In a ghastly but revealing article over at The Washington Post
Aaron Blake details some of the overlooked details in the Senate’s findings about Donald Trump and Russia. There’s the usual fawning over Putin, Trump’s beseeching of oligarchs, a probable affair with a woman (kompromat) while “the Donald” was in Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant…and then there’s this:
“And two witnesses — Rob Goldstone and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen — recall the Agalarovs and the Trump team visiting a club that featured a strange show which Cohen said involved a “sex act.”
Goldstone, a Brit who later served as an intermediary for the 2016 Trump Tower meeting, said Trump bodyguard Keith Schiller approached him about the proposed trip to a club called The Act, where an associate of Emin Agalarov was an investor. “Mr. Trump wants to come,” Schiller said, according to Goldstone.
Cohen described the club as “more than a burlesque club” and a “wild place.” Here’s Cohen’s recollection
He said the show that night featured a “young man” in a body suit who was blind and, in Cohen’s estimation, appeared to have suffered from birth defects. He said the man sang a patriotic song while a large woman in a thong bikini performed “sex acts” on him.”
Straight away my ears perked up–(I read with a screen reader) here’s kompromat meets disability meets freak show. Evers to Tinker to Chance.
In her book “Media, Performative Identity, and the New American Freak Show” Jessica L. Williams writes: “The freak show succeeded…because it reinforced binaries about gender, race, and ability but its failure was cemented when scientific advances and human rights issues altered the ways viewers saw otherness. ”
In other words, the freak show returns as pornography when science and human rights are nuisances.
Kompromat in this instance employs paraphilia: abnormal sexual attraction, and at “The Act” Trump was treated to the sight of a deformed blind man as sex toy– a convoluted projection of teratophilia–a sexual attraction to deformed people or monsters.
The Russians are terrific at Kompromat. After viewing “the act” should the news ever get out, the headline would read: “who’s the monster now?”
“Trump’s visit to The Act was reported in a 2018 book by Michael Isikoff and David Corn, though it didn’t specify what was onstage that night. Cohen has teased his new book by apparently referencing the club visit but referring to another act — one involving urination — that doesn’t appear in the Senate’s report.”