Trump this: Donald sends handwritten notes to magazines that have hurt his feelings.
I was going to write an eat-your-vegetables blog today about how it’s National Library Week, or perhaps how it’s also National Poetry Month, which I’ve ignored thus far, but I am compelled to address a more edifying topic: Donald Trump and his contributions to literature.
First, I confess I’ve never watched a single second of The Apprentice, celebrity or otherwise, so if you think that disqualifies me from commenting on Trump then you can stop reading now. Likewise, I’ve not read a single word of any of his bestselling books, each and every one of which, let us note, features a co-author.
My inspiration comes most directly from Carolyn Kellogg, and her blog posting “Donald Trump likes to send notes to editors, compare bestseller stacks,” which, uh, pretty much tells the whole story right there, except for the details.
But ever since I saw Trump interviewed on one of the cable news stations this weekend, I’ve been unable to get him out of my mind, kind of like the dead squirrel rotting next to the curb.
This was, of course, at the gym. I never, ever subject myself to television news except when I’m working out and have no access to the channel changer. As a result I don’t know what netlet it was or the identity of the interviewer — a heavyset middle-aged woman.
Reading the closed captioning while huffing away on the elliptical machine, I learned that Trump is really wound up about the question of whether President Barack Obama might have been born somewhere other than American soil — say, Kenya! — and therefore ineligible to serve as chief executive.
Trump went on and on about this, as though it were not already a settled issue, as though it did not pale in comparison to such real challenges as the economy, the budget fight in Congress, rising oil prices, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the revolutions sweeping the Arab world, or why I can’t lose the weight I gained when I got laid off.
To her everlasting credit, the interviewer pushed aside the waves of pomposity rolling off of Trump like body heat off a resting sum wrestler to ask pointed questions — up to and including this one: Are you actually taking part in a conspiracy to re-elect Obama by making his opponents look laughable and silly?
It would be delicious to think something like that could be true in our dreary little world — Trump harrumphed and denied it — but I think the explanation is both more obvious and more tiresome: Trump is an attention hog, willing to say or do most anything as long as he can get people to look in his direction.
One of the enduring mysteries of the American experience is why we, as a people, are entranced by bumptious bully boy fat cats like Donald Trump. What is remotely interesting about this man? He lacks the Palpatine air of galactic evil that lends Rupert Murdoch a certain fascination. He has nothing of the Southern jock sex appeal or do-gooding of Ted Turner. The cool-Zen charisma of Steve Jobs? Not a chance.
Of course, all these men are motivated primarily by ego, but in Trump it’s so graceless and naked, like accidentally seeing your
uncle get out of the shower. Yikes! It was bad enough when he was all over the business pages and the society section, with occasional forays to A1.
But now he’s a TV star with political aspirations. I propose that his real aspiration is to be on every newspaper page, to top the page-rank list of every Google search.
Thank God he’s a developer and not a media mogul, or he might become our own Silvio Berlusconi.
Alas, his quest to take up all the space in the mediaverse is doomed to failure. Sooner or later his show will be canceled, and he’ll go back to slapping his name on really ugly buildings. He’s never going to be the best at anything, not even in the comb-over categroy.
Benny Hinn still has that one sewn up. On the other hand, though, like the boorish uncle flaunting his too-young girlfriend at the family renunion, Trump’s not going away anytime soon. He doesn’t seem to have a problem with drinking or prerscription drugs –hey, has anyone got an office pool on Charlie Sheen? –so I guess I’ll have to just grit my teeth and ignore him as best I can.