Once upon a time a German sociologist from the Frankfurt School wrote a little thesis called “From Caligari to Hitler” about popular imagination being reflective of the mentality that gave rise to fascism through Adolf Hitler. If Siegfried Kracauer were alive today, I am sure he would probably hate everything because he’d be over 100 years old and that sounds like it’d suck. But he’d at least have plenty of pop culture to choose from. Like one of the greatest American TV shows ever made, Arrested Development, which many of us seem to come back to when analyzing the Trump family.
I thought of hapless, overconfident Gob, the eldest son of real estate mogul George Bluth with shady business ties to a foreign dictator, this morning when I read about poor Donald Trump Jr. revealing that he had knowingly met with a Kremlin linked lawyer who was promising him damaging information about Hillary Clinton.
Look at his face. Can’t you just hear the Final Countdown playing in the background?
What else might Gob Bluth teach us about this real life rich boy?
Oh dear. The resemblance is a little uncomfortable isn’t it?
I can’t pretend to be the first person on the internet to make a Bluth/Trump analogy. Before the election, quite a few people were trying to imagine Lucille Bluth with Donald Trump’s words in her mouth, and it all meshed together a little too well.
Of course the Bluth family wasn’t all bad. Michael and the two youngest Bluths had the power to hold their family’s destructiveness in check. Maybe Kracauer would have suggested our fascination with watching the bad Bluths was an early indicator that the antics of a wealthy family were too irresistible of a spectacle for the populace to ignore. Very few of us would say that the Bluths are to be emulated, but they grabbed our attention and we just couldn’t look away.
Any Frankfurt School fans want to chime in?