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David Lynch and the new Trumpian counter culture

The director recognises Trump’s startling originality and willingness to look beyond the taken-for-granted modus operandi of the Washington Establishment.

June 26, 2018

6:23 PM

26 June 2018

6:23 PM

What is it that Kanye West and David Lynch know that escapes the intelligence of Stephanie Wilkinson, owner of the restaurant that refused to serve White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders?

It’s the same thing that escapes the intelligence of the people camping out in front the apartment of Trump aide Stephen Miller, passing out “Wanted” posters and screaming “fascist.”

Even as The Resistance™ enters the aphasic, “Maxine Waters” phase of senile dementia—probably abetted, it turns out, by Russian mischief makers—little shoots of sanity are sprouting up in some unlikely places. There is the Kanye West Surprise, for example, in which the world’s coolest rapper came out for Donald Trump, prompting apoplexy among upholders of The Narrative.

And now it’s David Lynch, the world’s coolest movie director, who a couple of days ago opined that Donald Trump “could go down as one of the greatest presidents in history because he has disrupted the thing so much. No one is able to counter this guy in an intelligent way.”

I am on the train on my way to Washington, but even from this distance I can hear what Luke (13:28) described as “fletus et stridor dentium”—the wailing and gnashing of teeth—that has greeted this remark.

Is Kathy Griffin, who likes to parade around with a figure of Donald Trump’s severed head, going to start screaming that David Lynch is a “fascist”?

Perhaps. But out there in outer darkness, the air may ring with the sounds of misery but the atmosphere is increasingly cold and lonely. Kathy and Maxine may huddle with Peter Fonda, Robert De Niro, Rachel Maddow, Morning Joe, and Jim Acosta for warmth, but more and more they appear as a lunatic fringe, part of a televised series on the perils of mainlining anti-Trump hysteria. “This is your mind. This is your mind on Trump Derangement Syndrome.”

It’s worth noting that David Lynch’s comment is not exactly an endorsement of the President. Rather, it is a recognition of Trump’s startling originality and willingness to look beyond the taken-for-granted modus operandi of “the thing,” the Washington Establishment. Forget about the scores of judicial appointments, the huge roll-back of onerous and prosperity sapping regulation, the forceful diplomacy, backed by a newly vigorous military, forget all that and just think about Trump’s proposal to stick a gigantic siphon into the swamp by means of his just-announced proposal to reorganise and streamline the federal government.

Here’s the take away: people like Kanye West and David Lynch are not primarily political actors. They are people with the finger on the pulse of the Zeitgeist. People like Kathy Griffin and Maxine Waters, however, are like a recently amputated frog’s leg: still twitching, but mindlessly, forever separated from the sources of life.


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