Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Trump the Absurdist

When I was young I studied the Theater of the Absurd, plays by writers such as Samuel Beckett and Eugene Ionesco. I didn't think that research would have much practical benefit, until this year.
2013 Broadway production of Waiting for Godot.
Some of the characteristics of Absurdist theater is that rationality is useless to understanding reality. The dialog tends to babble, flooded with random non-sequitors, as the words spoken seem to lose their natural meaning (i.e. Trumpspeak).

Action, when there is any action at all, is arbitrary, illogical, and devoid of any reasonable purpose. Petty, meaningless acts are trumpeted as if they were profound and important.

The characters in the plays range from clowns (Tony Scaramucci) to realistic (John Kelly). The character's relationships are confused, friends and enemies are interchangeable and unrecognizable. The characters lack growth, motivation, or obvious purpose.

We, the audience, the public, are alienated, teased, puzzled, and disturbed all at once. "Entertainment" is useless as the audience is meant to think, think that thinking is useless.

Trump's North Korea policy, for example, is the plot of Waiting for Godot with the possible alternative ending of nuclear annihilation.

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