One Hundred Days of Ineptitude

Peter Baker of the New York Times tries to provide insight as the First 100 Days of the Trumpocalypse comes to a close.

“It may not be meaningful, but Trumpence Bannon has invested quite a lot of meaning in the 100-day grading period, deeply anxious that it be judged a success at this early stage. And not just a success, but one with plenty of superlatives: the most successful president with the most executive orders and bills signed and the best relationships with foreign leaders and the most action taken by any president ever in the first 100 days. Even though it’s an artificial barrier.”

Optics have an impact Trumpzilla, and by most benchmarks you are failing.

You have failed the country you are supposed to lead.

You have failed your base waiting for you to usher in their racist, misogynistic and homophobic state.

You are failing the party who helped put you in power.

If you committed treason by colluding with Russia, you’re failed them by not keeping the deal under wraps. You could be succeeding if Putin’s goal is to cripple American international power, but we shall see.

The only people who you’ve helped at this point are the comedians who make a living mocking you, the cable news shows who make money dissecting every broken sentence you utter and the new wave of resistance your clumsy shenanigans have inspired.

Optics have an impact Trumpzilla, and it’s only going to get worse on day 101.

Resist and Persist…

upload.jpg

Lynching: The Public Persecution of The Other

Over the weekend, Aatish Taseer of the New York Times wrote an elegant description about an ugly act of human depravity in Anatomy of a Lynching.

A lynching, unlike a terrorist attack, does not depend on maximizing the loss of life. What matters — whether in the American South a century ago or in India today — are not numbers, but the public, almost orgiastic character of the violence. A lynching is a majority’s way of telling a minority population that the law cannot protect it. That is why in the American South so many African-American men were dragged from jails or hanged outside courthouses — unmistakable symbolism of the law’s paralysis.

The active ingredient in a lynching is silence. Like all forms of theater, a lynching depends on what is left unsaid; it creates a mood, an atmosphere. The silence that settles in after the euphoric act of violence, which all have witnessed, tells a minority group that it has been forsaken. It is this element of a suggestive and creeping threat, in which the state apparatus and a silent majority are complicit, that has the power to demoralize a community as much as the physical acts of violence.

The witch hunts of the past, the lynchings of today, and the near certainty of continuing racist attacks on minorities in the future shows us that there is no limit to the amount hatred and pain that people can inflict on each other. There is also no limit to the amount of love and affection that people can give each other, but unfortunately, the latter is often harder to find than the former…

upload.gif

Losing Judgement

According to the New York Times, Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam chose to die.

On Wednesday, after responding to an emergency call, officers found the body of Judge Abdus-Salaam, the first black woman and the first Muslim to serve on New York State’s highest court, in the Hudson River with no apparent signs of trauma and no indications of foul play.

On the court, Judge Abdus-Salaam was among the most reliable and steadfast liberal voices, regularly siding with vulnerable parties — the poor, impoverished immigrants and people with mental illnesses, for instance — against more powerful and established interests.

Among her colleagues, she was admired for her thoughtfulness, her candor and her finely crafted and restrained writing style. She was not one to use her decisions as a soapbox to make high-sounding political points or to wax poetic, even when her rulings set precedents.”

Why do misogynistic judges who let rapist go free so they can go to college seem to live forever and progressive judges like Abdus-Salaam feel like they can’t go on? The story says her brother killed himself in 2014, and I’ve seen stories where some elements of suicide are hereditary, but we need more people like her in the judiciary, especially during the Trumpocalypse.

 

 

upload.jpg

Closing in on the Russian Connection

According to both the New York Times and the Washington Post, The Justice Department obtained a secret court-approved wiretap last summer on Carter Page, a foreign policy adviser to Trumpzilla presidential campaign, based on evidence that he was operating as a Russian agent, a government official said Wednesday.

This is just another link in the long chain of collusion being investigated by the House, the Senate, the FBI and every major news agency in America. And before you decide this is just a minor procedural step, keep in mind that  “to obtain a warrant, the government needed to show probable cause that Mr. Page was acting as an agent of Russia. Investigators must first get approval from one of three senior officials at the Justice Department. Then, prosecutors take it to a surveillance court judge.”

That means Justice wouldn’t bother getting a warrant if they didn’t think they had a case, and they wouldn’t get a warrant if there wasn’t something worth looking into.

So bombing an empty airfield isn’t going to help him. Sacrificing Bannon as a scapegoat isn’t going to change anything. Whatever was done has already been done. At some point, we’re all going to find out what was done. The only question then will be what we decide to do about it.

upload.jpg

Our Culture of Rape

In the wake of the ongoing reports of misogyny at Fox News, Claire Cain Miller of the New York Times looked at the pervasive nature of sexual harassment in American business.

“Some women who experience harassment confront the perpetrator or confide in friends or family, but the most common response is to avoid the person, play down what happened or try to ignore the behavior.

Many victims, who are most often women, fear they will face disbelief, inaction, blame or societal and professional retaliation. That could be hostility from supervisors, a bad reference to future employers or the loss of job opportunities. Their fears are grounded in reality.”

According to Wikipedia, rape culture describes a setting in which rape is pervasive and normalized due to societal attitudes about gender and sexuality. Characteristics of this setting include victim blaming, sexual objectification, trivializing rape, denial of widespread rape and refusing to acknowledge the harm caused by some forms of sexual violence.

We’re watching manifestations of it play out with Fox, but it exists throughout the business world. And men don’t adopt rape culture when they get jobs. They learn it in college, and in sports, and in the media and at home. It is embedded in our culture. In many ways, it is our culture and we all suffer for it. Women exist in a hostile environment we create and perpetuate. It doesn’t need to be this way.

To paraphrase Eric Hoffer, rape culture is a weak man’s imitation of strength.

upload.jpg

Resistance to Trumpzilla Requires Collective Stamina

According to Kate Zernike of the New York Times, the Resistance to the Trumpocalypse risks losing momentum.

There is always a fear that there’s a ton of energy now, but these are not professional organizers. They are doing this in their free time — nights, weekends, sick days. This is tough work to do. And while the Tea Party united largely around one goal for seven years, abolishing Obamacare, members of the new resistance have a host of next priorities including pushing an investigation of ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, getting Mr. Trump to release his tax returns, and reversing his executive orders to restrict immigration and loosen environmental protections."

The good news, or bad news depending on how you look at it, is that Trumpence Bannon will continue to blunder through the Trumpocayplse. They can be counted on to provide fresh sources of outrage for the public, the media and comedians around the world.

But as that great 20th century poet said in his seminal work We Be Clubbin’, “Life ain’t a track meet. It’s a marathon. If we’re going to Resist, we need to stay focused and pace ourselves.

Persist and Resist…

upload.png

A Carnival of Ineptitude

According to Eric Lichtblau of the New York Times, More and more details are coming out about who knew what before the Trumpocalypse

“New details show Congress and the intelligence agencies racing in the final weeks of the 2016 Presidential campaign to understand the scope of the Russian threat. But Democrats and Republicans who were privy to the classified briefings often saw the intelligence through a political prism, sparring over whether it could be construed as showing that the Russians were helping Trumpence Bannon.”

So far the only person who comes out looking intelligent in this carnival of ineptitude is Putin, and he didn’t even cover his tracks that well.

upload.jpg

Resisting Trumpence Bannon with Art

Eve Ewing published strong support for art against the Trumpocalypse in today’s New York Times.

Artists play a distinctive role in challenging authoritarianism. Art creates pathways for subversion, for political understanding and solidarity among coalition builders. Art teaches us that lives other than our own have value.”

“Trumpence Bannon’s attack on the arts isn’t about making America a drab and miserable place, nor is it about a belief in austerity or denying resources to communities in need. Much like the disappearance of data from government websites and the exclusion of critical reporters from White House briefings, this move signals something broader and more threatening than the inability of one group of people to do their work. It’s about control. It’s about creating a society where propaganda reigns and dissent is silenced.

Most artists will never be famous to any significant degree. Fewer of us will be rich. My books can easily fall into both these categories. But all of us who push against the status quo are fighting against Trumpence Bannon and what it stands for. Music, film, comedy, fiction and every form of expression can be an aid and a comfort in these strange times.

Resist and Persist.

upload.jpg

Trumpzilla's Blackwater Connection to Putin

According to the Washington Post, the former head of the mercenary company Blackwater used his connections in the Arab world to increase unofficial ties between Putin and Trumpzilla.

“Prince’s apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow adds to an expanding web of connections between Russia and Americans with ties to Trumpence Bannon — contacts that the White House has been reluctant to acknowledge or explain until they have been exposed by news organizations.

So the brother of Trumpzilla’s education secretary meets with Russian cutouts in a remote foreign country to broker a communication deal with a foreign dictator? I wish I could write a spy novel with this many twists and turns. The Fall of Trumpence Bannon is going to make a great movie, if any of us live long enough to see how it ends...

upload.jpg

Police Feelings vs. Minority Lives

According to the Associated Press, the Trumpocalypse Justice Department is attempting to roll back Obama Era reforms to local police departments

 “Sessions, an Alabama Republican who cultivated a tough-on-crime reputation during 20 years in the Senate, has repeatedly expressed concern that lengthy investigations of a police department can malign an entire agency. That view reflects a dramatic break from an Obama administration that saw such probes as essential in holding local law enforcement accountable for unconstitutional practices.

Is it better to just let police brutality and the murder of poor and minority citizens go uninvestigated and unpunished so the police feel better about themselves? Why is the emotional health of one group more important than the lives of another group?

Cui bono?

Trumpzilla Isn’t Stupid, but We Might Be…

According to Dylan Byers of CNN, Trumpence Bannon has canceled multiple open press events this week, opting not to let reporters into the room to ask questions.

Before last night, I would see this behavior as the avoidant pouting of a petulant manchild who can’t deal with criticism or even form a coherent sentence on his own. But last night I attended a free speech and democracy panel hosted by Pen America. Timothy Snyder, a Yale history professor and author of a new book call On Tyranny, put Trumpzilla’s actions in different light.

In Snyder’s view, Trumpence Bannon is following the classic script of fascism. His attempts to undermine and marginalize the press is nothing less than the second step in a plan to destroy democracy. The relentless shocking statements, the endless manipulation of the news cycle and the normalization of the absurd are the methods used to cripple truth and make America a 21st Century totalitarian state.

It is easier to laugh at Trumpzilla than to take him seriously. It is comforting to see him as a buffoon and regard any references to fascism and totalitarianism as pure hyperbole. But it is a mistake to think it can’t happen here. Once you subscribe to that fallacy of American exceptionalism, the end has already started.

upload.jpg

Of Plots and Pants (The Two Methods of Writing Fiction)

 

By Gamal Hennessy

Humans are predisposed to creating "Us vs. Them" dynamics. We’re getting a heavy dose of that in our current political climate, but we’ve always found ways to divide ourselves according to race, religion, nationality, ideology and dozens of other factors. None of these contrasts matter in the end because we all share a fundamental humanity, except when it comes to writing fiction. That is completely different story (insert sarcasm here).

The Two Travelers

In writing six novels, I’ve found two great paradigms in the craft of fiction writing. Each has its strengths and weaknesses that all aspiring writers should consider. 

On one side we have the “pantser” who writes "from the seat of their pants". They begin with an idea and a blank screen. Then they start writing. Their idea and their inspiration lead the way and to a large extent, the writer follows the creative inspiration until the end of the narrative. There are several well-known proponents of this method. Stephen King and Tom Clancy have published bestsellers in this style and quite a few independent writers I know also support it.

On the other hand, the plotter starts with an idea, but then builds some kind of road map as a guide before writing the manuscript. Some writers call it a plot. Others call it an outline or a script. Robert McKee explored this method in depth in his book Story and I have found that motion picture and graphic novel writers are much more comfortable with the plot method.

In short, a panster is like an archaeologist who "finds" their story as they write it, never completely sure of what they will pull from their subconscious until it’s done. They are like the traveler who takes a trip with the expressed goal of getting "lost" and reveling in the adventure of what they discover.

By contrast, a plotter is closer to an architect who "builds" their story out of models and plans, unwilling to begin construction until they know what the structure will look like. They are the traveler who takes a trip with a map, a GPS, a guidebook and an itinerary of some kind.

I'm not trying to advocate one method over another, because every writer has to find the method and the practice that works with their temperament and lifestyle. I can explain why I plot and how it helps me, in the hopes that this can help you understand your own method better.

The Method to My Madness

All my professional writing has included some kind of plotting. Creating contracts as a lawyer and understanding the development of comics or the production of films all required outlines of various sorts. Now that I publish independently, plotting enhances my structure and my timing in several different ways:

When I write from a plot I can work from the inside out. I understand how each character relates to the others and how the narrative will flow. I can build each beat within a chapter, each chapter within an act and each act within a story. A script might take three months to a year to write, but when I'm finally ready to write the book the writing goes very fast.

In my wild youth, I tried to write a novel by the seat of my pants. It took me ten years to finish and it was such a hot mess at the end that I tossed the entire thing. By contrast, the plot for my upcoming novel Dark Honey will be done in less than a year because I work from a plot.

My plots save me time in the long run because I avoid writing myself into a place I can't get out of. If the story doesn't work on the developmental levels of plot or pitch, it can be reworked or abandoned without much time lost. I'd hate to start something and then have to revamp the whole idea after a year or two of writing. It would be worse to write most or all of a story before figuring out that it needs to be chucked. I've got a lot of plots floating around that I can play with at my leisure. When one ripens, I know it’s a project I can actually finish.

The Map Is Not the Journey

Some might think that writing a plot before writing a novel is less organic and more formulaic. That might be true for some writers, but only if they are too rigid with the plot. As I write, it is normal for my characters and situations to deviate from the original script. I don't see that as a problem. It's a natural part of the journey. It’s like going on a trip; just because you have a map doesn't mean you can't take a detour. The plot is still helpful when this happens, because it will show me where I can regain the narrative thread and where previous material needs to be changed to conform to the logic of this new direction.

Creating a plot is writing by the seat of your pants in an efficient, low risk way. I can play with ideas and see where they take me without trying to manage setting, dialogue, grammar, description and sentence flow at the same time. It's like taking a trip and getting lost in a plane rather than on foot.

Being a plotter instead of a panster is not a superior writing method or a guarantee for success. No matter how you write the first draft, a manuscript still needs multiple rounds of editing and polish. But creating a plot can be helpful if it suits you. I don't think I would write any other way.

So how do you write your novels? Please leave a comment and let me know.

Have fun.

Gamal

 

Why Trumpence Bannon Told Flynn to Call the Russians

“Scapegoat (noun): A person who is blamed for the wrongdoings, mistakes or faults of others, especially for reasons of expediency.”

I’m not a spy, but I have some exposure to spy logic. I’ve written five spy novels and I’ve read tons more. I’ve studied international affairs with a particular focus on spying.

That’s why the Flynn resignation sounds like a poor excuse for a cover story.

Peter Baker of the Times, published an article earlier today claiming that Trumpence Bannon (TPB) only found out about Flynn’s Russia contacts after the fact.

"Asked if Trumpence Bannon instructed Flynn to talk about sanctions with Mr. Kislyak, Spicer said, “No, absolutely not.” Asked if Trumpence Bannon was aware that the issue had come up before the Justice Department told the White House, Spicer said, “No, he was not aware.”

So let me see if I get this straight: Flynn goes off the reservation and tells a Russian diplomat what Trumpzilla is going to do to help Putin, but he never got orders from anyone else, or told anyone else anything before he made the call. Is that the story we’re going with?

Question: Why would he do that? Was he promising Russia that he could somehow manipulate Trumpzilla into aiding Russia before anything was decided? Was he just talking out of his ass? Or was he just doing what TPB told him to do? Did TPB tell Flynn to use his Russian contacts to go outside the State Department protocols and make a back door deal with Putin?

Answer: In my experience, the concept of cui bono (for whom does it benefit) is a helpful tool for understanding human behavior. Under this theory, people act based on their motivations and self interest. So if Flynn talked to Russia, there was a reason for it. If Flynn wasn’t the ultimate beneficiary of the action or he wasn’t the ultimate decision maker, then someone else got the benefit.

Question: Who could benefit from Flynn talking to Russia?

Answer: Trumpence Bannon.

Based on the current shitshow, the logical sequence of events goes like this: Trumpence Bannon wanted to reward Putin for helping with the election. He sends Flynn to deliver that message. If the message goes through, great. If Flynn gets caught, he gets thrown under the bus and the Trumpocalypse rolls on.

We need to change that narrative.

We need to prove Flynn talked to the Russians because Trumpence Bannon ordered him to make that call. We need to establish that Flynn was not a rouge agent, but an active member of an administration catering to a hostile power. We need to drain the swamp before North Korea starts firing test missiles and Russian ships are breaking peace treaties…

Too late.

upload.jpg

Trumpence’s War on Truth (about Terror)

upload.jpg

By Gamal Hennessy

In less than a month, the Trumpocalypse has devolved in the cesspool of “making shit up as we go along” even when discussing issues as serious as terrorism.

One only has to look at stories of the non-existent “Bowling Green Massacre” or Trumpzilla’s recent anti media rant about the under reporting of terrorist attacks around the world.

But we’re used to this by now.

We challenge everything he says before it’s even left his mouth. We call him on his bullshit and he responds with the same hasty, uninformed , stupidity that defines his brand.

Consider this analysis from Katie Mettler of the Washington Post:

“But what’s more telling is not what the list included — but what it didn’t. Some of the countries most devastated by terrorism from Islamic extremists were left out entirely, as were any mentions of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil perpetrated by active shooters, or race terrorists like white supremacist Dylann Roof.”

Translation: According to Trumpence Bannon, violence that stokes fear of the other and upholds the narrative of racist exclusion needs to be over reported. Violence that doesn’t fit this narrative needs to be labeled as fake news or ignored completely.

All this ignorance would be comical, except half the population of ‘Merica either believes this bullshit without question or doesn’t care that he’s always lying. Either way, his lies are going to get us into a war. He’s going to make money from it, while some of us die. And he’ll just pretend it didn’t happen at all.

Have fun.

G

Safety, Sanity and Sanitary Tips for The Trumpzilla Protest

By Gamal Hennessy

Resisting the Trumpocalypse is going to take many months and require long term thinking. But before we get there, we have to get through this weekend.

A lot of people I know (and a lot of people around the country) are planning on protesting the Pretender in Chief, as part of the Women’s March on Washington, but even during a normal inauguration there practical concerns to deal with. So as a public service to the millions of people who read this page, please allow me to provide you with some helpful information*:

Safety

Trump has already inspired violence at his campaign rallies. Protests in Ferguson and Flint have created violent tensions. This weekend might continue the trend. The Committee to Protect Journalists have listed some safety guidelines in advance of the inauguration that are, like the Moscow Rules, applicable to everyone, including:

  • Ensure that you have a full battery on your mobile phone.

  • Get familiar with the area you are going to.

  • Work out in advance what you would do in an emergency.

  • Always try to stay with a friend

  • Wear clothing and footwear that allows you to move swiftly.

  • Plan an evacuation route as well an emergency rendezvous point if you are working with others.

  • Read body language to identify aggressors and avoid them whenever possible.

Laws

Trumpzilla may have already broken dozens of laws to help him get sworn in. We don’t have that luxury, but we do have rights of protest, assembly and free speech. The American Civil Liberties Union has a list of helpful questions and answers about what you can and can’t do during a protest on their website.

Bathrooms, Food and Phones

The Women’s March might be completely safe and without interference from law enforcement, but it’s still going to be a day of long lines, standing outside and a lot of waiting.  You’re going to need to charge your phone, use the bathroom and eat. It’s best to bring the necessary accoutrements with you, but if you are going to DC, the Washingtonian has put together a list of places to help you live off the land for the day.

Back to Basics

Finally, if you need information about what you can bring, what to expect and how to get in and out of the area, the city of DC has put together this set of general rules and tips

Stay safe out there and let this protest inspire you to action.

Remember the Moscow Rules.

Have fun.

Gamal

* This post focuses on DC, but the general advice is applicable to any protest in any city.

Unite and Conquer Against the Trumpocalypse

By Gamal Hennessy

Although Trumpzilla can’t seem to get anyone to perform at his inauguration, plenty of people are planning to be there. By their accounts, the Women’s March on Washington will have more than 350,000 people protesting the Tweeter in Chief. Ahead of what could be a historic event, the group has released its guiding principles in a PDF you can see here.

What’s interesting about this statement is the inclusionary nature of the goals. This march isn’t just about what are naively thought of as women’s issues (abortion, sexual assault and economic disparity), the group claims to be fighting for racial justice, voting rights and clean water. They are planning to fight against police brutality, sex slavery and attacks on LGBTQ citizens. Based on this manifesto, it feels like this movement will see women’s rights connected to human rights on a fundamental level.

Of course, it will take more than a PDF to resist the illegal occupation of the federal government. Words, marches, and emotions have to be backed by coordinated action. Otherwise they’re fuel without an engine. But a unified message of resistance can help bring us together. It can create the foundation we can use to help each other through the dark days ahead.

Have fun.

Gamal

Trumpzilla Might Be the Best Spy Ever

By Gamal Hennessy

I’ve been interested in spies and espionage for my entire adult life. I write about spies in my Crime and Passion Series. I read books on real and fictional spies. I watch a ton of spy movies. When I got out of law school, I might have even applied to the CIA (but I can’t confirm or deny anything). I consider myself a proud spy nerd, which is why Trumpzilla’s latest scandal is such a guilty pleasure for me.

According to unconfirmed reports, Russian spy agencies have collected a dossier of compromising information against Trumpzilla

“The memos describe sex videos involving prostitutes with Trumpzilla. They also suggest that Russian officials proposed various lucrative deals, essentially as disguised bribes in order to win influence over him. Finally, they describe several purported meetings during the 2016 presidential campaign between Trumpocalypse representatives and Russian officials to discuss matters of mutual interest, including the Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee and Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman, John D. Podesta.”

  • Scott Shane, Adam Goldman and Matthew Rosenberg for the New York Times

All this is pretty wild stuff, but the implications of the alleged information are of special interest to spy nerds everywhere. See, when a spy wants to manipulate someone, there are four major ways to do it based on the acronym MICE (which stands for Money, Ideology, Coercion and Excitement). Under normal circumstances, a spy picks one of the four methods depending on his or her target. But if the memos are accurate, then Putin made sure to use all four methods on Trumpzilla:

  • Money: Bribes
  • Ideology: *
  • Coercion: Sex Videos
  • Ego: Stroking his ego by helping him beat Clinton

From the perspective of a spy nerd, gaining control of a United States president has to be one of the most successful operations in the history of history. The Trojan Horse, D-Day and Madam Butterfly all pale in comparison. Why fight a war or steal secrets when you can control an entire country on demand?

Of course, if you are an American (or live on the planet Earth in general) this might be the worst thing ever, especially if the Trumpocalypse wipes out everything everywhere.

Well played, Comrade Putin. Well played indeed...

Have fun.

G

* Ideology is a dubious concept when it comes to Trumpzilla, since the only thing he believes in is himself.

Who Does Trumpzilla Work For? (Hint: Not for You)

By Gamal Hennessy

There is a myth in American politics about elected officials and private businesses. In theory, the people who run governments as public servants are supposed to think and act for the benefit of the country as a whole, not for themselves or specific corporations.

But like many other aspects of American politics, Trumpzilla is throwing the illusion of public service out the window. According to Julie Bykowicz and Chad Day of the Associated Press, “days before the inauguration, he continues to own or control some 500 companies, creating a tangle of potential conflicts of interest without precedent in modern U.S. history.”

We already know he has to repay Putin for his help in hacking the election and ushering in the Trumpocalypse. We already know he’s filling his cabinet with cronies, ass kissers and denizens of the swamp. Now we have indications that he will insist on maintaining business relationships with the potential to turn the presidency into his personal Monopoly bank.

So when it comes time for him to make a decision that will impact the American people (like on January 21st) whose interests do you think is going to be important to him? Putin? Trump International? His own fragile ego? Whoever he’s working for, people like you and I will rank very low on that list, if we are on the list at all.

I’m reading a book now called The Shock Doctrine that explores the recent history of disaster capitalism and corporatism in America. As I read this book, I understand that Trumpzilla is far from the first to use his office to line his own pockets. But unless we fight him, we might suffer the most for his greed.

 

Have fun.

Gamal

 

 

The Trumpocalypse is a Black Hole of Fake News

By Gamal Hennessy

There is a cliche in self-help circles known as “fake it until you make it.” No one exemplifies the power of this slogan more than our president elect. He took a fake name, bragged about his fake business skill, parlayed it into a third rate fake TV show, and then rode a wave of fake promises and fake news all the way to the White House.

Trumpzilla might be the product of our age, but it appears that ‘Merica isn’t really sure what to do with him now that he’s coming into power. His supporters, his staff and “his” party are all struggling to deal with him and according to The Nation, the press is too fixated on the fake to report on the real.

:Then there’s the Twitter feed. Filled with falsehoods and threats, it has become a crack-like addiction for reporters, successfully diverting attention from reporting about Trump’s corruption, incompetence, ignorance, dishonesty, misogyny, prejudice, and authoritarian tendencies, to name just a few of the new president’s charms. Favoring spectacle over substance, journalists fall for this gambit every time—like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football."

Eric Alterman: The Nation,  The American Press Is Under Threat as Never Before

In 2004, Stanley Bing wrote a book called “What Would Machiavelli Do?” with a specific chapter on bullshit. One of his main examples of successful bullshit was Trumpzilla, even back then. Bing wrote “...in the art of bullshit (and it is an art, not a science) Trump towers above all others like a Colossus.”

This might have been fine for shady real estate deals and banal reality TV, but now he’s made it. While he can’t only perform at the level of his ability (160 characters or less), we don’t have to.

Sun Tzu said, “All warfare is based on deception.” In the modern war of information, Trumpzilla’s Twitter is a weapon of mass distraction. Once we look past the smoke and smear campaigns, we can resist the Trumpocalypse and restore some semblance of our sanity.

Have fun.

G