[KB] The Trumpster's Burlesque, etc.

Edward C Appel edwardcappel at frontier.com
Mon Oct 31 21:54:23 EDT 2016


Phil,
My Limbaugh study appeared in the Southern Communication Journal, Spring, 2003. Send me your postal address, and I'll mail you a copy. I don't have it on my computer.
You can find an abreviated version of the Limbaugh piece in Chapter 11 of my Burke Primer, along with my take on the burlesque of William F. Buckley, Jr. I attach a copy of that tome herewith.
Great homepage for the 19th Triennial Conference of the Kenneth Burke Society, Conflicts and Communities: Burke Studies in a World Divided! So apropos, in respect to the world at large, the "world" within our nation's borders (about to be "walled" in?), and the subject of this thread, Well done, Ethan, and all who contributed to this prospectus.


Ed 

    On Monday, October 31, 2016 4:47 PM, Carrol Cox <cbcox at ilstu.edu> wrote:
 

 Predicting administrations by the candidates has always been a tricky matter.

In 1916 Americans voted for peace. ("He kept us out of War") In 1964 Americans again voted for peace (responding to a TV ad showing Goldwater blowing up the world). 

What followed in both cases  was war. Both Wilson & Johnson were very stable personalities, however much they contributed to destabilizing the world.

(Incidentally -- I just voted for the first time since 1964 -- for Stein and Baraka.)

Burke's "identification" tends to assume there are only two sides. 

Carrol

-----Original Message-----
From: KB [mailto:kb-bounces at kbjournal.org] On Behalf Of Edward C Appel
Sent: Monday, October 31, 2016 1:17 PM
To: wessr at oregonstate.edu; 'Edward C Appel'; Phillip Tompkins
Cc: kb at kbjournal.org
Subject: Re: [KB] The Trumpster's Burlesque, etc.

Bob,

    On the Trump/burlesque/lack-of-empathy theme, I noticed after the Al Smith Banquet in New York, Trump walked out at the end without much glad-handing of the attendees who came up to meet the candidate/speakers.  I think I read that this is characteristic of Trump.

    Hillary, on the other hand, as is her custom, greeted and talked to just about everybody she  could. On C-Span especially, that routine of hers is followed again and again.

    Trump’s corresponding narcissism knows no bounds. On one of her shows last week, Rachel Maddow showed a clip of Trump talking about his days at the Military Academy as a teenager. Trump was, he said, the “best baseball player in New York.” He was also the best in his school at wrestling and football. Asked why he didn’t follow up with a go at baseball after graduation, Trump replied that baseball wasn’t much of thing back then.

    Really? In the age of Mantle, Maris, and Mays?

Phil,

    Good point on Trump’s  ridicule of the handicapped journalist as a burlesque act. Hadn’t thought of it.  I say in my Limbaugh study, in summary, “To get at the essence of what burlesque is, one might call it absurd, hilarious, even brutal exaggeration or ‘amplification’ of linguistic/dramatic forms.” The “brutal” aspect comes front and center in that ad you speak of.

    And speaking of burlesque “exaggeration,” here’s what Trump says in his book,The Art of the Deal---he called it at one rally next in importance to the Bible:

    “’The final key to the way I promote is bravado. I play to people’s fantasies. People may not always think big themselves, but they can still get very excited by those who do. That’s why a little hyperbole never hurts---people want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular.

    “’I call it truthful [!] hyperbole. It’s an innocent form of exaggeration---and a very effective form of promotion.’”

    Quoted in the Puskar piece I’ve already referenced.

    Hence, the question, what really are the actual motives and attitudes undergirding Trump’s burlesque-now-possibly-turned-tragic-frame “act”? Saturday, on the Joy Reed show (MSNBC), Trump biographer Michael D’Antonio said, “There’s a lot of role playing going on here.” How do we then separate, even if we could, the play-actor from the psychologically-driven narcissist, with patent dilusions of grandeur?


    Ed 
          

--------------------------------------------
On Sat, 10/29/16, Phillip Tompkins <tompkinp at Colorado.EDU> wrote:

 Subject: RE: [KB] The Trumpster's Burlesque, etc.
 To: wessr at oregonstate.edu, "'Edward C Appel'" <edwardcappel at frontier.com>
 Cc: kb at kbjournal.org
 Date: Saturday, October 29, 2016, 7:01 PM
 
 Consistent with these
 ideas of burlesque is Trump's tasteless imitation of  a  journalist with palsy.  There is a  campaign television ad being shown in  Colorado in which a man with palsy in a wheel  chair watches the video and  expresses his  sense of violation by Trump.
 Phil
 
 -----Original Message-----
 From: KB [mailto:kb-bounces at kbjournal.org]  On Behalf Of  wessr at oregonstate.edu
 Sent: Saturday, October 29, 2016 10:40 AM
 To: Edward C Appel
 Cc: kb at kbjournal.org
 Subject: Re: [KB] The Trumpster's
 Burlesque, etc.
 
 Ed, I
 don't know anything about the next KBS conference.
 
 You're right, I'm sure
 there is good stuff out there but coming from English  I always had to give speech scholarship lower  priority and now in retirement  I read mainly  philosophy. But I do usually try to catch up on some things  I  missed in the weeks before a KBS  conference.
 
 Another thought
 occurred to me about Trump and burlesque. One of the  things  Burke stresses about burlesque is  that it helps to put painful things at a  distance. Burlesque protects by not imagining  people "with too great  intimacy. For to  picture them intimately, he must be one with them"
 (ATH
 53). Possibly there is a Trump variant
 derived from his personality
 disorder:
 because of his lack of empathy he can't "be  one" with anyone. He  instinctively  burlesques everyone by carrying himself in a way that  puts  them at a lower level, distant from his  heights, doing it easily because he  is never  in the shoes of the other, imaging how it feels. Such things  as  derogatory nicknames for his rivals come  naturally.
 
 Just a
 thought--
 
 Bob
 
 Quoting Edward C Appel <edwardcappel at frontier.com>:
 
 > Bob,
 >
 Yes, I'm willing to participate in a panel at KB on  Trump's rhetoric,  > or on the  rhetoric, in general, of this painful political season.  I
 
 > imagine every convention or conference  in the communication field, at  > least,  will feature such panels over the next year or two.
 > As for whether my scheme fits into
 Burke's "poetic categories": Note
 > my citations in the attachment.
 There've been even more studies on the  > burlesque frame in communication since  2003.
 > And outside of academic journals,
 lots of articles on Trump's rhetoric
 > have appeared, from David Denby's
 eloquent put-down in The New
 >
 Yorker,"The Plot Against America: Donald Trump's  Rhetoric," to  > eulogistic studies,  like, "Donald Trump May Sound Like a Clown, But He  > Is a Rhetorical Pro Like Cicero," by  Gene J. Puskar on  > ThinkProgress.org,  and "The Rhetorical Brilliance of Trump the  > Demagogue," by Jennifer Mercieca on a  website named Conversation.com. 
 >
 Mercieca is a communication scholar at Texas A&M, but  the website is  > not a journal. Another  positive take on Trump's rhetorical skills is,  > "What Hillary Clinton Can Learn from  Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump," 
 >
 by Marshall Ganz and Hahrie (sp?} Han in The Nation. I  already  > mentioned Fershtman's  article. There are, of course, others.
 >
 By the way, do we know yet where the next Burke Conference  will be  > held? Last I heard, it might  be in PA.
 > Thanks again, Bob, for
 reading and responding.
 >
 >
 > Ed
 >
 >
 >
 >
 >
  
 >
 >
 >
 >
 >
 >
 >
 >  On Thursday,
 October 27, 2016 3:10 PM, Edward C Appel  > <edwardcappel at frontier.com>
 wrote:
 >
 >
 >  Bob,
 > I'll think
 about the "paper" business. I have two other  studies ready  > to go for the next KB.
 Can't present three.
 > Then, again,
 on my likely appearance at the coming conference, I have  > to intone, at my stage in life :Lord  willing---if I am permitted such  > an  obscurantist reference on an academic listserve!
 >
 >
 >
 Ed
 >
 >
    On Thursday, October 27, 2016 2:03 PM,  "wessr at oregonstate.edu" 
 
 > <wessr at oregonstate.edu>
 wrote:
 >
 >
 >  Ed, thanks for your attachment.
 >
 > You might consider
 turning it into a paper for the next KBS conference  > to see if Trump provides material to flesh  out your "in-between genre"
 >
 enough to give it a place in Burke's "poetic  categories." In this  > attachment,  Trump seems simultaneously to be object and agent of  > Burkean burlesque--a target of your  burlesque and himself an agent who  >  burlesques the world.
 >
 > Bob
 >
 > Quoting Edward C Appel <edwardcappel at frontier.com>:
 >
 >>
 >>
 >
 >
 >
 >
 >
 >
 _______________________________________________
 > KB mailing list
 > KB at kbjournal.org
 > http://kbjournal.org/mailman/listinfo/kb_kbjournal.org
 >
 >
 >
 
 
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