the column of lasting insignificance...
—August 2, 2017 by John Wilcock
In less than a month, America will be run by a superbly rich billionaire, Donald Trump, a business executive with almost no political skill beyond what his wealth will buy him. That, of course, is a great deal but his extraordinary narcissism makes it easy for him to be detached from reality. It also makes him unaware of just how hated he is. “When I went to events" he boasts, "people would cheer".
A new book, Trump Unveiled, Exposing the Bigotted Billionaire, tells a rather different story. Author John K. Wilson whose seven books have included works on Barack Obama, Newt Gingrich and Rush "the most dangerous man in America" Limbaugh. About Trump he writes: "There's racist Trump, sexist Trump, bankrupt Trump, lying Trump, paranoid Trump, clueless Trump, conman Trump, bullying lying Trump, and more.
Here, in one lovingly researched and slim volume is Trump, stripped bare, the truth behind the glitz. If it sounds frightening it is; the man who would be President of the United States has the integrity of roadkill. Because Trump is a narcissist, he is willing to say and do anything to increase his chances of gaining power.
Trump's abusive behavior caused him to be sent to New York's Military Academy where ...his experiences only made him more arrogant. "When I graduated I was a very elite person". Part of Trump's narcisism is his belief that he knows more about every topic than anyone else. He called hillary Clinton a "world-class liar". The truth is that Trump is the biggest liar in American history. No other figure comes close according to the measurements of various fact-checkers.
To Trump, the literary truth doen't matter If something feels true to him it's metaphysically true and if he thinks it might be true, then the actual truth is unimportant. Trump's casual relationship with the truth makes him an extraordinary political figure. It's difficult to name any political candidate who has ever lied more with consistency than truth and with such indifference to the truth. Taxation is a subject that comes up frequently with Trump who is oppposed to raising the minimum wages because "we're not going to be able to compete against the world."
Although Trump claims economic expertise it is remarkable how little he understands with his claim that America has the highest taxation in the world. When in reality this country's tax burden is among the lowest. While claiming, when asked a question, to "tell the truth," Trump has often ignored it in favor of saying offensive things about his opponents, his critics: Mexicans, Muslims, women, and almost anybody else in range of his hateful tirades. Trump has confused speaking his mind with telling them truth.
Trump's claim that he is best qualified to be president rests almost entirely upon his wealth. He is famous for being rich, and rich for being famous. He survived a series of terrible financial decisons in the early 1990s. "There's a big diffference" he says, "between creating wealth and being a member of the lucky sperm club." He never really created; he was just an outlet for very rich people to waste their money on overvalued real estate.
"The working man likes me" he claims, "because he knows I didn't inherit what I've built". He would have gone bankrupt, he says, but for the valued of his celebrity name" In 1992, the Taj Mahal, Trump Castle, and Trump Plaza went bankrupt and he lost money every year from 1995 to 2005. The Trump ethic is to screw over everybody else. In the wake of Trump's eventual success is a long list of people who suffered from his poor decisions: employees laid off, vendors who went unpaid, bond holders who lost money, and stockholders who watched their investments disappear under Trump's highly paid management. "Trump was a financial vampire, gradually sucking the life out of his victims to pay off his debts. When Trump Hotels and Casino & Resorts went bankrupt, the reorganization plan gave Trump $2 million a year plus expenses to run the company he had driven into the ground. He bragged that for many years he took money to Atlantic City, Usually cagey about his personal wealth, in a financial statements in 2011, he estimated, his net worth as just over $7 billion of which $3 billion consisted of "brand value".
Trump's narcisism is part of what makes him so dumb. (He) thinks he's a genius who knows everything and is always right, he's incapable of learning. His views on public policy generally ranges from the ignorant to the idiotic. His refusal to admit that he's ever wrong is another dangerous personality trait that's part of his narcissism.
The Washington Post fact-checker declared that "there's never been a presidential candidate like Donald Trump—someone so cavalier about the facts and so unwilling to ever admit error, even in the face of overwhelming evidence". Trump's propensity for surrounding himself with yes-men is another problematic character flaw. By demanding absolute agreement with his ideas, Trump created a culture of groupthink that makes it almost impossible to challenge his misguided views.
Perhaps Trump's worst trait is his belief that he knows everything, and is the best at everything. He is such a narcissist that even monumental political events are only viewed by trump in terms of how they affect him personally. All politicians are liars. Yet no presidential candidate has ever lied with such indifference to the truth as Donald Trump. He often lies as if the truth is a game to him, and he wins extra points if he can find someone gullible enough to believe what he's saying. Trump believes that lying is perfectly innocence if you're doing it to promote yourself. And his fans want to imagine he's telling the truth because he fulfills the anti-political fantasy. Why is Trump such a prolific liar? One reason is that he became famous by lying. He got headlines by making up stories to appear in the press. For many of his supporters, telling shows and them that Trump is a liar is like reminding them that that reality TV shows and professional wrestling are often scripted. Why should they care? The entertainment value is enhanced by the lie, and that's what they want.
Trump's act of petty revenge are legendary and he's proud of them. "My motto is 'Always get even'. When someone screw you, always screw them back in spades. Getting even is not always a personal thing. It's just a part of doing business... When you are in business you need to get even with people who screw you. You need to screw them back fifteen times harder".
This is the bully's creed: viciously attack anyone who stands up against you to teach a lesson to everyone else.
End of part One.
Read Part Two: Wednesday, August 9th.
comments? send an email to John Wilcock
National Weed (1974, issue #3)
comments? send an email to John Wilcock
- Complete column archives: 2006 - present
— Dear Readers...
— John Wilcock ... Marijuana, the symbolic center of the underground society
— John Wilcock ... From the Archives: Cuba Diary—Havana, April 2011
— John Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Nineteen (continued)--Travels
— John Wilcock ... From the Archives: When you vote, don’t forget the Republican Paradox
— John Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Eighteen--The Quest for Magic: Around Europe by VW bus;
Regarding armchair travelers;
Pisa's Leaning Tower;
The magical Alhambra
— John Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Seventeen (continued)--London's Magical library;
In the Cannes
— John Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Seventeen--The Sorcerer's Apprentice
— John Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Sixteen--JW'S Secret Diary (continued)
— John Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Sixteen--JW'S Secret Diary
— John Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Fourteen (Part Two--Manhattan phone book, JW'S Secret Diary
— John Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Fourteen--Party Circuit
— John Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Thirteen--Figaro Diary, part two, Soho Saturday
— John Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Thirteen--Figaro Diary, part one, Soho Saturday
— John Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Twelve (continued)--Traveling with Nomad; SoHo Confidential
— John-Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Chapter Nine (continued)--Rip Torn on stardom… Robert Mitchum's gift; London: Julian Beck’s critique; Emmett Grogan and the Diggers; Greece: The Junta, Charlotte Rampling, and art hero Daniel Spoerri
— John-Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Chapter Nine--Bob Dylan in the Village, Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, Richard Neville and OZ, What Does London Need Most?, The International Times
— John-Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Eight (continued)--Japan: a working honeymoon;
The Shinjuku Sutra
— John-Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Eight--Art Kunkin's LA Free Press; In LA with Hunter Thompson, Lenny Bruce; Visit by Warhol; Hakim Jamal plays god; The San Francisco 'Be-In'; Underground papers meet
— Manhattan Memories: Chapter Six (continued)--Tom Forcade: smuggler supreme; That pathetic drug czar
— Manhattan Memories: Chapter Six—The weed that changed the world--Confessions of a pot smoker
— Manhattan Memories: Chapter Four—Into the '60s--London's underground press; Jean-Jacques Lebel burns US flag; Everybody's friend: Jim Haynes; Lenny Bruce and the kitchen tapes
— Manhattan Memories: Chapter Three--The Village Voice (continued) --Lasting insignificance: the 3-dot column, ECHO and Larry Adler, Woody Allen plays classic nerd, A sample Village Square column
— Manhattan Memories: Chapter Two--Steve Allen derides TV columnist; Marlene Dietrich--glamorous grandmother
— Manhattan Memories: Chapter One--Chatting with Marilyn Monroe
— Manhattan Memories: Introduction.
- column archives: 2006 - present
in the press...
Now on Boing-Boing!
JOHN WILCOCK: Leaving the trial, I realized Kennedy had just been killed.
February 12, 2015
July 13, 2012
Manhattan Memories: an autobiography
(The complete review begins on p.175)
December 1, 2011
On the Ground: An Illustrated Anecdotal History of the Sixties Underground Press in the U.S
November 28, 2011
The Book Bench - Loose leafs from the New Yorker Books Department
October 22, 2011
An authorized comic book biography of John Wilcock,
This is a book length comic series on John Wilcock. People who enjoy focusing on underground and alternative media are occasionally familiar with John's work, but most often the response is "who's that?" Outside of small press historians and collectors, John remains very unknown. Which makes no sense, the more you learn about him. We're very excited about the opportunity to tell his story. Art for THE STORY OF JOHN WILCOCK is by me and co-conspirator Scott Marshall. Story comes from an extended and ongoing year-long interview with Wilcock, himself. The focus is John's years in New York, roughly 1954-1971.
“The Return of the World's Worst Businessman”
John Wilcock is not what you would call a household name, and yet, he has had a measurable impact on art, journalism and culture-at-large over the last century. He co-founded Interview with Andy Warhol. He also was one of the co-founders of The Village Voice. He has written for countless print and online publications: Frommer’s, The Daily Mirror, The Daily Mail, The East Village Other, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, The Ojai Orange, etc. So why, one feels inclined to ask, is he relatively unknown? The answer seems simple: Wilcock has called himself “the world’s worst businessman.” This self-description makes sense because listening to him one hears the voice of a writer and a traveler and an enthusiast, not at all the voice of a businessman. In an age when it seems like everyone is all about business—art as a business, fashion as a business, everything as a business—it is refreshing to hear someone self-identify as “the world’s worst businessman.” It seems less like he has failed as a businessman and more like he has refused to become one. In addition to all his other accomplishments,...
Monday, November 15, 2010
A Reader Comment from the recent New York Times Frugal Traveler post
Not only did John Wilcock shake up staid publishing in the USA, from the Village Voice to the East Village Other, his influence extended to several continents, including Australia & the UK, where - in his mild mannered way - he pushed the boundaries of image and speech. The counter culture was nothing but a dull puddle, until John kicked out the jams and ignited the Underground Press, which attracted absurd prosecutions, that of course boosted circulations. An unsung hero of the sixties,
It was the first handwritten letter I’d received in 5 years. Or maybe 10. Signed by John Wilcock, a man I’d never heard of, and postmarked Ojai, Calif., it was waiting for me when I returned from my São Paulo-to-New York summer trip. Mr. Wilcock wrote that he had been an assistant editor at The Times Travel section back in the 1950s, and had written the first editions of “Mexico on $5 a Day,” “Greece on $5 a Day” and “Japan on $5 a Day” for Arthur Frommer in the 1960s.
By George, I thought. This man was the original Frugal Traveler.
"A GOOD WAY to describe John Wilcock is to say that he is a talented bohemian counter-culture journalist who once played a major role in the emergence of America’s underground press. Born 1927 in Sheffield, England, he left school aged 16 to work on various newspapers in England, and on Toronto periodicals before moving to New York City. There in 1955 he became one of the five founders of the Village Voice in which he and co-founder Norman Mailer wrote weekly columns. Wilcock called his column “The Village Square”, an intended pun. He and young Mailer were not quite friends, although Wilcock was at times annoyed, but always amused, by Mailer’s monstrous ego."