Wednesday, January 24, 2007

An End To Goodwill

God forbid I should comment on a recent topic of trivial pop culture discussion on TV, but I just realized where my goodwill ends. I was thinking about how we all cut one another slack, and we must strive to make greater allowances for difference in every sense, and that seemed right to me. Casually, feeling bright and full of new possibilities, I checked my email on Yahoo! On the landing page a headline read "Are Jessica Simpson and John Mayer together?"

Before I could think about it, I blurted out: "I don't know who those people are, but sure. I hope they're together, right now. I hope they're having sex, and I hope it's good. Why not?"

So I thought I was quite Zen for a Wednesday morning. But, after I read and closed my email, another page appeared on Yahoo! And this one featured a photo of the limit to my goodwill and tolerance toward all: Donald Trump.

What a face to run in an ad! I know it's for that reality program he owns, but that doesn't make the ad less awful.

Did an artist paint a portrait of Trump and tell him, as long as he kept it in the attic, he would never grow old? And did some angry little heir or heiress break into the attic and deface that portrait without telling Trump? Feel free to offer another explanation.

But it isn't actually a physical thing. It's more like all the greed and petty cruelties to which we humans are susceptible have gathered in one vessel, and when the turmoil is too great, they leak, they bleed to the surface. It's as though he were mean-spiritedness itself.

Then I thought of Hillary Clinton's announcement that she will run for president, and she is "in it to win."

It's funny how I always link Trump and the Clintons. They have so little in common, superficially. But they come from the perspective that getting and doing are inalienable rights, and that if you find a way to get fabulously wealthy along the way, well, good for you. What is dismally lacking in this thinking is concern for where the wealth comes from. (If you're getting it, then who is losing it?) Our world has only so many available resources at any given moment. You can speculate about how much or how little you can get your hands on and how much others will be willing to pay you for it. But what does your speculation, and your ability to broadcast it to many people, do to the market? Do you care?

I don't think Trump cares. And, ultimately, because they so consistently align themselves with winners and likely winners, I don't think the Clintons care enough to be our leaders.

What you can say about them is that they are better leaders than Bush. Bush and Cheney are terrible leaders, so anyone would look good by comparison. But I want a Democrat who is better than "good by comparison." Someone who recognizes and knows she/he must address the profound and enormous financial divide that now exists in America. The Clintons are a perfect example of their generation, born to strive for success in the most competitive society the planet has ever known. They simply don't get that their boundless energy and ambition is part of the problem.

Trump is part of the problem-his inflated wealth, his arrogance, his mean face and sycophantic daughter. Since I have a prurient interest in famous daddy-worshipping daughters, I am looking for cyber-bytes I can use. Maybe I should keep that pic of Trump nearby while writing!

Btw-Be sure to see the queen of all Daddy-lovers in "Daughters of Catastrophe" at Theatre Off Jackson, in June! More info, and the beautiful poster, later.

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