Friday, January 8, 2016


The estimable Charlie Pierce went to a Trump rally and wrote about it. The usual buttons were pushed, the proclamations of Trump's brilliance, the lack of actual policy: it was all there. But one thing CPP wrote hadn't occurred to me before: is the regular appearance and removal of protestors part of the performance? Will we someday find out they're plants?
... The crowds are edged with a startling amount of security, both public and private. There were cops from several towns on duty in Lowell, and a remarkable number of people in suits, wearing earplugs, but not wearing any Secret Service insignia. By my count, the event was interrupted five times by protesters. The protesters were curiously able to infiltrate the tight security, and their conspicuous removal became an integral part of the show. Their expulsion never failed to give He, Trump another rhetorical launching pad for some of the high-flown, winking contempt he shares for the Other with his crowd. It is what binds them to each other. "Get them out," he says, and everybody cheers...
It'd be perfect, wouldn't it? He's already bamboozled his followers with complete egotistical bullshit, lying prolifically, rambling about his own greatness, producing "policy" an inch wide and an inch deep. They love it. It's pretty much like pro-wrestling; so why not bring in the fake villains, too?

[Image source]


  1. The comparison of a Trump event (if not "event", what could it possibly be called?!?) to pro wrestling feels so right.

    When I was a kid, on Saturday night our family would sit around the TV to watch "Big Time Wrestling". We enjoyed it for the schlocky, fictional theater that it was, wanting the good guy to win and the bad guy to lose. Not once do I recall any of us believing that it was genuine and the outcome not scripted.

    But one time my father exclaimed that he had unsuccessfully tried to convince my grandmother that it was fake. She would have none of it. She loved the show and for her every slam, kick, blow, and head knock was real wrestling. My dad finally gave up.

    I was reading some of the comments on Pierce's blog this morning when my wife looked over my shoulder. She said, "Trump is like the Wizard of Oz." Except that when the curtain is pulled away, only we can see that he has no diplomas, testimonials, or medals to bestow. His followers are glued to their "Big Time Trump" show and every night is Saturday night.

  2. The wizard of Oz is a pretty good comparison, too!

  3. "Big Time Wrestling"

    Best NW shows. JP Patches etc. and "Big Time Wrestling" was awesome. Jesse the Body Ventura got his big break. Jimmy Superfly Snuka, Doink the Clown(Matt Borne), Rocky Johnson is "The Rock" Dwayne Johnsons' dad. As a 4th grader, it was a must see and it got me hooked on wrestling for the first time. I passed that down to my kids. The transformation aspect of those aged 8-12 from belief of what's real or not real I find fascinating and rewarding. Rowdy Roddy Piper and Ric Flair are my favorites and always will be.

    The Seattle Center Coliseum...and Totems games there too!

    What were we talking about?

  4. In high school, in Portland, I worked out at a gym used by the local pro-wrestlers, including (if I have his name right) Billy White Wolf. They were actually nice guys, mostly, and in great shape. They'd spend a lot of time looking at themselves in the mirrors, though.

  5. My pro wrestling days seem to be somewhat earlier than both yours and Smooth's. We watched Verne Gagne, Dick the Bruiser, the Crusher, the Sheik and a few others.

    I had to look up Billy White Wolf. His name at birth was Adnan Bin Abdulkareem Ahmed Al-kaissy El Farthie. Not sure what his politics might be, but even at the age of 76 years I'm certain that nobody would be able to throw him out of a Trump event if he didn't want to leave!

  6. What, no Gorgeous George, with his "Georgie pins?"

    I might have been wrong about it being Billy White Wolf. Tried to find another native American wrestler of that era from Portland OR, but haven't yet. The one I'm thinking of was, I think, from around there. However, in looking it up I saw a video of Ken Patera wrestling Billy; Ken and I played football together at Cleveland H.S. He was a year ahead of me, and a much better and fiercer athlete than me. We both did shot put, too; I wasn't close to him, who was state champ one year. He went on, I'm pretty sure, to be an Olympic thrower as well, and a professional competitive weight lifter.

    Don't know how it is that he ended up a pro wrestler. I think he had a couple of brushes with the law. Not as bright as he was strong. But I ran into him a few years ago and he was still scary buff.

  7. Yeah, we probably watched Gorgeous George, too.

    I remember a unit of wrestling in high school PE as a junior. For an introduction, the teacher had the four wrestlers in the class assume the down position. Then, in groups of four, each of us was put into the top position on one of the wrestlers. I got a friend who I outweighed by 10-15 pounds. I was in good shape, tensed and ready. But when the whistle blew I was flat on my back so fast that I had no idea how it happened! It was a good predictor of my grade for that unit.

  8. My dad used to take my sister and I - as very young kids - to "Wrasslin" (the New Orleans pronunciation) matches. At one event, Gorgeous George saw my sister (who happened to be sitting near where he entered the arena) and - with great fanfare - presented her with one of his pins.

    I believe she still has it.

    When you saw him, was he still spraying the ring with perfume before his match?

  9. I watched the end of Verne Gagne career and the start of Gregs' career. Dutch Savage. Moon Dogs, Bruno Samartino. My dad called it "rastlin'"


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