I always found time to struggle through Umberto Eco's stuff, even though it was a hard day at the literary coal face. Most literary philosophers are like that, of course; Foucault's Pendulum really made my eyes ache, and as Wiki points out, Anthony Burgess said that it had so many arcane references and allusions that to get all the jokes, you needed an index. Or, a crib sheet. Cliff notes. A tutor...
But, it was always worth the work. Even if you weren't so sure as to what actually went on and how it happened, it was one helluva ride. So, it was nice to be reminded of that this morning when going through The Guardian I found this:
The great philosopher-novelist Umberto Eco once declared that we will always come up against “the hard core of Being” and the “lines of resistance” that tell us when we are talking rubbish, or acting nonsensically. There was a time when I wondered bleakly if Donald Trump may be exempt from this philosophical precept.
British political reporter and Guardian Journalist Matthew d'Ancona rattles more than a few chains in Trump's attic and cages in his basement. Muslim Exclusion Act is one part of Being's hard core; the AHCA versus ACA is another; and the whole NATO kerfuffle is another. At some point, the whole house of Cheese will just melt into the Dumpster Fire of his ID and his lackeys' ideological venom and self-dealing desires.
In business, I refer to it as having a great idea trip over a relevant fact. Stainless steel pipe is really spiffy, except when you're using it to handle salt water where it will eat through the metal and leak catastrophically faster than cancer through a colon. You can't get jet fuel out of peanut butter no matter how hard you try. You really can't roller skate in a buffalo herd.
And, being President of a complex and multi-layered tripartite government is not the same as being the sole proprietor of a privately held firm. Nobody really has to listen to what you want in government; it's all fungible. You don't really have any privacy or the ability to just phone it in; when you do, something happens. When you get it wrong, people will notice. Smart people, with long memories, and not all that interested in trusting a con artist, poseur and hype-artist. People way smarter than you who remember insults and slights just as malevolently as you do, but wait for the proper time to get even. How much might Lindsay Graham or Ted Cruz enjoy casting the vote that impeaches his President and casts him out into darkness?
D'Ancona finishes like this, no time for parades and an auto da fe' of Breitbart, Ivanka's lingerie line and The Art of the Deal. At least, not yet. But the time is coming...if you keep smashing into Being's hard core by tripping over facts including "You're not the boss of me and you're not so big" you may be forced to drag you orange ass back to that Florida swamp and hand out timeshares.
To change the metaphor: the waves of Trump’s sociopathic belief that he can say and do what he likes with impunity are starting to hit the rocks of reality. There is nothing to celebrate yet, no cause to relax, no outcome assured. Let us just say that this may, conceivably, be the end of the beginning.
Amen, brother. Amen.