The Damage Wrought By The Trump Administration May Be Irrevocable

By Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

The truly frightening thing about the Trump Administration is the damage it inflicts upon the United States both domestically and internationally may be irrevocable. The damage might have been mitigated if Congress wasn’t run by Vichy Republicans, but, alas, that’s just not the case.

With Trump’s decision to leave the Paris Climate Accords, the United States has now begun a dangerous, unprecedented journey into unprecedented and turbulent waters. What’s worse, for the residents of Trumplandia, they see Trump’s decision to pull out of the accords as yet another campaign promise kept.

All of this is pretty surreal to me. The very people who 20 or 30 years ago would have called for the head of anyone who so willfully played into the strategic aims of the Russians, now applaud someone who seems hell bent on completely upending some pretty core beliefs that the people we once considered the Part of Reagan were supposed to hold so dear.

Again, I have to reflect on how similar all of this is to Vichy France. This is a truly bizarre situation politically and it’s even more bizarre given that it takes four years to get out of the Paris Accords and we won’t be officially out of them until the day after election day in 2020.

What concerns me the most is that while we’re all so busy falloning over the latest comical screw up on the part of Donald Trump, we’re going to totally miss the significant, long-term damage Trump is going to inflict upon us. The only thing I can compare this to is a even more damaging version of the Reagan Revolution of 1981 that caused so much harm to the American middle class.

We may very look back at this period as the moment when not only did America grow sicker, poorer and less educated, but we lurched towards an semi-imperial autocratic form of government, with the Constitutionally mandated open presidential seat every eight years being the only thing the only thing that prevent us from conspicuously no longer being a republic.

The truly horrific quality to all of this is there a slow-moving train crash quality to it all. We can see what is happening, but because of the callow, complicit nature of the Vichy Republicans, there is little, if nothing, we can do in real terms to stop what we’re seeing and experiencing.

With America in retreat, there now exists a moral power vacuum. A land rush is now happening as different regional powers struggle and jostle to figure out where they stand in this new reality. Even if the United States at some point in the future came roaring back through effective leadership, the damage is already done. And that doesn’t even begin to address the chaos we’ll have to live through should the DPRK attack South Korea or Russia attack Ukraine in a general war.

So, this has stopped being funny to me. I’m not saying I won’t laugh when Stephen Colbert tears into Trump during his monologue, but we’ve reached the point where there is officially a serious edge to things. We have a mad, tyrannical emperor on our hands whose only check is his own egregious incompetence and active malfeasance.

If there’s anything we can do to fix this situation, it is to actively use our rights while we still have them. Don’t rage, engage. Keep fighting the good fight. Don’t lose hope. I would like to think that the American spirit is stronger even than a president with unchecked power because of the surreal obsequiousness of his party.

Americans aren’t Russians, so you can spout all the political theory you like at me about how easy it will be for Trump to inflict a “managed democracy” on the United States through the tried and true methods of a modern autocracy, I just don’t buy it.

I’m not saying that Trump will be impeached. Nor am I saying that even if he is impeached that he will be convicted. I am saying, however, that while I honesty do fear for the fate of the Republic, that I fear my long-standing worry that Trump is an existential threat to its continued success is being realized, I also have an innate hope that we’ll bounce back a lot quicker than anyone might expect.

I just don’t see the American people standing for the dystopian reality that is too easy for me to project. It just seems like something’s gotta give eventually. I don’t know what it will be, but it seems like even if we’re living in an autocracy now, that the traditional ebb and flow of American politics will simply be too great for it to last.

We survived the Civil War, we survived Prohibition and we’ll survive this.

I hope.

Shelton Bumgarner is the Editor and Publisher of The Trumplandia Report. He may be reached at migukin (at) gmail.com.

Let’s Face It, Trump Probably Isn’t Going To Get Impeached

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

A cold hard fact of modern American politics is the Republicans are so complicit, so Vichy in their support for the possibly treasonous administration of Donald Trump that we’re stuck with Trump for a solid two years, if not longer.

The conditions that have brought us to this point are so complex that they probably would require a few fairly long books to fully detail. The United States is so politically polarized — and the Right so well organized when it comes to a culture of faux victimization — that even if it’s proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that Trump personally colluded with the Russians, he just ain’t getting impeached anytime soon.

And I am not one who believes there is any assurance that there will be a “Blue Wave” in 2018. It could be that there will be a lot talk but for various reasons nothing will happen. That two, four, six years from now we’ll still be talking about how if only this or that thing happened Trump will be impeached.

What’s more, remember that even if Trump was impeached by the House, it doesn’t mean he would be convicted by the Senate. That’s something that’s never happened in our nation’s history and since Trump will never resign, his conviction would be the only way to get rid of him.

We’re entering a surreal time in our nation’s political history where we’re so polarized that while about half the nation is openly talking about collusion, treason and impeachment then conviction, the other half think it’s just an evil plot by unpatriotic loser liberals who are looking for a reason to explain their unexpected Electoral College loss.

It’s all enough to leave you bewildered.

Even worse from my point of view, there’s no reason to believe Trump won’t right his personal ship of state and not only survive, but prosper. He may very well serve out his term and manage to use his weirdly adroit political skill to get Mike Pence elected as his successor.

A lot of my worry about this possible scenario comes from the division and weakness of The Resistance. The Democratic Party is split between the liberal Hillary Clinton wing and the social democratic Bernie Sanders wing and it’s easy to imagine that rift opening up to such an extent that a major center-Left independent candidate would run in 2020 and we’d really be fucked.

History rarely goes in a straight line, so there are any number of different ways things might play out. An unexpected strong candidate out of left field like Jon Stewart might throw a lot of my personal assumptions out the window.

But my main concern is that the United States isn’t a liberal democracy anymore. That we’ve entered a new epoch in our history where the only thing that prevents us from being a semi-imperial autocracy is the fact that there’s an assured open presidential seat every eight years. When the final political history of the United States is written that quirk of our Constitutional system may be seen as the thing that made it more difficult for us to realize that we had finally evolved out of our traditional republican roots.

The really scary thing about the Trump Administration is there is a real risk that it will do irrevocable harm to the country in ways that may take generations to fix. Our decades old reputation as the moral leader of the free world may be gone for good. It might require some exceptional leadership on the part of future presidents to bring that back and the system we have now is so corrupt that it’s unlikely that is going to happen anytime soon.

If it weren’t for that particular aspect, the Trump Administration wouldn’t be so scary. The thing about Trump is it’s too easy to fall into the trap of falloning him when he tweets something like covfefe to such an extent that we totally lose sight of him leaving the Paris Accords or appointing psychopathic Federal judges or whatever. The amount of damage Trump can inflict on the republic is so wide and deep that it is breathtaking.

What’s even more disheartening is there is really no recourse other than being politically engaged. As I have begun to say at every opportunity: Don’t rage, engage. Do your civic duty on an individual level to help, even in a small way, the continuance of our civil society. Don’t assume that just because someone disagrees with you that they are trolling you. Vote. Protest. Speak out when given the opportunity. Call your Representative and Senator on a regular basis.

The strength of American civil society is pretty much all we got at this point. It may take generations for the full impact of the Trump Administration to be fully understood. But don’t have any regrets. Don’t look back and realize you didn’t do your part to prevent a dystopia from being not just the thing of fanciful dreams, but a very cold, hard reality.

Shelton Bumgarner is the Editor and Publisher of The Trumplandia Report. He may be reached at migukin (at) gmail.com.

How To Kill Twitter & Disrupt The Newspaper Business While Saving The Republic

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Trumplandia is very much a product of social media and more specifically Twitter. The case could be made that the combination of Russian hacking, Trump campaign collusion along with Twitter and FOX News made the crucial difference when it came to the outcome of the election.

In other words, the system failed and now we have a celebrity Twitter troll with a penchant for the Russians as president.

So, after that sinks in, let’s think about what the problems with Twitter are and how to fix them.

It seems as though there are two major problems with Twitter: how easy it is to peddle fake news and how the fact that you only have 140 characters make it difficult to carry on an intelligent conversation. As I have articulated at great length on Instagram, I have a pretty clear vision of how to fix those two problems while adding any number of features that no one asked for.

The crux of my vision is verified accounts would have more power than the average users. People with verified accounts could create things I call Groups. Within Groups would be Discussions would be threaded discussions that allowed for more cogent debate than currently found on Twitter or even Reddit or Facebook. As I have repeatedly said, what I want is to bring back the core concepts of Usenet in such a way that some of the features that we lost over the years would be brought back.

We really need to address the issue of fake news and I think giving verified account holders some sense that they were stake holders would cause them to produce more content that would hopefully flood the zone and crowd out fake news. This, of course, doesn’t address that Right Wing Nut Jobs believe what they want to believe and their anger at the status quo is so surreal in nature that I may be fooling myself.

Now, imagine that a newspaper company like Tronc was to create this Twitter Killer. I am of the opinion that the only way to disrupt the newspaper business is from within, so it’s possible that Tronc could fund a startup and that startup would turn around and disrupt the newspaper business by re-imagining what a newspaper was from the ground up.

In my vision of things, a newspaper company like Tronc would detach its writers from the print product, make them verified account holders in a new social media platform and not only save the newspaper business but the Republic as well.

Something needs to be done, is all I’m saying. We’re in dire straights right now and only by doing something dramatic can we dig ourselves out of this hole we find ourselves in. If we don’t figure out how to prevent the Russians from hacking our elections system, they are going to do it again.

So What Exactly Does ‘Covfefe’ Mean? Some Suggestions

By Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Like a greedy child locked in a candy shop, the English language continues to find a bountiful supply of neologisms as a result of Trumplandia. Trumplandia churns out new words and phrases the way other administrations churned out policy white papers.

So, let’s look at some of the options.

Maybe covfefe could be extreme existential angst generated by collusion with a foreign foe and which lead to a stolen election. That would be something very useful to be able to articulate with one word right about now.

Though given it’s proximity in sound to the existing “kerfuffle,” maybe it’s a major political incident caused by a tweet. That, too is another word that would come in handy right now.

Covfefe could mean a person who is a racist, misogynist, bigot. Someone you don’t really want to be associated with, but, because of politics you are. That would also be a good word to have handy these days.

Given how about 30% of the population is completely clueless about why Donald Trump should be impeached, maybe a covfefe is a person who continues believe something long after its been shown to be wrong. In a similar vain, maybe a covfefe is a media hermit, you lives within his or her Right win echo chamber and only leaves to buy milk on the weekends.

Another suggestion is it’s a new curse word. I am of the opinion that MAGA should be a curse word. It kind of sounds like one and maybe when Trump does something that really pisses us off we can shout Maga! Covfefe! We can shout these words in mixed company and in front of children without risk of offending anyone. Though, I have to admit, that maga at this point probably should offend a few people. America is already great, or was until Donald Trump came around.

Or lastly maybe it’s just an open word we have to place into conversation when Trumplandia does something so outrageous that we are at a lost for words. I know I definitely feel that way a lot these days and it maybe instead of just standing there gap mouthed and bugged eye, I can throw in the word “covfefe” and move on.

Trumplandia & The Fate Of Ukraine

By Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

It is difficult not to see the ultimate end-game of Donald Trump’s Russophila eventually being a strategic sell out of Ukraine. It just seems as though soon enough Putin will use whatever leverage he has on Trump to get what he really wants — land.

Of course, it will be dressed up any number of different ways. Trump will say he’s making America great again through strong bi-lateral ties with Russia after a face-to-face meet and greet. But the cold hard reality will be that Putin will be given a free hand to attack Ukraine in an unprecedented manner.

Given that even if collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia is proven the Vichy Republicans won’t blink and eye, it makes total sense that they would also lie down should Trump shake Putin’s hand and nod that it’s ok for the Russians to eat a third of Ukraine.

I don’t know the exact way this would go down, of course. It might be that Trump would incite a war with the DPRK and in the subsequent confusion the Russians would attack Ukraine and then we would have something marketed by the American press as World War 3. That’s how serious all of this is.

And that doesn’t even begin to address the issue of NATO. What would happen if any of the Baltic states were attacked by Russia and yet Trump sat on his hands if they invoked Article 5 which requires all NATO members to defend each other if one is attacked? That is some pretty momentous stuff That is the kind of stuff that kind of boggles the mind.

We’re in the midst of pretty astonishing events on a geo-political level. There now is an enormous power vacuum on the world stage and different nations are jostling to figure out who gets additional power. It goes without saying that such confusion and uncertainty is how wars start.

All of this is even more staggering for me, a child of the Cold War when it was the Republicans who accused the Democrats of being soft on Russia. The idea that Republicans would be so callow, so absolute in their desire to obtain and retain power that they would, in effect, become Vichy Republicans is tragic, to say the least.

What’s worse is there doesn’t seem to be any easy way out. The Republican Party is now at a rhetorical dead end. There doesn’t seem to be any way for them to get out now that they have decided to follow Trump anywhere he leads them. The power of the Trumplandia base over the Vichy Republicans is seemingly so absolute as to be surreal.

Hence, I don’t have much hope when it comes to the fate of Ukraine. Things are kind of calm right now in eastern Ukraine, but that could change at any moment. And, really, the only thing that makes me reluctant to think the Russians won’t strike against Ukraine in a general war is how small the Russian economy is. It is, as I understand it, smaller than Italy. So, it would be difficult for Putin to use hard power on Ukraine in a way whereby he could not only obtain a big chunk of Ukraine, but keep it long-term.

The reason why I say this is, much like what happened in the 1980s with Afghanistan, if Ukraine was invaded by the Russian army in a big way, the country would be flooded with arms from all over the globe, even if, sadly, they did not come from the United States.

Of course, if Trump was to hide in his Fortress of Solitude and not use America’s traditional moral leadership to inspire the Ukrainians, everything would be significantly more complicated. Really, our only hope at this point is to flip Congress in 2018. That is by no means assured, so we’ll just have to wait and see. I would be lying to you if I didn’t see this, from a geopolitical standpoint, as pretty scary stuff.

But hopefully everything will work out in the long run. There are no assurances it will, but you have to have hope.

Shelton Bumgarner is the Editor and Publisher of The Trumplandia Report. He may be reached at migukin (at) gmail.com.

How Playboy Could Save Itself By Positioning Itself As The Anti-Axios

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I have Playboy on the brain at the moment because it’s such an interesting brand to me, so humor me for this flight of fancy. You see, the reason why Playboy is so intriguing to me it would make a lot of sense for it to position itself as the anti-Axios.

As you may know, Axios is Website devoted “access journalism” devoted to the Trump Administration. It’s kind of the complicit media outlet of Trumplandia. At least, that’s my casual observer take on things from what I can gather from the buzz on Twitter.

Having said all that, there seems to be both a market and an audience for an anti-Axios of sorts. Now that Gawker.com doesn’t exist, there is a great opportunity for an online sit to take it upon itself to be the at the forefront of covering Trumplandia from the point of view of The Resistance.

I looked at Playboy.com recently and none of the articles really popped out at me. What I am suggesting for Playboy would require some serious thinking out side the box for it work. But imagine the buzz, the regained relevance of the Playboy brand if it tapped into the same “woke” reporting that Teen Vogue has managed to tap into. Given how much more significant a brand Playboy is in terms of its legacy, if became the go-to site for engaging coverage of Trumplandia from the point of view of The Resistance, there would be a huge upside.

The reason why I say all this is right now there isn’t a site online that serves as a one stop shop for what I want when it comes to coverage of Trumplandia. I get a little bit from New York Magazine, but mostly Twitter is where I find out all the information I need about Trumplandia right now. I really enjoy the podcasts of Crooked Media, but I want something more regular than once a week.

If a site, say, Playboy, really went out of its way to make a name for itself covering Trumplandia critically, I think the strategy would generate enormous positive buzz. Like I mentioned, there is both a market and an audience right online that is under served when it comes to critical coverage of Trumplandia. And given its past, Playboy and Playboy.com seem the obvious choice to fill that void, at least to me.

But as I have mentioned, if I was going to do it, I would do it in the context of a broader restructuring of Playboy Enterprises. I would, if possible, ditch L.A. altogether and move to New York City, specifically Brooklyn, and along the way I would poach as many writers from, say, Jezebel.com as I could. If Playboy started generating really biting, really intellectually stimulating sex-positive feminist content it would force people in the publishing industry to sit up and take notice.

Of course, I don’t even know if any of this is possible. Though it was founded in Chicago, Playboy is now such a staple of L.A. that it just might not be possible for it to leave the city as I suggest. Though, in defense of this concept, Playboy’s long-term survival is in question and desperate times call for desperate measures.

As an aside, as I have mentioned before, I also think the entire notion of what type of woman is the Playboy ideal should be re-imagined. Though the magazine should continue to feature stunning women, when it came to a go-to woman to serve as a mascot of sorts, I think Broad City’s Ilana Glazer would be perfect. Picking her from a marketing standpoint would be a stroke of brilliance because it would be so unexpected for Playboy and you could really leverage her popularity amongst people of both sexes in their early 20s.

Regardless, like I said, this is just me idly daydreaming. Someone, somewhere, needs to do as I suggest and start a major site devoted to being an anti-Axios. It is odd how quiet the other end of the spectrum is when it comes to the media ecosystem. There just isn’t really a credible site I can think of off the top of my head that people like me can go to for news and information from the point of view of The Resistance.

It should happen eventually. I’d like, however, for it to be my old acquaintance Playboy.

Shelton Bumgarner is the Editor and Publisher of The Trumplandia Report. He may be reached at migukin (at) gmail.com

The Curious State Of Playboy

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Now, let me be very clear — I am not purporting to be an expert in the inner workings of Playboy Enterprises. I have a real affinity for the brand and so every once in a while I find myself thinking about it. And I only even think about it right this second because I have the notion of someone buying The New York Times on my brain and I feel like doing a little public mulling on the fate of another well known publishing brand, Playboy.

It seems clear that Playboy has no idea what it’s doing. It recently got rid of nudity, only to reverse course and bring it back. Playboy has a major problem in that the very thing that has been associated with it the most over the decades — great pictures of nekkid chicks — leaves most young people feeling kind of meh.

As Playboy itself admits, the Internet makes it so sex is pretty much everywhere and it’s difficult for even Playboy to distinguish itself in a crowded media field. I have thought off an on about how Playboy could fix its lot and so I’m kind of rehashing some it here.

One thing I think we undervalue Playboy for is its commitment to being a voice for the progressive movement. Throughout the 50s and 60s, before it kind of lost its way, Playboy was not only really cool, it was the voice of the Civil Rights and women’s movement. I always liked that about Playboy.

So, maybe if Playboy wanted to save itself, it might do something really, really radical. Right now, Playboy is a fixture of L.A. I think maybe it needs to radically transform itself. Like in a really unexpected manner. One way I could see it doing this would be to cut its ties with L.A. altogether and move the entire operation to New York City, specifically to Brooklyn.

Of course, all of this would depend on the vision of the Hefner family. Hugh Hefner is old and his son Cooper Hefner seems to be growing in power. Thus it seems as though the fate of the company may rest on the vision of Cooper Hefner in the coming years.

If the magazine wants to be a unisex lifestyle magazine, it should do so with vigor. It should keep the nude centerfold in some way, but otherwise, it should focus its attention on making Playboy.com the go-to online hub of The Resistance against Trumplandia.

As I keep saying, right now, I can’t think of any site online that is synonymous with The Resistance. If Playboy was to corner that market, I think it would yet again be relevant and buzz worthy — two qualities it, alas, is not right now.

Additionally, I idly think maybe it would be cool for Playboy to re-imagine the ideal woman for its readership. Instead of bimbo arm candy, why not a really funny smart woman like Ilana Glazer? That would be a real jarring change of place for the magazine. I could imagine a scenario whereby she might a roving reporter of sorts for the magazine’s brand, a mascot, even.

But, alas, no one listens to me for various reasons and I think barring something dramatic, like Playboy Enterprises being bought, it’s likely that Playboy will gradually drift into the sunset.

The New York Times, Laurene Powell Jobs & The Media Buy Of The Century

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Such is the power and influence of The New York Times that even the hint, the suggestion that it might be for sale — or that someone might be interested in buying it — gets tongues wagging. The latest extremely wealthy person to idly muse about buying The Gray Lady is Laurence Powell Jobs. She was asked at at a trade conference if she would buy The New York Times and she asked, “Is it for sale?”

The answer, of course, is no.

The family of current owner Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. sees the newspaper as a family trust and they ain’t going no where anytime soon.

But given that we’re talking about this relatively taboo media subject at all, let’s talk abut this a little bit. A few years ago, it was Google that everyone collectively decided should buy The New York Times. It just seemed to make too much sense.

That was just a passing fancy and things moved on.

Then in 2009, something really weird happen. A relatively unknown — at least in the States — Mexican investor named Carlos Slim bought a big chunk of the paper, seemingly out of the blue. Again, people started mulling what would happen if someone bought paper.

Remember, much, if not all of the actual reporting we have come to enjoy about Trumplandia has come from newspapers. The New York Times and The Washington Post are engaged in a bloody newspaper battle to see who can bring down the Trump Administration. Whoever owns The New York Times would truly own the crown jewel of the American newspaper industry.

There has been talk off and on that maybe billionaire Mike Bloomberg might buy the paper as well. But given the weird way the paper’s stock is setup, the Sulzberger family has pretty much absolute control over the fate of the paper.

And, yet, The New York Times, in real terms, is pretty small in a era of ever growing media conglomerates. It doesn’t take a lot to imagine there might come a point where the Sulzberger might out of sheer desperation feel they had no choice but to throw in the towel.

The newspaper industry is undergoing historic contraction because of the Internet and while the digital side of The New York Times continues to grow, it simply can’t at this point make up for the epic contraction the paper is feeling on the print side. Though, as I understand it, due to Trumplandia, even the print side is getting something of an uptake.

So who might buy The New York Times will continue to be the subject of parlor room debate. It’s very possible that the Sulzberger family will hold on to it for the rest of the century and beyond. But should the Sulzberger family lose grip of The Gray Lady, it would leave the media world in shock and awe.

As an aside, I actually met Mr. Sulzberger once. I was in Seoul and there was this big newspaper conference. I was able to use my then membership to The Society of Professional Journalists to wiggle my way in. Mr. Sulzberger seemed a bit bemused at how giddy I was to meet him. I was like a bobbysoxer. I rarely am starstruck, but this time I was.

It was pretty cool.

Vichy Republicans & Their Big Meh At Trump’s Collusion With The Russians

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

If there is any central event that signifies how fucked the United States is because of the rise of Trumplandia it’s the fact that as we careen towards the very real possibility of proved collusion between the Russians and the 2016 Trump campaign, there’s a growing chorus of people on the Right who shrug and say: So what, no laws were broken.

That’s pretty much the core belief of Trumplandia. There is no shame, no sense of how bad something might look as long as you win and keep power.

This intertwines quiet well with the absolute complete inability to recognize the repeated, staggering hypocrisy that members of the Right have to engage in on a daily basis to maintain their absolute support for their Dear Leader, Donald Trump.

Trumpandia citizens rail about liberal celebrities telling them how to vote, then turn around and vote for a celebrity. They make the use of a private email server on the part of Hillary Clinton a huge campaign issue, then their Dear Leader asks world leaders to call him on his personal insecure cellphone. The list goes on and on.

But the idea that even if we prove collusion that it doesn’t matter because no laws were broken really takes the cake. It seems to me that this is the first step in the defense of Donald Trump down the road once collusion is, in fact, proven.

This brings up an interesting point. The Right acts as if they’re so fucking oppressed and yet they are on a hair trigger to attack any screw up on the part of the Left. President Obama gets caught on a hot mic once that he will have more flexibility with them diplomatically after the election and Right Wing Nut Jobs try to compare that to could have been a wide-ranging, sweeping collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign in 2016.

Let that sink in for a moment.

All of this, of course, gets even more murky when you realize that the Vichy Republicans are so complicit this collusion that it is highly unlikely there would be any consquences even politically for Trump should it be proven beyond a doubt that there was active collusion with the Russians. It goes without saying that had Hillary Clinton’s campaign done anything like that, there would be hell to pay.

So all of this makes the rise of Trumplandia even more dire. It makes even more urgent that Congress flip in 2018. But given the shameless nature of the Republicans and the very methods that they actively use to prevent voting, it is a possible there will be no “Blue Wave.” It could be that we’re no longer a democracy at all. It could be that Trump will be proven to be, on an ethical level a traitor, but on a legal level not so much.

As I keep saying, the only thing I can compare this to is Vichy France. That’s the only time in the last 100 years or so where a nation was prostrate to another nation in such a willful manner. Also, if anything shows how we need to stop falloning Trump everytime he makes a stupid typo on Twitter, this is it.

I know it makes us feel better to get a good laugh from the boorish behavior of the president, but we need to wake up. We need to start taking all of this a lot more seriously. Instead of laughing, we should be figuring out more effective ways to combat Trumplandia.

So, as I keep saying, don’t rage, engage. Think of constructive ways you can engage in the political process to help save this nation that we all hold so dear. We no longer have to worry about the prospect of a dystopian future, we now live in a very dystopian present.

Shelton Bumgarner is the editor and publisher of The Trumplandia Report. He may be reached at migukin (at) gmail.com.

Don’t Rage, Engage: Hollywood, Do Your Fucking Job

By Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

The whole Kathy Griffin kerfuffle is yet another reminder that Hollywood has been oddly silent about Donald Trump in the way that matters most: actually producing content that helps civil society process what the fuck is going on. That’s the whole point of Hollywood.

Currently comedy on TV has been picking up the slack for Hollywood. Be it Full Frontal, or Saturday Night Live or The Late Show, late night comedy is where right minded people go in America to try to figure out how to understand this horrific dead-end that we’ve found ourselves in.

Both a market and an audience exists for movies and TV devoted to being metaphors for Trumplandia. I know I would shell out $11 to see a movie that addressed what a fuckwit Donald Trump is. Or maybe a remake of 1984. Or a remake of Being There. Hell, even a movie about The Mule portion of The Foundation Saga would make me feel better at this point. This is pretty basic stuff. If me, a hayseed rube in a flyover state can figure this out, then I’m sure someone at Miramax or Paramount can figure something so basic out.

But what do we have right now instead of quality content? We have silence. I have not heard of hardly any films in production and there are only a spattering of TV that are obvious meant to direction address Trumplandia. It makes you wonder why this is.

You would think that something as momentous as the rise of Trumplandia would inspire the Hollywood scribes and producers to generate all kinds of content. But all we get is Kathy Griffin pretending to cut off Donald Trump’s head. Everyone would be served if she were to not rage against Trumplandia in such a stupid manner but rather write a TV script for a sitcom about dealing with Trumplandia. Something, anything to bring people together, instead of dividing them.

The only thing I can think of is that producers are skittish about offending people, by, well, losing money. In other words, stars feel obliged to be offensive on a personal level, but the people with money who maybe oppose Trump aren’t willing to take the risk that Trumplandia will freak out if you produced a movie that obviously attacked Trump in some direct manner.

That’s the only thing I can think of. That makes the most sense. There might be something to the fact that Hollywood is still in shock that Trump won in the first place and they just haven’t gotten over the shock enough to begin writing scripts that directly tough that live wire.

But I think it’s the money situation. Corporate types think differently that the artists they support, so that reluctance to lose money by offending the ever-so-touchy Trumplandia base probably is the reason. As someone pointed out to me recently, Watergate really only produced one movie and that was after it was over. So maybe it makes a lot more sense that I realize for there to be no movies about Trumpandia produce while it actually exists. And, really, if you think about it, it took decades before there was a movie that dealt with the Vietnam war directly, though Apocalypse Now was produced a few years after the fact. The closest to a TV show about Vietnam was that occured while it happened was M*A*S*H.

And, yet, Trumplandia is a significantly more weighty event than Watergate. Trumplandia, at least to me, seems ripe for a great movie or TV shows right now. We live in a different era than the 1960s and 1970 and I think audiences would flock to see a movie about a Trump-like character. I keep thinking of The Mule from The Foundation Saga, but it’s possible that because of Star Wars stealing so much from that series that that isn’t really applicable anymore.

Regardless, it would be sad if we had to wait 20 years before Hollywood addressed in metaphor Trumplandia. I really don’t want to have to keep seeing liberal Hollywood actors destroying their careers by raging against Trumplandia in a stupid way. Don’t rage, engage.

Shelton Bumgarner is the editor and publiser of the Trumplandia Report. He may be reached at migukin (at) gmail.com.