Depressing data shows that Trump is, in fact, getting worse.
At any given time, Donald Trump is ready to complain that he doesn't receive enough credit.
More accurately, Trump is always keeping track of who's stealing public attention from him. From Anthony Scaramucci claiming that Trump was "intimidated" by how "good-looking" Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is to Trump calling four Congresswomen who challenge his racist rhetoric "weak and insecure people," the president is apparently threatened by any high profile figure who is funny, articulate, informed, and not a douchebag. Among Trump's approximate 14,000 tweets in the last three years, many have been dedicated to feuding with celebrities and other politicians, from Justin Trudeau and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Cher and, most recently, Chrissy Teigen.
Over the weekend, Trump lashed out about not receiving enough praise for signing the First Step Act, widely regarded as the first piece of legislation for badly-needed prison reform. On Sunday, MSNBC aired a documentary special, Justice for All, about the mass incarceration problem in America—which maintains the dubious honor of having the highest incarceration rate in the world, with 655 per 100,000 people imprisoned. An avid advocate for criminal justice reform, musician John Legend appeared in the documentary, and like immigrants, universal health care as a human right, and weather science, that made Trump very, very mad.
After the special aired, he tweeted, "I SIGNED IT INTO LAW, no one else did, & Republicans deserve much credit. But now that it is passed, people that had virtually nothing to do with it are taking the praise."
To paint the full picture here, the First Step Act is unequivocally the most significant law in recent times to reduce unjustly long prison sentences and reduce federal sentences for some drug convictions. However, the law isn't groundbreaking by any means (especially compared to some states' prison reforms), and its benefits still exclude many inmates, including undocumented immigrants and those with previous criminal history. Ultimately, the law is expected to have a limited impact on incarceration rates. More significantly, Trump's proposed 2020 budget underfunds the act's programs to a concerning degree; and, as of August, prison reform activists are still concerned that "the Trump Administration [isn't] committed."
But none of that is the point to Trump. After all, he signed the damned document, didn't he?! He tweeted, "Guys like boring musician @johnlegend, and his filthy mouthed wife, are talking now about how great it is - but I didn't see them around when we needed help getting it passed." (By the way, the act received bipartisan support, with most notable opposition coming from members of Trump's own party). Trump's main concern is why he didn't get a shoutout in the network's special, while John Legend got to show his amazing, ageless face.
Legend responded with a patriotic call to action: "Imagine being president of a whole country and spending your Sunday night hate-watching MSNBC hoping somebody—ANYBODY—will praise you. Melania, please praise this man. He needs you," he tweeted. He repeated, "Your country needs you, Melania."
Your country needs you, Melania— John Legend (@John Legend)1568002886.0
As for Chrissy Teigen, proud "filthy mouthed wife," long-time detractor of Trump, and Twitter queen in her own right, she responded with her characteristic candor: "The absolute best part of his tweet is I literally didn't speak in the special, nor was I mentioned. I'm cackling at the pointless addition of me because he cannot not be a bitch."
the absolute best part of his tweet is I literally didn't speak in the special, nor was I mentioned. I'm cackling a… https://t.co/n3iVvcJNyo— christine teigen (@christine teigen)1568004152.0
The former Sports Illustrated model has garnered over 11 million followers for her frank and hilarious reality checks about everything from unrealistic beauty standards, monthly periods, the daily trials of parenthood, and how much John Legend resembles Arthur the animated aardvark to matters of slightly larger import—like prison reform. Soon, #fithymouthedwife, #TeamChrissy, and #PresidentP*ssyAssBitch began trending on Twitter, along with Teigen's name.
Even all-American dirtbag Anthony Scaramucci, Trump's former communications director, weighed in on Trump's latest Twitter feud and neurotic need for attention: "Have any of the other presidents in recent history—modern history—gone after their private citizens whether they're celebrities or not celebrities?" Scaramucci told CNN. "(For) the last two and a half years this guy has acted like a bully, crazy person against his fellow citizens."
Excellent question, Mooch! Well, let's remember that a modern-day POTUS uses Twitter the same way his forebears used radio to broadcast addresses to the American public. For instance, from 1933-1944, Franklin D. Roosevelt embraced the broadcasting potential of radio (yes, we're diving deep enough to seriously compare Donald Trump to Franklin D. Roosevelt) "to come into your home and sit at your fireside for a little fireside chat," giving approximately 30 informal "Fireside Chats" (each between 13 and 44 minutes) while he pushed his New Deal policy and talked America through the outbreak of World War II.
What does Trump use his social media presence to do? What message does he spread to his more than 64 million followers? He's feuded with dozens of celebrities who, like Teigen, dare to criticize his policies or his tiny, tiny hands; and, when he has discussed policy, he's increased the volatility of the financial market. How? According to a very depressing analysis by J.P. Morgan, when Trump tweets about the Federal Reserve, U.S. interest rates respond. In particular, words like "China, "billion," and "products" are associated with negative stock market returns, so says Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
And, of course, he's getting worse, in both number of tweets and, apparently, sleepless mania. Since 2016, Trump has turned to Twitter not so much to spread policy but to act like a lonely junior high student who's subtweeting his/her entire school. If you take a look at his Twitter archive, and his usage has been increasing since he first took office in 2016. In 2018, Donald Trump posted more than 3,400 tweets, at an average of 10 tweets a day—easily the most social media engagement of any president thus far. (For context, as of January 2019, the total number of tweets Barack Obama posted was 15,573.)
But don't worry: When Trump's latest Twitter feud doesn't make it to the trending page, you can avoid his tweets by not logging on at 1:00 PM or 3:00 AM, at which times Trump tweets the most. What are you doing at lunch time, President Trump? Why aren't you sleeping at 3:00 AM? Take a break, Mr. President—for all our sake's.
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A vibrant summer earworm.
Dance-pop duo Krewella, the Pakistani-American sisters, hooks up with Yellowclaw on "Rewind."
Krewella & Yellow Claw - Rewind (Official Music Video) youtu.be
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Let's take a look at Nazi-inspired fashion.
Villains always have the best outfits.
From Darth Vader's polished black space armor to The Joker's snazzy purple suit, bad guys always seem to show up their protagonists in the fashion department.
Way more handsome than Batman. static.giantbomb.com
But could there possibly be a real world equivalent to the type of over-the-top villain fashion often found in fiction? It would have to be sleek and imposing, austere and dangerous. Probably black.
Maybe it's him. Maybe it's fascist ideology.
Let's call a spade a spade. From an aesthetic standpoint, the Nazi SS outfit is very well-designed. The long coat tied around the waist with a buckle portrays a slim, sturdy visage. The leather boots and matching cap look harsh and powerful. The emblem placements on the lapel naturally suggest rank and authority. And the red armband lends a splash of color to what would otherwise be a dark monotone. If the Nazi uniform wasn't so closely tied with the atrocities they committed during WWII, it wouldn't seem out of place at Fashion Week. Perhaps not too surprising, considering many of the uniforms were made by Hugo Boss.
Pictured: A real thing Hugo Boss did. i.imgur.com
Of course, today, Nazi uniform aesthetics are inseparable from the human suffering doled out by their wearers. In most circles of civilized society, that's more than enough reason to avoid the garb in any and all fashion choices. But for some, that taboo isn't a hindrance at all–if anything, it's an added benefit.
As a result, we have Nazi chic, a fashion trend centered around the SS uniform and related Nazi imagery.
History of Nazi Chic
For the most part, Nazi chic is not characterized by Nazi sympathy. Rather, Nazi chic tends to be associated with counterculture movements that view the use of its taboo imagery as a form of shock value, and ironically, anti-authoritarianism.
The movement came to prominence in the British punk scene during the mid-1970s, with bands like the Sex Pistols and Siouxsie and the Banshees displaying swastikas on their attire alongside other provocative imagery.
Very rotten, Johnny. i.redd.it
Around this time, a film genre known as Nazisploitation also came to prominence amongst underground movie buffs. A subgenre of exploitation and sexploitation films, Naziploitation movies skewed towards D-grade fare, characterized by graphic sex scenes, violence, and gore. Plots typically surrounded female prisoners in concentration camps, subject to the sexual whims of evil SS officers, who eventually escaped and got their revenge. However, the most famous Nazisploitation film, Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS, flipped the genders.
The dorm room poster that will ensure you never get laid. images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com
Ilsa was a female SS officer and the victims were men. She spent much of the movie wearing her Nazi uniform in various states, sexually abusing men all the while. As such, Ilsa played into dominatrix fantasies. The movie was a hit on the grindhouse circuit, inspiring multiple sequels and knock-offs and solidifying Nazi aesthetics as a part of the BDSM scene.
Since then, Nazi chic fashion has been employed by various artists, from Madonna to Marilyn Manson to Lady Gaga, and has shown up in all sorts of places from leather clubs to character designs in video games and anime.
Lady Gaga looking SS-uper. nyppagesix.files.wordpress.com
Nazi Chic in Asia
Nazi chic has taken on a life of its own in Asia. And unlike Western Nazi chic, which recognizes Nazism as taboo, Asian Nazi chic seems entirely detached from any underlying ideology.
A large part of this likely has to do with the way that Holocaust education differs across cultures. In the West, we learn about the Holocaust in the context of the Nazis committing horrific crimes against humanity that affected many of our own families. The Holocaust is presented as personal and closer to our current era than we might like to think. It is something we should "never forget." Whereas in Asia, where effects of the Holocaust weren't as prominent, it's simply another aspect of WWII which, in and of itself, was just another large war. In other words, Nazi regalia in Asia might be viewed as simply another historical military outfit, albeit a particularly stylish one.
In Japan, which was much more involved with WWII than any other Asian country, Nazi chic is usually (but not always) reserved for villainous representations.
OF COURSE. i.imgur.com
That being said, J-Pop groups like Keyakizaka46 have publicly worn Nazi chic too, and the phenomena isn't limited to Japan.
In South Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand, Nazi imagery has shown up in various elements of youth culture, completely void of any moral context. For instance, in Indonesia, a Hitler-themed fried chicken restaurant opened in 2013. And in Korea, K-Pop groups like BTS and Pritz have been called out for propagating Nazi chic fashion. Usually such incidents are followed by public apologies, but the lack of historical understanding makes everything ring hollow.
So the question then: is Nazi chic a bad thing?
The answer is not so black and white.
On one hand, seeing Nazi chic on the fashion scene may dredge up painful memories for Holocaust survivors and those whose family histories were tainted. In this light, wearing Nazi-inspired garb, regardless of intent, seems disrespectful and antagonistic. Worse than that, it doesn't even seem like a slight against authority so much as a dig at actual victims of genocide.
But on the other hand, considering the fact that even the youngest people who were alive during WWII are edging 80, "forgetting the Holocaust" is a distinct possibility for younger generations. In that regard, perhaps anything that draws attention to what happened, even if it's simply through the lens of "this outfit should be seen as offensive," might not be entirely bad. This, compounded by the fact that Nazi chic is not commonly associated with actual Nazi or nationalistic sentiments, might be enough to sway some people–not necessarily to wear, like, or even appreciate its aesthetics, but rather to understand its place within counterculture.
Ultimately, one's views on Nazi chic likely come down to their own personal taste and sensibilities. For some, Nazi chic is just a style, an aesthetic preference for something that happens to be mired in historical horror. For others, the shadow of atrocity simply hangs too strong.
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