The Best Description Of Trump I’ve Read

Someone on the question-and-answer website Quora asked “Why do some British people not like Donald Trump?” Nate White, an articulate and witty writer from England wrote the following response:

“A few things spring to mind.
Trump lacks certain qualities which the British traditionally esteem.
For instance, he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no self-awareness, no humility, no honour and no grace – all qualities, funnily enough, with which his predecessor Mr. Obama was generously blessed.
So for us, the stark contrast does rather throw Trump’s limitations into embarrassingly sharp relief.
Plus, we like a laugh. And while Trump may be laughable, he has never once said anything wry, witty or even faintly amusing – not once, ever.
I don’t say that rhetorically, I mean it quite literally: not once, not ever. And that fact is particularly disturbing to the British sensibility – for us, to lack humour is almost inhuman.
But with Trump, it’s a fact. He doesn’t even seem to understand what a joke is – his idea of a joke is a crass comment, an illiterate insult, a casual act of cruelty.
Trump is a troll. And like all trolls, he is never funny and he never laughs; he only crows or jeers.
And scarily, he doesn’t just talk in crude, witless insults – he actually thinks in them. His mind is a simple bot-like algorithm of petty prejudices and knee-jerk nastiness.
There is never any under-layer of irony, complexity, nuance or depth. It’s all surface.
Some Americans might see this as refreshingly upfront.
Well, we don’t. We see it as having no inner world, no soul.
And in Britain we traditionally side with David, not Goliath. All our heroes are plucky underdogs: Robin Hood, Dick Whittington, Oliver Twist.
Trump is neither plucky, nor an underdog. He is the exact opposite of that.
He’s not even a spoiled rich-boy, or a greedy fat-cat.
He’s more a fat white slug. A Jabba the Hutt of privilege.
And worse, he is that most unforgivable of all things to the British: a bully.
That is, except when he is among bullies; then he suddenly transforms into a snivelling sidekick instead.
There are unspoken rules to this stuff – the Queensberry rules of basic decency – and he breaks them all. He punches downwards – which a gentleman should, would, could never do – and every blow he aims is below the belt. He particularly likes to kick the vulnerable or voiceless – and he kicks them when they are down.

So the fact that a significant minority – perhaps a third – of Americans look at what he does, listen to what he says, and then think ‘Yeah, he seems like my kind of guy’ is a matter of some confusion and no little distress to British people, given that:
• Americans are supposed to be nicer than us, and mostly are.
• You don’t need a particularly keen eye for detail to spot a few flaws in the man.
This last point is what especially confuses and dismays British people, and many other people too; his faults seem pretty bloody hard to miss.
After all, it’s impossible to read a single tweet, or hear him speak a sentence or two, without staring deep into the abyss. He turns being artless into an art form; he is a Picasso of pettiness; a Shakespeare of shit. His faults are fractal: even his flaws have flaws, and so on ad infinitum.
God knows there have always been stupid people in the world, and plenty of nasty people too. But rarely has stupidity been so nasty, or nastiness so stupid.
He makes Nixon look trustworthy and George W look smart.
In fact, if Frankenstein decided to make a monster assembled entirely from human flaws – he would make a Trump.
And a remorseful Doctor Frankenstein would clutch out big clumpfuls of hair and scream in anguish:
‘My God… what… have… I… created?
If being a twat was a TV show, Trump would be the boxed set.”


Valente, Sanz, de Murcia et al.: Folias Criollas

This album takes off from where a previous Jordi Savall release, Villancicos y danzas criollas (Creole Dances and Villancicos), left off. Now Savall, aided by his wife and lead vocalist Montserrat Figueras, as well as several of his longtime co-conspirators, has formed a new group, Tembembe Ensamble Continuo, specifically devoted to the Latin American Baroque repertory heard here. The album is accompanied by an impressive 172-page booklet, with all texts in the original language, generally Spanish but with mixtures of Native American and African speech, English, French, Castilian Spanish, German, and Italian, and booklet notes (in all those languages plus Catalan), including an overview of the genres involved plus a historical essay on the culture of the Spanish-colonized Latin-Caribbean region. There’s a lot to digest here, beginning with the fact that Savall is offering performances of music that has languished in archives for centuries, and he is doing it in a way that is going to rewrite the music history books. Yet this is far from a specialist release; the music is full of rhythms that approach those of present-day Latin genres, and the combination of these with ballad, comic, and religious texts from around the 17th century is endlessly fascinating. Even the Mexican standard Cielito lindo (although without its Frito Bandito refrain) is included. The basic ideas here are twofold. First, Savall has realized that Mexico, just like the U.S. Appalachians with the old English ballads, has preserved, both in archives and in traditional folk music, Spanish pieces that have disappeared in Spain and were never adequately preserved there. The second issue, and here is where Savall’s percussion-heavy approach is really innovative, is that Spanish music, as performed and sometimes composed in Mexico and other colonies, interacted with the traditions of Africans and Native Americans. Some of the music is improvised, as it would have been three centuries ago, and when the string players get going over fairly complex polyrhythms you feel as though you’re a step away from jazz. To get an idea of what this is all about, sample the pieces by Santiago de Murcia contained on track 5, which opens with a rock & roll-like rhythm. The cumbés, heard in the first part of this track, was the most African of the Spanish New World genres, and the harp-and-maraca music in the second half reflects on Native American contact. The traditional son jarocho, from the Veracruz region, is represented by several pieces; Los Chiles Verdes (The Green Chile Peppers, track 19) gives an idea of what was at stake between Native American women and their Spanish overlords, and of why so few people in Mexico today are either fully Native American or fully Spanish. Licentious as this piece is, there are also sacred pieces on the album, and they cohabit easily; the “Guineo” Rigor y repente of Gaspar Fernandes, track 11, contains Africanisms and might have been used in missionary activity. Savall hasn’t made a dull recording in his life, but this particular strand of his output is especially persistently fascinating.

— AllMusic Review by James Manheim

Mats Eilertsen Trio & Trio Mediaeval: Memorabilia (2020)

Trio Mediaeval
Anna Maria Frimann: vocals
Linn Andrea Fuglseth: vocals
Jorunn Lovise Husa: vocals

Mats Eilertsen Trio
Harmen Fraanje: piano
Thomas Strønen: drums
Mats Eilertsen: bass

1. Veni (Mats Eilertsen)
2. Stillheten (Tor Ulven/Mats Eilertsen)
3. Memorabilia I (Harmen Fraanje/Thomas Strønen/Mats Eilertsen)
4. Swedenborg (Thomas Strønen/Mats Eilertsen)
5. Kyrie (Mats Eilertsen)
6. Hjertet (Tor Ulven/Mats Eilertsen)
7. Memorabilia II (Harmen Fraanje/Thomas Strønen/Mats Eilertsen)
8. Sanctus (Mats Eilertsen)
9. Som Da Du (Tor Ulven/Mats Eilertsen)
10. Fotografiet (Tor Ulven/Mats Eilertsen)
11. Memorabilia III (Harmen Fraanje/Thomas Strønen/Mats Eilertsen)
12. Agnus Dei (Mats Eilertsen)
13. Minutter (Tor Ulven/Mats Eilertsen)
14. Memorabilia IV (Harmen Fraanje/Thomas Strønen)
15. Snøfnuggene (Tor Ulven/Mats Eilertsen)
16. Memorablilia V (Harmen Fraanje/Thomas Strønen/Mats Eilertsen)
17. Gloria (Mats Eilertsen)