Trump Agonistes: (Or Let’s Gouge His Eyes Out for His Own Good)


Hubris has consumed Donald Trump, devoured him from the tips of his toes to the top of that bleached, brittle confection he considers hair.

It’s blatantly obvious that even if Trump’s minions and Putin’s lackeys didn’t directly collude in election manipulation, Trump’s close association with Paul Manafort and the host of mobsters, oligarchs, and convicted felons linked to him guarantees that Trump’s businesses are steeped in corruption.[1] If you think this mere conjecture, I suggest you check out Adam Khan on Twitter. He has been unraveling in great detail the byzantine entanglements of those connections and providing documents to support his arguments. For example, according to Khan, son-in-law Kushner’s is in hock “$4+ billion to foreign investors, pushing Russian expansion, Israeli settlements, [. . .].” No telling what secrets of the hoary deep Trump’s income taxes hold.

Allow me to don my dark glasses and engage in some Tiresias-like prophesizing: in the next four years, those returns are bound to surface, whether through investigation or IRS leakage — or some underling facing slammer time squealing — and Mr. Big Shot is going to find himself in a world of shit.

Why would anyone so compromised expose himself to the super scrutiny that comes with running for president?[2]

ύβρις – hubris.

I’ve spent the last 30 years studying its effects on such worthies as Antigone, Kreon, Oedipus, Macbeth, Caesar/Brutus, Milton’s Satan, the Mayor of Casterbridge among others.

Indeed, if Trump doesn’t get a presidential pardon from Pence, he will fit nicely into Aristotle’s tragic formula of the protagonist plummeting from Olympus high to hades low because of a fatal flaw, in Trump’s case, excessive pride.

And as far as Trump’s “soul” is concerned, karmic comeuppance would be the very best thing that could happen to him. Stripped bare of the false grandiosity in which he’s wrapped himself, he would have to face nakedly the existential truth of his true vulnerability.

At the end of Oedipus Rex, we stand in awe of the fallen king because he has gained insight by gouging out his eyes and exiling himself to the desert where he will come to terms with what it really means to be human. He is, in Coleridge’s phrase, “a sadder but wiser man.”

How sad – pathetic is the word — it must be to be Trump, to be addicted to the adulation of the blaring resentment-filled rubes who attend his rallies, to take such deep umbrage at the slightest of slights, to be so utterly benighted.

Of course, it’s doubtful that Trump will undergo an anagnorisis – the tragic recognition of his guilt – but how cool would it be if he could.

It would truly make him great, a true hero. I can see him now, humbled, his head shaved, a real man instead of a manikin, tapping a stick on the hard ground of reality.

[1] Trump’s empire isn’t centralized but consists of several disparate LLCs.

[2] I think Trump ran as a publicity stunt and never really believed he could win. Hence the total lack of planning for his transition.

Vulgarity as Poetry


Let’s say you’re browsing Twitter and run across a sponsored post by John Bolton, the former UN Ambassador, one of the architects of the second Iraq war, that invasion launched by Bush and Company to purge non-existent weapons of mass destruction from Saddam’s non-existent stockpiles because, despite Iraq’s not having an air force or a navy that could deploy those non-existent weapons of mass destruction, Saddam posed a “present and growing danger.”

And let’s say that rather than financing this ruinously expensive, absolutely unnecessary war through raising taxes, the Bush Administration introduced legislation that slashed taxes, which depleted Clinton’s 280 billion surplus that cratered into a 1.2 trillion deficit under Bush.

And, finally, let’s say that besides virtually bankrupting our nation, this absolutely unnecessary war resulted in 4.488 American deaths, 500,000 Iraqi deaths.

Oh, yeah, the John-Bolton-sponsored post on Twitter that triggered the above screed:

“Barack Obama. Worst president ever? Vote here.”

Obviously, my first three paragraphs exceed Twitter’s 140-character limit; plus, let’s face it, the explanation is tediously verbose and doesn’t even address the outrageous hubris that Bolton exhibits, this man who has made a mistake so grievous that he ought to have blinded himself Oedipus-like and be tapping his staff across the Arabian Desert in an attempt at expiation.

How, you ask, can anyone successfully address the outrageousness of Bolton’s question in the constricted medium of Twitter?

Here’s how:

Andrew Otis Weiss ‏‪@ThatWeissGuy‬ Mar 21
.‪@AmbJohnBolton Go back to selling oatmeal and diabetes meds, you blood splattered fuck (emphasis mine).

Colonel Kurtz, what do you have to say about Andrew Otis Weiss’s response to Bolton’s tweet?

Yes, it is genius, a perfect putdown, more graphic than even a photoshopped picture. Weiss has melded sound, sense, and image into a barbarous haiku: you blood-splattered fuck.

The introductory “you,”  accusatory, echoing that expletive for disgust we emit when coming upon fresh roadkill -eww – the adjective “blood-splattered” with its connotations of careless butchery, the onomatopoetic splat, the thudding consonance of the terminal D-sounds  (plus the word turd imbedded in splattered subliminally adding shit into the  mix).

But then the clincher, the noun fuck.  No, not dickdick won’t do – no, not prickprick won’t do – the vowels too short, too effete – but fuck – the abyss.  You blood-splattered fuck, you casual slaughterer of half a million human beings.

Bravo, Andrew Otis Weiss, def poet of the absolutely perfect insult!