Politics, Philosophy, and Reality in 2023 Fiction

Dear Subscriber,

Wowza! Another sober trash day in sunny San Diego. I completed my story based on an old English folk tale about a miserly ferryman in Elizabethan times. What a fantastically original title! Ferryman. As usual, my story has several profound philosophical and political references. If you understand them, then your reflections are very welcome! I learn more from students than they probably do from me.
I watched “snippets” (kind of like Tweets) of the CNN Town Hall with TV phony bastard and perpetual liar, Donald J. Trump as the emcee.
The kid Kaitlan Collins sounded like the typical over-educated journalist questioning and rebutting a dictator from the Banana Republic like Trump is. All these guys understand is a smackdown. You know, like “Slam Poetry”? Or, WWE wrestling? Or, better yet, cage fighting.
You don’t try to pin them in the corner with “lawyer questions.” Live debate is not like being on the stand in a civil law suit, or even a criminal one. TV Town Hall is like an open forum for liars and psychopaths. You can say whatever you want because it’s TV. Richard Nixon found that out in his first debate with John F. Kennedy. Then they wrote the first book on TV politics, remember? The Selling of the President.
It’s even worse today as you have tweeters, trolls, commentators, and every nutjob from every fanatical group alive and in Area 51. Most of them don’t read or do research, and they get most of their news and information from others or from (gasp!) social media.
The issues on the “Town Hall with an Indicted Criminal” were as if you could package extremely complex and politically incorrect problems inside a twenty second TV commercial, which is how Trump played it, and how he always plays it. He’s a great TV guy. That’s all he ever was, and all he’ll ever be. Get him in an honest debate and he would fail like most college first-year students do.
In fact, it would be very cool if they began shows like this with a quick summary of the basic “Fallacies of Argument” for the audience. Trump violates eight of the ten major fallacies every time he speaks on anything, for fuck sakes! I’d wager his dad probably said to him what my dad said to me, “You’d argue with a fence post!” Yup. That’s what entertainer politicians do. They argue with fence posts that have populist posters on them and bumper sticker intelligence.
Next time, have somebody like Anahit Misak Kasparian as the moderator. She would put Mr. Trump’s balls in a vice and keep squeezing, man! LOL! Real TV drama.
Good morning, y’all!

Since I taught advanced argument and research to college students, from Caltech to Mesa Community College, then I like to do little min-dramas about how I taught. Here’s one I created after watching Trump’s CNN Town Hall:

Okay, students, here are the top ten fallacies for you to study so you never, ever, ever, violate them.

Yes, Donald, do you have a question?

Donald Trump: Yeah. You said they’re fallacies because they work in live debates. So, why not use them if they work?

Because we are civilized and honest human beings who are entrusted by our population of lesser educated folks to stay honest to protect them and our civilization’s integrity.

Donald Trump: Screw that, man. I want to win!

Okay class, here are the top ten. When the student is ready, the teacher shall appear! (my favorite teacher cliche ever)

The Top 10 Logical Fallacies

Straw Man
Begging the Question
Ad Hominem
Post Hoc
Loaded Question
False Dichotomy
Appeal to Authority
Hasty Generalization
Appeal to Popular Opinion

So, do research from your work, daily arguments with friends, and other “real life” sources, and bring at least one example tomorrow so we can discuss why and how they’re fallacious and inappropriate for debate.

Donald Trump: Say, can I get a list of those when we get them?

Ergo, if you don’t like fiction with political facts and real historical references, then please unsubscribe. You won’t get it from this guy. But I respect your tastes anyway!

Kind Regards,

James Musgrave

EMRE Publishing, San Diego

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