Intro: The Dirty Presidency

   project trailerhttp://www.peeptv.ca/Video/TrumpTrailer30.mp4http://www.peeptv.ca/Video/TrumpTrailer30.mp4shapeimage_1_link_0

                               January 2017 - January 2018


                  - Click to view main project & 400 videos -


    

Preface: (introductory  video) 

     Who didn’t already know about Donald John Trump? (a.k.a. John Barron, John Miller, David Dennison)  From day one, he was always a business-shyster, a lady’s con-man, a poser-faker.  Anyone at all aware of pop culture or business or television from the mid-1980’s onward could see that much about Trump for themselves.  Like so many other two-bit strongmen in the ever perverse (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15) underworld of power, money, sex and lies, Trump has been an inch away from gangster crime his entire life.  Evidence is everywhere.   


      Trump is a reckless, venal-vengeful, shady-wager, high-stakes bully, which is exactly why he almost won the ‘popular vote’ in November 2016.  Credulous American voters, both dis-educated and ill-entertained, simply stared into their phones and rolled the dice.  “Everybody’s saying it.  What do we have to lose?  Maybe we’ll get lucky and win the election-lottery this time.  Then again, maybe not.  But how bad could it be?  We know Hillary is crooked.”  This is how Tyranny creeps in America. 


      We forget that American Tyranny has very long roots.  We forget Nixon-Agnew-Haldeman, George Wallace-J. Edgar Hoover, Bush-Quayle-Weinberger, Reagan-Meese-North, Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld, Vietnam-Watergate-Iran-Contra-9/11-Iraq.  And we conveniently forget the hundreds of other pathetic Republican gaslighters like Robert Packwood, Newt Gingrich,
Dennis Hastert, Roy Moore, Rudy Giuliani, Michele Bachman, Roger Ailes, Sheriff Arpaio, Sarah Palin, Bill O’Reilly, or the NRA.


     We forget our own history  exactly as we will not remember Willie Horton, swift-boating, hanging chads, Merrick Garland... or Cambridge University’s Aleksandr Kogan, or Harvard’s Gary King.


     For Christ’s sake, we even forget about the religionists currently swarming this administration: Mike Pence, Ben Carson, Rick Perry, Betsy DeVos, Jeff Sessions, Scott Pruitt, Tom Price, Ryan Zinke, Sonny Purdue, Steven Mnuchin, Kellyanne Conway.  This is how Tyranny flourishes; we willfully forget people like Paul Manafort, Steve Bannon, Steve Miller, Michael Flynn.  Few truths, religious or otherwise, can withstand the concerted language-assaults of Republican heretical blasphemy.


      Indeed, we forget the U.S. has been waging war in Afghanistan non-stop for the last 17 years.  American high school students today have never experienced peacetime in their entire lives.  College grads today have little knowledge of September 11, 2001.  This is happening right now.  Instead of remembering Eichmann, Kruschev, Stalin, Mao, or Milošević, we choose to point our fractured attention toward other more important things like Game of Thrones or the Super Bowl.  American political leaders often encourage their citizens to be faithfully ignorant.  North Koreans gleefully describe this peculiar American malady as “dotard.”  And it remains the easiest way to re-write human history.


      During these 14 months since the 2016 election, while we glibly smirked over Trump’s lies and peccadillos, Christian dominionists, all in the name of Jesus, stormed America’s secular walls to slash and burn the Dept. of Interior, EPA, HHS, Education, Agriculture, Treasury, Justice.  America is “open for business, on sale cheap, first come first served, god tells us this is his plan.”   It will take a generation or more to undo The Great Trump Conflagration... if it can ever be undone.  And this is how Tyranny wins, inch by inch, mile by mile, while we are comfortably distracted. 

And this is how Tyranny

wins, inch by inch, mile

by mile, while we are

comfortably distracted.

Even worse, these insidious immoralities are accomplished right before our eyes, in broad daylight.


     Living on an ever-warming planet with a population racing towards 7.5b clamoring over diminishing resources, what do you expect from government?  Democracy?  Times have changed.  It’s get it while you can, bro.  Eat or be eaten.  No wonder folks are plotting transhumanism and scheming to live on Mars.  We’ve completely bailed on this world.  Reality is a goner.  The sacred forever played out, the real forever defiled.  “Relax. It’s going to be a great show.”


      Trump exudes this kind of perverse gamer’s allure, always betting Death with other people’s money.  His reality-TV belief systems are cleverly re-mixed and packaged into jingoistic attack-dog alternatives to clumsy democracy.  “We love our country, our liberty and our flag so much we are going to pervert these tenets and symbols to suit our faith.”  It doesn’t get any simpler.


      Our new communication technologies help speed these perversions.  For even at their very best, our media only proffer a partial mechanical truth, excluding most of natural human experience.  Yet we are staking all of human historical memory and experience to these ‘forgetting machines’.  Who hasn’t exclaimed that our ubiquitous mediating technologies have altered our behavior, language, customs and beliefs; flipping Reality into something less, something worth-less? 


      Still, with every new decision we willingly dig this hole deeper.  There is never any Art of the Deal.  We simply keep trading away more for less, accelerating our own demise.  We can’t seem to help ourselves.  “Nothing can shake our faith.”  Well then, consider the accursed share: Sacrifice is but excess destined for waste, right?  Or did Jesus die for our sins?  But then, what do these cerebral questions even mean?  We have forgotten how to think, how to understand, how to remember. 


      Anyone paying any amount of attention could have seen the methodical rise of Trump; his history, his debates, his ad hominem tweeting, his bully behavior.

Trump’s techniques

work, like opiates

injected directly into

specific animal spirits:

false evidence, auto-

suggestion, self-

hypnosis... Tyranny.

  Trump perfectly fits particular media because he is at his most seductive inside the siren calls of mechanical communication.  He performs his debased language to perfection by continuously saying everything-nothing-anything-everywhere, while wearing only his familiar Bernays death mask.  All content is meaningless.  The only thing communicated is communication itself.  Trump’s techniques work like injecting fentanyl directly into specific animal spirits: false evidence, auto-suggestion, self-hypnosis, constant lies... Tyranny.


     Now, increasingly, we find ourselves with little left but fakery and evangelizing, technology and promises.  Human existence is transmogrifying into a synthetic horror house of cameras and screens, edits and close-ups.  Google, Amazon, Facebook, and YouTube happily ploy their dystopian algorithms with the precision of a CRISPR opioid designer.  “Of course you are and so am I,” say the robots. “It’s surreal...just like a movie,” say the multi-players. 


     On-demand, we beg for every kind of shit-hole shit-show imaginable.  This is what’s left of a world gone mad.  “Who gets to eat the last shrimp on Earth?  Who gets those bragging rights on YouTube?”   It won’t be me or you, of that we can both be sure.  We don’t buy nearly enough guns.  And then... while we choose to look elsewhere,
this World slips away... lost forever. 


      I fear we will not survive this sinful feudalistic turn, because I see very few signs of humans wanting to survive, or wanting to build a democracy.  Democratic endeavors require an agreed upon reality.  But the mechanically strong and powerful -- perverts and liars -- have wittingly unleashed their unending death wish, made manifest through incessant technological mediation.  All while we, the meek and powerless, greedily clamor for its inevitability. 


      We are more than willing spectators to our own demise; we are cheerleading for the ‘end of days’.  Churchianity today is little more than media marketing recasting Jesus into a box office celebrity, into a spiritual emoji.  The end result encourages us to gleefully rush toward rapture: the presence of death.  No more pining over past tense.  No more fretting over future perfect.  “The bible says Vote for Trump.  But the bible is a cell phone and Russia is calling again.  We have forgotten how to self-monitor and self-correct.


      By every important measure, Donald J. Trump is the most dangerous president this country has ever suffered, and exactly at a very dangerous time.  What kind of country are we going to build
without consensus on what is Real?  Will we even accept the ‘truth of real’ once it is finally revealed?  To help straighten my own thoughts I needed to try and study whatever I could find of this situation, and to study it very closely. 


      I do this because the entire future of our democracy depends on truth’s discovery and understanding (Investigation+Education).  But today, democracy’s future appears to rest (Deus ex Machina) solely in one man’s hands: Robert Mueller.  “And we haven’t even gotten to the part yet about the NRA supplying its membership content to Russia... or Wilber Ross facilitating criminal money laundering through his Bank of Cyprus.  Stay tuned!”   My overriding fear, however, is that no one, including you, will trust Mueller’s factuality even when facts are revealed to be true, whether received through computer, TV, radio, phone or friend.  For we are forgetting how to ‘tell’, how to know, how to understand.  I fear we are no longer willing or able to acknowledge historical life-and-death human truth.




Premise:

      If very little anymore holds actual Truth, why should Republican zealots -- or any of us for that matter -- show respectfulness to it?  Trump’s truth is whatever he makes it to be, which eerily parallels the fealty of Christian evangelistic pugilism.  Trump, however, has no spiritual concept of the original Jesus.  Indeed it was Norman Vincent Peale, a long forgotten master snake-oil salesman, who instructed Trump in his narcissistic power of positive thinking.  Then came Roy Cohn.  Trump was a very quick study.


      Trump is his own most fervent believer.  And only believers in him are privileged to profit by him (so long as he always profits most).  If you cross him, he will bully you down.  Trump’s lies -- piled one on another inside almost every utterance -- typically hold some shred of persuadable fact, but each statement is actually perverted, turned up-side-down to always benefit the king foremost. 
Trump was all of this, and much more, well before his campaign for president.  But we’ve forgotten how to critique this kind of rot.  And it is this apparition, Trump’s media-mirage, that darkly paints the foreground to this entire transgressive project.


     If there is True truth inside this project, it illustrates that North Americans regularly choose to ignore actual life-and-death matters.  Moreover, it illustrates how we don’t know shit about half of what we claim expertise in, because we simply never take time to critically stop, watch, listen and learn for ourselves through experience.  Belief is much easier when fact and fake simply conflate into one ear and out the other, without the necessity of critically exercising a response.  In fact, we are continuously encouraged to abandon the intellectual tools required for understanding: Grammar, Logic, Rhetoric (Trivium).  And still we wonder why our national intellegence is this dangerously low. 


      But then, even I was exhausted by the time 2016 rolled around.  Moreover, the 2016 election cycle seemed to be a foregone
conclusion.  All of media had already made clear their prediction.  So we all conveniently forgot about democracy and duty, preferring other entertainment, other distractions. “Democracy can take care of itself this time around.  News media are fake anyway”   This is the waltz of false promise lurking inside the ecstasy of communication, helping to further fuel Tyranny.


      Inside our hyper-reality-media, we find a digital cacophony sweeping us into phony binaries of yes-no, like-unlike, fight-flight. Each simplistic mechanical choice de-circuits historical, educated, human memory and response.  How could it be otherwise?  We no longer care to cultivate good habits of remembering.  Indeed our new technological distractions handsomely reward us to forget.  And so it was during Trump’s inaugural celebrations that I determined I must remember.  The best way for me to do so is through immersion, to journal what I experience daily.  Uh-oh.


     Right then, I decided to record and compare whatever I saw of

I would personally witness

and record the daily

interactions of a fraudulent

presidency for myself.

Trump’s administration whenever I saw it on TV, as soon as I saw it.  FBI director James Comey calls this form of immediate note-taking “contemporaneous memorialization.”  But I had no idea what I was beginning, what would be said, how I would say it, or for how long.  I would just begin to collect and organize some of the fantastical, political, empirical material streaming into my face from my home TV screen.  If nothing else, I would journalistically witness and record the daily interactions of a fraudulent presidency for myself... by myself.  I would choose to remember. 





Project:

      Media are the exotic tribes I ethnographically study.     I have constructed projects earlier about politics and also pornography.  I have even written an experimental Trump video back in 2010, and others still about the Bush presidents.  I have examined a variety of perversions (1 2 3 4 5), and critiqued visual anthropology (1 2 3 4 ), but I have never attempted a project quite like this.  I began by recording the first TV broadcasts of Trump’s inaugural events.  Then the next day, I recorded Sean Spicer lying about crowd size during his first press briefing, and on it went.  Every day would bring a half dozen more media events.  How could I handle all this?  I determined I needed some structure.  After all, I’m just one guy sitting alone in his home study.  I can only do so much inside one project.


      As we all regularly witness on TV, whatever comes out of Washington D.C. is ripe for opinions; and much of that commentary  happens so fast it often remediates simultaneously to the unfolding event.  The result is often an exponential avalanche of media fabrication.  So I decided to keep this project very simple.  I would forego internal editing as much as possible.  I would allow Trump’s administration to say its piece inside each video instead of trying to publicly murder it all through the heavy-hand of media brutalism: certain death by a thousand edits. 


      But, I needed to find the correct critical juxtaposition.  My surreal
methods of critical ethnography require absurdist counter-reflections to help sharpen a topic’s essences.  So no comedy shtick here, unless you find stuff like delaying recovery aid to American citizens in Puerto Rico funny.  And I don’t... so no humor.  Humor is too often impotent anyway, and comedy too often another vehicle for objectification.  Besides, few comedians have ethically earned authority to raise their voice in the public forum.  This project is not to be comedy.  This is critical (auto?)ethnographic surrealism; although things may soon change for the worse yet again.  My work may soon come to be (both widely and legally) misunderstood as simply one more  “deep fake” click-hole by another marginalized Cassandra.  Indeed, this may be true already.


      Pornography, on the other hand, seemed to perfectly fit the other half of my dirty experiment.  Total, utter, complete, shameful objectification, as found throughout all pornography, could prove to be a viable -- Absurdist -- avenue to explore below the surface of Trump’s perverse iceberg.  Trump plus Porn?  I had to think a long time about that surreality.  Was I critically deciding to attempt to make some really fucked up, yet factually accurate ethnographic comparisons about a very dangerous man posing as president of the United States?  Risky stuff.  This project was doomed to be loaded with perversion.  Almost by definition, I understood it would receive no support from any corner.  How could it be otherwise in this culture?  But then, this experiment might also expose some important factual truths along the way. 


      So I posited: Trump and Pornography symbolically exchange each other jingoistically like ‘soup and sandwich’.  Perversion alongside perversion.  Each component equally deserving its own “parental guidance warning” label, each inflecting the other toward a higher mode of critical understanding.  Ok then, this research would be rather simple.  For instance, when Trump spoke his lies -- like saying all Mexicans are criminals and rapists -- I could easily envision him speaking alongside someone smearing human feces onto their face and eating it... and then vomiting... and then eating that again.  Each video would be a grotesque performative collage.  Straight forward absurdist stuff, I figured. 

So how should I write back

to what I am seeing on my

screen in a manner faithful

to the experience I’m

experiencing right now?

One deep perversion exchanging the other.  Multiplying negatives to make a positive...?


      Critical ethnography, however, is always a tricky observational experiment.  The methodical collection of cultural material is the easy first part.  It is during immersion and during its writing, however, where important experimentation and critical awareness happens.  Images are, of course, as slippery as words.  Trying to manage both audio and visual simultaneously is a lot like herding cats.  So how should I write back to what I am seeing on my screen in a manner faithful to the experience I’m experiencing right now? 


      What voice should I use?  Who is my audience?  Do I even want an audience?  What style of language and syntax are best?  How much time and energy am I willing to spend here?  What do I want to get out of this project?  What if all this backfires and I get into big trouble?  A hundred more questions flooded my head when considering pushing back against Trump-media with Trump-porn.  What will my wife think?  How am I going to explain this project to friends?  Am I strong enough to do a project like this?  Will anyone even read it if I make it?


      All told, however, my rules of engagement were rather simple.  I have a small TV on my desk usually tuned to 24-hour news networks.  Whenever Trump or a minion spoke, I recorded it.  Then on the internet, I searched for any porn with any kind of irrational resemblance, no matter how ugly or absurd, as an equalizing oppositional perversion.  Nothing anodyne.  This would be an exercising of Reciprocal Verisimilitude.


     Each portion of each video inside this project represents some of the most vile and perverse content I have ever witnessed on my home screens.  Yet, the similarities are stunning: Our president openly strangling our democracy for TV ratings -- and people so sick in their head, they willfully communicate their perversions on
camera as some hideous ritual of seduction, and then push that putridness through to my home screen, for me the viewer to ingest.  (Factoid: No project I make ever gets freakier than actual life.)


      My videos purposefully startle, triggering new responses in the viewer through intentional manipulations of surreal montage.  But this isn’t normally where the most important educational lessons reside.  Cultivating a factually educated memory begins during the act of stopping, watching, listening, recording, and responding in kind


      To make each video I had to listen closely to Trump’s every word and action.  I noted his repetitions, inflections, postures, pauses, and lies.  I can typically listen to a particular piece of Trump media a dozen times in order to juxtapose properly, critically.  This activity isn’t merely an act of reflex-commentary.  I watch and hear every horrible lie Trump performs on TV for myself.  And I do this multiple times every day for every video I make. 


      Critical appropriation and remix help me to consider, to compare and contrast, and to respond and remember over extended periods of time... and also to practice and perform good ethnographic media writing.  Parody (not this work) is typically a more superficial, sketchy, contemporaneous, performative reply; anyone can swing the bat.  Ethnography (which is this work) is an in-depth, comprehensive, longitudinal, illustrative explication; few people ever employ my methodologies.  (Cautionary truth: Ethnography is also regularly hijacked as a means for profitable human surveillance.)


      Final assemblage was typically determined by each video clip’s content: length, camera placement, speech patterns, background music, screen composition, even color combinations.  It didn’t really matter to me which video portion was positioned ‘inside‘ which.  The primary purpose was to assemble each video in a manner where the porn element was of sufficient strength to viscerally counter the liar speaking on camera/screen to me. 


      I only use iMovie 6HD (2006), and a 27” iMac (2012).  My tools are almost extinct by today’s standards.  I also live beyond the reach of coax.  So I have a modest satellite service plan, which regularly bottoms out about every two weeks, after which I have to up/down-load during the midnight hours, until the top of the month arrives again and normal service resumes.  That’s about it.  I utilize as little ‘production value’ as possible.


      Overwhelmingly, I frequented 3-5 popular porn sites accessible to anyone in North America with an internet connection: You Porn,

These are the same

websites which most

everyone, including the

preteens you know,

deny ever visiting.

Hamster, X Videos, Porn Hub.  These are typically the first porn sites found at the top of most any Google porn-video search.  These are the very same websites which most everyone, including the preteens you know, deny ever visiting.  But people of all ages do visit these sites daily, and by the tens of millions. 


      Once on a porn site, I searched through the mountains of pre-categorized videos using a host of pertinent keywords.  For instance, I preferred to search first with the porn keyword Saggy.  I find a lot of porn videos specifically tagged “saggy” to be sufficiently strong for my purposes.  Plus they make me laugh.  Then, when I peruse another porn site, I search first with that same keyword again in order to determine the amount of similar content.  Many porn sites are merely duplicates of many others; each holding mostly identical content only differently packaged. 


      After pairing a Trump video to a Porn video, craftsmanship was all that remained: simple edits, fades, and audio sync.  I would liken the process this way, “Quick and dirty, like gesture drawings with graphite on paper.”  Others may say, “Quick and dirty, like a lazy hand-job with some lube and a towel.”  Either way these are salacious daily jottings, purposefully lewd, vulgar, ham-handed, grotesque.  I’d simply make each video as is, raw, without dwelling over production perfection.  After a month or two, I began to maintain a schedule (ritual humiliation) doing this all at least once every day, like a good school girl entering her secret “Dear Diary.”  But shortly, I realized just how potent -- even dangerous -- this form of ethnographic journaling can be.





Potlatch:

     “It is clear that the world is purely parodic, in other words, that each thing seen is the parody of another, or is the same thing in a deceptive form,”  Georges Bataille.


            


     There are only two things in my life that continuously give to me without any invitation or any expectation of return: The sun and my home television screen. 


     According to Georges Bataille’s theory of consumption, the accursed share is that excessive and non-recuperable part of any economy, which is destined for expenditure.  Expenditure happens two ways.  Excesses must either be spent luxuriously and knowingly without gain, in the arts, in non-procreative sexuality, in sumptuous monuments and spectacles.  Or, excess is obliviously destined to an outrageous and catastrophic outpouring of war.


      Bataille, himself an excommunicated surrealist, links the idea of an ever-giving Sun to the anthropological phenomenon of the potlatch-festival of the Kwakiutl indians of the Northern Pacific coast of North America.  Marcel Mauss, too, refers to this phenomenon in his influential essay The Gift (1923), in which potlatch is translated as ‘a gift,’ typically signified through festivals of communal gatherings, where the host can show his generosity by freely dispersing his excesses, even up to the point of total bankruptcy, in a public performance displayed for gaining acceptance and establishing social standing.  (1 2 3 4 5)

      To Bataille, a society that does not develop regenerative strategies of expenditure is no longer sovereign and will suffer uncontrollable events like war, crisis and catastrophe.  Potlatch -- the destruction of the accursed share -- helps to de-fuse and re-distribute both wealth and danger through these communal performances of familial celebration and cooperative exchange. 

      If left unexpended, however, excesses lead to war, crisis and catastrophe much more by force and without control.  Our western model of overproduction bears this kind of danger.  And so does my TV; it just gives and gives and gives to me.  Television’s unending excesses of streaming-graven-content fill my consciousness to capacity.  I must not greedily or unthinkingly accept television’s gifts without also refunctioning and returning its excess.  I must release whatever of it I can back into its media-ether, at the very least.  This is the sacrifice of abundance... a symbolic exchange.

      Every project found throughout Cultural Farming elicits this strategy of repayment.  I collect as much as I want, so I must also give back for free as much as I can, with interest.  I re-use this unending material to tell my version of events.  This expenditure repayment establishes my social standing.  My honest collections merit an open hearing, regardless how meager.

        “Georges Bataille argues that humans can reciprocate the

     original gift of solar energy if they enter into a potlatch with the

     sun from which they can emerge only as losers.  He insists that

     the sun provides a surplus of energy that no human civilization

     can accept, absorb, or utilize in its entirety.  Bataille interprets

     unchecked economic expansion as an attempt to absorb and

     thus to diminish the pressure of this energy surplus.”


      Like a society, the individual body also has its accursed share, which must be expended as excess.  Based on Sigmund Freud’s idea of the destructive death drive presented in Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1920), Bataille imagined the idea of alternating between life-drive and death-drive, as a method for de-circuiting our elemental lust for death.  For instance, hoarded sexuality becomes the opposite ultimate perversion of the will to live, which if left unchecked, metastasizes into its own celebration of death, and so must be countered in what Bataille calls the sacred act of transgression.  Perversions of all stripes
 Perversions, of all stripes,
 beg for these vital forms of
 response, exactly like
 pustules beg to be lanced.
beg for these vital forms of response exactly like pustules beg to be lanced.


      Audio & Visual -- I must return in kind what I have collected in kind.  Excess, Body, Media, Death, Trump, Expenditure, Waste.  Television to television, dust to dust.  This video project is no TV mash-up comedy.  This is surreal ‘science for the people’.  For I am sovereign, as is my research.





Pornography:

      The measure of this project is as much about Pornography as it is about Trump.  But for me, I am most interested in measuring Trump and his administration.  I am not a woman.  I am a man.  And men are in equal majorities when considering both obscene exploitation and political action.  So while I may tread on familiar ground, this project is purely experimental.


      In 2003, when I left the television industry and began Cultural Farming, I understood that in order to properly study media I would need to continue to live, deeply immersed, where video lived.  To study any culture well one should live with it, learn its language and customs, then present one’s research in native tongues so those studied can make sense and usage of your findings.  From this vantage, television research is better conducted and written with television.  This is better than telling TV’s stories with words in books.  For television told by other means is merely an exercise lost in translation.  Besides, TV is sufficiently surreal already without the necessity of switching vernaculars.


      Likewise, the world of video pornography is a media culture greater than any of us can imagine.  If meaningful comparisons could be made, pornography would be found to be a repository every bit an equal to broadcast TV.  An unspeakable number of porn videos of every gyration are uploaded into porn-ether each and every day.  


      Pornography reaches out to every person everywhere every second of every day, coursing through every cable, over every atmospheric wavelength, embedding inside every spark of electricity.  By every measure, porn is universal and overwhelming.  So why does it appear to be so 'invisible' to so many of us?  Ha. Maybe by juxtaposing one taboo against another, I intuited, one might neutralize both, in order to elicit an intellectual exchange of ideas.  But then, one should also be asking, “What is pornography anymore in the age of Donald John Trump?”


      Regardless, Trump+Porn seemed a correct comparative to me:

Grammar teaches the mechanics of language to the student.  This is the step where the student "comes to terms" defining the objects and information perceived by the five senses.  Hence, the Law of Identity: a tree is a tree, and not a cat.


Logic (also dialectic) is the "mechanics" of thought and of analysis, the process of identifying fallacious arguments and statements and so systematically removing contradictions, thereby producing factual knowledge that can be trusted.

Rhetoric is the application and performance of language in order to instruct and to persuade the listener and the reader.  It is the knowledge (grammar) now understood (logic) and being transmitted outwards as wisdom (rhetoric).  


     But one daunting fact remained, I would have to spend a year watching as much porn on my computer as Trump on my TV.  So yes I learned an ‘awful lot’ about contemporary human intimacy. And while this project is motivated more by Trump, the porn aspect must be openly discussed, yet I care less to speak of genre, style, or social content.  The porn portion of this project provides surrealist formalism through intellectual montage.  For this openly presents underlying specific Critical feminist (#MeToo) threads as well: Who is holding the camera and why?  Who is pushing the buttons?  Selfie-porn?  Extreme close-ups?  Fetishism?  Celebrity?  Production value?  Again, what Realities are being excluded inside pornography?  How does production also produce enabling?


     In comparing Trump to porn, I quickly began to see both subjects in a similar ghastly light, but their shock-value soon diminished.  Once I appropriated a piece of porn, it became data, like any Trump comment on TV: malleable, collage-able, Fair-Use, media data bits.  Any blush of eroticism or anger was drained,
negated.  These much too common representations now became evidence -- dehumanized and desexualized media.  My shoes no longer stuck to the viewing booth floor in the same way, if you get my picture.  For these images are not Life.  They represent something much less than Life, no more sacred than we choose to make them.


      But there is still real danger inside self-selecting porn material.  Have no doubt, every speck of this toxic stuff is misogynous -- 100% of it -- so I stepped around in it very, very carefully.  (Andrea Dworkin tells me so.)  The task, however, was to steer these perverted energies back against themselves.  Fighting fire with fire.


     For we must never forget that the very act of photography itself is always dangerous, pornographic, and often lethal.  All of Life’s essence is vacated before a lens.  I spend much of my time in public running away from these cameras and screens.  Ubiquitous image making is sedition against Real, so I try to never wander before the cross-hairs.  In fact, after years of personal resistance, I recently tried once again to acclimate myself to cameras.  It's just not working for me.  It doesn't matter to me if it is CCTV, CNN, PornHub, or my little pocket Canon.  Images are dirty, gravenly devoid of humanity.  Indeed, all images deserve much less respect than we currently afford them.  “I believe the WOMEN.”  I do not hold belief in their photographic images.


      Image making is both life-taking and spirit-killing.  Watching a salacious close-up of Trump's pink pursed lips is an image as obscene as the glistening shaved vulva of a wrinkled, leathery  russian grandmother.  And that is my point here.  For it doesn't really
 All image depiction today, unless thoroughly vetted, 
is pornography.
matter HOW you are depicted... it is THAT you are depicted, and then transmitted for further objectification.  All image depiction today, unless thoroughly vetted, is pornography.  “STOP SEEING EVERYTHING THROUGH TECHNOLOGY, YOU'RE KILLING US.”  Pointing a camera is quite like pointing a gun.


      As for my brain, a fair question could be whether I am damaged now too?  Who can tell?  I was often sick to my stomach building these videos.  And from the onset, I could never-ever mention this project to strangers.  riends, 100% of the time for an entire year, always had that same look on their face, "You're still doing that? Dude, you need to get out and do some other things...(long pause)."  In fact, my wife did keep close tabs on me, so ask her.  But most importantly, I glean from this research that the critical practice of potlatch works.  With every video, I remembered... and Trump’s power incrementally diminished; it felt like I was truly “resisting.”


     The very act of purposefully taking, acknowledging, reflecting, using and experimenting -- and then giving this back toward a higher intellectual purposes --
becomes an antibody of sorts, a protective clarifying shield against the horror displayed.  Maybe this is similar to how emergency first-responders can look horror in the eye everyday and still do their duty.  Or, on the other hand, maybe it’s like when Christians see their god inside Disney... and Disney inside their god?  I am only speculating here.


     Our mediascapes are perverted waste lands, endlessly kissing, groping, fingering, and raping human bodily sense.  For our media suck all sacredness out of experience, like “grabbing pussy.”  Our cameras are guns.  Our screens are liars.  And our normative notions of media are leading us into death.  We need robust critical methods of resistance; Trump+Porn was one pathway for me.  So who knows?  Maybe someday in the future someone will search 'Trump fraudulent presidency' and my videos will appear, archived as an historical record, probably filed under Graven Images.


“The need to speak, even if one has nothing to say,

becomes more pressing when one has nothing to say,

just as the will to live becomes more urgent

when life has lost its meaning.” 

The Ecstasy of Communication




Postscript:

      Few scholars can afford to research taboo or politically charged topics.  Trying to broach teaching-moments like pornography or a fascist Republican Party, even in a gradate communications classroom, will most likely forfeit university support.  Students, parents and cohort will most likely complain.  Tenure, funding and publication potential will most likely falter under the heavy weight of social suspicion. 


      Too many life-topics simply cannot be openly considered anywhere by anyone.  And if attempted, each must be qualified feebly, superficially: “kind of, sort of literally, pretty unprecedented, probably maybe, more or less, perhaps a little bit, and like everything else, uh, you know...SURREAL.”  Likewise, few ethnographers can afford to truly “tell it like it is.”  Amateur thinkers who do stand up stand apart, stigmatized.  Nobody gets a doctorate without first swallowing the indoctrination.


      Luckily, I do not suffer this.  I am already alone with little left to lose.  I have no discernible audience.  I am free to say what I say.  I am unaffiliated, unfunded, and unsupported.  I do the research I want to
do, the way I want to do it; completely by myself.  To the reader, this may appear to be more cavalier than liberating.  In fact, it is neither.  A large number of my videos have never been viewed by anyone but me.  Indeed, even my wife finds it difficult to view much of this work.  I have never once held any kind of full-throated discussion with anyone ever about any of my video projects since 2003 when I first began imaging the practice and theory of Cultural Farming. 


      Still, I keep working.  I ply theory, read philosophy and practice television every single day even while most of my cohort find my research to be untouchable.  Not only is Cultural Farming ignored, there is evidence that my work is intentionally suppressed on the internet.  Algorithms often behave that way.  Hence, folks may not find my work even if they look for it.  Yet according to ancestral potlatch practice, I am obliged to give back the over-abundance of all I have hunted, gathered, grown, cultivated, harvested.  I’ve accumulated a lot, and so I am obliged to expend my excesses. “As far as the eye can see.”


     Beyond my apparent freedoms, however, this dirty first year of King Don-John Trump has aged me 5 years.  My wife sees it on my face.  I doubt I am alone in this deflating sensation.   Moreover, at almost 65 years of age, I find it physically difficult to sit in an old task chair, 12 hours each day, swimming inside very ugly media content.  This work has literally cramped my innards.  I have a CAT scan to prove it.  I’ve felt my knees and spine scream out loud.  But I have also learned so very much by farming culture through these acts of closely looking, listening, editing and producing responses to my world, by refunctioning its own means of audio and visual communication.


      In plain sight, our fraudulent president is looting our most sacred cultural promises.  Trump is demolishing our constitution and our democracy... he is inverting Reality...doubling Reality.
  And we all seem to be cool with that, because we increasingly agree that the Reality we live in now sucks. 


      Moreover, the Grand Old Party is terminally ill, overcome by evangelical pathogens.  Puss filled tumors, oozing of Mother Russia, now grow inside every vital organ.  It makes me cry.  It makes me wretch.  Yet this cancer sweeping across Republican conservatism continues to advance like swarming un-dead zombies. 


      Historically, socio-political abnormalities often arise with introductions of new communicational technologies.  Today is no different.  I read our contemporary abnormalities this way: Cameras are guns, screens are liars, and normative understandings of media are leading us towards death.  I write this as Russia continues to attack the U.S. using our own technological weapons/tools/toys.  WE ARE UNDER ATTACK!  Or, to put it another way, this is an ACT OF WAR” on American soil happening right now, yet Trump, his administration, and his Republican Party simply look the other way without shame.  We have forgotten how to respond to Tyranny's creep... to despotism.


     “This is what we believe!”  What can kill righteous perversion like Dominionism?  Vote on it, even take it through the Supreme Court,
nothing matters to hypocritical zombie-zealots.  Belief supersedes logic, with no middle ground.  There is no such thing anymore as GOP family values, or moral majority, or Tea Party patriots.  Republicans now resemble Christian ISIS, religionists perseverating on some twisted, delusional suicidal mission.  “The bible tells us to love Trump and The Unborn.  God’s will...Allahu Akbar.” 


      The zombie-Republican Party archived throughout this project cares little for rules of law or Democracy; they serve only their perverted self-serving-god interests.  And they seemingly never die -- vampires -- forever vandalizing historical morality.  These people are not true Americans, they should repulse akin to Larry Nassar, Lee Harvey Oswald, Joseph McCarthy, Benedict Arnold and Aaron Burr.  No amount of re-mediation should ever re-write their reputations, exactly as no amount of media within hyper-capitalism can reclaim a national moral compass.


    Trump is treasonous; a term which means he has committed a high crime against America, which can be punishable by death.  As such, treason is not a punchline for parody or TV production; for these are too often symptoms of treason’s creep.  Instead, this project examines Trump’s government for exactly what it is by comparatively replicating its perversion four hundred times during this first fraudulent year.  But the Trump shit-show I render here is only just beginning.  Zombies never die; they eternally advance.  I fear America hasn’t seen anything yet.  This makes me very nervous about tomorrow, about the next 365 days.  Will I live to see the worm of liberal democratic justice turn? 


     Trumpism is a very aggressive, toxic, invasive species now advancing throughout all of American culture.  There are many other perverse toxins also filtering throughout our culture like cameras, guns, pornography, plastic and television.  These also beg critical methods. 
 Will we collectively come 
to honor the necessary boundaries of free speech required for 
Truth’s identification?
What’s to be done?  Must we tolerate every form of freedom, no matter how offensive and dangerous?  Will we collectively come to honor the necessary boundaries of free speech required for Truth’s identification?  But then, how do we even speak about ‘proper boundaries’ today?  And importantly, where will an increasingly uneducated populace draw their lines of obedience tomorrow?


     It takes honest, hard, repetitive work to healthily farm culture.  But it is worth the effort.  Because I truly doubt these toxins can withstand the (C)ritical practice and theory of ethical Cultural Farming methods.  Why not promote disarmament, my friends?  Lay down your falsifying objectifying technologies -- guns, cameras, screens -- and experience peace right here on this pretty, super-high-fidelity planet.  But the question remains: Will we?


    Trump has played President for one entire year now.  We can see him beginning to flex, bursting the restrictive leashes of history, party, administration, staff, and the Constitution.  His words and deeds are apparent, and these should unite us in resistance.  Instead, however, we are now pitted against each other in a vicious media battle.  No one is screaming for democracy.


     As of today, and fortunately for America, Trump’s malevolence is often reined by the magnitude of his ignorance.  But what will tomorrow bring?  For Trump is proving to be worse than a fraudulent president, he is a traitor to America’s constitution, to its Spirit.  His self-serving behavior has duly earned this humiliating shame-pole video project.  This dirty president and his administration lie, cheat, steal and rape.  They must be checked.


      I too have expended one entire year of my life building this experimental project.  I have gained a certain perspective from which I may now retell the story.  So with this project, I now commit the word “trump” to invoke perversion -- hate-greed-misogyny-cheating-waste -- for time immemorial.  The name Trump shall forever signify a “shit-hole” filled with American lies. 


     But now this project is over.  Today is also Ground Hog’s Day.  TV news says to expect at least six more weeks of winter.  So I am obliged to continue my media potlatch, and to continue planting more trees, because the sun continues to give to me.  You should do this too.  It’s for your own well being.  For there is no better earth than Earth, no better life than Life, no better experience than Human experience.


     Hate-acts always follow hate-speech.  Still, the show must go on, I suppose, so why not unleash the hounds too.  We are on the precipice of a deadly language war, fought with a serpent’s forked tongue.  It will be a “A MEDIA-TRUTH WAR.”  The time has come for every citizen to choose their smart-weapons, because this world war is launching right here on American soil.  A lot of people are going to get hurt.  Can my brain stop a bullet?



                   - Click to view main project & 400 videos -



                                          

                                         

HOLLAND WILDE

An American

resident of Canada, experimenting with new forms of critical media ethnography in Cultural Farming.