Thursday, December 1, 2016
"I'm my own person, I tell him what I think. I'm standing very strong on the ground on my two feet and I'm my own person."
~~ Melania Trump
In a way, Donald Trump has sort of been hovering over our lives in the late 20th and early 21st Centuries -- like a shadow. Or a distraction. Looming, a bit. There, even when you weren't looking for him.
I was remembering -- going back over my own awareness of Mr. Trump over the decades, and wondering how it is he draws my attention. Some people gain attention for various reasons -- a kind of charisma? chutzpah? -- and the media builds on that.
In the 1980s, his name was somehow in the news, and I noticed this, even though I didn't have particular interest in new buildings being built in New York City.
And his name -- Trump -- is recognizable, and unusual -- there's a singularity and simplicity, and memorability about it.
Trump. Bump, thump, clump. Sump pump. Forrest Gump -- grump, jump, slump, trump. Trump.
I remember, I saw his first book, The Art of The Deal in a bookstore, in paperback, and I bought it. I read it, pushed myself through it, partly while lying out on a deck chair to get a tan. (It was the 80s, we were still tanning, before they started telling us, in the 90s, that it was bad for us.)
I don't remember anything I read in that book, but that isn't to say it isn't a good book -- just not really my area. I had thought, this guy is rich, so I must be able to learn something from him about how to become rich.
"Be born on third base and tell folks you hit a triple."
But as far as the art of the deal -- I already knew how to make deals -- visit with the potential customer, go through the "interview" process I'd been taught (you're helping, not selling), and Ask For The Order. I sold radio ads for six dollars. Trump sold ideas ("razzle-dazzle"?) for more than six dollars.
Vanity Fair magazine back then carried several articles at various times, on Donald Trump and his wife at the time, Ivana, who was from Eastern Europe.
--------------- [excerpt,"After The Gold Rush," Vanity Fair. September 1, 1990. By Marie Brenner] ----------------- The Trumps had bought Mar-a-Lago only a few months earlier, but already they had become Palm Beach curiosities. Across the road was the Bath and Tennis Club, "the B and T," as the locals called it, and it was said that the Trumps had yet to be invited to join.
"Utter bullshit! They kiss my ass in Palm Beach," Trump told me recently.
"Those phonies! That club called me and asked me if they could have my consent to use part of my beach to expand the space for their cabanas! I said, 'Of course!' Do you think if I wanted to be a member they would have turned me down? I wouldn't join that club, because they don't take blacks and Jews." ------------------- [end, excerpt] ---------------
Why read about them? What the Trumps were doing in NYC was not what I was at the time aspiring to, and yet I felt I ought to learn a little about it, so that -- so that, What? I don't know...
Then in the early 90s, it was some kind of ongoing scandal / soap-opera where the Trumps were going to divorce because "The Donald" as Ivana called him was "keeping" (stashed, kind of, it developed, in suites, and on boats) a mistress named Marla Maples, who came from Georgia.
I seem to remember a "news" story on TV at the time where the Trumps and Marla Maples were at Aspen skiing, and Donald Trump was trying to ski down a hill, and athlete Ivana sped out ahead of him and skied backwards down the mountain in front of him, berating him vigorously. Now, I can't find anything in the Internet about that particular highlight ... (Was it rumor? Exaggeration?)
The next story was the Trumps were divorcing, and it was something about the prenuptial agreement Mrs. Trump had signed was going to be ignored, and she was going to negotiate more money. (The art of the deal...)
Then it was, Marla Maples wanted to get married to Trump, but it wasn't happening.
Then it was, Marla Maples was expecting a baby.
THEN it was -- The Donald and The Marla Maples were getting married.
(It's interesting how gossip and sensationalism draw us in, we almost "can't look away," as they say, and yet, as you go along following the story, you realize, It's So Insanely Boring. That's the paradox of gossip, and of the Gutter Press....)
And then I remember in the late 90s, when the marriage to Marla Maples had ended, there was an article in one of the slick magazines, possibly V. Fair again, and why was I reading it? -- habit?
I don't know...and while reading the things Trump was then saying about relationships and dating and women he knew, it came into my mind that this man appeared to desire the drama more than anything else.
He seemed to want to set up "situations" where two women would be competing for him. "Drama." Which is a whole different thing from loving someone, or liking them. ("Light dawns on Marblehead," as they say in Massachusetts.)
In 2000, Donald Trump talked about running for president -- "flirted with" the idea, is the expression. I thought about maybe working for his campaign, if I could get a job -- I spoke to some NYC man on the phone who asked me to "Fax" my resume to him.
He was real friendly.
I mentioned this to a Republican friend of mine, who laughed and said, "Why would you want to work for him?" He thought it sounded pretty silly, at that time.
I just wanted to work for a campaign, I thought. Maybe. But not really. I wanted something. Didn't know what. And back then, Trump for Pres. was the same principle as Ross Perot for President. "The Perot Principle," if you will.
There are some photos on Internet of Trumps' apartment -- I like the Renoir on the wall, anyway...I would want thinner, simpler frame -- let Renoir speak for himself...