Dumbnification complete: For perhaps the past dozen years, we've been writing about the dumbnification of our own liberal world.
Understandably, some liberals don't like this. On any given day, they've read three million sound-alike posts about the dumbnification of Them. They'd like to read the three million-and-first post on the this topic, rather than a single post about the dumbnification of Us.
This is understandable, right and good. It's the way the American public discourse really ought to work.
That said, we've viewed the growing dumbnification of Us as the most interesting media event of the past dozen years. This morning, we're finally able to make the announcement:
At long last, this dumbnification—the dumbnification of Us—may at long last be complete!
We base that on a news report in today's Washington Post. In the report, Sommez and Weigel describe the appearance of Michael Avenatti among the Hawkeyes.
In the hard-copy Post, the news report begins as shown below. Hard-copy headline included:
SOMMEZ AND WEIGEL (8/11/18): Stormy Daniels’s lawyer says he can be the ‘fighter’ Democrats need in 2020The Iowa State Fair is best known for its famous butter cow, a version of the traditional golden calf. The leading authority on such buttery idol worship reminds us of its provenance:
Michael Avenatti, the attorney for adult-film actress Stormy Daniels, told Iowa Democrats on Friday that Democrats are seeking a “fighter” who will take on President Trump—and that they should look no further than him.
In his first steps toward a potential 2020 presidential bid, Avenatti toured the Iowa State Fair, met with voters and did interview after interview to explain how serious he is.
“I’ve been very humbled by the positive reception I’ve received in Iowa,” he said in an interview. “It’s actually surpassed my expectations. There’s been a number of conversations where people tell me I should keep doing what I’m doing, and that I should run.”
According to the Bible, the golden calf was an idol (a cult image) made by the Israelites during Moses' absence, when he went up to Mount Sinai...Modern versions of this "bull worship" tend to make themselves manifest at this particular fair.
Bull worship was common in many cultures. In Egypt, whence according to the Exodus narrative the Hebrews had recently come, the Apis Bull was a comparable object of worship, which some believe the Hebrews were reviving in the wilderness; alternatively, some believe the God of Israel was associated with or pictured as a calf/bull deity through the process of religious assimilation and syncretism. Among the Egyptians' and Hebrews' neighbors in the ancient Near East and in the Aegean, the aurochs, the wild bull, was widely worshipped, often as the Lunar Bull and as the creature of El.
This is especially true when full-blown icons of dumbnification—such hood ornaments as Donald J. Trump—spring full-blown from the Iowa soil, or descend directly from the sky, the arrival ritual accomplished by Trump in August 2015.
Avenatti is a rather obvious alternate version of Trump. As we've noted in the past, his ability to sound exactly like Trump is frequently uncanny:
SOMMEZ AND WEIGEL: Avenatti told the paper that he is testing the presidential waters and that he decided to visit Iowa to listen to voters and to “do my homework” on the issues they care about most. In an interview with The Washington Post, he said he is a “strong supporter of universal Medicare for all,” but that he will be studying up on some of the other policies that are coming up on the trail, such as last year’s tax cut legislation and the president’s tariffs on foreign goods.Donald J. Trump is quick to praise his own exceptional mental abilities. Avenatti, a manifest clown, is quick to sound like Trump.
“Over the years, I’ve developed the ability to digest a lot of information over a short period of time,” Avenatti said. “I’m reading up on a number of issues. I’m meeting up with people who have far more experience with them than I have or will ever have. Rather than telling people what they want to hear, I’m asking them what they need.”
Journalists tend to defer to such bluster-rich figures. This is the way the Post reporters describe Avenatti's rise to moral greatness this year:
SOMMEZ AND WEIGEL: Avenatti is representing Daniels, whose given name is Stephanie Clifford, in her lawsuit to void a nondisclosure agreement she signed in exchange for $130,000 in 2016 that prevented her from speaking about an affair she allegedly had with Trump. Daniels argues that the deal is invalid because Trump, who denies the affair, never signed it. The legal battle has made Avenatti a celebrity on Twitter and cable news.The reporters seem to have been cowed by the latest manifestations of this ancient bull worship. In fact, the story of Avenatti's client goes exactly like this:
Clifford says she had sex with Donald K. Trump on one occasion in 2006. She says she did so because she felt she had to. Evidence suggests that some of us liberals even believed this claim.
If Clifford had sex with Donald J. Trump, she did so in hopes of getting herself on television. When it turned out that this wasn't going to happen, she began trying to sell her story about having had sex with Trump on one occasion.
Her first attempt to sell this story occurred in 2011. In 2016, she succeeded is selling her story about having had sex on one occasion for the $130,000 to which the reporters refer.
By traditional norms, this would have been seen as a possible version of blackmail. Given our ongoing dumbnification, this has instead been widely seen as a case in which a misused feminist was "trying to tell her story," even "trying to tell her truth."
(Stating the obvious, Clifford could have "told her story" about having sex at any point in the past dozen years. The problem was, she wanted a big sack of cash. Given the ongoing dumbnification, we liberals now tend to accept tribally pleasing claims no matter how little sense they actually make.)
Earlier this year, Avenatti came up with the cable-friendly claim that Clifford had been threatened with bodily harm by a Trump associate in 2011. Evidence suggests that some liberals believed the barrister's claim.
After consulting soothsayers of various stripes, Avenatti seemed to announce that he was on the verge of identifying this "thug." No identification ensued. Due to Avenatti's entertainment value in the corporate medium called "cable news," everyone has agreed to forget all about the various things he has said.
Today, this ludicrous figure is on display in the Hawkeye State. According to the Post's reporters, he was scheduled to speak at last night's Democratic Party Wing Ding fundraiser.
This fact alone strongly suggests that the dumbnification of our once-proud tribe is, at long last, complete. As international experts have said, it's hard to imagine another way to interpret this chain of events.
Our warlike species is said to run on gossip and group fictions. We believe Abraham Lincoln said that along with Professor Harari.
What the heck is an aurochs: What the heck is an aurochs (see above), plural aurochs? The leading authority explains:
The aurochs, also known as urus or ure (Bos primigenius), is an extinct species of large wild cattle that inhabited Europe, Asia, and North Africa. It is the ancestor of domestic cattle and has been suggested to be a genetic component of the modern European bison, crossbred with steppe bison. The species survived in Europe until the last recorded aurochs died in the Jaktorów Forest, Poland, in 1627.According to several Jaktorów Forest experts, the emergence of Candidate Avenatti suggests that the aurochs may not be extinct after all.
These experts say that, within the academy, "Avenatti" is emerging as the answer to a new Hee Haw-style question, to wit:
"We crossbred Donald Trump with a steppe bison. What did we get?"