Every time a journalist on the TV frames the chaos we’re living through from Donald Trump’s point of view, I want to scream. And I often do.
If you ask a liar if he’s lying and the liar lies (says “no, I’m not lying”), are you doing anyone any favors by telling their story without framing the liar as a liar first? By not framing the story as a liar probably lying, you’re telling the story of an honest person doing honest things and speaking truthfully. If that’s not the truth, what the hell are you doing telling this story — if not deliberately retelling a lie?
James Bond movies are always written, produced & told from James Bond’s point of view — that is, that James Bond is the hero doing heroic things for our collective benefit. He’s saving the world from guys like Ernst Stavro Blofeld. But, if we told a James Bond story from every point of view, including Blofeld’s, we’d have to justify Blofeld if only to himself.
No one ever does anything for “no reason” or “just because’. Even if a person (or character) can’t articulate what motivates them to action, there’s something inside motivating them. Ironically, for all his appearances across multiple Bond movies, neither Ian Fleming (Bond’s creator) nor any of the filmmakers who’ve adapted Fleming’s work to the screen have bothered to dive deeply into what makes Blofeld tick.
It’s pure greed or megalomania, take your pick. No idea what his parents were like (was Ernst born this way or was his environment and upbringing to blame?) With Donald Trump, for instance, we can point to horrible genetics, clinical narcissism and deplorable parenting. With Blofeld? All we know is he woke up one day wanting to rule the world never mind all the headaches it might cause.
On the one hand, I think a Bond movie told from Blofeld’s point of view is extremely appealing — but only because I really want to know what makes a character like Blofeld tick. Are Bloefeld’s born or made?
But that would be a Blofeld movie, not a Bond movie.
We live in a Bond movie, not a Blofeld movie. Telling us how Blofeld thinks is interesting but not if you’re telling us at the same time that how Blofeld thinks is valid. It’s not. It can’t be — because Blofeld having his way and Bond World surviving intact are mutually exclusive propositions.
A story told from Bloefeld’s point of view would justify Blofeld. It would explain him — not as the villain of the Bond Story but as the hero of the Blofeld story. From Blofeld’s point of view, he’s completely justified doing what he’s doing. Keep in mind — he never just shows up as the guy with all that Dark Power, he’s worked his way there.
He’s found the money to pay for his evil empire. No one’s working for free, right? Working in remote locations where no one can snoop on you? You still have to feed, house, clothe your work force. And they all have families, you know? What about them? Does Blofeld, Inc offer competitive salaries and benefit packages? What’s their healthcare plan like?
Every time a Stephanie Ruhl asks a “But, what if…” question that supposes Trump might not be lying this time, it stops framing the story from the point of view of reality and frames it instead from bullshit’s point of view — as if bullshit were true. It’s not. Never was, never will be. If the Trumpanistas believe the bullshit, they’re delusional — that’s the story. If the Trumpanistas don’t believe the bullshit but want to shove it down our throats anyway, they’re liars and rapists.
Why would any responsible journalist frame any story from an untrue point of view? Nothing good can come of it. Dialogue from a James Bond movie comes to mind. James Bond is tied down to a metal table. A laser is moving slowly toward his family jewels — the laser will sear them good and proper before burning a line all the way up to Bond’s forehead.
“I expect you want me to talk,” says Bond.
“No, Mister Bond,” laughs Goldfinger, “I expect you to die.”
If we saw the movie from Goldfinger’s point of view? We’d be cheering for the laser.