Thursday, September 01, 2016


There are a lot of funny, sharp lines in that Garrison Keillor piece about Donald Trump, starting right at the outset:
The cap does not look good on you, it's a duffer's cap, and when you come to the microphone, you look like the warm-up guy, the guy who announces the license number of the car left in the parking lot, doors locked, lights on, motor running.
It's well worth a read, but I don't think I agree with the last two sentences of this:
... The New York Times treats you like the village idiot. This is painful for a Queens boy trying to win respect in Manhattan where the Times is the Supreme Liberal Jewish Anglican Arbiter of Who Has The Smarts and What Goes Where.... To the Times, Queens is Cleveland. Bush league. You are Queens. The casinos were totally Queens, the gold faucets in your triplex, the bragging, the insults, but you wanted to be liked by Those People. You wanted Mike Bloomberg to invite you to dinner at his townhouse. You wanted the Times to run a three-part story about you, that you meditate and are a passionate kayaker and collect 14th-century Islamic mosaics. You wish you were that person but you didn't have the time.
Do you believe Trump ever wanted to be -- or ever even wanted to seem like -- a man with rarefied tastes and sophisticated interests?

Meditation? Kayaking? Fourteenth-century Islamic art? That's not Trump. That's never been Trump. And you don't need time to be that guy, or fake being that guy, if you've got money. You want to look as if you have discerning taste in art? You pay good money to a consultant who'll tell you what to buy and, incidentally, how rapidly it will appreciate in value. Easy.

Trump wanted to win the admiration of the Times and the rest of the swells without being that guy. He wanted to stick with the piss-elegant and still be acclaimed and courted by people with taste and discernment. And he pretty much got what he wanted, at least until this crazy president thing.
Running for president is your last bid for the respect of Manhattan. If you were to win election, they couldn't ridicule you anymore. They could be horrified, but there is nothing ridiculous about being Leader of the Free World. You have B-52 bombers at your command. When you go places, a battalion of security guys comb the environs. You attract really really good speechwriters who give you Churchillian cadences and toss in quotes from Emerson and Aeschylus and Ecclesiastes.
Keillor's right about the bombers and the security guys. But the speechwriters? Trump could attract speechwriters like that now. For a while in 1996, Bob Dole employed Mark Helprin, a serious novelist, to write speeches for him -- and he was Bob Dole. Trump could do as well or better.

But Trump doesn't want Churchillian cadences. When he reads the speeches he commissions now, he lards them with ad libs ("Believe me, folks"), like a guy pouring ketchup on a steak.

Yes, Trump wants respect, but he wants it on his terms. He doesn't want to be a cultural elitist -- he wants the cultural elitists to kiss his ass. Too bad he picked the first thing in his life that's made them stop doing that.


Victor said...

t-RUMP's whole schtick, is to buy expensive shitty crap, and gild the shitbout of it!

In trying to show how expensive his taste is, he proves how gouche and juvenile his taste really is!

This assclown's the King of Schlock!!!

Yastreblyansky said...

Yes, you've got that. "Donald Trump, the noted collector of modern gold bathroom fixtures and Eastern European eye candy". In his opinion he's no different from those other guys except his stuff is probably more genuinely valuable because of the quality of the materials.

But it surely hurts him that somebody like Bloomberg despises him, and he's always wondering about respect.

The New York Crank said...

" ...Supreme Liberal Jewish Anglican Arbiter..."


Yours very crankily,
The New York Crank

Glennis said...

Like a guy pouring ketchup on a well-done steak, actually.

Unknown said...

I think Trudeau in Doonesbury nailed Trump and his taste years and years ago with the line "hey give those nymphs some hooters!"

KenRight said...

When Trump's first instinct was to assure he'd negotiate with absolute neutraility between Israel and the Palestinians, he showed his naivete about the crowd of New York truly provincial Elite.

Belvoir said...

Ha, @Aunt Snow- of the thousands of horrible things I've read about Trump, the fact that he demands his steaks well-done and burnt until they're white inside was a memorable horror.

(I think it's a generational thing, and also possibly from the fact his mother was Scottish. My Northern Irish aunts were dismayed at medium-rare steaks or beef, I remember from when I was a kid. I think it comes from a very long ago time where there was no regulation of food there, they cooked everything to death there because of fear that meats cooked rare would make one sick. It's also why Britain and NI had such a reputation for horrible food, ha. )