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Life with Shape-Changers & "Liminality"

Posted on July 25, 2018 at 9:50 AM

It's a dark and cold wintry day in Norway. The sun rises about 9:30 a.m. and we're lucky - we're not up north. The sun goes down about 3:30 pm. It's not dark immediately, but then again, since when we say "The sun is up," we mean we can see it resting on the southern hillsides in the distance at high noon. You get the picture. It's a strange and forbidding routine, the landscape reflecting the quiet and independent spirits of the people, despite the desolation and loneliness,

A dark and cold year has also just passed in the U.S., full of blowing and bombastic egotisism, sociopathic soliloquies delivered in 140 words more, Twitter tweets, threaded together for the sake of emphasizing brutality, discrimination, rage, and designed, it seems, to foster momentum as much as anything.

From Trump's Day 1 as President, I, like millions of other Americans and citizens of the world, watched in horror as he unfolded one discriminatory position and action after another, all designed to foster his 'base' which, to be honest, is not the poor and unemployed he claims to serve, but the rich and well-connected. My own resistance movement began by telling him, surprisingly, to 'Shut Up' when he tweeted something ridiculous after becoming President. Surely, I thought, this man would realize he was driving a hard bargain by lighting up hatred and division via the globe's transparent but emphatically social media paths. Finally, I offered to run for President  - in 4 years, not eight. I would run as a Republican or as a Democrat. I've been both in the past. I blamed the Mercer's and their rich and Jewish enclave for inciting more middle-Eastern hatred and division than already exists, while supporting occupiers against the occupied and for funding a madman, Mr. Bannon, to run Trump's campaign rhetoric values into the highly religious realm of right-wing hysteria.

Enough. We've all had enough already.

Now it's time to find out where we are. Where is that?

Why, it's in a state of "liminality".  What is that? (Forgive me, I'm heavy-lifting):

"In anthropology, liminality (from the Latin word līmen, meaning "a threshold"[1]) is the quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of rituals, when participants no longer hold their pre-ritual status but have not yet begun the transition to the status they will hold when the ritual is complete. During a ritual's liminal stage, participants "stand at the threshold" between their previous way of structuring their identity, time, or community, and a new way, which the ritual establishes.

The concept of liminality was first developed in the early 20th century by anthropologist Arnold van Gennep and later taken up by Victor Turner.[2] More recently, usage of the term has broadened to describe political and cultural change as well as rituals.[3] During liminal periods of all kinds, social hierarchies may be reversed or temporarily dissolved, continuity of tradition may become uncertain, and future outcomes once taken for granted may be thrown into doubt.[4] The dissolution of order during liminality creates a fluid, malleable situation that enables new institutions and customs to become established.[5]" (See www.definitions.net and other web resources.)"

And now I'm seeing signs of liminality entering into the American political debate.

I'm impressed with how well CNN, for example, is embracing a broad-based analysis of daily events. The Washington Post and New York Times are also showing continual innovation in covering the multiple strands of the modern political American drama in Washington D.C., federal offices across the land, and American Embassies around the globe.

I'm also blown away by the level of subterfuge infecting the Republican party itself, and the level of sheer shell-game and con-artist activity being conducted shamelessly and abusively in, around and on everyone surrounding Trump, his Department heads, his advisors and his media apologists.

It's time to recognize a new truth: Trump is a Shape-Changer, one that has used the Shape-changer model of behavior all of his life to: get what he wanted, do what he wanted, and say what he wanted.

His mental health is unstable, and his behavior is not only unpresidential, but not that of an enlightened human being in our world today.

He does not embrace the values that would bring him to act in a way that supports his actual Presidential duties, which he alternately glowers over, demanding glory and expressive praise from the pathetically-stationed talents that he's corralled into office, and disgustingly rejects, descending into Trumpian tantrums surrounding small slights - for example, in the ways he think sports stars should stand and when they should stand that way; for example, the way he attacks individuals whom he stings with his ridiculous and relentless nasty verbage - not even making much argument to excuse his obsessive attacks.

His version of a correct relationship is: Him telling you what the truth is, and you believing it, despite all the facts and evidence - despite even the most basic and obvious facts and evidence.


I believe I speak for the majority of our struggling but great nation in saying: We as Americans reject Trump and his ways. We wholeheartedly seek a democratic process and the re-establishment (yes, unfortunately, he's already managed to tear too much down) of accountability for upholding the health and welfare of our citizens. We need to re-embrace securing and assuring the quality of our air, water, lands and their protection. We need a process that re-asserts the significance of oversight of corporate activities, both environmentally and financially, so that the value of our  economy's growth is shared with others and used to bring our middle class back into a balance, safe and secure, surrounded in all ways by the social and health safety net that our huge tax base can, in fact, afford when it is doing what it was designed to do.

Instead, we sit with the three monkeys - See no evil, Hear no evil and Do no evil, while the 'Dreamers' work their butts off, working in an America they embrace as their home and love, but in which they cannot vote or participate fully, hiding in plain sight.

Instead, we sit with a tax plan that will benefit the rich and not the poor and middle classes and that will benefit Trump in particular and his friends.

Instead, we sit without a budget and with a relentless attempt to undo the health service policies and procedures that would protect our nation's citizens, families and children, elderly and infirm, from total ruin, death, and the loss of their homes and livelihood.

Instead, we sit with a President whose list of conflicts of interest go on and on, most unresolved and few fully audited to date.

I'm not able to change the world, but I am able to call a Spade a Spade. Trump is a Spade. You don't want him in your court and you don't want him in your camp. He highjacked the Republican president election by bullying the rest of the candidates off the stage. This he considers his talent at being a 'smart' 'genius', and then he literally visibly stalked Hillary Clinton during their public candidates' debate on the stage. 

This is the draft I wrote in January 2018. Guess it's about time to publish it - again.

-July, 2018 

Categories: International Miscellaneous, Political Jargon, Law Stuff