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MoPOP at dusk, Seattle

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Greaserman


The story of the President appropriating another family's coat of arms in the New York Times is worth a read. Sleazy but not necessarily too shocking.

It just goes to reinforce the truism that one can not buy class. Or taste for that matter. Doesn't stop people from trying but the result usually looks real ugly.

In my life and various professions, I have been around numerous multi millionaires and billionaires. Some had impeccable taste. But I could write a book about the gaucheness and tawdry taste of some of the new money and other wealthy people that I have observed. Donald Sterling and his ugly zebra skin rugs come quickly to mind.

It is almost as if there is an inverse equation working between money and taste. A quick drive through the residential areas of Beverly Hills will illustrate my point quite succinctly. Or maybe people that have spent their lives scratching and clawing their way to the top take a little longer to civilize.

Of course there are wealthy people with exquisite taste, but they don't usually rub it in your face in a vile way.

Now our President did come from money, it is true. His father was a rich landlord so vilified for not renting to minorities that Woody Guthrie, who lived for a time in one of his public housing projects, Beach Haven, an all white development, wrote this song about him in 1950.

Old Man Trump

I suppose that Old Man Trump knows just how much racial hate
He stirred up in that bloodpot of human hearts
When he drawed that color line
Here at his Beach Haven family project

Beach Haven ain't my home!
No, I just can't pay this rent!
My money's down the drain,
And my soul is badly bent!
Beach Haven is Trump’s Tower
Where no black folks come to roam,
No, no, Old Man Trump!
Old Beach Haven ain't my home!

I'm calling out my welcome to you and your man both
Welcoming you here to Beach Haven
To love in any way you please and to have some kind of a decent place
To have your kids raised up in.
    
Beach Haven ain't my home!
No, I just can't pay this rent!
My money's down the drain,
And my soul is badly bent!
Beach Haven is Trump’s Tower
Where no black folks come to roam,
No, no, Old Man Trump!
Old Beach Haven ain't my home!
Woody Guthrie

Ouch. Money aside, I think it is fair to say that this might be our first "white trash" presidency. Surprised Kid Rock and Ted Nugent don't have cabinet positions yet.

I read a talking head early on in the Trump term hit on something that might explain some of the tawdriness. The fact that Trump is from Queens. You see most New Yorkers of all income levels and stations are imbued with a certain high degree of class and style. There are five boroughs, then you have Long Island and upstate. And fair or not, there is a definite pecking order. An inherent knickerbocker snobbery.

Edward Steichen - New York, the Flatiron evening, 1904
When people ask me where in New York I am from, I used to be loathe to mention Syosset or Smithtown. I would usually say "the city," meaning Manhattan.

It was the place of my formative roots, and Long Island was frankly not really worth mentioning.

Manhattan has the ultimate New York cachet, now closely followed by hipster laden Brooklyn.

Then comes the Bronx and Staten Island, unless of course you are a brain that graduated from Bronx School of Science, which elevates you to the head of the class.

Honestly, Queens is the ass end of New York. I had cousins in Bay Side I wouldn't even acknowledge as a kid, snob that I am, place was so skanky even then. Anyway the writer posited that Trump could never get over being a kid from Queens and that it bred a big inferiority complex that was not even eased by all the groping he did at Studio 54 and Maxwell's Plum.

So there you have it. Trump is suffering from Q.I.S. (Queens Inadequacy Syndrome).

If I may expound, Donald's idea of taste is more like his casino decor, a gaudy cartoon that celebrates the gilded look, think Thurston Howell the II or early Jethro Bodine. Something that will look real grand to the new imports from Appalachia.

Subtlety and understatement has no place in his calculus, you have to look Richie Rich rich; now for the first time in history we have gold drapes in the Oval Office. Egads.

Buster Brown can buy a presidency, and rip off a family crest or two, marry a couple beautiful waxy faced models that look like synthetic cyborgs from Blade Runner. The tiger can not change his stripes.

At his heart he will always be the punk greaser bully from Jamaica Estates. He may run the country, hopefully for a very short time, but he will never take Manhattan.

Oh and the coat of arms? I came up with my own. And I know that the hand is too big.

2 comments:

Sanoguy said...

Born on 3rd base, thought he hit a triple!

Anonymous said...

We shall over comb...