8:12: Been watching Reince Priebus really stir up the crowd. Literally the only time they got excited was when he implied that Hillary should go to prison and the crowd got to do their inane bloodchant. The whole speech has described a Republican Party that doesn’t exist, and hasn’t existed for at least 50 years. Donald Trump will bring peace, prosperity, and make sure that kids have new clothes on their back when they go to school.
8:14: The Trump countdown just hit 1:00. What a sickening feeling. The darkness is really here. The most unqualified person ever nominated is also the worst person ever nominated. Nixon would be sickened by him, both because Trump is deeply unserious and far too insecure.
More after the jump.
8:18: The above image is from a movie called The Beginning of the End, a standard 50s nuclear radiation panic flick. I saw it, predictably, on MST3K. But it was actually pretty good. There was cheesiness, and some overacting, but there were also some gripping scenes, and decent special effects. It also took place in Illinois and Chicago, so it was neat to see.
Anyway, there were some scenes of genuine panic, and some gripping terror. It wasn’t the normal “monsters!”, but a lot of “where is our world going?” The people in it were dealing with the immediate terror of monsters, but also the idea that the world as we know it is over, that everything we held true is being ripped away, and that even if the threat is dealt with, the world will never be the same, and the horror will be with us for a long time.
Anyway, just sort of on my mind.
8:25: People love Thiel. He’s rich enough to give them a thrill even when he’s saying dumb shit. But when he says he’s gay and a Republican they love it. He can decry identity politics, which gives them cover. The millions of people who care about their identity are idiots, because this one incredibly rich dude doesn’t.
The speech wasn’t as bad as we thought. A lot of government doesn’t do well, and we wouldn’t accept that kind of incompetence in Silicon Valley, which is probably why there are no satires about foolishness and arrogant incompetence there, or about any private industry.
8:33: The sort of Las Vegas-y charming Tom Barrack, a longtime-friend and SuperPac founder, is giving a speech wherein he said that he doesn’t want to say anything negative about Hillary, just positive about Trump. This makes it the best speech. I mean that: it’s the only one that is really about Trump, and if you don’t think this guy is another rich shark, you will be extremely charmed. Hell, I’m charmed. I almost like Trump with this. Crowd isn’t totally sure what to do without the anti-Hillary stuff, though.
8:47: Lost the crowd for sure. But told great stories about helicopter flights to championship boxing matches. I thought he was really relatable, for a weird rich dude. He told the only personal stories we’ve heard so far about Trump, which is sort of telling. Way more personal than his wife or children told.
8:50: Long musical break. Crowd is getting anxious. I wonder, though, if they also have the Fear in their stomach. If any of them recognize that this is not right. That something is being born which should never have been. But they’re swept along in a sea of braying comrades and corny music and the knowledge that it’s too late to back out. So they cocoon into sunk-cost rationalization, rictus grins and jerky dances becoming a mask for self-hatred and terror. Or maybe they are all monsters. Honestly, no in-between.
8:54: A storm rolls into Chicago. Thunder roars across the sky as Jon Voight wrinkles his strange relevance onto the screen. The news says the rain might never stop.
9:05. It’s Ivanka time. There’s part of you that thinks she’s going to snap and say that she doesn’t think he should be President, right? But that’s only because you want to think the best of women, especially pretty ones, which says too much about you, I think. But then she says “he’s the people’s champion”. And it’s all over.
9:06: But let’s be honest: the “pretty blond who seems nice” is the reason most of these people are out of their seats.
9:10: The story is basically that Trump will hire anyone, not just white males. That’s really the whole thing.
9:13: She is very good, even when she says stuff about how he’ll implement equal wage for women. The crowd applauds, as they know they have to, because if not it’ll look bad. She’s giving them cover. It’s a dangerous and mendacious speech.
9:17: Oh god, it’s happening. Trump is being announced as the nominee. Donald Trump. What the hell? How is this happening? Where is the world we once knew?
9:19: You ever read The End Of The World News by Anthony Burgess? Now you don’t have to. The screeching tenor is burned into your eyes.
9:31: Going full white nationalist. It sounded better in the original Father Coughlin.
9:46: “Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it.” Fucking seriously? Didn’t they say Obama was arrogant? This is the most strongman major speech in American history.
9:47: “Bernie voters will vote for me.” Don’t prove him right, ok?
9:50: He moves from Bernie to Pence and then back to crime and law enforcement in about eight sentences. He can’t avoid it. No matter what, he moves to divide whites from everyone else. This is maybe the third time he’s said “Law and Order”, followed by a “believe me, believe me”. It’s absolute cult of personality.
9:53: Move from “Obama is divisive”, which is code for “coddles blacks and Mexicans” to “everyone will be treated equally.” That sounds good, but to the audience, in that context, means “whites first again, folks”.
10:00: Now we’re on to the anti-refugee part, continuing lying about vetting process, the most strict in the world. It’s not even a fudge, or barely a lie. It’s a venomous counter-reality, a world dappled with funhouse mirrors and Clockwork-masked lunatics running around with raping swords drawn. Incredible. This is worse than I had imagined.
10:02: “Anyone who endorses violence, hatred or oppression is not welcome in our country and never will be.” What?
10:13: This actually has details, sort of, the trade stuff. A lot of trade deals were terrible. But it’s also nonsense. “I’ll make better deals. Believe me.”
10:23: Crowd keeps starting a new “yes you will” chant. That could be interpreted as an order, but it isn’t. It’s fucking faith. It’s the subsumption of belief and personality into the ubermensch, in this case a weak-chinned nonsense weakling.
10:35: “I am your voice” isn’t humble, certainly less so than “I’m with her.” It’s the channel of authoritarians. This was the darkest speech ever, and the longest. It was a vision of America divided by color and fear. It poisoned the world with venom. And it’s over. The families are out with stilted hugs and kisses, a complete disconnect. Barron just shrugged off his father’s touch. No one seems happy. They know what’s been unleashed. There’s like 200 balloon and an AHL-championship level worth of confetti. “All Right Now” plays dumbly. Welcome to Trump’s America. We’re firmly in it now.
10:44: During the “bask in applause” section, everyone looked distinctly uncomfortable, like the families at a tense wedding saying an exhausted goodnight to their hated guests. People somehow singing along to “You can’t always get what you you want”. Not even realizing the bleakness of it. It’s over now. Tomorrow we wake to a bleaker dawn. The inevitability of his car crash doesn’t make the whiplash any less severe. This is happening, and the only thing to try to do is defeat it. Goodnight.