This morning on “Oprah’s Farewell Season,” which has the same resonance as Cher’s Farewell Tour, given that Ms. Winfrey is not really “leaving” any medium, featured duets with a female legend of rock paired with a younger generation artist. The most curious and cognitively dissonant was the pairing of Joan Jett and Miley Cyrus, the former being a true ground breaker in the world of punk with her band The Runaways, the latter being a manufactured Disney princess currently struggling with how, in full view of the tabloid addicted pop cultural landscape, to translate her outsize marginal talent into a respectable adult career.
For Ms. Cyrus this made their duet of “Bad Reputation” both a declaration of defiance and primer on the impotence of defiance if what all you ever were is a randomly entitled tween queen.
This all reminded me of the hullabaloo over that preciously entitled princess Donald Trump (see Vanity Fair portrait ca. 2006) and his bid for the Republican nomination for president in 2012.
He also began the rehabilitation of his image on “Oprah’s Farewell Season,” there to prove what a family man he was because as Oprah ( gamely playing along) declared “we don’t think of you as a family man.” He appeared with all of his children from all three of his babymammas and his current wife, barely older than his daughter Ivanka, about whom he once said was so pretty that if she weren’t his daughter he’d be hitting that.
Needless to say, he didn’t come off as a family man.
He did however come off as feudal lord, as you heard every one of his children and his child bride repeatedly (and solely) describe their relationship with The Donald as “a job to do.” (At least Melania was being honest.) This was enough to convince Elizabeth Hasselbeck on “The View” to declare that “Donald Trump has created more jobs than President Obama.” (When the ladies of “The View” complain about what a stalking thin skinned sourpussy you are, what is Hu Jintao going to think of you?)
Needless to say, he did manage to turn his seedy personal life into an economic issue and that alone is a resounding victory in a political landscape in which every social issue is being framed as an economic one. (See Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich.)
Donald, lest you think is trotting only the birther argument as a means to prove his authenticity (as in everyone is quite certain he is an American citizen), is pulling out all the stops to prove his superiority to anyone who dares disagree with him. In responding to Gail Collins’ column in The New York Times he wrote:
Even before Gail Collins was with the New York Times, she has written nasty and derogatory articles about me. Actually, I have great respect for Ms. Collins in that she has survived so long with so little talent. Her storytelling ability and word usage (coming from me, who has written many bestsellers), is not at a very high level.
Forget the syntax for a moment. “Not at a very high level?” Wow, now that’s word usage! With all this authenticity and career trajectory fur flying around, Mr. Trump betrays the existence of ghostwriters as Miley does of AutoTune when she sings live. But given the level of sophistication each presumes of their audience, their talent is unquestionable. Just ask them. Though to be fair, even institutions of higher learning like Rutgers are earning their bad reputation these days when they pay more for a lecture from Snooki than they do for Toni Morrison. Who’s he you ask? Never mind.
All irreverence aside, you will be happy to know that the serious camp in charge of Mr. Trump’s presidential aspirations is being run by none other than a man commonly known as Stewie Rah Rah, the #1 King of Fun.
What more can I say?