August 2, 2016
ICYMI: MobyLives on Donald Trump
by Melville House
In honor of the publication today of David Cay Johnston’s The Making of Donald Trump, here’s a sampling of some of our best recent writing on Uncle Donald.
Last week, Liam O’Brien filled us in on an unusual hiccup in reality. First off, he did not say “that electoral politics isn’t a swamp of corruption and chicanery!” Ok, so, corruption, chicanery, check. “But,” he continued “probably not when it comes to Google Images. Still, there will likely be some speculation to that effect, as it appears that Google image search is linking Donald Trump’s Crippled America and… Mein Kampf.” What? Read the whole story here.
In June, Julia Fleischaker wrote that Buzzfeed “would be terminating an ad campaign booked through the Republican National Committee for the Donald Trump campaign.” In an email to employees, CEO Jonah Peretti wrote, “The Trump campaign is directly opposed to the freedoms of our employees in the United States and around the world and in some cases, such as his proposed ban on international travel for Muslims, would make it impossible for our employees to do their jobs.” For full context and responses from the publishing world, read here.
Last month, Chad Felix wrote of “Trump’s veritable inability to comb, much less style, ideas into anything resembling a coherent thought-pompadour. This is to say nothing of the contents of said thought-pompadour, which are disgusting, no matter whether they’re presented to the world coherently.” He speculated that not reading books might be part of the problem, and worried that Trump “can’t see the forest for the breeze that threatens to send this metaphorical pompadour down a terrible canyon.” Saddle up your mind-mule and enter the canyon here.
Late last year, when we still enjoyed the luxury of calling Trump a “real estate tycoon / reality game show host / presidential candidate,” Taylor Sperry wrote about a forthcoming book of poems crafted from The Donald’s public statements:
I was attacked viciously
By those women,
Of course, it’s very hard for them
To attack me on looks,
Because I’m so good-looking.
But I was attacked very viciously
By those women.
Obviously you should read more, so obviously you should click here.
During the Republic National Convention, Ian Dreiblatt wrote about Melania Trump’s apparent plagiarism of remarks by Michelle Obama, including the story of how “while running for president, Senator Barack Obama publicly repeated a few lines from Deval Patrick, then governor of Massachussetts and co-chair of his campaign, prompting Senator Hillary Clinton to quip that ‘lifting whole passages from someone else’s speeches is not change you can believe in, it’s change you can xerox.’” The full piece is here.
In one of the most exhilaratingly profanity-laden posts we’ve ever gotten to publish, Nikki Griffiths paid tribute to the linguistic innovation of the Scottish people in their responses to Trump’s congratulating them on the Brexit — a move the country had strongly rejected. “Nothing like a bit of hatred to get the creative juices flowing.” We get her top five favorite moments of “amazement and pure hatred” — they’re too good to spoil, so let’s just say that “tiny fingered, Cheeto-faced, ferret wearing shitgibbon” is somewhere around the middle. You should probably click here.
In May, Ryan Harrington offered some perspectives on a question the Trump campaign may be raising any day now: what exactly is Kafkaesque? “You’re far likelier to hear the word Kafkaesque than you are its literary cousins Dickensian and Byronic. But for all of its currency, it is very often the subject of accusations of misuse…. A 2014 Guardian article goes a bit further to suss out the nuances of this most fraught word, consulting three dictionaries, a number of essays, and even an episode of Breaking Bad. But in the context of dust jacket copy and book reviews, perhaps the adjective stands, above all, as a signifier of literary merit.” Something to think about — click here.
At the start of the summer, Kait Howard asked, “Is it really any great surprise that one of the educational ventures that Donald Trump lent his name to in the early 2000’s seems to have plagiarized large portions of their course materials?” There was a lot of proof, culminating in “the evidence that at least 20 pages of the instructional book the Institute provided to customers ‘were copied entirely or in large part’ from another book published in 1995 by Success magazine—without attribution.” Wow. So, yes, click here.
In late May, Simon Reichley wrote about a petition more than 450 American authors had signed denouncing Trump. He wrote to “applaud these 16,000 brave souls for daring to say in public that Donald Trump is a small-fisted bigot unfit for office. He is. But I can’t help wondering what exactly the purpose of this statement might be. There’s nothing wrong with declaring one’s opposition to a pig-faced fascist with bad hair, but it’s probably not the most useful thing in the world either.” To finish the thought, click here.
Around the same time, Dennis Johnson wrote:
Yep, much as I hate agreeing with a guy who matches the dictionary’s definition of a fascist pretty much to a T (hey, he’s even got a private security force), late in the week Trump nailed Amazon — the company that matches the dictionary’s definition of monopoly to a T — again and again with tweets like this one, which somehow resurfaced from late 2015:
If @amazon ever had to pay fair taxes, its stock would crash and it would crumble like a paper bag. The @washingtonpost scam is saving it!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 7, 2015
Trump actually getting it right on Amazon? As Johnson asks, “So what to make of it all? Facist vs. monopoly, whom are we to believe? And can siding with either one do us any good?” Read the full piece here.