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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

curated: Trump’s misunderstanding of ‘Game of Thrones’ is totally emblematic of our culture today

Great piece by James Poniewozik in The New York Times on how “‘Game of Thrones’ Does Not Say What Donald Trump Thinks It Does.” A taste:

Mr. Trump is a fan of tough-guy imagery, and he, or whoever makes his memes, probably just liked the idea of depicting himself as the patriarch of House Trump — First of His Name, Protector of the Realm — going medieval on national security.

However, he might not like what “Game of Thrones” actually has to say about leadership in general, and walls in particular.

Certainly Mr. Trump could find role models on the show. It involves the rise to dominance of a cunning, wealthy family that doles out power positions to relatives and has a penchant for gold. (Although there is some question as to whether Mr. Trump, like the Lannisters, pays his debts.)

And yes, looming over the whole thing, there is — or was — a great, big, beautiful wall. But it was never intended to keep out people.


As with everything else Trump-ish, of course, those who hate Trump already know what an idiot he is, and those who love him won’t care. They won’t even listen to this. Trump and his fans are not tuned in to metaphor — even when it’s so blatant that it’s pretty much text, not subtext. That sort of thing is for experts and intellectuals, who are not to be trusted.

This is true of many pop-culture fans (judging by some of the comments I get here). They not only fail to see the forest for the trees, they deny the forest exists. As long as some meathead is making the trees blow up real good, that’s all they see and all they want to see.

Trump is absolutely, 100-percent emblematic of a culture that not only denies intellectualism, but denies things like context and reflection and self-awareness. People either don’t know how to think about anything, or they are afraid of doing so and hence unwilling.

Neither is a very comfortable, er, thought.

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