Jerry Nadler says Trump's rhetoric reminds him of Germany in the 1930's. I didn't know he was that old. "Remind" in this sense means to bring to mind personal experiences. Nadler, despite appearances to the contrary, was born in 1947. So what he is being reminded of are movies he has seen and magazine articles he has read. Like most Americans in the political class, his "mind" is something implanted by aliens from another galaxy, another dimension, who can only enslave us if we continue to accept their memory implants at face .
Remember Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie? He made the mistake of taking a virtual vacation, which triggered the authentic memories that had been replaced by implanted ones?
Some years ago, a newspaper columnist asked a bunch of congresspersons what children's books had affected them the most. Many answered Where the Wild Things Are, despite the fact that it had been published when they were already adults. When the inevitable follow-up question was posed, one of the rulers of the American destiny snapped out that he turned all such questions over to staffers. He couldn't help it if they made mistakes.
A similar answer was given by a Pulitzer Prize winning historian, some of whose work had been borrowed from predecessors. Don't blame me, he argued, the fault lay with the sloppy graduate assistants he employed. I suppose those students had a share in the profit and the honors that fall to the lot of successful lackeys of the regime.
When the movie Saving Private Ryan came out, many reviewers and commentators said things like, "Now I know what it was like to be in WW II." Really, watching a movie made by someone (Steven Spielberg) who was born in 1946 and has had no experience of any war, and starring Tom Hanks, born eleven yeas after the end of the war can give someone an insight into historical reality?
Socrates, when the Delphic Oracle pronounced him the wisest of men, at first pooh-poohed the idea but then then acquiesced to the point of saying that he was wiser only in knowing that he knew nothing. American politicos and academics, by contrast, know everything about everything, and, the younger they are the more they know. We recently met a young man in his twenties who, in the course of an evening, told us what birds we were watching at our feeders, how mistaken we were in our interpretation of the postwar America we grew up in, before going on to make pronouncements on Latin, of which he had studied a bit, and Greek, which he hadn't. He had many further revelations but the eroding powers of my memory have mercifully erased them.
This is America, not just post-millennial America, but America my entire lifetime--an imaginary country, a nation dedicated to a proposition, an experiment in democracy, a city on a hill--whose unbelievable national mythologies first celebrating our individualism, and exceptionalism, and then condemning our racism, and bigotry, were concocted by first by John Dewey, Walt Disney, Henry Luce, The New Republic and the New York Times and more recently by Frankfurt School Marxists and Hollywood's schlock purveyors
It has been a long time since Americans read real books written by real people. When I was a child, kids were still reading Nancy Drew and the Rover Boys, manufactured book products churned out by committees working on a factory system. They went to movies made by the same mechanical processes, and they bought mass-produced clothes sold in department stores or promoted in Esquire and later GQ; they bought wines recommended by a series of wine gurus such as the people who are now writing for the truly disgusting Wine Spectator, and if they developed any interests they had to take courses that handed out certificates. The fiction they buy are formulaic thrillers produced by the miracles of word processing programs operated by illiterates like Tom Clancy and his clones. If they do have to read a real novel, it is usually in a lit course where the teacher pre-chews the material and spits it into the babies' mouths. If they grow up into litterati, then they read the critics who do the same thing, being careful to add a variety of toxins to the pap.
We' ve been trying to watch the TV series "based on" The Man in the High Castle. Dick was not the world's greatest master of narrative fiction, but the book was gripping and disturbing. Imagine an alternate reality that had broken free of what we know--what if the Axis powers won WW II and divided America. What if there was film evidence of what really happened. What would we do?
The TV show is a soap opera dumbed down far enough to obscure the author's subversive understanding of the false reality that has clouded over the minds of modern men and women. I was thinking yesterday, about a series of books and films in which the secular prophets of our time tried to warn us against the almost universal embrace of unreality, whether in the form of Marxist politics or hedonism: RUR, The War With the Newts, The Rhinoceros, The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep--the Dick novel turned into Blade Runner by Sir Ridley Scott who apparently either did not get the point of the book or, as an agent of the conspiracy, decided to suppress it.
The last television series our family watched was The Simpsons, at least in its earlier years. In one improbable episode, Homer goes to college and somehow runs afoul of the administration. Since his only knowledge of college life comes from Animal House, he devises an impossible plot against "the evil dean." When one of the students asks him if he thinks the plan will work, Homer answers (as I recall): "Of course it will work, unless movies and TV have been lying to me all my life."
So here I am, stuck in this alternative reality stream of time in which mind-eating leftists have conquered my country, my church, my culture. Somewhere there is a man in a high castle, with friends and allies who knows the truth. How will we find them? Oh, here's a horrifying thought. What if there is no man, no castle, and we are on our own, without no powerful friends to turn to?