Adam Shatz’s violent fantasies

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February 18, 2017 by AK

Adam Shatz, a contributing editor at The London Review of Books, writes on his blog:

Many, perhaps most of us who live in coastal cities have found ourselves having criminal thoughts and violent fantasies since 9 November. Some involve Trump and Steve Bannon… still others involve the fabled white working class that is supposed to have voted for Trump… which most of us have found it easier to hate than persuade…

He can only be removed before the end of his term by impeachment or death, natural or otherwise. That many are fantasising about the last of these is hardly surprising…

People living under tyranny often dream that their leaders will come to a violent end… Still, it’s notable how easily violent thoughts have come to those of us who have known only a single, and much contested, month of the Trump-Bannon era…

Yes, that’s notable – although “notable” is quite an understatement here. Shatz proceeds to draw a parallel to the Palestinian cause, unbelievably. A Palestinian might claim: “They took my ancestral home; they took my land; they turned my people into second-class citizens”: if substantiated, the grievances would be profound. Shatz and the “we” of his blog post cannot even claim to have suffered at the hands of Trump’s regime. Trump has not and could not have harmed them: their pain is the work of their imagination.

To Shatz’s credit, he admits:

These thoughts are, in a way, a tribute to the power Trump has over our imagination.

But unlike the Palestinian conundrum, the author’s problem can be solved by freeing his captive imagination.


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