A #Woke Phenomenology of the Trump Tower Font
Something has been really bothering me lately. Apart from the nausea inducing reality that is Trump’s f***ing face — something else about this whole situation, which piqued me from the beginning, has begun to creep back like a cold sore I thought I was rid of. I couldn’t figure out why I even made the connection in the first place, dismissing it as a funny joke or a triviality the mentioning of which would take away from the horror of the big picture — but since at this point most of us feel as if we are lucidly dreaming anyways there’s really no point in just standing on the edge when there is a perfectly cozy abyss to jump into.
The Trump Tower Font:
You laugh. You scoff. “The FONT?!” You say. What about the healthcare, the haircut, the holy-sh**-is-this-f***ing-happening? I know. Yeah, all that too — but hear me out.
Looking at the Trump Font I cant help but be reminded of the yester-years. Up there in gilded gold with it’s dramatically premeditated ratio of bold and curved lines conjuring a conception of stately-ness which has long since gone stale. A conception of perfection which represents the virtues of the time it was created. A criterion of perfection which no longer satisfies the world it now looks out on.
Looking at the Trump font’s gold on black we can look back and see clearly the sentiments of a time when that aesthetic (gleeming and gold and boisterous and loud) was useful in touting the Virtues of the society who warmed their faces in it’s shining reflection. Why can we now, look up at the same font and recognize that aesthetic’s inability to provide the same warm glow? Is it the feelings we harbor for the Man-On-The-Top-Floor or is it something else? I think that, yes, the on-sight stomach churning has something to do with being reminded of that time when we were fed something rotten (a sickness we still haven’t been able to shake). I think however, we are also recognizing a juxtaposition of the Virtues that the font was arduously crafted to represent, and the virtues we now hold. An object of phenomenology transcending the craftsmanship of physicality, pointing to the intimate values of a completely different society. Looking up at the Trump Tower Font I see grotesque symbolism, not of an infamous figurehead, but of a collective people caught in two worlds.
Perfection And Virtue* **
**DM me 4 PDF’s (or pic4pic I’m cool with either ;))
Perfection in a society represents nothing other than the Virtues of the society which utters the word. Virtue being the thing which society agrees brings about flourishing. In a democratic society, it is an individual which flourishes- but an individual, in a democracy, is untetherable from the unit. In this sense, that which encourages individual flourishing, subsequently encourages the flourishing of the rest. The notion of Virtue, under this conception, necessarily entails, at the very least, a recognition of an idea of perfection-for-all. This Perfection-for-all is something that can’t be rationally discussed in a society so adherent to their right to subjectivity — but nevertheless does exists as if in a billowy realm of Platonic Form. Ehhem.. yeah. We don’t like billows, and we don’t like Plato (that’s for children), so we talk about this “Virtue” in terms of quotients and digits and supplies and demands in the $$ making sphere of “economics”. The mysterious virtuous goal personified in the Invisible Hand of the Market like Adam’s outstretched finger pointing towards God — or is it the Human Mind? The specifics of where the Stretch is going are quizzical if you’re talking about a difference of perspective, but more striking, to me, is the collective subconscious accepting of an innate impetus to Stretch. There is always something to aspire to — whether your finger touches it or not. A perfection — which in this conception can now be easily visualized as existing somewhere between and x and y axis.
Whew okay wtf I am not qualified to talk like that sorry I’m a #millennial & don’t know about #qualifications because I was taught to lie on all of my resumes…
Okay what was I saying how does The Trump Tower Font fit into this….uhhhhh….. something like…The Font being…oh right-
.. an arduously crafted visual representation of Perfection In The Time. A phenomenology air tightly preserving the Virtues Of The Time. The function of the font being to reveal the primary virtues of social intent. Decadence. Excess. Grandiosity. The markers of flourishing. The markers of someone who Virtuously bent down, picked up the tools that lay before us all and Manifested their God Given right to an opulent Destiny.
But then now, looking up at the font, why do I (we? can I saw We? Retweet if We favorite if I) see and feel something something completely different? I refuse to accept the, acrid-orange-flavored-taste-aversion argument as the sole cause of the stomach churn. I truly believe that — while that may be a part of it — it is not the whole, and it is definitely not the Primary. Our experiential state supplants itself onto our surroundings and reverberates back to us. Honeysuckles in the sun filling us with our grandmother’s love, an overturned canoe physically triggering the pain of a loss of virginity. These singular items divorced from their utility, now being pressed upon by an internal state-of-being, which we simultaneously press back into ourselves. What then, is there to say about the things which are intentionally crafted to press a specific feeling upon our psyche. A Grand castle, The Plantation Home, The Trump Tower. Crafted to vocalize something about the thing, as well as the society which looks upon it; to tap into an internal state within us, in order to match that feeling with the thing itself. There is a value in the presentation, both promulgating and sustaining itself on, the Virtue of the viewers. We know it is the case, that when the Virtue shifts, the presentation, while physically remaining the same, becomes phenomenologically brand new.
It is not one mad king which creates a collective aversion to the sight of a castle. It is not a memory of a single brutish plantation owner which prickles the hairs of someone who stands at the foot of the Main House. The chill comes in seeing an archetype of a virtue long past, cast it’s shadow in the present.
Enter the #Woke Generation
It takes an engine to start vehicle and it takes a collective jolt forward to create a new social Virtue. (“Forward” not indicative of better, merely a change in direction — away from the old.)
Through their vocal recognition of a system bereft of the same mechanism required to generate the Flourishing For For All, I believe that it is the #wokegen who are driving the shift in Social Virtue we are now seeing affect our outward facing lens.
A generation who’s #wokeness is defined solely by their particular flavor of enlightenment — one that is honed in on inequality and the reality of The Least Of These, juxtaposed with the reality of a few. Observant of their place in history, linguistically embracing the counter culture they’ve created, they are metaphysically “Awoken” to the problems ostensibly created by a prior generation. (Get it? Awake. Stirred to the point of waking? #woke? I know you’re jealous you didnt think of it)
Observing this group one must wonder.. what fuels them to reject the virtues of the old? Is it the cynicism of a spoiled child?(maybe) or is it a rational response to a System In Flux? (oooooooooohhhhh whats that, idk, tell me more, what do you think?)
This is not a group defined by age, and therefore falling into a specific category of one of the generational stigmas we’ve become attached to (X,Y,Millennial,). The #wokegeneration is defined simply by their adherence to a particular ideology.
There are some spoiled kids, there are some generationally impoverished old ladies, and some middle-class christians — With such a wide census pool of individuals this group contains a variation of all types of people. It is not their age, height, weight, income, or star sign, that binds them — but their #wokeness.
The schemata someone finds themselves existing in undoubtedly affects their outlook on the world — however, this schemata and an ability to rationalize the existence of a Fluxed up system are not mutually exclusive. One can have their gears of predisposition oiled by a specific upbringing, but I believe the toiling bell of just-recognition can resonate in the head of whomever finds themselves within earshot and is able to listen.
I believe that our #trending disillusions stem from the fact that we have begun to recognize a brokenness in the system’s ability to proliferate the level of flourishing we have been taught to expect from it. We have begun to recognize the futility in following a path which no longer leads to the same gleaming gold. The Markers of Success we were promised, now lay locked inside an overgrown labyrinth, unaccessible to someone following the map of Manifest Destiny and Market Virtue.
I also believe that the thing which led to this obdurate over-growth, is the very same thing that leads one to traverse the maze in the first place. The outstretched finger, revered for it’s diligence in pursuit, stretching to the furthest limits of excess. The stretch not manifesting as baubles and trinkets- commodities to be bought and sold — but as analogy to something that exists at the very heart of human inertia. While the mysterious touch is ever illusive, the stretch is all but promised.
“first” — Rousseau
When I think of the phenomenology of #Woke I think of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (as I’m sure most of you do too). I can visualize him looking back on the decadence and opulence of the French Court from his vantage point of hindsight in the midst of a society torn. Eyeing the Greco Roman Era columns, beacons of an age of Urban Elegance, going pale with disgust. “What were they thinking? How could they have thought THAT was a virtue?” His brain buzzing with an understanding of place, compartmentalizing all of the pieces that led to this point, realizing a broken system because the embers lay smoking around him. He was a product of a time, perfectly situated to rationally recognize the markers of a broken society. A society which was precise in its blueprint of Social Enlightenment- yet devoid of the Fraternity which necessitates sustained forward movement. He stood, wheels turning, rationally deriving his Idealism. Romanticizing a perfect society, because he knew — as the evidence lay scorched and burnt around him — it was not this.
Awoken by his recognition of an idea of usefulness, now rendered useless. Useful in that the social mechanism provided a potential for flourishing, useless in that the flourishing was no longer taking place. Through misuse, or misappropriation the virtues of the old no longer brought about the flourishing of the new. Leading instead to a breakdown of parts. The disease spreading throughout the system, manifesting itself in symptoms that didn’t even resemble the eventual cause of death. A social miscommunication. Chaos.
Is it hyperbolic (narcissistic? millennial?) to say that we find ourselves in a similar state of Chaos? The American people generationally and ideologically torn — not between subjective perspectives, a state to be revered in an individualistic democracy Of The People — but torn to the point of foundational fissure? A break sparking a new era, like the one Rousseau turned his head towards?
Looking at the Trump Tower’s Black and Gold I cant help but wonder, is it the actual font, or the way in which I am situated in time, which allows for the musing that a simple recognition of a stylistic distinction could be indicative of a social transition? The phenomenological enlightenment coming not from the curved lines themselves, but in the subjective feeling of newness, upon looking up. The newness implying a change of scenery. One away from the Virtues of times past. The value emerging from the experience of tapping into the psyche of a people honed in on a brokenness. A brokenness, not of moral proportions, but a brokenness in a function which they created. One that came, bubbling forth, from the innate Human Urge to Reach.