So what triggered you to make a Trump painting?
Well, it started with Trump labeling CNN, Clinton Network News during the campaign. Then once he was closing the deal on the presidency, he switched to calling it Fake News. I thought this was pretty funny since it was so unorthodox for a politician to attack the news directly. Then Trump held a press conference and finally he allowed CNN to post a question, but first asking why he insisted on making fun of CNN. Keep in mind that CNN was about 1 hour behind calling Trump as president, exposing their clear preference and lack of objectivity. So he then answered their question and then responded, "and you're not Fake News, your'e very Fake News" talking about the Russian influence of the election that has been spun in the 24/7 news cycle.
Do you think he will be an autocrat?
It's early days and the rest of of the judicial and legislation seem to be keeping Trump within the normal bounds of Executive Power. That said during the campaign, he did use the following quote from Mussolini:
I think it was kind of a subtle pass to white racists to gain their vote, cause more controversy and gain more press coverage. He definitely got more free press coverage as well, playing up to their own silliness of Fake News.
Of course, it is a bit concerning of a great power leader quoting former Mussolini. The last leader that likely quoted Mussolini was Hitler. That being said, I did read "The Art of the Deal" and there's no racism in the book at all. He could have cleverly expunged his thought or he just wasn't so crazy in his statements in books.
Have you seen other cultural events about the rise of Trump?
One of the recent plays I saw was called the "Sisters Matsumoto" concerning a Japanese-American family rejoining society after living in the Japanese Internment Camps that FDR put into order with Executive Order 9066. It really dealt with the loyalty of these citizens as they kind of turned on each other in the camps blaming the pro-Japanese against the pro-American elements. Of course, most of the racism was underlying before Pearl Harbor, but that even drew the public to extreme paranoia. Many Japanese-Americans lost their homes and businesses in forced fire sales.
One of the topics of the play was that originally the theme was a historical look-back, but after Trump used very harsh anti-immigrant language, he has hyped up the paranoia to muslim immigrants coming from Syria. So now the feel of the play is maybe of a warning to future generations to watch out for increasing paranoia.
Another great event I saw tonight was Bassam Yousseff. He discussed the development of the Arab Spring, which came about likely a bit from his sarcastic show on Youtube that eventually became a TV show. After Mubarak, came Morsi, who then got thrown out to be replaced by Morsi, basically another military dictatorship. The funny part was how each regime talked of a grand conspiracy of multiple countries against Egypt, sexual deviants in the protesters and general drunkenness or drug use.
An interesting thing he noted before his show was cancelled was that Sisi was branding onto any type of product: cooking shows, paper towels, underwear and even chocolate. He drew parallels to Trump branding many things and is now President, so a bit scary considering Sisi is a new dictator of Egypt.
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