack of self control on the one hand, and complete disinterest in the issues others deem important. He doesn't care if it doesn't mean the spotlight is on him and glory surrounds him.
But that isn't how the world works, is it?
Or is it?
There were a number of opportunities during and after the election and then after the inauguration to prevent him from taking office or to remove him, but all of them were whiffed. What happened instead was that the presidency itself was progressively diminished and as I call it, "jokified." This sets precedent. We should be aware that Trump is being normalized (despite all the cries that "this is not normal!") day by day, and the normalization will become a kind of standard reference for regarding any subsequent presidential behavior. But you can't run a country or an Empire this way.
The King-Emperor must therefore become a figurehead at best, an unimportant cypher, placeholder, or entertainment figure.
I've often pointed to the fact that the neoLibCons who rule us take advantage of every crisis to consolidate their wealth and power (h/t Naomi Klein who detailed the process a decade ago in "The Shock Doctrine.") We've seen it used over and over and over again, and it is very successful in accomplishing the goals of concentration and consolidation of wealth and power in the neoLibCon elite.
There is little doubt that the Elite saw and see Trump's election victory as an existential crisis. It was not supposed to happen. But as always we're seeing the crisis turned to the advantage of the High and the Mighty while the Rabble are being distracted and confused as always.
Trump himself appears to be a willing -- if addlepated -- participant in the game.
One may not like it, but there is little or nothing one can do about it.
So I'll continue to not watch cable "news," continue to grow my tomatoes (watching carefully the spread of the hatching hoppers) and keep monitoring my condition for improvements and deteriorations.
Alarm is warranted, as our idiot rulers are constitutionally unable to do the right thing. But that's nothing new. On the other hand, we are not entirely powerless.