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Pop culture moments often reveal the current subterranean ooze.

Rosie O’Donnell calls it as she sees it. It’s the nature and necessity of a comedienne. The truth is funny. An instinct for the truth is talent and trouble. She saw the carnival episode of Miss USA being absolved by the owner of the franchise that was about to dethrone her. He owns the franchise so its charter is immaterial. He can trump the mission statement of the thing he owns. So that is what Donald Trump did. Rosie O’Donnell underlined with comic flair the contortions of logic and theatre that was the melodramatic photo op for the day.

Donald Trump, whether absolving or attacking, has a coutenance that is devolving into a petulant pucker. He’s a bouffant logo who is a high stakes huckster. He has melded perception of his pitch to perception of him. Rosie, by doing 30 seconds of comic mockery, threatened the cloud that is the concrete foundation of his empire.

His counter assault was sophomoric and self incriminating as well as self-revealing. He gave America a glimpse of how to do business. The jugular. The worst thing he could say about his newly minted nemesis was that she’s a loser. Say what you will about her, but a loser she is not. And if she’s a loser most of the Americans that he summons to his casinos aren’t even in the game.

His buildings block the sun, the view and gorge on energy infrastructure. Those who complain he would categorize as “losers.”


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With great relish he delivers the cruel and triumphant phrase, “You’re fired.” Of course one has to wonder why contestants would line up to be publicly humiliated, but the fact remains this is a person who solicits begrudging awe by letting cameras record his moment of lethal power. To say to another human being, “You’re fired” and to want the world to see you do it says more about the man and the culture than even Rosie O’Donnell could find the words for.

In another spastic pop culture drama, Mel Gibson along with his accusation of Jews being responsible for all wars, he assigned his arresting officer to the indignity of not having the kind of money he had. Gibson claimed to own Malibu and that he would use all of his money to get even with Officer Mee. Officer Mee in both Trump’s and Gibson’s book is a loser – even though he was the one keeping a drunk driver off the road. But perhaps Gibson thought the roads were his because, in his mind, he could afford to buy them.

Michael Richards also used money as his trump over his perceived tormentors. Beyond their being black his assault was ultimately rooted in the fact that they didn’t have the money he had. “Tomorrow morning I’ll wake up and I’ll still be rich. You’ll wake up and you’ll still be…” Being black meant they had no right to an opinion – but the one thing that might have even trumped their being black was if they had the kind of money he had.

Donald Trump will sue Rosie because he has billions of dollars and she is “fat and ugly” and “a truck driver” and he will take great pleasure in trying to decrease her net worth. In the unlikely event he could win a case and take money away from her, in his mind he will have decreased her power and canceled her observations. Like a playground toughy he wants to make her "take it back." Perception is reality and when reality begins to take the helium out of perception it's a frantic call to arms. Deals will collapse, wars could be lost.

There will be no gag order on The View because the ratings have grown since Rosie has consistently visited the hard truth to the previously tepid show. Ratings, and sometimes the truth, trump even the likes of Trump.

Bill C. Davis

Bill C. Davis

Bill C. Davis is a playwright.  Archive of his Common Dreams' articles here. His personal website here.

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