Hi ho, movie lovers.
Have you ever noticed that certain things can appear to be very different, but, upon further reflection, actually have a lot in common?
Take cats and dogs.
Dogs bark and cats meow. Dogs are (supposedly) friendly while cats are (supposedly) more aloof. Never the less, dogs and cats do share important traits. For example, dogs and cats both communicate through body language. Both dogs and cats have territorial instincts. They're both natural hunters. They both shed. Both will drink out of the toilet if you're not careful. Both dogs and cats can get worms, fleas, ticks and rabies (so see a vet regularly). And they both make great pets.
Another different-but-same duo are waffles and pancakes.
Pancakes and waffles aren't so different after all.
Sure, they look different. However, both are made from a mix, both are cooked on a griddle or an iron, both taste good with butter, jam and syrup and both are eaten for breakfast.
See what I mean?
Therefore, when I state that the movie "The Creeping Terror" (1964) and Donald Trump have many similarities, nobody should say, "That's too wild, even for you." Let me explain:
Art J. Nelson (the master mind behind "The Creeping Terror") and Donald Trump (the master mind behind MAGA) are both dodgy flim/flam men who convinced a large swath of people that they were either A) a successful film maker or B) a successful business man.
Like wise, both men assured people that they would either A) make the greatest monster movie of all time or B) they would make the greatest president of all time.
Both Trump and Nelson were never shy about asking their followers for money--to finance and star in Art's movie or to finance Donald's campaign--and both men had no problem playing fast and loose with that money (see Trump University and the welter of lawsuits Nelson was the subject of).
But wait! There's more!
As every Junk Cinema fan knows, the centerpiece of "The Creeping Terror" is a large, scraggy alien carpet sample and/or old afghan blanket/rug that lumbers around mythical Angel County scarfing up people via his/her/its mouth/hole/opening/thingie/doo-hickie. Once the monster does so, it grows. And grows. A lot. Thus, when the flick nears its end, the Creeping Terror resembles a huge, moldy carpet sample/afghan rug being dragged along by a troop of crawling drunks.
Similarly, Trump is rather large and scraggy, too, and has lumbered around the country. He's also managed to scarf up an entire cable network and the GOP in one, huge vacuum-packed slurp. With Fox News and the GOP fawning over him 24-hours-a-day, Trump's ego and sense of grandiosity inflated so much he started saying stuff like "I'm a very stable genius", "I know more about ISIS than the general do", "Everything I've done virtually has been a great success" (...does that include Trump Steaks?), "I know a lot of tough people who are stupid" and "I know words. I have the best words" with a straight face, so convinced of his infallibility. However, even Trump's biggest fans had to admit his suggestion about injecting bleach to cure Covid-19 was a bit much.
Additionally, despite looking (and being) utterly ridiculous, the Creeping Terror and Trump have/had a "fear factor" working in their favor. By that I mean people are afraid to confront them directly.
See, when the Creeping Terror began creeping around Angel County, Deputy Martin (director Art J. Nelson) and imported scientist Dr. Bradford (William Thurlby) decided not to alert their fellow citizens about the danger. Why? Because they didn't want the public to panic--even though the Creeping Terror had already gluped down a housewife, a grandpa and grand son, a couple necking in their underwear and all the participants of a "neighborhood hoot-e-nanny". I don't know about you, but after all that, I think a little panic is in order. What's more, by refusing to alert the citizens of Angel County, Martin and Bradford put more people in danger, not less.
Same thing with Trump. Neither Fox News or the GOP would admit the danger Trump was putting voters (and the country) in. Why? Because Fox was getting sky-high ratings and raking in acres of cash for supporting Don and the GOP didn't want to "upset" Trump's "base" (for fear voters would reject them, not Trump, on Election Day).
However, when these twin terrors could no longer be ignored, both "The Creeping Terror" cast and the GOP tried to make things right, with mixed results.
In "The Creeping Terror", Deputy Martin and Dr. Bradford violently disagree about the creeping monster's fate: Martin wants to kill the beast, while Dr. Bradford wants to "save" and "study" it. While those two bicker, the military (in the form of Col. Caldwell) takes charge and use grenades to blow the creature up. Because there is another Creeping Terror inside the aliens' spaceship, Martin rams it with his car and that Creeping Terror creeps no more. Hurray! Unfortunately, before Dr. Bradford dies (don't ask), he tells Martin et al that the Creeping Terrors weren't creatures at all--they were actually "mobile labs". Their mission was to suck humans inside to analyze their DNA and send the info back to their home planet. Unfortunately, before the humans could stop them, the Creeping Terrors sent a truck-load of DNA info back home. What will happen now?
"God only knows," the flick's narrator intones.
Meanwhile, the GOP was even more inept on how to stop Trump. Some RNC delegates tried to draft an alternative candidate to Trump, but that didn't work. Other GOP members said they would "support Trump, but not endorse him." That had little effect, too. Still others said Trump would "grow" into his role as President, but that didn't pan out, either. Then "Access Hollywood" released a tape of Trump proclaiming that grabbing women by the snatch was OK if you were famous. People were shocked, but Trump's faithful insisted it was just "boys talk". Trump's supporters also reminded folks that Donald never said he was perfect; he was running for president, not pope. Besides, they added, didn't King David have, like 5,000 concubines? And what about the behavior of the Kennedys? And FDR? And Clinton? And didn't W drink like a fish and snort coke in his younger years? Why, even George Bush the First was said to have cheated on Barbara! And don't forget Eisenhower. He cheated on wife Maime with his lady driver during WWII. That wasn't exactly patriotic, was it?
The message the GOP and MAGA were sending was, yes, Donald was rude, crude, insulting, ignorant, sexist, unfaithful (to his wives), boorish and uncouth. But, hey, what politician isn't?! At least he's honest about it, right? And remember, Donald is running for president, not pope.
Later on, the House had two (two!) chances to impeach Donald on charges far more consequential than his "Access Hollywood" debacle. However, the GOP held back fearing that offending Trump's base could cost them their own re-election bids.
The Creeping Terror was capable of great violence to achieve his/her/its goals. When the beastie made his/her/its way to Lover's Lane, it unleashed hell: knocking over cars, inhaling couples whole and appearing to have sex with an Oldsmobile.
Donald Trump has a long history of promoting and/or inciting violence, too.
So you see movie lovers, "The Creeping Terror" and Donald Trump are not that different. In fact, they are a good example of Coincidentia Oppositorum in action.
Coincidentia Oppositorum is a Latin phrase meaning "coincidence of opposites". It is a neoplatonic term attributed to a 15th century German polymath named Nicholas of Cusa in his work De Docta Ignorantia (which in Latin means "on learned ignorance" or "on scientific ignorance").
Coincidentia Oppositorum can also be invoked when one experiences "the revelation of the oneness of things previously believed to be different." This insight can be found in the religious traditions of Toaism, Zen and Sufism, as well as German mysticism, and "various non-dualist and dual traditions."
Nicholas of Cusa, wherever you are, thanks for your support!
And save the movies.
Editor's note: The information provided to explain Coincidentia Oppositorum and the life and work of Nicholas of Cusa came from Wikipedia. For further reading, consider The Unity of Opposites: A Dialectical Principal or Nicholas of Cusa: Selected Spiritual Writing by Lawrence H. Bond. Have I read this stuff myself? No, but it sounds interesting.