The fake outrage machine strikes again: a Shakespearean interpretation

Gregg Henry portrays a Trump-esque version of the doomed Roman ruler during a rehearsal of Public Theater’s Free Shakespeare in the Park production of “Julius Caesar.” (Joan Marcus/Public Theater via AP)

The pump truppets have their panties in a bunch because of this:

Et tu, Public Theater?

The New York-based arts organization came under fire for staging a production of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” starring Trump look-alike Gregg Henry in the titular role. In this staging of play, which was part of the summer’s Free Shakespeare in the Park, Caesar is a businessman known for his petulant personality, fancy suits and blondish hair with orange overtones.

His wife, Calpurnia, even has a Slavic accent, much like first lady Melania Trump.

In the play, Roman senators fear Caesar had become power hungry, so they stab him to death.  

Delta Air Lines pulled its funding of the theater group on Sunday in response to mounting criticism. Soon after, Bank of America pulled its sponsorship of the play but will retain its funding of the theater. …

Soon after, the conservative Breitbart News published a story headlined, “‘Trump’ Stabbed to Death in Central Park Performance of ‘Julius Caesar.’”

The controversy spread nationally Sunday after Trump’s son Donald Trump, Jr., retweeted a story from Fox News stating, “A New York City play appears to depict President Trump being brutally stabbed to death by women and minorities.”

In the retweet, Trump, Jr. said, “I wonder how much of this ‘art’ is funded by taxpayers. Serious question, when does ‘art’ become political speech & does that change things?”

But five years ago:

[T]here was no such backlash in 2012, when a collaboration between the Acting Company and the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis — which also received financial backing from Delta — mounted a contemporary remake of “Julius Caesar” in which the title character appeared to reference President Barack Obama. Caesar’s character, of course, is brutally slain in the play. …

“Because Caesar is cast as a tall, lanky black man, the Obama inference is a bit too obvious,” wrote MSP Mag of the actor, Bjorn DuPaty. “But it fits, sort of. Like Caesar, Obama rose to power on a tide of public goodwill; like Caesar, there were many in government who doubted Obama’s leadership abilities; and now that Obama’s first term has failed to live up to the messianic hype, there are plenty of people who — for the good of the country, you understand, not their own glory — want to take Obama down.”

The Twin Cities Daily Planet also noted the production’s effort to evoke the Obama era: “By the time we got to the OCCUPY ROME sign and the Faireyesque Caesar posters, I was watching through my fingers with my hands over my face,” reviewer Jay Gabler wrote, referring to Shepard Fairey, the artist who designed the iconic “Hope” Obama campaign posters.

Back then, outrage did not ensue; the American Conservative praised the casting choices, calling the production “riveting.” And Delta — which did not immediately respond to a request for comment — maintained its longtime support of the theater.

Will I ever be able to go through another day without these hypocritical clowns pissing me off?

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Revisiting ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

This is something to look forward to. (From The Loop)

It’s no secret that we’re beyond buzzed about the upcoming 10-part series The Handmaid’s Tale. The story, which is based on the 1985 novel by Canadian treasure Margaret Atwood, has been one of our favourites since we read it in school.

But what’s even more exciting is that, after roughly three decades, Margaret Atwood may actually be headed back to her fictional world of Gilead in order to write a sequel. And we really, really hope that happens.

This is exciting. I’m listening to the audiobook now and read the book a couple of years ago. It seems so appropriate.

The Monday night massacre

On Jan. 30, the acting attorney general of the U.S. was fired:
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Just to be clear, Sally Yates did not betray the Justice Department. She refused to enforce a Hookerpiss proclamation that was in violation of the Constitution. In case the pump truppets have forgotten:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Proclaiming that one group of people cannot come into America because of their religion is unconstitutional. Period.

On Jan. 20, a tiny-fingered vulgarian put his paw on two Bibles in front of the denizens of Animal Farm and said:

“I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Nowhere does that Oath of Office say:

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

The refugee ban is in clear violation of the First Amendment. It doesn’t preserve, protect or defend the Constitution of the United States.

The thrice-married Lügenorange has broken his vow. But then, as his former wives know, he never takes a vow seriously.

Time to impeach.

Doublethink: 2017

“Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”

― George Orwell1984

A University of Massachusetts professor conducted a poll on perceptions of turnout for the recent presidential inauguration based on political preference. This happened (via Monkey Cage):

On Sunday and Monday, we surveyed 1,388 American adults. We showed half of them a crowd picture from each inauguration (see below) and asked which was from Trump’s inauguration and which was from Obama’s.

If the past is any guide, we would expect that Trump supporters would be more likely to claim that the picture with the larger crowd was the one from Trump’s inauguration, as doing so would express and reinforce their support for him. Further, as some respondents had never seen these photos, uncertainty regarding the answer would likely lead them to choose the photograph that would be most in line with their partisan loyalties.

For the other half, we asked a very simple question with one clearly correct answer: “Which photo has more people?” Some of these people probably understood that the image on the left was from Trump’s inauguration and that the image on the right was from Obama’s, but admitting that there were more people in the image on the right would mean they were acknowledging that more people attended Obama’s inauguration.

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For the question about which image went with which inauguration, 41 percent of Trump supporters gave the wrong answer; that’s significantly more than the wrong answers given by 8 percent of Clinton voters and 21 percent of those who did not vote.

But what’s even more noteworthy is that 15 percent of people who voted for Trump told us that more people were in the image on the left — the photo from Trump’s inauguration — than the picture on the right. We got that answer from only 2 percent of Clinton voters and 3 percent of nonvoters.

Even when the photographic evidence was directly in front of them and the question was straightforward, one in seven Trump supporters gave the clearly false answer.

What can you say? We’re screwed.

 

We’re either living in Bizarro World or Oceania

bizarro_world_001In Bizarro World in the DC Universe, reality is reversed in every manner. So

— A lyingracistanti-Semiticxenophobichomophobicmisogynisticpedophile thief is considered qualified to run the most powerful country in the world. (Just click on every highlighted word in that sentence.)

— A president of the United States can win an election by getting 2.5 million fewer votes than his opponent.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has garnered at least 65,527,625 votes in the 2016 presidential election, over 2.6 million more than the president-elect, who has received at least 62,851,436 votes, according to figures released Wednesday by The Cook Report, a nonpartisan election analysis organization.

Completely made up news is treated as reality.

The proliferation of fake and hyperpartisan news that has flooded into Americans’ laptops and living rooms has prompted a national soul-searching, with liberals across the country asking how a nation of millions could be marching to such a suspect drumbeat. But while some Americans may take the stories literally — like the North Carolina man who fired his gun in a Washington pizzeria on Sunday trying to investigate a false story spread online of a child-abuse ring led by Hillary Clinton — many do not.

baumhswBut in Oceania, where in the year “1984,” Big Brother is always watching through the telescreen, ministries perform the opposite function of what they’re named for. So:

— The proposed head of the Department of Labor wants to make it easier for businesses instead of workers.

On Thursday, Trump announced that he would nominate as his labor secretary Andrew Puzder, a fast-food executive who has opposed additional overtime pay for workers and expressed skepticism about increasing the minimum wage. That followed a pair of Twitter messages Wednesday evening in which Trump attacked an Indiana union leader who had criticized him, saying the official had done a “terrible job representing workers.”

— The proposed head of the Environmental Protection Agency is against protecting the environment:

President-elect Donald J. Trump has selected Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general and a close ally of the fossil fuel industry, to run the Environmental Protection Agency, signaling Mr. Trump’s determination to dismantle President Obama’s efforts to counter climate change — and much of the E.P.A. itself.

Mr. Pruitt, a Republican, has been a key architect of the legal battle against Mr. Obama’s climate change policies, actions that fit with the president-elect’s comments during the campaign. Mr. Trump has criticized the established science of human-caused global warming as a hoax, vowed to “cancel” the Paris accord committing nearly every nation to taking action to fight climate change, and attacked Mr. Obama’s signature global warming policy, the Clean Power Plan, as a “war on coal.”

— The proposed head of the Department of Education wants to dismantle public education:

President-elect Donald Trump announced that he would nominate billionaire activist and Republican fundraiser Betsy DeVos as his education secretary.

Education historian Diane Ravitch believes that—if confirmed by the Senate—DeVos will become the most radical, anti-public-school education secretary since the Office of Education was established in 1867. “Never has anyone been appointed to lead in the past 150 years who was hostile to public education,” Ravitch told Mother Jones.

— The proposed head of the Department of Health and Human Services wants to eliminate the program that has provided healthcare to millions of previously uninsured Americans:

Donald Trump has chosen a prominent critic of Obamacare as his secretary of health and human services, casting fresh doubt over the future of the Affordable Care Act.

Last week, Price said that whatever Republicans do to replace Obama’s healthcare law will bear a “significant resemblance” to a 2015 measure that was vetoed by the president. That bill would have gutted some of the health care law’s main features: Medicaid expansion, subsidies to help middle-class Americans buy private policies, the tax penalties for individuals who refused to get coverage and several taxes to support coverage expansion. The bill would have delayed implementation for two years.

— And the proposed head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development isn’t interested in housing or urban development:

Donald Trump’s selection Monday of retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development sets up what could be a collision between the nominee’s philosophical aversion to social safety-net programs and an agency that administers some of the government’s most expansive programs for helping minorities and low-income people.

Who knows? Maybe we’re living in both places, and the national slogan is:

War am peace.
Freedom am slavery.
Ignorance am strength.