The TRUMP Simulation Effect

“Simulation threatens the difference between the “true” and the “false,” the “real and the “imaginary.” – Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulation

We are now witnessing an unfolding, war-torn geography of spectacular violence in the wasteland of the TRUMP simulation effect.

Let’s return to the Apprentice: TRUMP Tower as a staged simulation of a corporate control center, a starkly imposing high-rise monolith straight out of Blade Runner. The Apprentice collapsed any space that may have once existed between the so-called “real” Donald TRUMP the developer and the reality star, sucker-puncher of wanna-be moguls with his iconic “You’re Fired.” The TRUMP persona co-existed harmoniously in a continuous post real confusion between actual life and the “SHOW.” In the seamless blur of the TRUMP simulation effect, he could operate with absolute and total certainty as a self-invented mythology of his own branded making.

Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Once the simulation effect of The Apprentice had burrowed its way into the viewer’s imagination – far, far beyond the suspension of disbelief – TRUMP proceeded to infiltrate all aspects of public consciousness, a virus eroding and dissolving the space of the real. Within this space he could sculpt anything: from the dismantling of Obama’s birthright to a fabricated political campaign sown from the seduction of tabloid mentality. To win the election, TRUMP essentially hypnotized his believers, whose criticality was by this time permanently suspended.

You see, the TRUMP simulation effect had gone well beyond the monumental branding campaign that marked the urban space with the GOLDEN TRUMP imprimatur as a claim on its territories. This marketing assault has now claimed the White House and for that matter, the entire American political system, threatening the world order with TRUMP’s attention turned from buildings to bombs. War is now the primary leitmotif, the new theater of enactment for the ultimate fantasy of power and control. The massive ordnance of the Mother of All Bombs was the perfect moment in the TRUMP SHOW, with no other purpose than to wield the BRAND in the most spectacular way.

From the board room of TRUMP Tower to the situation room of the White House, it’s all a stage for the unblinking eye of the camera, an uninterrupted 24/7 post reality SHOW that commands EVERYONE’s attention, with no escape. The performance is riveting in its terrifying display of violent beauty, a Total Narrative that engulfs us all in a constant state of flirtation with apocalyptic catastrophe. The Mother of all Bombs was not merely the blast of ordnance in Afghanistan, it is the nuclear explosion of the TRUMP simulation effect and its disintegration of the real.

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