We made an anti-Trump Website and never released it. Here’s Why.
On one of the coldest days in NY last January, me and a coworker had the idea of making an art project targeting Trump’s campaign.
Set up as an interview site, and using Google’s Speech Recognition, you’d ask questions and a trumpbot would respond using real quotes from Donald Trump. It was basically Siri but for everything Trump-related.
We named it TrumpTalk — Make Interviews Great Again!
We gathered over 130 voice recordings from YouTube, news sites, Vine, SoundCloud, pretty much any online archive we could get our hands on. Every audio file had specific tags, categorized to match a question.
We turned a side project into a main project, and worked extensive hours on it, on how to make it more interactive, more entertaining, etc.
On April 19, we bought the domain name trumptalk.co
A lot of people supported and encouraged us while building this.
It would have made it on CNN, Colbert, BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, and we would have won many industry awards for it.
In the end, we shelved it just like LucasArts shelved Star Wars 1313.
Looking back now, I thought it wasn’t fair to go forward with it. It felt vindictive, a raging bitter personal attack that had nothing to do with politics. It didn’t serve an end goal, it didn’t have a raison d’être.
It felt like the only natural thing to do would have been to create a similar version for Hillary Clinton. This was way before WikiLeaks. I can’t imagine the outrage and trigger that would have brought.
As creatives who work in advertising, tech and media, we have a powerful voice. We are unaware of the implications we have on someone’s individual evolution and growth. We control both the medium and the message and we live in an optimistic denial that what we control will not end up controlling us.
Author James Bartholomew talks about virtue signaling, which is when signaling your own moral virtue becomes more important than introducing facts and doing your job, for the sake of belonging and appealing to mass audience. And if somehow you don’t agree to the tolerant mass audience, you are being labeled as ‘racist’, ‘sexist’, ‘homophobic’, ‘islamophobic’, ‘xenophobic’, ‘anti-semitic’, ’bigot’, etc.
Journalism should ultimately represent an unbiased freedom of speech. This has not been the case. It has not been an open conversation where everyone is being given the chance to have and state an opinion.
Watching the debates and Election Day from Berlin with an open mind and open heart, I felt that the media was the first to lose this election. Because of identity politics, it lost minorities, it installed guilt and anger, and it became a joke by itself.
The winners were Democracy, the Internet, a green frog, meme magic, and an image board for Japanese cartoon porn. And this is absolutely glorious.
As Julian Assange mentioned, mainstream media is “increasingly not very important”.
We tend to overlook the efforts of heroes such as Manning, Assange, Snowden, and many others who sacrifice their lives for the truth every single day. Instead of focusing on the truth, some choose to play the victimhood card and wear it like a badge of honor. Because it’s easy. Because generations grew up playing tee ball without keeping score.
I was born in a gypsy neighborhood in communist Romania. A rigid country with free education, single payer health care, 1 year maternal leave — basically Bernie Sanders’ wet dream socialist revolution. Unfortunately, for many of us, the system doesn’t work, which is why out of almost 20 million people, more than 8 million live in the diaspora.
I’m part of a generation that doesn’t like being lectured or told what to do, what to believe in, what to wear, who to hang out with, who to fuck, and am fed up with identity politics and political correctness.
I’m not a U.S. citizen, so I couldn’t vote. However, I believe America truly is the greatest country in the history of human civilization and I wish for it to remain a superpower for the next century.
In his last act as President, Barack Obama commuted 330 drug offenders. Neil Eggleston, Obama’s White House Counsel, said “he has a strong view that people deserve a second chance.”
I believe in second chances too, which is why TrumpTalk was never released.
And I believe President Trump should be given at least one chance to unite and fix the United States.
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” — George Bernard Shaw.
Matei Curtasu is a Creative Director and a Libertarian Transhumanist who sexually identifies as “His Royal Highness”.