I just watched the last debate between Trump and Biden, and as Trump was talking my blood pressure and pulse rate began to climb. I was thinking, he’s a pitchman. No matter what is happening in the consensual reality outside himself, he is making a pitch, he is selling something, all the fucking time. If you buy it then god knows what happened to you. Good luck. But if you see that it is all a pitch to make a sale, and you aren’t buying snake oil today, you can’t help but feel a certain weakening, as if should you fail to keep up the force field between yourself and this man, your reason would collapse. It would be replaced by this guy. Then you can be manipulated into anything. In for a pence in for a pound. This isn’t a President, this is an Assailant.
I wanted Joe to point this out, I wanted him to go for the throat and point out that this is a salesman who will say anything to make the sale. He is not interested in anything other than the pitch and the capitulation to it. This is the essence of power which has no leadership qualities. It’s like a corporation, which has no law beyond providing maximum return to the shareholder. That’s it.
But as the debate progressed, I watched the reasonable President, behaving as his handlers had trained him, start coming off the leash. He wanted to make his pitch about his product, the best product in history, he wanted to do what he knows how to do, like the rest of us, and what he knows how to do is make the sale no matter what. Be like Keyser Soze, and do what other people, out of human decency, will not do. It wasn’t long until his mask began to break and beneath it there was a horrible nothingness. I was almost embarrassed to look, as Biden stood there, understated, letting him reveal himself. And I knew he was right. There’s nothing you can say about Trump’s deception, exaggeration, and toxic narcissism that makes any difference. What Joe did was the right thing. Just let the mask break again, to again show us that beneath it there is no substance. He is a man who brands things, which means he makes money on his name, even if there’s no substance behind it. There’s a pitch behind it and there are always some people who love to be conned.
William Burroughs knew the relationship between the con man and the mark, and was brilliant was usual when describing it.
The mark fears the con man, and he wants desperately to be part of the dangerous, glamorous world of Yellow Kid Weil and the High Ass Kid. The carrot is ruthlessly dangled, and the marks comes back moaning for more. And sometimes the mark comes out ahead.
“I tell you, Henry, I just can’t stand it. He keeps calling me up, ‘Any action?’ I change my address, he gets a private asshole to find me. He’s even got marks lined up. Good ones, too. I don’t want his marks. I don’t want his money.”
“Didn’t you say once you were looking for the perfect mark? Well, it figures, you found what you were looking for. I think your phone is ringing.”