Once upon a time, in an alternate universe, I owned this dress. This was in the time when Banana Republic was new, the clothes were of amazing quality, and this particular dress spoke to my inner National Geographic Anthro-journalist self. In other words, I loved this dress to distraction. Of course, Ziggy was always threatening to get me a pith helmet to complete the ensemble, but he never did. I wore that dress until my horridly sharp elbows wore through the fabric. I should've had someone put suede patches on it, but alas, I never did.
Every time I put that dress on, a little part of me was ready for adventure. I wore it the day the St. Paul paper photographed and interviewed me about being a children's playwright. I wore it when I had to teach a masterclass for opera singers on singing and acting at the same time. I wore it when I taught play-building at a conference for gifted kids in Bemidji, Minnesota. Any time I put it on, I knew I was telegraphing an image that spoke of confidence and a sense of adventure. It couldn't be helped; it was that kinda dress.
Clothes send messages, even when they aren't MAGA hats. When you are in the public eye, everyone notices what you're wearing. Ask the late Princess of Wales. She was a master at this. And so in Melania.
Remember this little number? She wasn't discreet, she wasn't telegraphing, she was up front about not giving a fuck, and all the back-peddling wasn't gonna change that initial message. She knew precisely what would happen when she put that coat on, and the media fell all over itself proving her right.
Melania is good at this subliminal stuff, and her sartorial choice for her RNC speech was positively chilling. Oh, that was some message she sent. Had she been channeling Eva Braun or even Eva Peron, it might've been pink or beige or even pale blue with a hat. But no, she was going for something far more authoritarian in effect. Frankly, she reminded me of Red Army officers from 1941. Can you possibly send a less subtle message than this?
Apparently, not. Melania told We, the People, in no uncertain terms that she is preparing for war. What war? We can only imagine. But the outfit was the epitome of hostile despite the words coming outta her mouth. Melania was a high fashion model and she ain't nearly as stupid as a lotta sheeple wanna believe.
Messaging in the era of Feckless Leader is not an art form, it's a poison pill. The more lies he tells, the harder it is to swallow, and eventually people believe him. But here's the thing, he keeps saying "in Trump's America, there will be law and order." But this IS Trump's America and the violence is escalating. Of course, he takes no responsibility for the increase...he blames Democratic mayors and governors. He defends Kyle Rittenhouse, saying he was attacked so his actions were in self defense. CARRYING A GIANT GUN????? Really? More very fine people? Apparently so.
If you haven't figured out this is not a figment of my imagination, let me reassure you that all over the world, people who have survived regimes are screaming warnings at us. Take a moment to read this:
I will not tell you I agree with everything he says, but Umair Haque is worth reading.
When the fact-checkers on all sides conclude that every night of the RNC convention was a falsehood-fest, maybe it's time to think about whether this administration is capable of telling the truth. Remember, Feckless Leader is the one who thinks Puerto Rico is a country and Greenland is for sale. This is not reality-based governance. Nor is advocating the use of snake-oil for pandemic relief. 183,000 deaths and climbing is not exactly a number in which he should be taking pride.
Anyone remember Marshall McLuhan?
"The medium is the message" is a phrase coined by the Canadian communication thinker Marshall McLuhan and introduced in his Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, published in 1964. McLuhan proposes that a communication medium itself, not the messages it carries, should be the primary focus of study. He showed that artifacts as media affect any society by their characteristics, or content.
Yup. We are living in a twisted medium at the moment. Pity McLuhan isn't alive. He'd have a field day with this stuff.
The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
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