That Time I Agreed
With Donald Trump
Like at least an arguably 100 million Americans, and countless around the world, I too am embarrassed and horrified by the ghastly, and tasteless, Donald Trump for President circus. When, and how, will it all end? To be honest, though, I never liked the guy.
But there was a moment, and it’s no wonder that it was one of the darkest in recent history, when I agreed with this ogre. Who for all I know, would likely squash me like a Manhattan cockroach, if given a chance, or care about it. Fortunately we never met.
As for what’s not too like about a white, rich bully who made his fortune in the most undignified way – inherited by his equally despised dad -, and whose business acumen can be measured by four multimillion dollar bankruptcies, it shouldn’t really be up to discussion.
Hey, for all it’s worth, we don’t really know he’s as rich as he boasts, and compared to all other lies he’s been telling, some uglier than others but still, all lies, the claim of being a billionaire may be reality only under his fading orangutan-orange hair.
I’m not being original here. Most New Yorkers have hated Trump since the time the Twin Towers were being built, and his daddy Fred was giving him the keys to the family loot. And if you didn’t dislike him before, you do now with his gag-inducing media coverage.
A MOMENTARY LAPSE OF REASON
Sure, Woody Guthrie wrote ‘Old Man Trump,’ about his slumlord father. But in these witless times, we can see not even Bob Dylan, for one, coming up with something, even if full of contempt, that wouldn’t be misappropriated and wind up adding to the cult of Don.
The man has made a point in appearing vile through the years even in photo-ops, and while adding his name to the facade of mediocre buildings and shady casinos, he’s also been pictured next to quite a morally questionable bunch too. Just Google it.
But there was that moment, and again, I’m not alone in it, when reality was so punishing that at least briefly, bent everyone’s perception of it. And I agreed with the creep. That was 9/11, but hold it before hating me for linking it with his name.
In the weeks, then months, and then years after the attacks, all one could hear was, ‘rebuild,’ start over, erect something that would show the bastards that they had accomplished nothing. (more)
* Of Birds & Beams
Some of us already knew, though, that in some ways, the city was lost forever.
THE DESIGN THAT WAS NEVER TO BE
A series of not exactly honorable initiatives got in motion to come up with a response to the Twin Towers’ destruction. We need to build yet another office building on that space, we were told, because if not, you know, the terrorists win and all that.
It’s hard to list all that was wrong with that assumption and the staggeringly failed actions it triggered. But a certainly low point came with the public contest to choose a design for what the Bush administration wanted to call the ‘Freedom Tower.’
To this day, I get an allergic reaction every time I hear that sobriquet, even as I sympathize with tourists who utter it. On the other hand, if it comes from a New Yorker, that’s reason for a heated, name-calling argument, and even a few blows. Not now, though.
The competition for the design of the new tower, or towers, was a ruse. While participants were scrambling to come up with brilliant ideas, the rebuilding was already being decided in cut-throat real estate discussions taking place behind closed doors.
WHEN HIS (AND MINE) IDEA GOT FIRED
It was a farce, unwittingly endorsed by all who broke a sweat over it. Yes, there was a winner, briefly paraded under the spotlight. But after taking forever to go up, what finally became the World Trade Center I had none of the zest of the original designs.
That was when I heard this wooden-cracked voice suggesting something I had actually thought would be the best idea: to build an exact replica of the towers, but stronger and, just out of typical spite, five-story taller. It came from, you guessed, the D. Trump.
Worse: I was so convinced that he was right that I also believed that he could build it fast. After all, developers and the city dragged their feet until they got what they wanted it: a lucrative deal to refill that hole downtown with tons of steel and concrete.
For it was a beautiful, simple idea. After some 10 years of hating the towers, New Yorkers had learned to love them, and their surrounding area was quickly becoming one the nicest in the city. Many a sunbath I caught on the shaded grass by them.
NOW, ABOUT THAT REBUILDING THING
More than to have them back, the bombing had robbed me of a crucial component of my emotional architecture. I was badly needing of a quick fix, so I liked specially the possibility of having them built soon. Within two years, if I were to believe in the trump. Well, never more.
But yes, I confess: there was a time when I full-heartedly agreed with Donald Trump, and incredibly, thought that he actually had a good idea we all should back up. Of course, hardly had I known that nothing he’s ever built was that quick, or even beautiful.
I, and many others, were this close of having our pockets picked. For realtors never put their own money on the table, but would gladly take yours, thank you very much. For what? We’ll see later if anything comes out of it. If it doesn’t, that’s too bad.
The whole purpose of rebuilding Ground Zero was about to offer a dignified response to terror, not turning the city into a fortified refuge for the staggering rich. It was to feed hope to the world, not cash to the already fat accounts of real estate moguls.
THEY’LL NEVER COME BACK & THAT’S GOOD
But I will go on limbo by saying that, if you live here, you don’t care about that tower. Neither the high tech marvel of green efficiency that it should have been, nor the tallest in the world, or even in the city. And surely, it’s nowhere close to beauty.
Curiously, it’s that armored, brick-clad giant stick of a skyscraper that gets all the glowing reviews. Santiago Calatrava’s transit hub, however, the only striking project build in the area, didn’t even have an opening ceremony. So much for trying to change the conversation about grief.
That’s why I haven’t gone up the tower yet. And don’t plan to. Maybe if some out-of-town relative insists. And pays the hefty fee. Why bother? It has nothing on me. Style-wise is a moot point, whose purpose is to make a buck for people I don’t care about.
I am glad that the Twin Towers were not rebuilt, though: in my heart, they look nicer everyday. Old footage of them makes me instantly nostalgic about the city, and my own youth. Above all, that means I will never have to agree with Donald Trump. Ever. Again.