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I Nominate Donald Trump For Best Actor in a Reality Drama

The Oscars Need a New Acting Category

This from a man who found it literally impossible to follow in his grandfather’s and father’s path as a businessman, who thus gravitated to the theater and wrote a classic tragedy about an ordinary traveling salesman. Critics said this was impossible; you couldn't have classic tragedy where the protagonist was not a king or a general, whose tragic fall (caused, of course, by his own decisions and character flaws) was not from a grand and worthy height for great theater, as was associated with Sophocles and Shakespeare. Miller’s Willie Loman was too pedestrian, too common -- like most of the people in the audience. (Miller was, of course, a bit of a lefty.) Theater history proved Miller right. What one must wonder these days is, is it possible those always evolving rules of tragic theater apply to someone as pedestrian and common as Donald Trump preposterously elevated into the role of a king, or President of the United States, the position that once (but no more) was known as “leader of the free world”? Miller’s point is that in, this, the 21st century the world has gotten so incredibly complex and convoluted (as philosophy professor Harry Frankfurt would put it, so overwhelmed with bullshit) that the leader of something like The United States of America (or Russia or China, for that matter) cannot possibly tell the truth -- or, more accurately, perform as if he were dealing in reality. “Human beings, as the poet said, cannot bear much reality," Miller writes. "And the art of politics is our best proof.” Bill Clinton, of course, was one of the best politician/actors to come along; his wife, alas, wasn’t nearly as good at the game.

The political acting that Miller writes about was front-and-center in spades last night behind the podium in the exalted chamber of the US House of Representatives. If looked at as mise-en-scene (French for “putting on stage”), the House setting was perfect. The camera lens was framed beautifully on the President as he gave his speech. With his magnificently engineered, gossamer helmet of orange hair and his feral, perfect teeth, he was formally placed against the vertical red-and-white stripes of the flag, on each side of him, two dark chairs holding Vice President Mike Pence looking like Boris Karloff resurrected and the ever-bright-eyed Paul Ryan looking sheepish like he was embarrassed and could envision being drowned in a blue wave. If the camera had pulled back from this tight shot, all the nation would have seen the speech given between two gleaming bookends of bronze fasces. A fasces was an ancient Roman symbol of power -- a battle axe surrounded by sticks, which represented the loyal and grateful Roman people -- placed atop a pole and carried (probably by a muscular slave) at the head of triumphant processions of Roman magistrates and their bounty. The fasces, as many know, is the root of the word fascism, coined by Benito Mussolini for the movement he led in Italy in the late 1920s.



story | by Dr. Radut