Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Trump phenomenom and the Sentimentality of Jazz



Sentimentality has it's term but too much of it can be a killer.Especially in politics when the playbook du jour is from the last century.Take Jazz for example. It was really great while it lasted. Seemingly immortal, it's popularity dissipated  like the once vigorous hair on the heads of it's mostly bald demographic. Surely musicologists and historians will study this uniquely American cultural phenomenon in retrospective, but don't expect to see much of it on Spotify. Jazz is passe like Washington punditry and Presidents from Arkansas. As goes twentieth century theory and esoterica, it's outdated.

Authentic transparency is the new sociopiate of the people. It's the new naked, the new black, the new minimalism.Why? Because in a dialectical sense, uncut truth telling has been missing from our political culture for far too long and is emerging as the new thesis. As human beings , we are more sensitive to sound than we have ever been in history. We are hearing each other streaming every day and all day long, in every space we inhabit. And when we are moving,we use earbuds and headphones. This makes us discerning and acute listeners, which is why the tone of confessional truth is more compelling in a politician  than any message or policy position. After the manifold deceptions and failures of the Iraq/Afghanistan wars, we are thirsty for honesty and will gravitate to it even at the expense of integrity. Trump will win the Presidency because he's the only candidate who understands this.If you're uncomfortable about Trump as a phenome,don't blame the American people,blame the pundits who failed to deliver an alternative. In order for a candidate to be viable in this political climate, they must be present-hearing and future focused. While past-grasping pundits stage outdated paradigms of political theater,the Trump campaign is operating in Reality TV mode, a little bit staged but mostly wingin' it. The man says what he thinks without reservation and that is what people are tuned in to. Call it the Kardashian effect.

Meanwhile,back at the Capitol, the FDR crowd is scripting the next press conference,point by point,by spurious point referring to the American people in such terms of un-endearment as "the field","the bloc" and "that sector",casting them in with the various and sundry creatures of the forest.Trump's talks sound like conversations or twelve-step meetings. This approach is something entirely new in it's raw and naked appeal. Much like the Fireside Chats  forever changed the tenure of political discourse in America, social media has changed the way we respond to public figures.The traditional distinctions of public and private no longer apply.  From this perspective one can see how Trump's best asset is his lack of political coaching. He is ignorant of the old paradigm and doesn't operate in it which enlivens his appeal. Can his rivals unlearn all they know in time and adapt ? It's a tough call but my money is on the Twitter man.All the others are like Jazz.


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