A few weeks ago, while watching old Mike Tyson videos on Youtube, I stumbled across the 1988 “Once And For All” fight in which Iron Mike knocked out, previously undefeated, Michael Spinks, 91-seconds into the first round to quell any speculation about who the “real” undisputed champion actually was. After a record $11-million bid was placed by Donald Trump, the bout was held at the Atlantic City Convention Hall, adjacent to his own Trump Plaza. Because of this, Trump was brought out into the ring, prior to the fight, while being thanked for hosting the event and touted for reaching New York Times Best Seller status for his first book, The Art Of The Deal, released only a year prior. The fact that I was using technology from 2016 to escape into footage from 30 years ago and that Donald Trump was still invading it was an irritating reminder of how this goon has permeated public consciousness for the the majority of my own existence on this planet.
I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t aware of who Donald Trump was, but I also can’t remember a single moment when my impression of him was a positive one. Even as a youth, I always just perceived him as a bland, but gaudy; wealthy, yet clueless; dickhead, purchasing publicity and media coverage that his lack of personality and likeability could never justify. In more recent decades, his feud with Rosie O’Donnell (her appeal, only slight less boggling) and a mediocre reality show featuring has-been and pseudo celebrities, did nothing to really validate me paying him any more attention, let alone draw me to his side. One thing that I can say about the latter, however, is that it did make Trump‘s appearances on late night programs more understandable, since he was promoting a television program — whether it involved Jimmy Fallon heaping loads of disgusting praise on “The Donald,” as he seems to do with all of his guests, indiscriminately, or being torn apart by Letterman for contradictions, while making his absurd birther claims. I never truly understood why Trump was famous in the first place, only that he was, and in no other time in history has being famous for being famous been more prevalent, or carried more influence. It’s no surprise that the the two current presidential front-runners for each of the 2 major political parties are also the 2 most recognizable with the most media coverage.
Maintaining my general disinterest in Donald Trump as a public figure, I’ve had little reaction to his grandstanding and horrifically ignorant statements in his run for the presidency. Maybe it’s equally ignorant and reckless of me to care so little, but I can attribute that to a complete lack of surprise, both in the fact that he would make such statements, or that there is a demographic of people out there that such ignorance would resonate with. In turn, there have been some incredibly vocal reactions to the message of the Republican front-runner, from the organizing of protests that have resulted in shutting down his rallies and sending out anti-Trump petitions (not sure what those are going to do) to candidates pivoting their campaigns to focus on defeating him as a priority above all else — “don’t vote for Trump out of fear, vote for me out of fear of Trump.” Of course, as the media provides him with an unprecedented amount of free publicity and coverage, it presents a clear conflict with their fearful narrative, regarding the spread of his message. One thing that we regularly forget, as often blindly patriotic and self-satisfied Americans, is that there’s an entire world out there which monitors our political system, as well, and generates their own opinions of us as a nation, based on the media that they receive.
Just today, some new footage of has begun to appear online, featuring the defacement of Donald Trump‘s star on the Hollywood walk of Fame — yep, apparently, he has one. The culprit, a Stavanger-based street artist by the name of Pøbel, spray-painted the mute symbol (a speaker with an “X”) over Trump‘s little 5-pointed piece of terrazzo and brass recognition embedded into Hollywood Blvd. The Norwegian, whose name translates to “hooligan,” according to wikipedia, has utilized the mute imagery before in his work, but never more appropriately. An incredibly apt, subtle, and effective statement toward the media’s fear mongering cash cow, the reaction feels less like outrage than a simple statement representing so many of us that are just tired of hearing both from and about Donald Trump, primarily through a media that has worked ceaselessly to prop him up, in the first place. But, what’s more impressive than the fact that someone decided to make such a gesture is how Pøbel went about it; wearing a rubber mask of the candidate and operating on a busy sidewalk in broad daylight. Watch the video below to see how fluid his attack was, using a pizza box as a stencil, hitting the spot in seconds, and moving on, before most people even recognized that any was happening, at all. With all of the chaos and stress infiltrating so many aspects of our lives, right now, any response that’s tinged with a little humor of this sort, is definitely, appreciated.