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January 13, 2017

Michael Wolff: Trump Has Upset the Establishment By Letting Them Know Their Station and Status are Not Secure

Really good piece.

The ongoing expressions of shock on the part of the cultural establishment--expressed on a daily basis by The New Yorker, New York magazine and The New York Times, anything, apparently, with New York in its title--reflect their fears that the development of a more careful, regulated and corrected world is about to be undone. That the unapologetic white male has returned. You could hardly find a more threatening and throwback version of that than Trump--a rich, voluble, egomaniacal, middle-aged pussy hound...

The culture norm is as starkly confronted as the political norm with proof that it's not speaking to the lives of a sizeable part of the nation: that same pussy talk that shocked cosmopolitans turns out not to be of much concern, and even to express a casual day-to-day reality, for many Americans....

INSTINCTIVELY OR BY CANNY PLAN, Trump converted the conservatives' parochial and rate-limiting culture war on abortion and gay marriage into a much more visceral campaign against the political pieties of sophisticated America, with Trump as the ultimate revenge on upper-middlebrow cultural life. It's the mannered and effete against the profane and immediate....

This attack on careful, orderly, prescribed culture is what happens when the culture stops talking about real things--at least what a significant part of the country regards as real and important. Or, it is--and certainly is inevitably thought to be by those cultural standard bearers under attack--a sinister onslaught against enlightenment itself....

Indeed, the election reengages a gender battle that many people on the New York side of the Trump gap had thought was mightily going in only one direction. The vestigial and primitive American man, unreconstructed, baying at the moon (probably high on opiates)--the alt-right in the liberal view--voiceless for many years (or, anyway, wise to shut up), now had Donald "Let me be your voice" Trump. The obvious message of his sudden resurgence of course is that he didnít go away or reform: He was just shut out. Without any place in upper-middlebrow culture, except as an occasional enemy of reason or subject of scandal, there was no bridge to who he was--no humanity left for him.

Very good piece. He has some suggestions for media-types who would like to actually get to know what is happening in America -- but I doubt he'll find any takers.


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posted by Ace at 07:02 PM

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