“The president is best understood not as a figure who harkens back to the distant past, evokes other lands, or foreshadows the future, but one who is representative of this very moment in America, where media overload is destroying the sense of a shared public reality.
In examining Trump as a product of our unique epoch, one of the sharpest analytical tools available is the theory of postmodernism, developed in the 1970s and 1980s by a host of theorists—perhaps most famously by Fredric Jameson, the polymathic Duke University literary scholar.
…For Jameson, postmodernism meant the birth of ‘a society of the image or the simulacrum and a transformation of the ‘real’ into so many pseudoevents.’ Befitting the ‘postliteracy of the late capitalist world,’ the culture of postmodernism would be characterized by ‘a new kind of flatness or depthlessness, a new kind of superficiality in the most literal sense’ where ‘depth is replaced by surface’
…For Baudrillard, ‘the perfect crime’ was the murder of reality, which has been covered up with decoys (‘virtual reality’ and ‘reality shows’) that are mistaken for what has been destroyed. ‘Our culture of meaning is collapsing beneath our excess of meaning, the culture of reality collapsing beneath the excess of reality, the information culture collapsing beneath the excess of information—the sign and reality sharing a single shroud,’ Baudrillard wrote in The Perfect Crime (1995).
The Trump era is rich in such unreality. The president is not only a former reality-show star, but one whose fame is based more on performance than reality”
If nothing penetrates these surfaces, this empty show of a view; a view of signs on the walls one and the same with the world that holds the sign up – I would be sorely remiss to not make myself the spade that begins to dig the start of an eras depths.