What’s the deal with these weird second-world countries where the post-industrial peasantry periodically elects an unhinged, regrettably-coiffured populist oligarch who targets journalists, jails the opposition, and spends the national budget on beluga caviar, vanity projects and J-Lo concerts? Reader, I ask thee.
Before Hillary becomes the next Tymoshenko, The Art Of The Deal is made mandatory study in American schools, and the pumpkin-spice-sipping east and west coasts secede from the union in protest – forcing the Balkans to send peacekeepers in, as top Serbian diplomats hurriedly develop an intricate two-state solution to prevent the ancient generational hatreds between the gun-toting citizens of Republistan and Democravia from boiling over and tearing the nation apart in a sea of blood and high-fructose corn syrup – here are some top patriotic ditties to download to your Galaxy Note 7 (before it explodes). Any U.S. citizens who fail to learn the lyrics by the time Donald takes office will be deported to Canada.
Rodney Carrington – Vote For Trump
“In recent years, this country’s gone to hell,” opens Rodney. “And the crack’s getting bigger on the side o’ that liberty bell. […] We got a chance to turn things around, get your butt up off the ground.” As erudite opening lyrics go, this is easily up there with Juice’s “Ja sam tvoj limo king, telefon zvoni mi, ring a ling”. Vote For Trump at least has a pleasant tune and rolls along nicely, but it’s hard not to notice the racial overtones in lyrics like “He pays his own way, don’t take no crap, gonna bring back country, get rid of rap” and “This big ’ol country was built on sweat, and if we’re gonna make it great again, you’re gonna get wet”. (Rodney, listening to you, I already am.) Given Carrington’s background as both a comic and serious country singer, it’s hard to know how sincere he’s being here or whether the whole thing is at the very least semi-ironic; in any case, Trump fans have embraced the song at face value. Carrington’s verdict on Trump’s rival is succinct and strictly sartorial: “Hillary Clinton don’t stand a chance, with her richer hair and her old man pants.” Poe’s Law definitely applies here.
The Freedom Girls – Donald Trump Jam
If America is gonna go the whole hog this year – and if it’s worth doing something, it’s worth doing it properly – what really needs to happen is for someone to give Melania a record deal, then she can truly become the Ceca of America. Until such time, patriotic citizens will have to make do with this enthusiastic pre-teen trio, seen here performing their “Donald Trump Jam”, which, in its artisanal combination of tinny eurodance and impenetrable lyrics (“Inspire proudly freedom to the world!”), superficially resembles something from Junior Eurovision 2004 but with marginally better English and choreo. “Enemies of freedom, face the music – come on boys, take ’em down!” sings a small child with clenched fists as her bandmates clap to the beat. “President Donald Trump knows how to make America great. Deal from strength or get crushed every time!” Who needs Nashi with these chicks around? “We have to stand up tall and answer freedom’s call.” I second that – they’ve obviously been indoctrinated and need liberating; someone send them an application form for Pinkove Zvezdice, stat. (To the presumable chagrin of The Freedom Girls and their no doubt extensive creative team, their Donald-praising ditty has since been mashed up with the “grab ‘em by the pussy” tape by Mike Dean.)
Brothers N Arms – Trump For America
“What if we are not witnessing the United States being led to destruction under false pretenses? What if, instead, we are seeing a mirror held up to the cultural ideals, and the current social reality, of the world’s most powerful country?” asks Rob N. in Donald Trump IS The American Dream: The Hyperreality of The U.S.. Word, bro. Would-be rock anthem “Trump For America” by Hispanic-American duo Brothers N Arms is another song that begs this question, especially as the militaristic music video is loaded with American symbology ranging from eagles, flags, guns and cowboys to Mount Rushmore, the Statue of Liberty, Abraham Lincoln, and even the moon landings. The brothers perform much of the song in front of a monument to fallen soldiers, and there are also shots of a soldier’s coffin draped in the U.S. flag, and the 9/11 Tribute in Light. It’s exactly the same nationalist fetishization of sacrifice and victimhood we’re familiar with from post-Yugoslav nationalist rock acts like Croatia’s Marko Perković Thompson and Serbia’s Amadeus Band. British cultural theorist Alexei Monroe wrote of how in the 90s, Yugoslavs were “intensively subjected to a highly volatile combination of nationalist propaganda, pop culture and deliberate sensory overload,” terming this mixture “Balkan Hardcore”. Maybe it isn’t so Balkan after all.
Boo Bulgari – Pump The Trump
“We find ourselves in a media landscape where spectacle is approved [as a] vehicle to success. [This] is the reason why the line between clickbait, journalism and ads is getting fuzzier every day – and since political news is almost entirely consumed through media outlets, the line between politics and entertainment is disappearing. We now expect the same gratification from our politicians that we do from our Buzzfeed articles,” writes claudiu23. “If we are primed to love spectacle, than why not go with the most spectacular candidate?” Or, as Arizona rapper Boo Bulgari puts it, “Donald Trump, it is what it is. You can love it or hate him, but the game is all his.” According to Boo, if you’re looking for a president who will “hold the borders, shut down illegals, [and] bust up terror with the claws of eagles”, then Trump’s your man. It’s a jaunty and effective enough hip-hop song, but in the guilty pleasure stakes, give me Ravno do Kosova or Takogo kak Putin anyday.
“Americans no longer share a reality, culturally speaking,” writes S. D. Kelly in Blame Derrida for Donald Trump. “They don’t even believe in reality, except in an individual sense – the sense of personal narrative. This is why Trump can get away with saying one thing and then its opposite. What he says is true enough for a lot of people, even if what he is saying today differs from what he said yesterday. His supporters don’t care. They have come to implicitly understand that words themselves no longer signify any kind of objective reality. […] How Trump says what he says, and how he makes you feel when he says it, is the closest listeners can come to ascribing meaning to the words that come out of his mouth. Do you listen to Trump and grow enraged? Well then, his reality is not for you. Do you listen to him and grow enamored? Well then, his reality might intersect with yours, at least in enough places to compel you toward him at a rally or in the voting booth. The meaning of the words Donald Trump actually uses matter less than the way his words make his listeners feel. This is appropriate in its way, since Trump’s speeches perfectly represent the deconstructionist zenith: the negation of words. […] Trump, however, is no ideologue, even if, for a moment here and there, he sounds like one. He will not demand that society conform to a particular set of ideals, a particular way of being, other than the one which he is feeling at the moment. And if his particular, momentary way of being, the fragment of the fractured whole that composes his Trumpian self, troubles you, then that is your problem. The world is no longer logocentric, words no longer mean anything, and this is not Trump’s fault. Trump is not to be held solely responsible for the fact that, when he is front of a crowd, or in a debate, or in an interview, telling it like it is, there is no longer an is.” Fo shizzle.
Don Anthony – Trump
Song 5 in our Top of the Trumps chart begins with a familiar theme of decay and of identity under threat, before presenting Trump as the only one who can bring about a restoration of America and impose order. “You know this country is fallin’ down, ain’t no John Wayne to be found […] He’ll cut taxes, build a wall, keep the game alive for one and all. He’s a master in the art of the deal, Obamacare he will repeal, fire the apprentice in the White House, come on everybody, shout – we need Trump, Donald Trump!” Slick rhymez. The video slideshow closes with a picture of military jets flying above a U.S. flag, presumably to go and bomb somewhere that isn’t America. U-S-A!
“Could [French semiotician Roland Barthes’s] essay about professional wrestling hold the key to understanding Trump’s appeal?” asks Judd Legum, editor-in-chief of ThinkProgress. “It’s worth noting that, before he was a presidential candidate, Trump was an active participant in the WWE. In 2013, Trump was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. […] In the current campaign, Trump is behaving like a professional wrestler while Trump’s opponents are conducting the race like a boxing match. As the rest of the field measures up their next jab, Trump decks them over the head with a metal chair. […] Trump is focused on each moment and eliciting the maximum amount of passion in that moment. His supporters love it. The key to generating passion, Barthes notes, is to position yourself to deliver justice against evil forces by whatever means necessary. ‘Wrestlers know very well how to play up to the capacity for indignation of the public by presenting the very limit of the concept of Justice,’ Barthes writes. Trump knows how to define his opponent […] and pledges to go after them with unbridled aggression. If, in making his case, he crosses over a line or two, all the better. For a pro wrestler, energy is everything. A wrestling fan is less interested in what is happening – or the coherence of how one event leads to the next – than the fact that something is happening.”
TUSK – Trump
Something is definitely happening in this upbeat funk number, with its chorus chants of “I wanna be like the Donald!” – I’m just not sure what that something is. What starts out as a humorous ode about wanting to “fly around in my own jet plane” and “have a big, tall building that shouts my name” turns political pretty quickly, as the singer recounts everything he’d do if he were Donald. “I would make this country proud and strong, take the U.S.A. back to where she belongs. I could build a wall down on the border – we gotta bring back some law and order.” Highly popular among supporters (judging by the comments underneath the video), “Trump” sounds like Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson yet mercifully features neither, possibly making it the best song in this article. (Unless you’re Mexican, natch.)
Dave Edwards – We Need Trump
“Things are wrong with Uncle Sam, the politicians don’t give a damn. Their promises don’t mean a thing, Obama thinks that he’s a king. With open borders, we’re not safe – they want our guns and demean our faith.” 7 songs in and these are all starting to sound the same. “This country was built on hope and pride, now it seems the pride has died. Outrageous debt’s gotten out of hand, terror’s coming to our homeland.” Again the fear-inducing themes of terrible decay, foreign infiltration and loss of pride and identity, the apparent solution for all of which is conveniently packaged in one ochre-skinned celebrity demagogue. Sigh. Existential anxiety has never sounded so middle of the road; at least when eastern Europe does populist pop, you can dance to it. Anastasiya Vinnikova’s discotastic Born In Bielorussia beats this hands down.
Matthew Kaminski, the executive editor of Politico, is another who reads the Trump phenomenon through the lens of Guy Debord’s “The Society of the Spectacle”. “Roughly translated, the final stage in the degeneration of bourgeois democracy comes when the media-driven ‘spectacle supplants genuine activity,’ Debord argued. The most visible, ‘spectacular’ show of democracy leads to its destruction. Debord presented his argument in the form of 221 discrete paragraphs. #9: ‘In a world that really has been turned on its head, truth is a moment of falsehood.’ #60: ‘Media stars are spectacular representations of living human beings, distilling the essence of the spectacle’s banality.’” Apropos of which…
Kerry Childress – Trump For President
“I like living in this country, yeah, I think it’s great! We need leaders with some morals, some keepers at the gate,” begins rock song Trump For President by Kerry Childress, set to another video slideshow full of military hardware. Childress impels listeners to vote for Donald to “make this country great again, let’s let our glory shine!” After four long minutes, including some nice electric guitar work, Trump For President ends with the on-screen message “If Obama, Hillary or IRS lock me up for this video please delete it from your computer—and lie about its existence. That’s what I’m gonna do. It worked for them.” I believe that’s what the kids call “throwing shade”.
William Tapley, Third Eagle of the Apocalypse, Co-Prophet of the End Times – Trump Knows The Way
This tuneless warble, a duet for über-religious Jeremy Corbyn lookalike and cheap keyboard, is another home-grown effort that excels in its couplets, this time singing the praises of Trump and Pence. “They’ve got the wisdom, courage and pride – Criminal Clinton ought to go hide. They know our borders leak like a sieve, they’ll build a wall that’s high and strong and it’s not gonna give.” Again with the wall. If America is going to do this, can it at least be like the wall at the start of Takeshi’s Castle? You gotta give people a fair chance and the opportunity to have some fun while they’re at it.
“Donald Trump and the print and broadcast media have ended up working symbiotically as one [and] have succeeded in transforming these elections into precisely the kind of so-called ‘reality’ television that Trump is famous for appearing on, and just about everybody – regardless of their opinion of Trump – is securely plugged into the show,” writes The Colossus, in a Marxist analysis. “We are too busy re-tweeting somebody else’s aversion to this or that pouting demagogue to take notice of the gravest aspect of our common plight: namely that the unremitting plunder of the Earth by corporate-financial elites is dragging us all ever closer to climate catastrophe. We are, then, almost completely detached from the world about us, and wired up instead – at least most of the time – to a kind of autonomous alternate universe that is both the ‘result and goal’ of capitalism.” Me, I don’t mind a bit of capitalism. As Frank Zappa said, “Communism doesn’t work because people like to own stuff.” Apropos of which, Christmas is just over two months away: time to pre-order that talking Trump doll for your kids, so they can chase each other round the house shouting “Grab her by the pussy!” while you relax in front of festive CNN footage of orange-clad prisoners building a wall along the Mexican border…
Make Slovakia Great Again. Keep it crunk y’all.