Friday, April 29, 2011

Life Imitating Bad Art

Sadly, I suspect we’ve reached the point where life no longer imitates art, but what passes for art nowadays. Exhibit A: Donald Trump. Described in a news piece as the “billionaire turned reality star,” he is now taken seriously by some as genuine presidential timber, and covered by an increasingly facile media that just can’t get enough of celebrity and colorful sound bites. By first throwing in with the so-called “Birthers” in clamoring for the official release of President Obama’s birth certificate, and then taking credit for it when it was, the billionaire turned reality star’s been ubiquitous on both the boob tube and YouTube. In the billionaire turned reality star’s brain, this series of events is further evidence of how he—and he alone—gets things done.

But obviously the billionaire turned reality star has more than the president’s birth certificate up his sleeve, and the media that hangs on his every word is there to report his every utterance. Yesterday, he called our leaders “stupid people,” and I will concede that he might be on to something here. A case could be made that some of them in fact are stupid, and some are stupider than others. But he also branded the Chinese “motherfuckers,” and said he’d straightaway slap a two percent tax on their imports. And, no doubt, the Saudi royal family is shivering in their sandals at the thought of the billionaire turned reality star becoming the 45th president of the United States and lecturing them: “You’re not going to raise that fucking [oil] price. You understand me!” Personally, I think the billionaire turned reality star should have his mouth washed out with one of those ever-shrinking bars of Irish Spring.

And, not surprisingly, there’s even more news on the billionaire turned reality star coming down the pike. It seems that he once proposed a 14.25 percent net worth tax on very wealthy Americans like himself. His 1999 plan, he estimated, would raise more than $5.7 trillion and entirely erase the National Debt, which he further reasoned would spur an unprecedented economic expansion. Fast forward twelve years and the National Debt is $14 trillion and growing. How now does the billionaire turned reality star expect to turn things around? No new taxes. It appears his solutions for economic growth and long-term prosperity involve telling a long list of foreign countries and their leadership they are a bunch of losers.

With Buckingham Palace as their backdrops, American news anchors reported on the hundreds of people who died in tornadoes down South. It’s been a strange week. So, just what will the billionaire turned reality star say and do next? Rest assured: It won’t be buried in the backs of newspapers.

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