A long time ago, there was this kerjillionaire who bought and sold all kinds of things with reckless abandon. He had lots of different wives and girlfriends, but that didn't keep his name out of the discussion of potential presidential candidates back in the day when he was at the height of his powers and possessions. Among the properties he got his hands on was a major league baseball team. Are you starting to formulate a guess? Another of his acquisitions was a vault full of old movies. The kind they used to make in black and white. You remember Ted Turner, right?
It was back in the 1980's when he started receiving a lot of flak for the way he handled these cinema gems. He ran them on his cable TV stations and stuck commercials in them. He even went so far as colorizing them. Much to the shock and dismay of film fans across the planet, he handed over such classics as The Maltese Falcon and Topper to the purveyors of the new science of digital film manipulation. Back then, critics insisted this was tantamount to painting a mustache on the Mona Lisa. Ted's response? "Last time I checked, I own those films." Imagining a world where owning the Mona Lisa gave someone carte blanche to deface it leads me to 2017.
"Hey, look, in the meantime, I guess, I can't be doing that badly, because I'm president and you're not. You know." These are the words of "President" Trump this past week to conclude a typically meandering interview to Time Magazine. This was his way of setting the record straight. Having squatter's rights on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is all he needs to paint a mustache on the White House. And the Constitution. And the presidency. Whispy orange mustaches everywhere. Or those ubiquitous red baseball caps.
It seems entirely likely that once a human being rises to a certain level of power or income they are no longer able to connect to what made them essentially human. Their DNA is altered by hanging round with sycophants and stacks of cash that make it hard to see the forest or the trees. It might also be true that this evolutionary process is necessary to generate a being who is capable of believing that they are truly in charge of all the knobs, bells and whistles on this ship of state. I would not be the first person to suggest that there is something wrong with anyone who deemed themselves worthy of leading the free world. It takes a peculiar kind of arrogance.
But not this kind.
For the record, Turner says he still misses Jane Fonda, And if you want to see a bunch of old movies in their pristine, un-colorized state, tune into Turner Classic Movies. We have another thirty years to discover Trump's regrets.