LaQuisha St Redfern vs Donald Trump



I grew up on a dead end street, each side divided into quarter, or fifth acre sections. At the end of the street was farmland, where cows would graze; beyond the paddocks the Waipa river, glistening and murky, and in the far distance: Mt Pirongia. It was rarely cold enough for snow to fall on that mountain.

It’s the late 1980s and I am a child. I climb up onto the roof of our house. A green roof, corrugated iron. I sit and look out into the distance. In the evenings it was especially beautiful. The sky would turn all kinds of muted pastel tones with flaming red-orange clouds, and there was a stacking of purples, which became lighter with each layer, these were the rolling fields, then foothills and then finally Mt Pirongia itself. Japonisme was big in the 80s and I thought to myself it must have been this kind of vista that inspired the ink wash paintings of Japanese landscapes.

Sitting on the same roof, looking west, instead of south to Mt Pirongia, was the massive range of hills that dominated the skyline of the township. The Hakarimata Range.

These hills are huge and stretched for kilometers either way. They affected the television reception; every television set in the town experienced ghosting. To the right of every on-screen element, was a ghostly afterimage.

This was caused by the electromagnetic waves carrying the TV signal being, first, collected by the aerial strapped to the red brick chimney, then made into the main image. Secondly, those same waves, travelling at the speed of light, would reach the hills. Some of the waves would bounce back and be collected by the aerial again and so be overlaid by our TV set. Ghosting: a visual echo.

In this way I watched President Reagan, and his ghostly afterimage announce the Strategic Defense Initiative. Lasers in space, to shoot down the Soviet nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles, before they could strike, blossoming into mushrooms clouds and radioactive death. As a child, these were my Grimm’s fairy tales. Watching a MAD USA on the television, powerless to affect change, and hoping (and sometimes praying) that a nuclear war wouldn’t become a reality.

I had bad dreams about radioactivity. I turned to my parents for solace, but they, born in the late 40s, could not remember a time before the cold war. My father told me he too had bad dreams as a child. About the planes being launched. In his day atomic death was dropped from a B52 bomber.

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Now it is the late 2010s, in six weeks time the USA may elect a man who, to me, seems an insane choice for president. There’s no ghosting now, the image is in HD. We have moved far beyond terrestrial transmission. Now news reaches me on a packet switched network with low latency, transmitted via satellite, or a single underwater fibre optic cables that links New Zealand to the world wide web, the internet, the information superhighway. To YouTube, to Twitter, to Instagram. To the BBC, to

And I watch it, and I am powerless to affect change, and I hope (and sometime pray) that President Trump does not become a reality.


LaQuisha St Redfern is the drag alter ego of gender nonbinary identified Conrad (Connie) Johnston. LaQuisha lives on Space Station 1 in geosynchronous orbit about Wellington, New Zealand with her trusty pussy cat Cuddle Unit 5. Conrad was born and raised in Ngāruawāhia in the heart Tainui and the Kīngitanga. His whakapapa links him tribes in England and Scotland. LaQuisha, on the other hand, was born on the ballroom floor of an star-liner en-route to planet earth. How her mother missed the contractions is a mystery, she never could miss a party.


  1. If what is reported is correct (and how would we know, now that digital technology can generate anything the controllers want promulgated?), Hilary Clinton poses a far worse threat to global peace than Donald Trump.

    Unlike Trump, who has a record of exploiting other humans and the environment, Hilary Clinton has been deeply involved in criminal activities within the US for decades and has already instigated numerous US interventions to bring about ‘regime change’ which have resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of people.

    Unlike us, Russia is not powerless to bring about change and will not be bullied into submission by the US. Indeed, it seems that Russia (along with China) is preparing for the final confrontation which will either see the American empire collapse or will see the Earth rapidly rendered largely uninhabitable (or both).

  2. There are elements of Trump’s social policy which I find rather disturbing, but I’m not an American. Speaking on concerns which directly affect the rest of us, on matters of geopolitics, I find Hillary the one whose rhetoric and record make her more likely to start a war with Russia. Not just her either. The hardliners Trump has been mocking in the current defence and foreign policy establishment, characters like John Allen and of course Hillary’s former understudy Victoria Nuland (spouse of professional Russia-baiter Robert Kagan). It was also pathological Russophobe and neocon Anne Applebaum who first stood up among Republican-aligned commentators to describe her as the best choice for president in the current election. Now, there is only one factor which will win you Anne Applebaum’s endorsement as a presidential candidate: your likelihood of taking a confrontational stance against Russia. Much like her Polish neocon Russophobe husband, Applebaum is obsessed, and Hillary has been the favoured candidates of this Washingtonian milieu of anti-Russian hardliners. This is a major problem, because Russia is no longer the ‘upper Volta with nukes’ once described by Condoleezza Rice, but a serious strategic competitor with a new missile system and a revitalised conventional military. Vladimir Putin and his advisors are also way, way smarter than Hillary Clinton and her vapid clique.

  3. Apparently, SDI was unworkable from the start but fooled gorbachev into thinking the USSR military policy was unaffordable and went down the perestroika / glasnost path which unintentionally led to the fall of communism.

    you make it sound like a bad thing!

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