Streetwise Professor

November 2, 2020

Kayfabe, Not Covfefe: His Madness Is Method

Filed under: Politics — cpirrong @ 10:21 pm

At least that’s the takeaway from this provocative video. A very post-modern president, and anti-politician, whose niche was created by the devolution of American politics. An implication: what he is most widely criticized for, he does on purpose, for effect–and to effect.

You can view it as a criticism of Trump. Or of the establishment that Trump confronts. Or both.

Worth watching.

H/T–wouldn’t you like to know!

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  1. I took it as a critique of the news media that created an environment for Trump to be successful. I have seen points similar to this made elsewhere, the media “narrative” having the appearance of news while actually being a fictional morality play, and the Ghostbusters reference of “choose the form of your destructor”, making the point that sooner or later, someone on the right would catch on to the fake-news narrative game. The TV-wrestling angle I hadn’t seen before, and I think it is closer to the mark describing where Trump honed his skills than conventionally attributing it to experience in reality TV (though I would claim that reality TV is closer to TV wrestling, and further from documentary filming, than widely assumed). TV wrestling has the appearance of sports competition, while actually being melodrama entertainment.

    When I look at this through the lens of technology development, spin-doctor technology started off with the campaigns, but like Microsoft capturing the profits of computer makers by controlling the distribution channel, the news media captured the spin-doctor business, taking it to the political left, and like Microsoft, making it crappy quality. Kayfabe, in this sense, is the final commoditization of the technology; we are all spin doctors in a pure competitive market now, with narratives and narrative-crushing memes popping up randomly in blogs, on Twitter, Gab, etc.

    Comment by M. Rad. — November 3, 2020 @ 7:36 am

  2. Spin touting the importance of spin.

    Comment by Pat Frank — November 3, 2020 @ 10:32 am

  3. Their Method is Madness. Front page of Communist News Network website spewing gratuitous racism described as “analysis”:

    “Millions of White voters are once again showing who they are
    Analysis by Brandon Tensley, CNN”

    Comment by Ivan — November 5, 2020 @ 12:00 am

  4. WWE vs NPR

    My experience: Trump pushes the buttons of the NPR listener: the ever-so-earnest, college-educated suburban professional who imbues politics with a quasi-religious meaning. He gives them the vapors. They can’t understand his humor. They interpret him hyper-literally. They use their big brains to find subtext and make implications and draw inferences and second-order/third order conclusions. The pearl-clutching is painful.

    By contrast, Trump’s WWE fans see it as an act. Realize he is pushing buttons to draw heat. They are the “smarts” who enjoy watching the “marks” flip out. They don’t get as emotionally invested in every tweet or jibe. They hope to enjoy the ride and will demand a payoff at the Wrestlemania: lower taxes, better services, safer streets, no wars, etc.

    Robert Cahaly, the Trafalgar pollster, said he won’t reveal his proprietary technique for uncovering shy Trump voters. I wouldn’t at all be surprised if there was some question designed to reveal a familiarity with pro-wrestling.

    Comment by Big Rexy — November 6, 2020 @ 8:02 am

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