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Today’s must read

14 October 2015

There is a narrative coherence to Trump’s stories that mere reality cannot match. His stories match how we feel—we who feel like we are fighting a race-war with Mexico (a decidedly white Anglo-American kind of “we” which feels quite insecure about it). When my late grandmother told me about the time she visited Texas, she described hearing people speaking Spanish and feeling like they were talking about her. She didn’t like it. For the insecure “we,” militarizing the border makes sense: more walls, more checkpoints, more men with guns, and more cages for human beings. For the insecure “we,” security theater can be a comforting reality show to watch.


As Carmen Boullosa’s newly translated novel, Texas: The Great Theft, suggests, fascism has happened here, and—to be blunt—reality is a much more vicious and stupid place than the saner version of it that we “non-crazies” imagine we inhabit. History tends to tell us that our leaders were intelligent and serious and that—at worst—they had “flaws”; history is a slow, gradual and predictable progression of things we’ve already seen before. In this way, history re-assures us that a “President Trump” will inevitably remain the punchline to a very tired joke.

Carmen Boullosa’s Texas: We Have Always Been At War With Mexico, Aaron Bady, Pacific-Standard (1 October 2015)

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