Sunday, January 31, 2016

Wrestle Mania

Here's the "explanation" for Trump, at least if you are wondering about his evident success in whatever it might be called that is happening prior to the advent of actual voting:

Working backwards. We can see the evident fact that professional wrestling is universally popular amongst many bodies of people. Not everyone likes it of course. My guess would be that mostly the highly educated peripatetic readers among us find wrestling to be overly obvious and therefore boring. Most of these folks probably have never thought it worth the bother to even try to understand the forms of the "sport." I include myself. My dad was an amateur wrestler and coached wrestling at NC State in the '30s before he founded the Philosophy and Religion Department there. He was disgusted by professional wrestling because it was "fake." He knew real from fake wrestling, as he would often show me as a child by putting me into a half-Nelson and immediately pressing me to the living room rug, utterly defeated. I learned early on to despise professional wrestling, and even now simply admit that there is a kind of formal drama to the "sport", whilst at the same time maintaining my intellectual integrity by using the scare quotes consistently.

But if we want to understand what's going on in the forever blooming buzzing confusion, we must admit that the American democratic process is in many ways like a great sea, with tides, schools of fish, even leviathans on the occasion. Our election process is not primarily about sensible folks in togas considering at length the sensibility of various agendas, and then choosing accordingly. At the booth we'll now and then see a toga-clad figure, but mostly it'll be something else entirely. Obviously Mr. Trump understands what he's doing.

Meanwhile, the other big question is Bernie or Hillary. Here's a good post on that:

Among many terrific points, here's Yastreblyansky quoting Eric Loomis (from LGM blog):

I don’t believe that Sanders can create a political revolution. In fact, I think there is essentially no chance of it. It seems that Sanders supporters think there is going to be a wave of left-populist candidates swept into office with him. But where are those candidates in current House races? Where are the open Bernie acolytes either challenging moderate Democrats in primaries or running in conservative House districts that are heavily gerrymandered? Because while there are probably a few, I sure don’t see some broader platform of leftist candidates here, nor has anyone told me how they are going to win a 60-40 Romney seat.

Everyone who's not a wrestling fan wants to embrace their best values in the politics of America. That's what a vote for Mr. Sanders comes down to. Hillary Clinton has too damn much baggage, too much history, too much compromise. She stuck with Bill, and she voted (sorta) "for Iraq." We all want to walk into a better situation, a better future (those of us who aren't wrestling fans). But there's this. On June 3, 1944,Ike knew he was shaking the hands of nice young men whom he was sending to their deaths.

Meanwhile, it seems to me that the whole "mainstream media" has now capitulated to the spectacle. News is entertainment. They can cover that just as well as anything else, and get more viewers, and thus sell more ads. Or, as my dad remarked long long ago, there's not much amateur wrestling on the television.

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