Sunday, March 10, 2019

Homelessness and the Trumpocalypse: A Rant by Rashad the Cackler

[The homeless old man, Rashad the Cackler has returned with another diatribe. Gather round as he spills his guts to passersby on a big city street corner.]

Did you know, passersby, that there are homeless people? You may think you understand but you don’t, because the truth is hiding in plain sight. Ours is the age of futile investigation, when the establishment expends every effort in all manner of empirical inquiries, as though the horrors that need no introduction could be so easily dispelled.

Take, for example, the catastrophe of Donald Trump’s presidency. Currently there are seventeen investigations into Trump’s treachery and galaxy of frauds. You might as well research whether grass is green or 100 is a larger number than 2. Say you’re on the Titanic and the ship starts to sink. Instead of recognizing the direness of your situation, why not debate endlessly whether the ship is sinking or what it means to be on a sinking ship? And as the ship goes under and the frigid waters are up to your eyeballs, why not carry on the investigation right up to when you’ve reached your watery grave?

Add up the significance of all the scientific discoveries over the last century; their importance pales next to that of what we’ve learned about history and human nature from Trump’s presidency. But Trump has done us the service of hiding his monstrosity in plain sight, so no investigations are needed to understand what has thusly befallen believers in American ideals. This isn’t an appeal to common sense, which is often prejudiced in hindsight. No, the audacity of Trump’s mental disorders is revelatory and apocalyptic in the religious sense, meaning that we learn from Trump in the same way we’d learn from an angel or an extraterrestrial that descends to our material plain. You don’t have regular communications with such an interloper; rather, the newfound radical truth washes over you, because the message is conveyed at all levels of the experience. You don’t listen to what an angel from beyond says, since the real message is embedded in the medium, in the angel’s sheer existence on earth which falsifies consensual reality, ramifying throughout the rest of your life now that that theophany has reprogrammed your perspective.

To be sure, Donald Trump isn’t an angel or an advanced alien, but he is a transformative figure. Barack Obama was too feminized by the millennial constraints of late-modern liberalism to reshape the American mindset after the 2008 financial crisis called for a charismatic religious saviour to shepherd Americans to a new self-understanding or to reintroduce them to the New Deal. Inadvertently, Donald Trump is the false hero Americans and other individualists deserve but not the one they need (to paraphrase The Dark Knight). Trump is a demonic harbinger from beyond the political sphere. What his election, his character, and his power on the political stage teach us is both everything and nothing. His existence proves that human life is absurd and that while Donald Trump may be the world’s single greatest con artist, American culture itself is the greatest modern fraud.

The mass media have luxuriated in the profits to be gained from gossiping over Trump’s every word and deed, and so the public drowns in knowledge we weren’t meant to have. In his campaign for president, Trump boasted he alone could fix America and make that country great again, since the globalists had exploited Americans’ good will and ended their dominance in manufacturing. Never mind that the globalists in question were amoral capitalists like Donald Trump who would sell their grandmother to make a buck. Or that relatively rich Americans obviously couldn’t compete in manufacturing with machines and slave labourers in more oppressed parts of the world. At face value, nothing Trump says is worthy of attention, because he’s plainly an epic bullshitter and con artist. What’s historically monumental, though, is that a useful idiot of an international crime syndicate could come to rule the world’s most powerful democracy.

But rather than ponder the philosophical and religious importance of the Trumpocalypse, Americans are busy paradoxically burying their head in the sand, delaying their reckoning with horrific reality by investigating the causes of the catastrophe, and they’ll still be investigating long after the damage has been done and the chance to benefit by learning from this fiasco has been lost. 

Likewise, you middleclass drones think there are only some homeless people, because you’re proud of the brick-and-mortar home you purchased with your bank loan. You thus miss what’s hiding in plain sight, which is that indigents like me are humanity’s truest representatives. Our whole species is and has always been lost in consciousness, alienated by rational understanding and godlike technological control over nature, which oblige us to solve the problem they cause, by creating a home, an entire artificial world.

A bird crafts a nest without facing any existential confusion, because the bird is at home under nearly all circumstances, whether flying or at rest, since the bird doesn’t grasp that it doesn’t really belong anywhere. To be sure, the bird can face hardships, suffering in certain temperatures or when food is scarce or a pesky critter has gobbled up its eggs. But the bird can’t feel estranged from reality, because the bird has no personal self, no godlike agency that sets it at odds with its evolutionary programming. The same goes for the beaver that builds a dam or the rabbit that digs its tunnel system or the ant colony that erects its mud fortress.

Your apartment or bungalow or mansion doesn’t really belong to you, nor does anything else you’ve received in exchange for money. Civilized society honours the expectation of private ownership, but that’s only because your conventional social life amounts to a shared daydream that flies in the face of the more enduring truths of nature. There isn’t really any such thing as private ownership, because nature is amoral and inhuman, and so we hapless creatures who know too much are adrift. The very act of seeing the world for what it is blew up the island we naively called “home,” when we fooled ourselves into thinking our planet is central to the universe.

But why not spend your free time exploring the myriad options for renovating your house? Why not consult with a designer and peruse the flooring samples? Master that problem of prettifying your fake dwelling place, just as the American deep state is consumed with the pseudo issue of the particulars of Trump’s villainy. Investigate these matters as though the truth weren’t obvious. Pretend you can’t see the forest for the trees. Surrender your personhood, live like an animal, and don’t be shocked when you’re preyed upon.


  1. Hey Benjamin i like your blog and although i dont agree with everything i do enjoy reading your rants though. The question i wanted to ask is what do you mean by the last 3 sentences exactly?

    1. Well, Rashad the ranter is just being sarcastic, saying that the listener should continue to ignore the unsettling truths of our existential predicament. We all have the potential for enlightenment, to see the forest for the trees, as it were, or to see past our distractions and delusions, so we often just pretend we don't know better. We prefer to automate our life, to keep to our routines and rituals, without questioning them. The more we question, though, the more we end up like Rashad the homeless Cackler.

    2. Definitely true, and it applies to me and everyone around us. The more we question ourselfs and our predicament it can make us feel very unpleasant. My question to you is are you automatic or are you closer to Rashad the homeless Cackler if that makes sense?

    3. Studying philosophy and art and writing this blog have compelled me to question pretty much everything. I'm not as in-your-face as the homeless character in the above series of rants, but there's something of me in all the characters in my writings, including Rashad and the characters in the Clash of Worldviews series of dialogues. I'm too Canadian, though, to go up to people in the street and attack their beliefs. That would be obnoxious and foolhardy, although we could all stand to be condemned by a prophet for our simple-minded consumerism and superficiality.