Now lest you think I searched for the scariest, dopiest picture I could find… not so! This is the one Rupert Murdoch’s News.com is currently using to top its feed Republican National Convention, day three: Ted Cruz, Newt Gingrich and Mike Pence feature.
Thanks to ABC News 24 we have been, if we chose, exposed to more of this American circus than we ever wanted to know. I watched quite a bit of it yesterday and wondered if it was real. Reality TV? A Nuremberg rally? A mix of the two? Or a remake of Citizen Kane? And so I was drawn back to some of the genuine touchstones of 20th century American culture, for which I am duly grateful.
And I thought of this:
Death of a Salesman has always been gripping, but our current economic climate makes it all the more devastating for modern audiences. The dream of success remains the American Dream, but the idea that success is more likely to end in disappointment is a reality of our times. The notion that people are disposable is terribly difficult to swallow, but it’s true.
Every artist recognizes a little of Willy Loman in himself, and I don’t think my father is an exception. Willy is selling himself, but also a vision of himself. Essentially, he’s selling air. There’s no rock bottom for Willy. Any artist or businessman who makes something out of nothing has been there at one point or another.
That’s Arthur Miller’s daughter Rebecca on the great Death of a Salesman.
“Nobody dast blame this man. You don’t understand: Willy was a salesman. And for a salesman, there’s no rock bottom to the life. He don’t put a bolt to a nut, he don’t tell you the law or give you medicine. He’s a man way out there in the blue riding on a smile and a shoeshine. And when they start not smiling back—that’s an earthquake. And then you get yourself a couple spots on your hat and your finished. Nobody dast blame this man. A salesman has got to dream boy, it comes with the territory.”
“The only thing you got in this world is what you can sell.”
“When I was seventeen I walked into the jungle, and when I was twenty-one I walked out. And by God I was rich.”
Uncle Ben for President?
“And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.
Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And one fine morning——
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
Do I need to tell you that one?
And I am so so glad that our recent election was, comparatively speaking, free of some of the nauseating bullshit I witnessed on ABC News 24 yesterday. I am even rather pledging allegiance in gratitude to Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, and her heirs and successors. For one thing I look really dreadful in a red bandanna.
You really must read this fact-check: Donald Trump Promises Not To Lie, Right Before Lying A Bunch Of Times. Sadly, though, the subheading is too true: But don’t expect his supporters to care.
In news that will come as little surprise to anybody who has followed the campaign closely, Trump’s [acceptance] speech was littered with misleading claims and even a few flat-out untruths.
Some were obvious, like when he said, “America is one of the highest-taxed nations in the world.” It isn’t. In fact, according to statistics from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the U.S. is among the least-taxed nations in the world…
Of course, deception has been a hallmark of the Trump campaign. Independent, nonpartisan organizations like Politifact and Factcheck.org have called out Trump over and over again for his misrepresentations, many of them blatant and obvious.
Will Trump’s supporters care? Probably not.
And then I saw that wonderful Aussie marvel First Dog on the Moon: Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight and don’t bring facts to a Republican convention.
And then! Today’s Cathy Wilcox cartoon in the Sydney Morning Herald.