De Elvis, the latest outing by Almost in Elvis (Dennis van Tiel) got a review by Paul Onkenhout in one of the largest Dutch newspapers, De Volkskrant. We recieved a translation of the article and since lack of time prevented an original one… here it is:
America's fried reality and Trump voter Elvis
Almost in Elvis was already a 'periodical/Digi zine' and is now a book; a book with a magazine title, but still. Almost in Elvis is titled De Elvis. this time. Confusing yes, but editor-in-chief and creator Dennis van Tiel likes that.
Van Tiel is a persistent person. The book is number nineteen of Almost in Elvis. Number eighteen appeared two and a half years ago, so it was about time again. In the foreword, Van Tiel explains what the guideline is this time: 'Elvis as America incarnate'. In more detail: "America is Elvis and Elvis is America".
According to Van Tiel, they are both immortal, love a dream, are fond of show and weapons, do not let the state prescribe anything and they are manic. In addition, they both, Elvis and America, like a 'fried reality'.
With this, you can go in all directions and that is what happens. A motley crew of authors, a ‘wild bunch’ according to Van Tiel, accepted the challenge. The Elvis. is about Elvis the Christian, about Elvis who bought bitcoins, about Elvis as a karateka, about the twists and turns of President Nixon during his meeting with Elvis and about Graceland, Elvis' home in Memphis. Meanwhile, it is about America, more or less.
Maarten van Rossem (the one and only) paid a visit to Graceland in 1986. He did not like it much, except for the middle-aged ladies who started to cry spontaneously at Elvis' grave. Twelve years earlier, Van Rossem had been to Las Vegas, where he could choose from concerts by Fats Domino and Elvis. "I didn't hesitate for a moment and went to Fats, who gave a great show on a revolving stage."
Hero-worshipping is not practiced in The Elvis. One admirer, pop journalist Ludo Diels, challenged himself by writing a piece about Elvis' unbridled greed, the centerpiece of a "sickening backdrop of commerce."
Here Elvis is the metaphor, or symbol, "of an America that has been in a state of disrepair for decades. An America of the mass product, the fast food industry and the empty-headed consumer culture.”
Then Van Tiel's question during an interview with Elvis, 'Would you have voted for Trump in 2016', is not so crazy after all. At the time, Elvis thought Trump was "quite powerful" because he stood up for American interests and had "an eye for all those unemployed poor workers, whose factories were closed due to unfair competition from abroad." Now Elvis probably would not vote for Trump anymore, he reveals in The Elvis.