By Michael Stutz. Read more at http://michaelstutz.net/.
We didn’t know what to expect. Between the eight of us there were only two bulletproof vests. And we all had our girls to worry about. As Loren Feldman the filmmaker said, they were “uncontrollable” and insisted that they remain in the thick of it. One of them’s pregnant. So a handful of us drove out to a mall in suburban Cleveland to prepare. We took a green Kia Soul that, for the week of the 2016 Republican National Convention at least, was an alt-right Pepe mobile, fat-lipped grin on the front grille made from two strips of wide, rose-colored rubber. Not everyone knew their memes; you either got it and smiled or you just didn’t see.
We were stocking up for our descent into danger: enough AA batteries to provide TV remote-control juice for a countywide nursing-home network, an impressive assortment of GoPro attachments and tripod connectors, good solar chargers for the cameras and phones. Bags of various supplement pills. Sardines and beef jerky for Mike Cernovich, the men’s self-improvement guy who combines working out, neuro-linguistic programming, media-hoax exposés, and other unexpected angles that freak out the feminists. At a two-level Dick’s Sporting Goods that sells their firearms with the same poise as the frisbees, we bought a vest for him with plenty of pockets for batteries and gear, which he ended up not wearing once because of the late-July swelter. Everyone who walked the streets as we did on those days dreamt of the algid showers they’d take each night before bed.
The Airbnb that Mike and Loren rented in the inner city of Cleveland turned out to be the meeting point and Central Command for the whole operation. We didn’t know what was going to happen. A few days earlier I made a call to a buddy of mine who runs a bar on West 25th, halfway between the house and downtown. He said it’d always be open as a safe zone for all of us — we wanted to find a good place to dump the girls quick in case it really got crazy.
As it turns out, no one was shot. There were no riots or terror attacks. For one thing, the cops were everywhere. You couldn’t stretch out an arm without high-fiving one. There were snipers on rooftops, and you got the sense that plenty more were looking out at you from behind every window. The streets were wired with hidden high-def cameras and microphones, SWAT teams stood ready under the manholes, satellites were zoomed in on our faces, counting our breaths.
Besides hitting the parties, speeches, and meetups during the convention, the plan was to man the streets as the face of the alt-right, confront the protesters on their own ground, get into the belly of it and come out alive with footage, photos, and enough writing material to tell the tale. This, it now can be said, is a mission accomplished.
* * *
The Tuesday-night party at a Cleveland State ballroom headlined and hosted by alt-right provocateur and flamer Milo Yiannopoulos had promised to be the event of the week. There was some question about whether or not Mike was going to help provide security detail for co-speaker Pamela Geller, so we all got there early. His wife Shauna was zippered from top to bottom in a black supershort dress; the elaborate ties of her spiked heels seemed to spiderweb half up her calves. It was the only night I wore a tie.
The Westboro Baptist Church were already at the curb when we got there, signs bobbing twenty feet in the air. It was hard keeping composure when around them for more than a few minutes, but I tried to map out what common ground that I could. There was a scant patch — but it was disputed territory, and ultimately our coexistence was futile. Like Dante, they say that Mohammed’s in Hell — but their special Westboro Hell also includes all right-believing saints and martyrs of the Catholic Church, and will soon include Milo. While Milo may indeed have his faults, I’ve personally come to believe that he might have hope, too.
Honestly, at first I did have my doubts — not only about Milo, but about the entire event. It was called “WAKE UP!”; I thought of the Buddha and tea-leaf enlightenment. Why does the world turn to the knife and not retreat into humble contemplation? But this was to be “the gayest party at the RNC,” and I was all set to do a mildly critical account. I like all the speakers and we share much in common, but I do have a convergence point or two with Islam as well: I’ll never celebrate, encourage, or endorse “pride” in sodomy. And frankly, this is what makes liberals’ brains melt like cheese curds plopped in a steaming fondue pot: I can befriend a guy like Milo and be totally down with his basic politics, while still opposing the vice that dare not speaketh its name. Meanwhile, here’s this glamboy in mirrorshades and frosty white pompadour whose queer shoulder’s defending the West against an armed ideology that seeks to conquer it. Dip in, guys, and enjoy.
If you ignored the art on the walls, which I did, there was nothing gay or even remotely campy or queer about the affair. No pink triangles or rainbow flags anywhere. Even Milo’s joke entry in a bulletproof vest had a sombre, serious backend to the melody — it only reminded me that the rest of us didn’t have one, and the danger was real. We’re at war, and this event reflected it: it was serious, erudite, passionate and timely criticism of the spectre of the crescent, the one that’s cutting down on all of us like Edgar Poe’s pendulum. How low will it go before we try to get up?
* * *
The actual party was as fabulous as promised — and more. It was a ballroom of the net’s best and brightest, and most of them were alt-right trolls. Trolling, of course, isn’t necessarily bad. I’ve seen the results. It’s changing the culture right now — this is our guerilla weapon.
I spot Richard Spencer, the most “alternative right” guy in the room — he’s the one who came up with the term. It’s still a new concept, and casts a wide reach — from guys like Milo, to earnest conspiracy types, tasteless anonymous trolls, and modern-day paleocons who know the whole system is rigged and the vast civilization that our ancestors called Christendom is being blotted out, now, in front of a live studio audience, like a David Blaine trick that we see but don’t understand. Not everyone in the alt-right agrees on all the same things, but the common denominator we share is a complete and utter disdain for neocon warmongers, political correctness, social justice warriors, and globalism: in other words, at its most base it’s a pure, mainline hit of the Trump Doctrine, and what it looks like when you dose is reflected in the retro magazine ads from postwar America — those calm, happy moments before McLuhan announced that the ride is over and we’ve made it home to the postliterate global village. As it turns out, a lot of people openly hate that beautiful world of our grandparents — and are quite happy with the current track of calibrated and planned extermination. That’s the battle right there.
Spencer is happy and well-dressed and all white-bread smiles as we shake hands. We exchange quick pleasantries about this being the big coming-out party — not for the RNC gays, but for the alt-right. He then rushes off to the elevator to make his rounds in the VIP room above, where the likes of VDARE’s Peter Brimelow and some of the older superstars of the movement are hanging out. Down here, the younger ones are darting around in the crowd — under a Trump hat you can see the redbearded smile of renegade journalist and truth-teller Chuck Johnson, and many of the Trump army’s best tweeters are orbiting right within earshot. Really the only names missing are Ann Coulter (who was on the original roster), vlogger RamZPaul, and Pat Buchanan.
Mike and I take a moment to survey the scene. Cernovich himself is a superstar, and a character unrepresented yet in literature: he shares the same psychic tapestry as a young Chuck Norris at the top of his game, playing a bulked renegade in a Hollywood movie — and in his coral shades and lightweight field shirt he looks like he’d be comfortable doing the Trump “OK” salute inside a military chopper, before descending down with a gassing of Agent Redpill upon an active army of SJW protesters in the Vietnam of our social-media lives.
We talk about how Trump’s sudden ascendancy this year has changed the whole game: for one thing, it’s gotten us all together in this ballroom in Cleveland.
“These are the best days of our lives,” he says. “This moment, right here. No matter what happens, even with the election, this is it.”
“You really think so?”
“Yeah. I was telling this to Shauna a while back. I think we’re gonna look back at these days and they’re always gonna be the best.”
He explained that he thinks — as we all do — that the civilization that spawned America is now on the quick decline, past the precipice, and no matter who gets in what political where, we’re in for some serious bumps on the ride. “I mean, if Hillary gets in, that’s it,” he adds with a powerful grin to counterbalance the deep horror of the thought. “America’s over, it’s the literal end.”
“But even if we start to make things better with Trump, it’s gonna take a long time, so we can expect that things will get worse for a while — and meanwhile, we’re really gonna look back on these days.”
Roosh was coming up to us now, the darkbearded “masculinist” blogger that feminists love to have frothy public coronaries over, but are all secretly crushed on. Him and Mike talk about co-hosting a happy hour on the last night of the convention, which they end up doing at the Tilted Kilt, one of those gastropub chains where the more you drink the more you realize how alarmingly skimpy the waitresses’ outfits are.
Connections were happening at every glance. There’s Ali Akbar, a millennial blogger whose name is infectious to say and who looks as damn cool as Sammy Davis, Jr. in his Camelot-era prime, with the same prognathous jawline, and he’s even running around in a candy-red suit, mixed drink in his hand … and OJ, an inimitable half-Mexican in a tank top with a bandana tied around his neck, who left his wife, young kids, and auto-repair business to drive out from Chicago for this. He’s been through the thick of the protesters with Mike, and we spend a drink talking about the convergence that’s rainbowing over us.
“And I think this is even going to be a positive good for the blacks,” he adds, once our talk drifts to the depressing facts of Chicago’s black crime rate. He explains that it’s the “hotep” movement that are giving good-hearted blacks a voice in this battle.
“They’re really interesting, because they don’t fit any of these media narratives about what blacks should be. They are black,” he chuckles, “like with how they talk and dress, and they’re not apologetic about it at all. They’re all for keeping their culture, keeping their people clean and together and fighting crime, but they completely reject the progressive agenda — they’re not pro-gay, they’re not PC, and they want nothing to do with the victimhood mindset.”
We overhear a loud conversation behind us where an editor of an alt-right news agency says he broke the news of the Orlando jihadi Omar Mateen’s homosexuality, beating the mainstream media by over twelve hours. (Those kind of stories are common now.)
But for all the great gathering of people, I had to keep reminding myself that there were plenty of fearful journalists wandering the room here among us. They were scrambling for quotes before fleeing the heat of the warzone. The alt-right is being demonized massively by a mainstream that doesn’t want it to exist. And that’s exactly the point — so the more that they do it, the more it just helps the cause. The alt-right 2016 is like punk rock 1977: it’s daring, new, socially unacceptable, inevitable, and scaring the crap out of everyone. That a huge chunk of those mainstreamers are utterly stereotypical tatted-up “punks” just ups the irony ante, and increases the troll factor.
Nevertheless I tried to stay approachable. One photographer with a large diffused flash attachment gets a few closeups with the rapid clicks of her continuous-drive Nikon, and then slinks her way into the fanning crowds — but not before bending forward to whisper: “You’re the best-dressed man in the place.”
I was glad for the compliment, but I was also relieved that this was the one event of the week I wasn’t standing near Roger Stone. But to be fair he’d probably agree — he loves mid-century madras as much as I do.
Back from the VIP area I’m told that the speakers were being brought in from under the building, where the Secret Service was doing bomb sweeps. Special anti-terror dogs had been trucked in from Florida. The site had been made secure for days, and as I stood in line for a drink I looked around carefully. Days? Terrorists are patient. Who knows what they could’ve planted here weeks ago. Up there in the drop ceiling I pictured well-hidden pipe bombs, or maybe Afghani nationals crouched and hiding among the CAT5 cabling and ductwork, putting up with the techno music to burst down in a dramatic spray of bullets and perlite at just the right moment; the Daily Mail eventually getting ahold of video from one of our phones to replay the final seconds of our lives for a fifteen-minute thrill of the first world’s office-bound masses.
“Here goes,” I thought grimly. “I’m freelancing politics for too little pay and now I’m about to be part of the top of the news cycle, embedded inside the next Islamic bloodbath — and it’s ostensibly for a pro-gay cause that I’m not even part of.”
* * *
Backstage I was happy to thank Dutch politician Geert Wilders for coming out to our country to deliver his message, and I gave a thumbs up to Pam Geller before she went on. We were alone besides a few handlers and guards with assault rifles at each window and doorway. It was the only lecture I’ve ever attended that felt more like a generals’ strategy meeting in the midst of a battlefield.
Wilders stood aloof in his dark suit, thin and stiff and erect, like a wax museum’s take on an Ed Gorey figure that had just figured out how to move. In real life and from arm’s length, his coiffure was much more extreme than the photos — it sat on him like a well-placed animal fur from the Victorian age. I deeply approved.
Pam Geller was in what looked like a glittering tracksuit, with gold sequins and rainbow colors. As she said in her talk, what people have to realize is that as Jewish Law applies to Jews, and Canon Law applies to Catholics, Sharia Law applies to everybody. That’s basically the battle right there.
What’s happening in the West at this moment is straight out of Spengler — and St. Augustine. Where I prefer the latter I know the former was quite onto something as well, especially considering how it’s closing in on a century since he ID’d the fellaheen as the tribal force that was about to inherit the civilized world, wreaking out a violent end to the cultured Occident as it had existed. If this is the logical conclusion of the Primitivism that’s a running theme all through Jacques Barzun’s From Dawn To Decadence — and it is, right along with tattoos and t-shirts and texting — then the alt-right’s the allusion in the very last pages to those who saw the makings of a better world in the forgotten relics of the semi-recent past — and who’ve arrived on the scene to demand for its return. That’s Trump’s “Make America Great Again” in a philosophical and intellectual nutshell.
* * *
Milo was pumped about speaking. Pacing the backstage area in a track of four steps at a time, looking down in concentration about what he was going to say, he kept walking away from the conversation to gather his thoughts, while his bodyguard made sure the few of us back here made no fancy moves.
Just an hour before, Twitter finally booted him — permanently.
He was actually excited by it. “This is going to be so big for my brand,” he confided in that documentarian British tone of his that always comes off as the last-word authority. “Probably in direct proportion to the way it’s going to utterly destroy them.”
I had to agree with that. Twitter is like a good idea gone bad. It’s had so much potential, but the company is on a political tirade now, attacking anyone and anything that doesn’t fit in with its globalist, SJW mindset.
Milo himself has been passing out “gay” cards to give people permission to use the word in the old, pejorative sense — the way we all did so freely in high school and that sounds so anachronistic now, due to the viperous attacks of the language police. I reminded him that I never stopped the practice, and in my last book I even pulled out the much older usage of “merry and happy,” freely and without any irony — or apology.
He approved, and seemed interested in a proposal I offered. While I wouldn’t go along with him on a planned gay-pride march through a Muslim ghetto, I’d happily (and gaily) join him in a public rosary crusade through such a place — or through the SJW-soaked streets of the Castro in San Francisco.
He took off his sunglasses to speak to me, and he made sure that I had his new number. This was a war, and we were now allies — who knows what battles we’d be called into in the coming weeks.
Right now, his people were waiting — we high-fived and then the room next door burst into cheers as he appeared. I thought of the scene and how this weirdness was definitely a first in American politics: here were three of the most vocal, vehement critics of Islam in the world, and they were gathered together in one room to speak — not about gays, that was the periphery of the whole thing. What in the hell did I get myself into? This party, with homoerotic art, Trump propaganda, alcohol, and these alt-right superheroes, was basically a calculated anti-Islamic event. I was surprised that they didn’t pass out Mohammed coloring books and bacon hors d’oeurves.
* * *
A presidential convention leaves no time for anything but taking things in. Two thousand photographs by the second night and we were just getting started — the tally for the whole week would more than double that at a good 5k. Notes sketched out desperately, stupidly, in between interactions and parties. Events hosted in posh venues by The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and Politico gave a place to cool down from the unyielding heat. We filled up on pickings held out to us from a rotating cast of wait staff — they kick through the swingdoors bearing work-of-art food trays and we summarily snap them all down in response to their demure identification phrases (“Braised tuna steak on Japanese rice cracker,” “Chicken Bali and seasonal peppers grilled on charcoal,” “Arkady lamb neck croquettes with sauce vert”); it was as if we were all playing an RPG set to a timer. No matter the hour, these were good venues to try and calm the nerves with the bottomless supply of top-shelf booze. They were monied affairs, and made me wish presidential elections came every quarter. I kept telling myself, “Damn, I’m in the wrong business,” and then I realized they were all media outlets doing the hosting — just none who pay to print my point of view.
A scotch man by nature, I went way off routine to try the many Trump-themed preparations they featured all week — something in a wide glass with Chivas Regal, and a “billionaire’s bourbon” doled out by a bowtied bartender with a heavy pour and a voice that never left his throat. Hard liquor was portioned out more by the gallon drumful than by the shot, in a way I hadn’t thought about alcohol since my college days and those kind of house parties that involved upwards of a hundred people between back-kitchen door and front banister, where you slept in the next day until the first evening news programs came on. They had a solution for that here, too: packets of caffiene cubes were everywhere, piled conspicuously on every table next to the free branded pens.
On the first day some exotic rum-and-pineapple concoction, yellow as a cartoon beehive, took the edge off the idea that we might all be gunned down at any second by AK-47 wielding race-haters from the New Black Panthers, paid Soros assassins, or Arab militants dreaming of a midwest caliphate; by early Wednesday afternoon it was clear that Trump was in control and the whole week was going to just be a big party. We thanked and obliged.
That’s when I saw a dapper reporter I vaguely recognized from Twitter, a bearded guy whose hipster deviation from the standard blue-blazer look of the journos were his bright yellow socks. I was about to nod a “hello” when we made eye contact from across the room, but he popped up from his chair as if electrocuted to give me a sudden and unexpected double thumbs-up, spun 360 degrees in some kind of John Travolta manoeuver, and then leaped up in a full Lebron to try and slam-pat the molding over the seven-foot archway — before happily scooting down to the elevators and the madhouse of the streets twenty-one floors below.
At the moment the elevator doors softly clicked, a tiny voice inside me suggested that I better take heed myself, and lay off the free booze immediately. I could see the logic of it collapsing very quickly, and suddenly there I would be, darting around group to group, approaching every woman in the room to take hand in a quick, dignified Viennese waltz in time to the sounds of the Strauss that was inexplicably swelling, quite loudly now, in my head.
I turned to the oxygen bar, a boomerang-shaped affair in the corner which at this point had finally cleared up. It was like if the old Spencer Gifts store at the mall had a cosmetics counter, a line of day-glo lava lamps in horrid bright pinks, yellows, greens and purples, but with tubing coming out of their tops. When I sat down, the bored middle-aged woman behind them handed me a green lasso of tubing, something that seemed like it came from a hospital-surplus buyout from the late ’70s.
“Put the nosepiece in and then wrap the tubes around your ears, and plug in,” she said, for probably the hundredth time that day.
Each of the bubbling, colored glass canisters at the bar were labeled both for flavor and purpose: there was cherry, lavendar, lemongrass; properties like “invigorating” and “relaxing.” I was trying to make sense of everything (and take the edge off six bourbons), so I went with the lavendar (“improves memory”). A couple of British media men in fresco suits saddled up next to me, along with a kid who’d just gotten out of college and was “getting into politics.” He was apparently tagging along with whoever he could attach to, a lamprey in these rough waters of political sharks where I was a diver with camera and notebook, no cage.
I saw the TAG Heuer on the wrist of the deep-throated journalist who sat closest to me, and he saw my taped-up dimestore pocket notebook up on the bar, and that was that. A couple of homely women from the BBC shouldered behind them and suddenly the bar sounded like the Graham Norton show. They all took a selfie of themselves in their tubing like it was some kind of surgery-center sleepover, and the kid next to me explained that this was his first convention, and he’d just come to take it all in, “see the process up close.” He had no idea that unlike the Brits next to us who were on payroll for churning out a thousand words of news copy a day, I filled my notebooks and hard drives with the rough drafts of subterranean literature and reality fiction, and had only the interminable freelance assignment that ever touched upon modern-day politics.
As the kid spoke to me my mind wandered off. This is where Hunter S. Thompson would describe them all as turning into lizards, their forked tongues slicking out in menacing waves, while grid patterns rose from the carpet and snaked like sinister fog all around us. With pocket notebook spread-eagle on the table and my ether days long, long behind me, I thought morbidly that this instant was very definitely an “HST moment”; morbidly because I remembered the handful of interactions I’d had with the man in those years before he killed himself, and how he’d turned from inspiration to letdown just as the battle for our civilization really got going, and that in this election with the way he’d become he’d surely be on the wrong side, because in magazineland that’s where the money is, turning Donald Trump into a pig-mouthed monster to rage at like a bad, over-sugared toddler howling at a piñata his mother held out in front of him — in other words, just like all of the mainstream reporters were doing in every publication on the planet. The whole media universe right now was awash in “fear and loathing,” for all the wrong reasons, and with a tenth of the talent.
Maybe it was the clarity of the oxygen as I breathed deeply, but yes — he had to die. He couldn’t possibly defend that evil wretch Hillary in this election, and he’d come off as cool as an over-forty Chippendale at the senior prom if he tried to attack Trump. I’d called him out once before, on stage in New York, for his over-cheerleading of Bubba Bill; he’d admitted then that I was right, and I’d hate to see the cognitive breakdown when it was pointed out that yes, of course it was true that the beautiful wave he saw in the mid-Sixties had broken, it was long gone, the movement was failed, the American dream was dead, and that if we ever wanted to see it resurrected again it was going to be this man, the one your Ralph Steadman paints with a pig mouth, Donald John Trump, who could pull it out from the grave and utter, “Arise!” — and that maybe, if the call was just right under these stars and we still deserved it, this time the seas would obey and the waves would return.
* * *
The center stage of everything was in the “Q,” the Quicken Arena. Those were the big moments, the scheduled entertainment that made it to prime-time TV. Watching Ted Cruz conjure his best GG Allin, killing himself on stage, bleeding slowly and bitterly to his captive stadium audience as they booed with revulsion at the smell of the foecal matter oozing out the sides of his mouth, was an unexpected show most good folk from the heartland are unlikely to forget. Alex Jones fighting back against The Young Turks who tried to ambush them suddenly was as good as anything I’d ever seen as a kid on cable-TV WWF. The likes of Laura Ingraham and Sheriff Clarke cut in with subliminal messages will live on for years in digital video stream and endless alt-right Trump memes. This is all true, but the real action was out on the streets.
The iron-caged maze around the Que was the stomping ground of the protesters. They were agitated and they didn’t know why. Some carried guns. They demanded an end to free thought and free speech. Signs advocated torture and genocide. Old women “stripped for peace” and young black children waved toy guns at the cops, to the proud delight of their single parents and pastors who were livestreaming it to billion-dollar social media networks.
When it came to confronting the protesters, for the most part we just let Mike do his thing, cutting through the thick of them as if they were droplets in the parted Red Sea. He was polite and respectful and just got them to talk — and by doing so he was able to challenge them with their own words. Sometimes we’d trail him or we’d intersect and nod back as we filled each other in with quick updates. He was out among them more than anyone — he went where nobody, not even the edgiest news crews, would try. Half the time we were back at Central Command checking Twitter to watch his live Periscopes from the thickets of crowds two miles away. He did much of it alone like that, not fearing anything. At one point when we crossed paths after he’d had a particularly fruitful exchange with a protester, which he captured while the Internet watched, I saw a jubilant glow in his blue-diamond eyes. He turned back to me and said, “I was born for this.”
Days later, and the empty Emacs buffer filled up with the rough draft of this tale, as I stood waiting for the cube of my laser printer to heave it out with its fan-bladed hiss, I uttered the very same phrase. I was alone in my workroom, but I knew that Mike would eventually hear it.
A gleeful party-line Democrat was one of the friendlier faces when we were out in the crowds. She seemed like someone I could’ve known since grade school, a blonde-bobbed character right out of Peanuts. She was a policy wonk from DC, not one of the protesters. She was just here to take in the spectacle; work was paying for it. She wasn’t a Trump fan. So Hillary?
“Only if I have to,” she said. “If I did, I’d be holding my nose, I mean, really pinching it tight” — she uncorked some bubbly laughter — “but it looks like that’s still the best option.”
She said she was a feminist. I felt bad for her, and knew immediately that she was single and shouldn’t have been. I imagined that she was all for the standard party-line liberal stuff: abortion, mass immigration, affirmative action, gun control, and so on. But her distaste for Hillary coudn’t be checked. I asked if that meant she was really undecided.
“Yes, actually I am.”
“So you’d listen to what Trump has to say?”
I hoped that she would — and that it would get her to think. What America needs at this moment is a 180-degree change in perspective — and the mathematics of making that happen seems next to impossible. How can people support a criminal baby-killer — unless they too have been conditioned since preschool to be vampire degenerates themselves?
After a quarter-century of Clinton-Bush-Obama, the globalist Wall Street triumverate, I had to agree with Cerno that going full circle to a Clinton again would basically kill us. Even her failing health wouldn’t stop it; she’d find a way to endure. They have pills and procedures for that. Rumors of her on-again, off-again benzedrine habit might be slightly exaggerated, but you have to admit it does help her cover up the unfolding parade of symptoms and side effects from the strokes. I think there’s only one YouTube right now showing her recent twitch-grin episodes where she comes off the high when still in public, and that cancer-hole in her tongue is normally pretty well hidden, but the mad drama of her spiraling health issues is still a shocker the American people might not be ready to deal with should she take office.
Like FDR before her, she’ll probably make great use of the wheelchair. Except hers will have fortified, orthopedic bedding that will make her appear, when not reclined, five full inches taller than the plump little Napoleon she is in real life. Bill’s job will be to stand behind her throne-bed in special low-profile geriatric loafers and push. Who says that justice is not always meted out in this life?
* * *
And let’s just get real here: I’m not a political guy. I hate the march of politics — the grotesque, horrible march, and the long bullhorn blare of it. It’s gross. Someone long ago observed how if the beauty queens and class stars all went for Hollywood first and big business second, politics was the retreat of the uglies. It makes sense. The game is ugly, but the emergence of the alt-right today is at least making for some kind of honest reckoning.
I came into all this back in January without knowing, or even caring, who Donald J. Trump even was. I just knew that what he was saying was already changing the game, and so the achievement record he’s already had since the beginning of this Ringling Bros. race beats anyone else who filled out the forms to run. He’s taken the spectre of political correctness — a moral and intellectual evil that I’ve had to endure my whole adult life — and lifted the sheet, showing everyone what we already know: there’s nothing there!
By doing so he’s made it powerless. No matter what, it’s done. This is way bigger than Kurt Cobain’s heartfelt guitar slop suddenly ending forever the glam and glitz of what came before him. The travesty of talented Kurt is that rock’s just a child’s drug, ultimately inconsequential. This, on the other hand, is the future of everything.
The most amazing thing about it is that we’ve only begun. There will be more than this week’s party. This is one of those special moments when you feel that anything’s possible — not just now, or in November, but for the rest of our lives. Who says that social media will even be a thing in the new year? It’s been around so long, it’s so stale; all it’ll take is an invention that surpasses the smartphone, and if Trump has his way that’ll happen — and it’ll be built in America.
Back at Central Command to watch Trump’s acceptance speech up close in front of the big TV, we all know that this grand finale of the convention is a moment of history going down. On the screen, Trump’s flashing alt-right Pepe signals all over the place.
“No wonder these people are so freaked out about Trump,” I say to the room. Several people had already been making shouts of, “Did you see that! Did you see that! There! He did it again!”
Even though it’s subliminal, people have got to be picking all these things up. They’ve gotta know. It’s all there right in the open; none of this is a secret anymore.
“So this is what it feels like to be on the inside ride at the dawn of a major coup and revolution,” I thought. I breathed deep. It was late after a long day in the twilight of the age, but I was surprised at how much I now felt awake.
This article was written by Michael Stutz. Read more at http://michaelstutz.net/.