Experimental Magic: The Evolution of Magic

Experiment with your magical practice by learning how to apply art, pop culture, neuroscience, psychology, and other disciplines to your magical work, as well as exploring fundamental underlying principles of what makes magic work. You'll never look at magic in the same way!

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Political pop culture power or how to counteract the pop culture power of Trump

Last March, I wrote about the pop culture magic of Donald Trump and how he was trumping American politics. When Trump won the election, I wasn't surprised. He had the momentum of emotion as well as his celebrity status behind him and that was enough to push him toward victory. 

The question that we currently face is: What now? What do we do now that Trump is in office for the next 4 years?

While some people hold onto the hope of impeachment, what should be remembered is that no impeached president has ever left office. Impeachment is just a formal method for bringing charges against someone in office for breaking laws, through the use of their office. And while I have no doubt Trump will be impeached, I don't think that we should hold out hope for it and what it will accomplish (or not).

Instead I think a more nuanced approach is called for, one that employs magic, but also recognizes the pop culture presence of Trump and accounts for it. Until its accounted for magical work will not be successful, because you're dealing not just with the person, but also the persona that's been built up over the years and currently has a momentum fueled by all the emotions being directed toward him. 

We have an added complication, which is the fusion of Trump with the role of President, which brings its own pop culture symbolism with it, and yet is now being trumped by the presence of the Trump persona. Trump has stepped into a role where he embodies "American values" on the surface, if not in the actual reality of his being, so that too must be considered.


As I mentioned in my previous article, everything Trump does is calculated to feed his pop culture persona. The more people respond to Trump, the more his pop culture persona is fed. It doesn't matter what attention it is, and if anything negative attention spurs the persona on to even greater heights, because that's what Trump is all about. 

So how do we really respond to that?

Do we focus on the pop culture persona of Trump, the Tweets, and every headline that features him...or do we do something else? In this video I share some thoughts on that topic.

My solution is that we stop focusing on the distraction of Trump the persona, and start focusing on the Actions of not just Trump, but also the Republicans in general. Instead of feeding the pop culture persona of Trump by paying attention to his every word and action lets look at where the real actions are occurring, some of which Trump is part of, but some of which is being done by the very people elected into office. 

And as pop culture magicians lets recognize that in this case the pop culture around Trump is toxic and so if we want to counteract it, lets explore magical options that limit or negate the pop culture influence of Trump and instead recast him as a person who needs to be held accountable for his actions.

Until we do that, all we're really doing is feeding the very beast we're seeking to defeat. Trump's pop culture persona thrives on negativity and fear, so we must be careful of feeding the beast. We must stay informed, but let's stay informed about what really matters and call attention to the actual choices and actions that are occurring. They are otherwise masked by the distraction of Trump, and that distraction doesn't serve us in any useful form or manner. It only serves Trump and the people who support him. 

So how do we use pop culture magic to counteract the distraction of Trump?

The way to magically counteract the distraction of Trump is to call on the relevant pop culture symbols that represent values that are against what Trump stands for. Now there's a caveat to that. What you call on genuinely needs to be against what Trump stands for. I wouldn't, for example, suggest calling on Uncle Sam because he represents American Imperialism and Isolation.

Likewise I'm not even sure I would call on Captain America, because while he is a hero, he also embodies specific American values, some of which may fall in lie with what Trump espouses or seeks to represent in his role as President. 

Instead I suggest calling on what truly speaks to your own values and what you want to promote in the world. For example, one of my students has chosen to go to a protest in a way that embodies her values, "instead of carrying a sign, I'm just going to deck myself out in all my rainbowy Pride gear, because it's a symbol of gay rights, of inclusivity and diversity, which is more an affirmation of the kind of world I *want,* rather than marching in protest against what I don't want."

The best pop culture magic we can do involves bringing our values to the table, to represent the world we want to manifest, and to show that such a world can still exist, despite the short term victory of fear and hate. It may not be easy to bring those values to the table or represent them, but now more than ever is when we must do just that. So what is the pop culture around your values? Bring that pop culture out into whatever magic your doing and whatever activities your doing and use that to counteract the pop culture presence of Trump.

And let's continue to build the world we want instead of giving into the hate and fear.

Taylor Ellwood is the mad scientist and magical experimenter at magical experiments.

*Image courtesy of Wikimedia

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Taylor Ellwood is the author of Pop Culture Magic Systems, Space/Time Magic, Magical Identity and a number of other occult books. He posts about his latest projects at Magical Experiments.


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