Trump de l’oeil

14 Apr

Trompe de loeil

(Trompe de l’oeil is an art technique that creates the optical illusion that the depicted objects exist in three dimensions. Literally “trick the eye.”)

That Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s appeal is one-dimensional hardly needs saying, however, what is worth remarking is his ability to deceive supporters into thinking he has depth. Trump makes astoundingly ludicrous statements, but he makes them with the faux moral authority of the extremely wealthy in a world in which the possession of wealth is in itself a signifier of moral substance deserving of respect. As with our own Malcolm Turnbull, if a man or woman manages to accrue enough money, it is assumed that he or she is capable of running a country.

Trump possesses the talent required of all successful propagandists: to make one-dimensional, exclusionary and divisive statements resound with the ring of deep truth, in the style of a painting intended to mislead with a convincing illusion of reality.

As Trump’s popularity rises and rises in the US , a woman can be forgiven for questioning the usefulness of a representative democracy that permits a blatantly disturbed majority the opportunity to determine a country’s governance.

Trump hates women, that is to say, he loves women until we cross him, sometimes entirely inadvertently by not physically presenting as he thinks women ought, and then he hates us. He has unresolved issues with menstruation: he thinks it makes us mentally incapacitated, homicidal, and disgusting as well.

It is actually possible to purchase from a US website panties, or what we more comfortably refer to as knickers to wear during our time of the month, that feature Trump’s face on the crutch so we can bleed on him. I’m conflicted. I get the satisfaction of bloodying Trump’s dial, but at the same time, having that dial nestled against my lady bits? I don’t know. It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, she’s on the rag.

As a trompe de l’oeil politician Trump is, sadly, far from unique.  Failed Prime Minister Tony Abbott is an outstanding example of one-dimension striving for the illusion of multiplicity. This explains his bizarre use of three-word slogans, yes it does, one for each dimension, you know I’m right.

I doubt current Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull varies greatly in his capacity for perspective, though he claims to be agile, innovative, and what’s the third one?

Trompe de l’oeil has largely fallen out of favour as an art form, except when used ironically on the walls of cramped inner city gardens. Unfortunately, it has become many politicians’ favoured method of operation,  as one after the other they abandon all remaining substance, replacing it with the illusion/delusion of eye-tricking depth.

As Baudrillard would have it, we live in the time of simulation, of references with no referents. Trump is the face of this hyperreality: bleeding on it may well be our only option.




43 Responses to “Trump de l’oeil”

  1. paul walter April 14, 2016 at 6:45 pm #

    Just back from the shops and my reward for virtue is this flawless piece.

    So many funny ideas come from the US Bible belt about women. You are alleged to be secretly able to control your fertility.. if you are raped and pregnant it is because deep down you wanted it, probably out of an intrisic spitfulness toward some man The virtue police will make sure you can’t get an abortion, a bit like what happened with Abyan, the refugee woman raped and impregnated at our Nauru detention centre.

    The pregnancy trick is a part from your crafty initiatings of menstrual activity at just the time the man comes to claim his due. I suppose it’s why it called men-strual phenomena.

    Women should consider buying knickers with pics of snags, then you could imagine a good head job instead, while you are suffering the consequences of your unfortunate and rugged fertility cycles….

    What a fizzer and worse Turnbull has been. Gone is the mild, considered and reasonable chap of Abbott times, now we have a more dangerous Abbott, one not belled.

    Liked by 1 person

    • paul walter April 14, 2016 at 6:56 pm #

      Here is a film clip that captures the ambience of this thread…


    • Sam Jandwich April 14, 2016 at 9:24 pm #

      What did you buy from the shops Paul Walter? I want some!

      Tonight all I bought was tequila and cointreau, and as a result I’m just feeling cheeky and that I need to brush my teeth…

      … mmmmtpphhh, and BTW in my estimation the correct term is “trompe l’œil” –œil/79914

      Whereas “trompe de l’oeil” would mean a trick that our own eye, or even the universal “eye” (e.g. Big Brother’s eye), plays on you or someone else… or perhaps even a mistake that your eye has made… like seeing Tony Abbott in the flesh and thinking he looks like a nice guy!

      I tell you what though, I kind of agree with a recent SMH column I read, that the best possible thing that could happen is for Trump to win preselection for the Republicans… since his main rival Ted Cruz is even more of a hawkish extremist zealot than Trump, or even George W., and would have a better chance of beating Hilary Clinton in a two-way stoush.

      Personally I’m rooting for the ghost of Gore Vidal, for President! Or can’t they just extend Obama till they find someone else half as decent??

      Liked by 1 person

      • paul walter April 14, 2016 at 9:55 pm #

        Sam J, the true creative person is able to offer up such pearls as I forward without the need for even a drop, although am told myriad substances can add to the *joy* of cooking.

        Gore Vidal..that is dangerous. You are suggesting a worldy wise man of intellect.

        Elisabeth Warren knew what her hopes were, as a rational human being and didnt even bother trying.

        Clinton remains a narrow default, because unlike the other coprporates she is still rational enough to appoint real world Supreme Court judges and this is the first step to the US climbing out of the Dark Ages pit the right has cast them into.

        In the meantime, carry on. Don’t even think of tomorrow morning..

        Liked by 2 people

        • paul walter April 14, 2016 at 9:59 pm #

          For all that, I didn’t mention Bernie Sanders. In the end he will be president and cop a bullet, or more likely remain, like Warren, a high-profile handbreak on, Clintons tendencies toward neoliberalism.

          If one of the rethugs gets in, book your tickets and head for the first flight to Alpha Centauri.

          Liked by 1 person

        • samjandwich April 14, 2016 at 10:28 pm #

          Aainngh, I’ve never thought of myself as remotely creative. Even my job title says “policy analyst”. ’nuff said!

          re cooking, I rarely recommend sauvignon blanc these days since the New Zealanders have succeeded in making most of them taste like petrol, but for a paella it’s hard to beat.

          For drinking I prefer Margaritas, though my alarm’s set for 6.03am!

          Bernie Sanders… we live in hope.

          But you still haven’t told us what you bought from the shops!!


          • paul walter April 15, 2016 at 1:27 am #

            What makes you think it was from the shops? What makes you think it came from anywhere…if there was an “it”.

            As you see, I am just a cheerful naif, content with simple and homely things.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Jennifer Wilson April 15, 2016 at 10:52 am #

            I say, that’s a bit harsh tho I do agree their sav blanc can be overrated.


            • paul walter April 16, 2016 at 8:27 am #

              Hey, Sam Jandwich, you are saying you enjoyed my musical interlude?

              Nest time you have a belt of Tequila, have a listen to this:

              Stumbled across them by accident and after a few months the novelty is wearing off but will advise the tracks are from their Dark Side of The Chant clip, an hour and half of rather fun Gothic music.

              Liked by 1 person

      • Jennifer Wilson April 15, 2016 at 10:48 am #

        Bloody hell. I like tromp de l’oeil


        • paul walter April 16, 2016 at 9:16 am #

          Yes, and if you do listen to Gregorian, for a coming down after parallel to Beethoven’s lullaby following the storm in his Pastoral symphony, is Joni Mitchell, maybe Song for a Seagull or some of Hejira.

          As for the track I included, wipe the last minute, it is only the drummer noodling.


  2. 8 Degrees of Latitude April 14, 2016 at 6:49 pm #

    Trump is an excrescence. A real one. Not simply a visual artifice, Trump d’oeil, as you so brilliantly characterise him. Moreover, he is a real menace as opposed to being merely an irritant like Tony Credlin (or was it Peta Abbott – hard to recall now).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. doug quixote April 14, 2016 at 7:10 pm #

    I have as yet no fear of a Trump presidency. Polls show him losing to Hillary and also to Bernie, and the Republicans know it. They are desperate to head off this losing candidate.

    Enjoy the ride.

    Liked by 1 person

    • paul walter April 14, 2016 at 7:55 pm #

      Their trouble is that, in trotting out the almost as weird Cruz, who is the establishment preferred candidate, they risk rupturing their moribund party between Tea Party zealots and illiterates and the old Ivy League Born to Rules.

      Our tories have this difficulty a little, as the feud between the Abbott/Nats haystalks faction and the neoliberals festers.

      Liked by 2 people

      • doug quixote April 15, 2016 at 7:43 pm #

        I agree. Cruz is a religious nutter, weirder than Trump in my view. Trump is doing it for his ego and his megalomania; Cruz thinks God is on his side and whatever he does is therefore right and proper.

        The third candidate, Kasich, seems like a reasonable human being. The strange US system may yet see him become the nominee if Trump cannot get a majority of the delegates by the time of the Convention.

        Liked by 1 person

        • paul walter April 15, 2016 at 10:49 pm #

          And look how far Kasich has been behind the nutters and stooges.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. townsvilleblog April 15, 2016 at 8:21 am #

    The USA has been dumbed down since before any of us can remember, they began their experiment on Australia 70 years ago. Since then we have been trained to laugh at their ridiculous attempts as jokes, and believe that unregulated capitalism is better than sliced bread. Our tories of course support anything that dumbs down the general population so they can get on with the economic rape of Australians and paying zero taxes. It is noticeable that the current leaks in the federal budget are targeting smokers and high end superannuation but not a word about changing the corporate laws to force corporate Australia to pay a ‘fair share’ of tax. Even in the face of 40% of corporate Australia paying no tax at all and hundreds more paying from 5% down to zero, the tories will do absolutely nothing and hope it all fades with time, it is up to us to keep the issue alive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson April 15, 2016 at 10:54 am #

      Very well put, Townsville.
      And yes, we have to keep the issue alive.


    • doug quixote April 16, 2016 at 8:25 am #

      I can remember their major dumbing down. Its name was Reaganism and it still holds sway amongst the rightists, and anyone silly enough to listen to them.

      Liked by 1 person

        • doug quixote April 16, 2016 at 10:43 pm #

          Wow! It is so good.

          A small extract:

          “Interest payments, overwhelmingly, are a transfer of money from the poor to the rich. As property prices and the withdrawal of state funding load people with debt (think of the switch from student grants to student loans), the banks and their executives clean up.

          “Sayer argues that the past four decades have been characterised by a transfer of wealth not only from the poor to the rich, but within the ranks of the wealthy: from those who make their money by producing new goods or services to those who make their money by controlling existing assets and harvesting rent, interest or capital gains. Earned income has been supplanted by unearned income.

          “Neoliberal policies are everywhere beset by market failures. Not only are the banks too big to fail, but so are the corporations now charged with delivering public services. As Tony Judt pointed out in Ill Fares the Land, Hayek forgot that vital national services cannot be allowed to collapse, which means that competition cannot run its course. Business takes the profits, the state keeps the risk.”

          A lot of the article is what Bob Ellis has been getting at in much of his work over many years.

          We want, we need, we must have a new solution.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. townsvilleblog April 15, 2016 at 8:24 am #


    Consumers fear budget from the Townsville Bulletin 13.04.16 yes that is very true especially for lowly paid workers in retail and pensioners who despite sacrificing all the luxuries of life are waiting with trepidation for the May3 budget from Treasurer Morrison. We are already bracing ourselves for the payment of blood tests, Pap smear tests and X-Rays and the like to come into effect shortly, and wondering what more we can sacrifice so as to be able to pay for these standard Medicare items which were previously funded by our payment of the Medicare levy.

    It is no wonder that the consumer confidence survey is down for a fourth straight week and if further assaults on the poor are released in the federal budget I don’t see what businesses are so happy about, as consumers will not have the cash to splash on keeping them wealthy, in fact the less money we consumers have to spend, the more likely we will not visit a business, and therefore their income will also be badly affected.


    Shaun Newman

    Liked by 1 person

  6. FA April 15, 2016 at 10:41 am #

    I disagree with this. Look at Trump’s actions: He has always been happy to appoint women to powerful positions, and many of the women who have worked with him say he was a good mentor. Indeed, in the 80s, he was the first to appoint a women to head a construction project. While he certainly says things that can be interpreted as sexist, I think it is the difference between someone who says all the right things, but in personal interactions is clearly misogynistic. There are, after all, endless articles by women claiming they hate dating “male feminists” because of the way they act. Personally, I think it’s better to have someone who says sexist things, but acts in a fair, equalist manner, than vice versa.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson April 15, 2016 at 10:46 am #

      Your last sentence utterly baffles me. If you say sexist things you aren’t acting in a fair, equalist manner.


      • paul walter April 15, 2016 at 12:20 pm #

        I’d have though Bernie Sanders would have been a possibility as a role model for respectful behaviour.

        Liked by 1 person

      • paul walter April 15, 2016 at 11:49 pm #

        Sexism and misogyny. Are the two outwardly different referentials underlyingly the same?

        The nearest I can come to for an analogy would be schooldays racism. You could get much banter about race, but in the end it depended on whether you had a sense of proportion,
        kept it light and didn’t dummy-spit spit if the target came back with a good then moved on as a group still, probably off to do nuisance value for someone outside of your claque.

        But you could get someone who actually took it to heart. The choco in the gang was actually felt to be the scoundrel others trusted because they knew he was a underlyingly a mate and being choco, well that was just him, like being fat or freckled. If you couldn’t get the negative nonsense out of a person, the group would eventually split and if the choco was the better guy you hanged out with him rather than the drone who couldn’t get past it.

        Isn’t it how a remark is intended and received? Banter can be ok if its a tact, consensual sort of thing, as some times happens here between Jennifer Wilson and her small posse of drones.

        DQ, just picking a name out of the blue, has a little dig at Guinevere, Guinevere, being quick on her feet will fire back one of her own, but I haven’t seen blood on the tracks for it, rather, I see how a loose friendship, a consensual thing, works.

        But were someone to turn a dig into a heartfelt insult based on a blinkered outlook at Jennifer and furthermore persist despite getting cues to lay off, then it is darker and nothing constructive happens: in this case Jennifer, I think would eyeball roll at the obtuseness and suddenly recall that a coffee with another friend say, earlier put on hold, is suddenly an improving proposition. Who will be happier, for it?

        The better emotionally and intellectually resourced person with “wherewithal”, probably thus a higher status person won’t lose. It is the chip on the shoulder person who instead finds themselves alone recalcitrant and disconsolate, athough the Iagos of this world do untold harm if not detected.

        Digressed so far..I think Trump uses women and likes to stoush with them but I would wonder is he the only type. What if there is a second type who hates rather than avoids, is conquered by the subjectivity and would wait in a dark place with a billy club for the offending woman. If such types do exist, which is the misogynist and which a sexist?


        • paul walter April 16, 2016 at 8:10 am #

          Actually, with the hindsight of a bit of sleep I’ve changed my impression of what turns out to be an increasingly important thread starter, if you follow through on what I think is the logic.

          At AIM there is a debate going on the posting of the thread there.

          At the centre is a poster called ImagiNation who is considered by others to be to pessimistic, but this from George Monbiot

          gave me a context for experiencing the real power of Jennifer Wilson’s thread starter and what it, I beleive, is really seeking from readers.

          Ive sore eyes and have a epíphany post up at AIM, but these very sore eyes and the fear that I get things out of context after finding a solution I’m comfortable with, means I’ll commend readers to the AIM thread if they wonder at my thinking.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Jennifer Wilson April 16, 2016 at 10:15 pm #

            Ah, I see you’ve already linked to Monbiot, PW.


            • paul walter April 16, 2016 at 11:26 pm #

              It’s fortuitous that the Monbiot arrived at this, of all times.

              Another unexpected benefit, particularly in reference to the other thread,has been the freeing up that came form that led to the coming to mind of Barthes and Myth Today and the observation that, “..the bourgeoisie always remain obscure..” from years ago, in relation to both threads.

              Liked by 1 person

      • FA April 18, 2016 at 11:01 am #

        What I mean is I don’t really care if Trump calls Rosie O’Donnell ugly, or that Carly Fiorina has a face no one could vote for. What matters is that when it comes to how he acts, Trump is happy to promote whoever he thinks is most capable, regardless of gender. That is better than someone who passes the “non-sexist” Turing Test by merely saying the right things, but not living it.


        • paul walter April 18, 2016 at 12:21 pm #

          Youve gotta admit, someof these deep south and midwestern Tea Party types are a very freaky proposition..there is a real sense of underlying brutality that emanates from the Bible Belt.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Jennifer Wilson April 18, 2016 at 8:02 pm #

          Ok, FA, we’ll have to agree to disagree.


  7. doug quixote April 16, 2016 at 8:21 am #

    Paul, there is a difference between sexism and misogyny – rather well explained here:

    Liked by 1 person

    • paul walter April 16, 2016 at 8:29 am #

      Can you be both?

      Liked by 1 person

      • paul walter April 16, 2016 at 8:43 am #

        Actually DQ, that is a neat addition. It doesn’t explore the origins of the phenomena though, that’s for another day, by the look.

        I would say, by the definitions, that I would be a candidate for being sexist which means misogyny is probably a component of me also.

        Sad in a way, I often love, like and enjoy women, why my mother was one, after all.. I do try to be fair, sometimes.

        Maybe there is more to it, but that will have to be be for another day.

        I’m already thinking of Greer and essentialism and it’s too early in the day to get my brain in a knot over that the problem of essentialism this early in the day.

        Liked by 1 person

        • doug quixote April 16, 2016 at 10:53 pm #

          Probably few men of our generation could escape it, Paul; it is how things were 40 or 50 years ago. Many of the jokes are funny enough, though perhaps not to a radfem. But you and I “get it” these days – sharing such jokes is like sneaking out the back to try out illicit drugs. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • paul walter April 16, 2016 at 11:17 pm #

            Guilty pleasures.

            Am deeply grieved for the radfem sister’n

            I, of course, know nothing of such things as those of which your speak.

            But you are right, the jokes of our time were sometimes crass and fierce and a bin is now the best place for the worst ones.. knowing women better over time, it is sad to think of the pain I may have bought a few female friends.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Jennifer Wilson April 18, 2016 at 7:48 pm #



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