Discussion in 'A Current Affairs' started by S J, Jul 29, 2018.
Stephen Grosz JANUARY 9, 2019 Print this page133 We all lie, but we don’t lie like President Trump. He is the most extravagant, reckless, inexhaustible fibber of our era — the panjandrum of porky pies. Because we all lie, we may be tempted to think we understand why Donald Trump does, or even that he lies for the same reasons we do. He doesn’t. Last April, a 34-year-old woman I’ve been working with for several years told me that she hadn’t been honest with me. “Not big lies,” Ms A said, “I just couldn’t tell you certain things.” It took us some time to understand why she brought herself to her psychoanalysis in this particular way. When she was a child, Ms A’s parents saw her as an extension of themselves — they experienced her successes and failures as theirs. Ms A could not, for example, be sad or cry without making her much-loved mother unhappy and unsure of herself. She had to be sunny. As a child, Ms A discovered that lying to her parents allowed her to feel separate from them, self-contained, a bit free. Her deceits felt more hers than the real world. Lying allowed her a private self. She lied to feel independent. Most of us lie to avoid causing painful feelings in others, and ourselves. Sometimes, like Ms A, we lie to protect some sense of self. Trump’s lying is different. It’s not just a departure from the norms of the presidency — it’s a departure from the norm. There are so many examples — The Washington Post’s Fact Checker estimates that during the two years of his presidency, Trump has told some 7,600 lies — but let this one suffice. On Boxing Day last year, during an unannounced visit to Iraq, Trump spoke to US troops about a pay rise. “I got you a big one. I got you a big one.” He continued, “They said: ‘You know, we could make it smaller. We could make it 3 per cent. We could make it 2 per cent. We could make it 4 per cent.’ I said: ‘No. Make it 10 per cent. Make it more than 10 per cent’.” The future pay rise is 2.6 per cent. Think about what is happening here: a lie — easily discredited — is being made, with complete shamelessness, to people most of us would regard as heroes. When he told the troops about the pay rise, they must have gone wild. For the briefest moment, Trump will have been applauded, celebrated — but then what? How can someone be so oblivious to the consequences of deceit? Born to parents who, by some accounts, left him feeling deserted and bereft, Trump has been a loner most of his life. At school and university, he seems to have made no friends he kept. While he does collect celebrities, for the most part his friendships seem to be perfunctory, fleeting. Averse to shaking people’s hands, phobic of germs — whatever the origins of his behaviour, many psychoanalysts would describe Trump’s way of relating as “avoidant”. “One of the loneliest people I’ve ever met,” biographer Tim O’Brien said in an interview. “He lacks the emotional and sort of psychological architecture a person needs to build deep relationships with other people.” Given this apparent lack — and the effect his lying has on us — my view is that Trump may abuse the truth so we take notice of him, think about him, become emotionally involved with him. Because he’s in no one’s heart, he wants to be in all our minds. More and more, I’m convinced that his greatest ambitions are neither financial nor political — they’re psychological. He wants us never to take our eyes off him. A psychic imperialist, he aims to colonise our minds. He wants to dominate the external and internal landscape. The word famous has its roots in the Latin fama — rumour, reputation, or renown. Initially, fame was linked to deeds, actions. Over the past hundred years, that link has been broken. Nowadays, if you’re discussed, you’re famous. Much of what presidents do isn’t very interesting — so Trump doesn’t bother. He does things to get people talking about him. Threats and rows get him attention. Shocking, melodramatic, confounding lies work too — he’d rather be infamous than forgotten. Between 1980 and 1990 Trump spoke to some reporters pretending to be a “John Barron — spokesman for Donald Trump”. During these conversations, Barron would praise Trump — inflating his wealth and business success, describing how beautiful women were sexually attracted to Trump, and so forth. Whatever its beginnings, “John Barron” gives us a sense of the vehemence of Trump’s self-doubt, his craving to be famous. “John Barron” is a fiction that Trump created because, I presume, he thought no one else would come to his defence or applaud him. This creation may well be the result of child-Trump being disregarded, neglected, unloved. In 2006 Trump and Melania named their only child Barron. I find this poignant — it suggests to me that Trump wanted to bring his imaginary friend to life. In giving his son the name Barron, he may have been trying to make his fiction real. Does Trump’s invention feel to you — like it feels to me — a male thing? Let me pose a connection between Trump’s lying and masculinity. Masculinity is complex. For the most part, all of us, male and female, start life loving our mothers. But love is not simple. When a boy loves his mother, he will empathise with her thoughts, feelings and desires. He identifies with her. At times, he will even wish to be her. Because Trump’s in no one’s heart, he wants to be in all our minds One classic study asked three-to-eight-year-old boys and girls whether they wanted to be fathers or mothers when they grew up. Unsurprisingly, boys four or older wanted to become fathers, and girls four or older wanted to become mothers. Three-year-old boys and girls were different. As expected, most of the girls wanted to become mothers. But, unexpectedly — so did the majority of the boys. In other words, for a period of his childhood, a boy will want to be a woman. And it is upon this foundation — the desire to be a woman — that masculinity is built. In our “girls like pink, boys like blue” world, a boy quickly learns that he is expected to feel whole and confident of his masculinity. His feelings may be conflicted, shifting, but he is expected to conceal this internal struggle from others as well as himself. A “sissy”, “mama’s boy” or “wimp” will be shamed and humiliated, sometimes assaulted. To have a masculine identity, a boy must reject what he once loved. The upshot of all this is that a boy’s development leaves him with the fear that there is something feminine in him, that he’s not a real man — at any moment, he can be exposed as a fake. Trump makes heavy use of this fear. To show you how, let me take you on what may seem like a digression — Trump’s love of professional wrestling. Before throwing his hat into the political ring, Trump threw it into the wrestling arena. Between 1988 and 2013, he ran wrestling events, appeared ringside (notably in the Battle of the Billionaires), and was even inducted into the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame. Despite being presented as a competitive sport, professional wrestling is scripted. The competitors, results, pre-match and post-match interviews — all of it is make-believe. The broadcasters give their audience all the things you’d expect in a work of fiction: backstory, suspense, symbolism and so forth. In wrestling, as in literature, names are never neutral. Naming a character is an essential part of creating them. There’s always a “face” (short for babyface, or hero) and a “heel” (villain). Hulk Hogan and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson are faces. Jake “The Snake” Roberts and Rick Rude are heels. Wrestling pits good against bad, a genuine he-man against a phoney rascal. To emasculate his opponents, Trump uses this trope: “Low Energy Jeb”, “Mr Magoo” (Jeff Sessions) “Lyin’ James” (Comey), “Rat” (Michael Cohen), “Highly Conflicted Bob Mueller”. As part of his two-fisted swagger, Trump tweets in wrestling-speak: “Lightweight Marco Rubio was working hard last night. The problem is, he is a choker, and once a choker, always a choker! Mr. Meltdown.” It’s not just men — Trump labels groups of people as double-dealing wimps: “fake CNN”, “Fake news”, “Fake & Corrupt Russia Investigation”. “It’s like a manhood thing — as if manhood can be associated with him — this wall thing,” leader of the House Nancy Pelosi said in December. The next day, publicly clarifying her private remark, she said, “there is no justification for this wall. It is not the way to protect our border . . . in terms of factual data.” For Trump and many others — precisely because it is a manhood thing — the “factual data” doesn’t matter. In professional wrestling, fact and fiction are worked together to create storylines that connect with the audience’s feelings. Wrestling’s good v bad, real v fake storylines provide clarity. What’s vital is this — fictional storylines can unleash genuine emotion. For the wrestling fan, as long as it feels true, it doesn’t matter that it’s fiction. Facts are beside the point. Feeling true is more important than being true. Many of Trump’s big political lies work this logic. President Obama’s birth certificate, or, more recently, the invading caravan of “criminals and unknown Middle Easterners” — these storylines have been fact-checked and discredited. There may be data proving the wall isn’t the best way to secure the border, but for many Trump supporters, those facts are irrelevant. For his enthusiasts — especially those who share his anxieties — Trump’s lies feel truer than the truth. Outrage at Trump’s duplicitousness is a dangerous pleasure, in a Trump-like way, self-satisfying — what Philip Roth called “the ecstasy of sanctimony”. While it is comforting that journalists are fact-checking Trump, this exercise too may be worse than pointless. If my analysis is correct, outrage and fact-checking will certainly not stop his dishonesty. These acts may even help Trump to have what he wants — forever, to be in our minds.
One of the best days EVER!
Best on mute right RR?
worst president ever!
you lived in the US at the time? Also, you have many Americans citizens who lived while Obama was President? Be honest though! Truthful rabbit
Jim Acosta (from CNN fake news) Learns That Walls Work
Could have been worse Hillary may have won or Barry might have got a 3rd term.
Great support by the CNN mic Hogg. He was so busy trying to put crap on Trumps idea of a steel wall he actually gave it credence.....Steel wall....no country shoppers. They were all too busy trying to get through the holes Obama left.
Thank God I do not live the USA. Also I'm a government worker! lol!
Saudi teen snubs Australia asylum offer and flies to Canada instead
By AAP - 6:40am, Jan 12, 2019
An 18-year-old Saudi woman who fled alleged abuse by her family is on her way to a new life in Canada, Thailand's immigration police chief says.
Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun boarded a Korean Air flight from Bangkok to Seoul late on last night before catching a connecting flight to Canada, Surachate Hakparn says.
"Canada has granted her asylum," General Surachate said yesterday evening.
"She'll leave tonight at 11.15pm."
Earlier, there had been conflicting reports on where she would go.
Ms Alqunun had told the Daily Mail Australia yesterday she was happy to "start a new life" in Australia and that she had been provided with an apartment for three months although she didn't know where it would be.
Australian government sources denied the Daily Mail report.
The Australian newspaper, however, reported she was likely to go to Canada after the United Nations High Commission for Refugees withdrew its referral to Australia to take Ms Alqunun as a refugee.
It claimed Ms Alqunun had expressed a preference to go to Canada.
Ms Alqunun garnered worldwide attention after she barricaded herself in an airport hotel room in Bangkok and began tweeting that her life was in danger if she were forced to return to Saudi Arabia.
Ms Alqunun and her supporters drew global attention to her case through a social media campaign launched mostly on Twitter.
She documented her arrival and subsequent detention in Bangkok on her smartphone, creating new Twitter and Periscope accounts where she received a deluge of supportive messages.
Her story has also put Saudi Arabia's guardianship laws, which restrict many aspects of women's lives, back under international scrutiny.
In response to the media campaign Thai authorities allowed her access to the UNHCR and did not deport her to Kuwait.
Her online campaign was so successful that Saudi official Abdalelah Mohammed A. al-Shuaibi told Thai officials through a translator: "We wish they had confiscated her phone instead of her passport."
Ms Alqunun later tweeted the video of that meeting and wrote that her "Twitter account has changed the game against what he wished for me".
Today though, Ms Alqunun's Twitter account appeared to have been deleted.
Ms Alqunun's case is unusual because of the speedy offer of resettlement.
It is not an automatic right for refugees and less than one percent of registered refugees globally are resettled each year, according to the UNHCR.
Refugees can wait their whole lives for a third country to accept them.
The process is often assessed on the urgency of a refugee's individual needs, with the most vulnerable prioritised.
Refugees can wait from nine months to several years to hear an answer - longer if they appeal a refusal.
On Wednesday, the Department of Home Affairs said it would consider Ms Alqunun's "referral in the usual way, as it does with all UNHCR referrals."
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton also said there would be no "special treatment" in the case.
"Nobody wants to see a young girl in distress and she has obviously now found a safe haven in Thailand," Dutton told reporters in Brisbane.
Shortly after hearing about Ms Alqunun's plight, Australia said that it would "carefully consider" granting her a humanitarian protection visa, if she applied for one.
Such a visa would allow Ms Alqunun to stay permanently in Australia and have the right to work and study.
She would also be able to propose or sponsor family members for permanent residence.
Canada is too cold in the winter for me. Other than that, a good country to live in.
I said she was a "country shopper".
The thought of being processed on Nauru might have lefty her open to other offers and good luck to her and Canada.
reminds me a bit of that weight lifter that went awol and claimed asylum in Australia.
I think he was supposed to be "Bulgarian"
The Aussie weight lifting bosses got excited because he was a ready made world champ.
He hit the ground in Oz and then promptly jumped a plane to Turkey. I think his name was Sulieman or something.
If you weren't before Bazza you will be under Labor.....They need a lot of Tax cash to pay for their spend a thons and I have heard there si a blight on their forest of money trees
Don't forget the "shut down" only applies to FED not State employees or council workers
Well, the libs haven't help me greatly so far, as a one man band - on occasions I employ a worker on casual rates. It's rare as f**k. That's why my lower back is rooted and now, neck problems..It's probably tight nerve in the neck.
Though the Libs promise the world for small and one Man band companies and they don't deliver. Ok - less tax..only minimum but every think has increased. Fuel..(not lately..- 2 months ago 1;60 cents also..private insurance. Banks - If I change my residence and the bank thinks with a new mortgage and my expenditure they may not allow it! FUCK THE LIBS!
It is so funny watching the socialists get triggered and lose their minds (not that they had much to begin with)!
The Night that Trump Changed the World
you and Trump are bum buddies!
Separate names with a comma.