COMMUNIQUE 1-21-2021 "Bigus Trumpus"
How many of you have heard the Latin phrase “Damnatio memoriae”? If most of you say no, you’re right. That’s the entire idea. Translated, the phrase means “condemnation of memory” with the result being the person singled out for such shame and disgrace is to be removed from all official accounts, documents and inscriptions as if they never existed.
Kind of like super scrubbing the Internet for any and all images, mentions, posts, blogs, t-shirts and memes. Very 1984ish if you ask me, except the practice probably began in the Western World in the 13th Century.
For the most part, I would argue that utilizing Damnatio memoriae in the modern era has the capability of doing as much harm as good. When we use phrases such as “Never Again” or “Never Forget”. Well Damnatioing someone would be counterproductive, as the idea of blotting out all references would leave nothing to remember, on purpose, wouldn’t it?
The historian in me leans toward the most documentation possible and with an accurate as possible portrait of the scoundrel and his or her dirty deeds. Is it wrong to believe future generations can handle the mistakes of the past? Learn from them and then go on to greater heights in part because we know what mistakes not to repeat? I would think so.
But, then there is Trump, or perhaps shortly, He Who Should Not Be Named (HWSNBN), something akin to Lord Voldemort, but unlike Lord V, Trump was real and unlike Harry Potter, none of us had a magic wand to make the villain go away. So, let’s try it, shall we?
What would happen if we simply removed HWSNBN from our history? My first question would be how do we account for our 45th president? Could we make up a story about the number 45 being very much a taboo presidential number? The 13th Floor of a building comes to mind. There simply never was one.
Would it be enough to simply state to those who remember, “we don’t speak of that and neither should you”? Sounds a bit on the silly side, but somehow when applied to HWSNBN, it does have a certain allure, and perhaps even practicality?
I mean, let’s get honest here, what good was HWSNBN? What did HWSNBN do other than foment hatred, fear, fill in your favorite two or three –isms, discord and division for nothing more than personal gain. Remember, it’s not like we have never experienced deceit, divisiveness, corruption and destruction of American institutes of government, but just not on HWSNBN level.
Is it wrong to want to forget the HWSNBN who would have been King? Who would have uprooted all of what we cherish as Americans? In return for if I may look back for a moment, the chance to build a luxury hotel in Moscow, or perhaps even on a previously deserted pristine beach in North Korea? If I may, do your really believe HWSNBN ever cared about nuclear disarmament on the Korean Peninsula?
Assuming HWSNBN even knew about the nuclear threat Kim Jung Un and his insane regime posed, would he have ever done anything directly about it? HWSNBN had the chance, did I miss something?
No, I’m of the mind that another hotel with the HWSNBN brand, in a new country where all the rich North Koreans and outsiders who are never welcome could stay meaning, pretty useless and a sure bet for bankruptcy, if they have that concept in North Korea, I think they just shoot you for financial incompetence and making the emperor look bad, right?
And if that wasn’t enough, a virtually untouched by humanity beachfront to pollute with people, noise, garbage and all of the deleterious delights of modern throw away everything life to boot? Why I bet HWSNBN couldn’t wait to get the “environmental impact” report from North Korean officials, complete with an asbestos waiver for good measure.
I don’t know about you, but this anonymous thing is going down damn easy, wouldn’t you say? Why I do indeed appear to be having a cathartic experience of untold wonderment right about now. HWSNBN what was he good for? Absolutely nothing! Say it again! Add in a little Motown, and there you have it. The Undisputed Truth.
But here’s a funny question you might wish to ponder. If “Damnatio memoriae” was effective, how come we know about it? And for the most part who was the object of ridicule and scorn? The short answer would be those damn historians who just refuse to leave well enough alone. Even if they are wrong, which they often indeed are.
If you are of the belief that we would never do this in America, believe again for I have a relatively modern day example to share. You tell me how well it worked. Although notching a few victories while still a general in the Revolutionary Army, after the war, any recognition of Benedict Arnold’s participation was removed from several conspicuous monuments, the most famous being his removal from the list of victorious generals from the Battle of Saratoga. Yet, we all know Benedict Arnold, don’t we?
He was a traitor and after sending secrets to the British while “still in office” he eventually, thinking the cause for freedom doomed to failure, joined the ranks of the British Army. So, this leads me to my next alternative if vanishing from history is a no go.
What if, as with Benedict Arnold and treason, we turned Trump into an iconic name for
well, take your pick or prick. Or how about “Well that’s nothing but a big fat Trump”! This seems rather fitting as he was both a pathological liar, as well as big and fat. Reflecting of his status as a clearly documented Pathological Liar and for usage as a verb? As in “He’s Trumping it again”.
I’m been Trumped! Fill in your own _________ and do your worst you monster trouble maker you. The possibilities are quite lengthy I assure you. In the abstract, the best question to ask when dealing with Trump, what would be the most beneficial to our progress forward?
I feel it only fitting that if his royal flubbery tubbiness the first could still be at all useful, if for nothing else correcting at least some of his direct involvement in the sacking of democracy, it would be fair game to use or abuse his name as necessary.
Here’s an idea, how about reducing his to a symbol? Should I be called on to design just such imagery that associates most immediately with the Trump regime, my choice would be a tiny finger attached to an orange faced stringy hair monstrosity trying to stick his mangled middle digit up someone’s ask me later.
This, I sincerely believe would serve as ample warning to future generations to come. I mean, if the Trump years didn’t remind you of a perpetually prolonged for four years proctology exam, exactly, where were you? As always, if you have a better suggestion, at least I’m all ears.
As it should be for now is a time of thinking, reflection and hopefully listening. To work together is a two-way street that requires both communication and understanding. Without listening, giving the other person a chance to speak, there will be as a guaranteed conclusion, absolutely neither and the disconnection and yes, hostilities will go on.
Until we stop, breathe, and listen and decide, perhaps there is no one best way, but there are areas on which we can agree, so let’s choose that one and see where it goes? Shall we?
For once united in both spirit and deeds, there is but one way, the American way, there is absolutely nothing that we can’t achieve, together. You in?
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