the column of lasting insignificance...
—August 2, 2017 by John Wilcock

Trump Unveiled

“We aim to examine Trump's beliefs, policies, and character. I relied upon a wide range of reporters, commentators, and analysts of Trump (too numerous to thank) for pointing out important facts about Trump, and many of these writers can be found in the online notes for this book.”
—John K. Wilson, author of Trump Unveiled, Exposing the Bigoted Billionaire

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)

it's here...
Marijuana--The Weed That Changed the World


comments? send an email to John Wilcock

recent columns

- Complete column archives: 2006 - present

Dear Readers...
Week of January 25, 2017

John Wilcock ... Marijuana, the symbolic center of the underground society
Week of June 8, 2016

John Wilcock ... From the Archives: Cuba Diary—Havana, April 2011
Week of April 20, 2016

John Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Nineteen (continued)--Travels
Week of April 16, 2016

John Wilcock ... From the Archives: When you vote, don’t forget the Republican Paradox
Week of April 13, 2016

John Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Nineteen--Travels: Tokyo-Rick Kennedy recalls; Japan on $5 a Day; About Chapbooks; Magic in South America
Week of April 9, 2016

John Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Eighteen (continued)--Theory & Practice of Travel Writing; Remoteness of Callanish; Jim's Paris dinners
Week of April 2, 2016

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
Week of March 26, 2016

John Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Seventeen (continued)--London's Magical library; In the Cannes
Week of March 19, 2016

John Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Seventeen--The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Week of March 12, 2016

John Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Sixteen--JW'S Secret Diary (continued)
Week of March 5, 2016

John Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Sixteen--JW'S Secret Diary
Week of February 27, 2016

John Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Fourteen (Part Two--Manhattan phone book, JW'S Secret Diary
Week of February 20, 2016

John Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Fourteen--Party Circuit
Week of February 13, 2016

John Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Thirteen--Figaro Diary, part two, Soho Saturday
Week of February 6, 2016

John Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Thirteen--Figaro Diary, part one, Soho Saturday
Week of January 30, 2016

John Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Twelve (continued)--Traveling with Nomad; SoHo Confidential
Week of January 23, 2016

John-Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Twelve--Andy Gets Shot: Max's Kansas City; Jane Fonda's gesture; Christo & Jeanne-Claude
Week of January 16, 2016

John-Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Eleven (continued)-- We go to Rutgers, Ann Arbor ... What people say about Andy
Week of January 9, 2016

John-Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Eleven -- Andy Warhol First encounter....People talk about him....His movies...
Week of January 2, 2016

John-Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Chapter Ten (continued)--The 'Movement' splits: Eldridge Cleaver Year of the Great Hoax…The OZ trial
Week of December 26, 2015

John-Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Chapter Ten--Tom Forcade's smuggling funds High Times; Rolling Stone's underground sabotage
Week of December 19, 2015

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
Week of December 12, 2015

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
Week of December 5, 2015

John-Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Eight (continued)--Japan: a working honeymoon; The Shinjuku Sutra
Week of November 28, 2015

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
Week of November 21, 2015

John-Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Seven (continued)--The Underground Press; Army revolt:  fragging officers; Bowart goes to Millbrook
Week of November 14, 2015

Manhattan Memories: Chapter Seven--The singing Tit-o-Gram; The East Village Other; Art & Forgery; Birth of Black Power; The Underground Press
Week of November 7, 2015

Manhattan Memories: Chapter Six (continued)--Tom Forcade: smuggler supreme; That pathetic drug czar
Week of October 31, 2015

Manhattan Memories: Chapter Six—The weed that changed the world--Confessions of a pot smoker
Week of October 24, 2015

Manhattan Memories: Chapter Five—Reefer Madness (continued)--Jan and Stan change my life; The man who turned on the world
Week of October 17, 2015

Manhattan Memories: Chapter Five—Reefer Madness--The man who turned on the world; Tested by Harvard professors; Jan and Stan change my life
Week of October 10, 2015

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
Week of October 3, 2015

Manhattan Memories: Chapter Four—Into the '60s--More Working at The New York Times; Mexico On $5 a Day; What Richard Condon taught me; Henry Miller's wise words
Week of September 26, 2015

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
Week of September 19, 2015

Manhattan Memories: Chapter Three--More trouble with our star novelist; Lasting insignificance: the 3-dot column; Jean Shepherd’s phantom novel
Week of September 12, 2015

Manhattan Memories: Chapter Two--Steve Allen derides TV columnist; Marlene Dietrich--glamorous grandmother
Week of September 5, 2015

Manhattan Memories: Chapter Two--Gilbert Seldes' The Lively Arts; Norman Mailer’s Voice column; Giving parties to meet strangers
Week of August 29, 2015

Manhattan Memories: Chapter One--Chatting with Marilyn Monroe
Week of August 22, 2015

Manhattan Memories: Chapter One--Jack Kent Cooke tells me to stay in Canada; Becoming a New Yorker ;A new Village newspaper; The casual wisdom of Steve Allen
Week of August 15, 2015

Manhattan Memories: Introduction.
Week of August 8, 2015

- 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

The New York Years - Boing-Boing

July 13, 2012

Manhattan Memories: an autobiography
By John Wilcock (, 2010)
excerpt from A Book Review By Marshall Brooks
Provincetown Arts Annual 2012/13

On the Ground
John Wilcock had lived in the Garden of Eden he would have started the world’s first under- ground newspaper there. One can easily picture it: a paradisiacal incarnation of John’s 1960s legendary tabloid, Other Scenes, featuring a lively threesome on its cover and an interview inside with the snake, who, it turns out, really dug (in the argot of the day) cool, mellow people. An Eden on $5 a Day guide would have been sure to follow, precursor to the dozens of travel books that John Wilcock actually has methodically researched and authored over the years, beginning with Mexico on $5 a Day in 1960 for enterprising guidebook publisher Arthur Frommer. Still traveling the world at age eighty-four, no moss grows on John Wilcock, which Manhattan Memories makes clear. But there is more.

(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
reviewed by Steve Heller in Imprint
On the Ground
The Underground Press, as it was called, was a groundswell of media activity running the gamut from radically political to seriously satirical. A new book, On the Ground: An Illustrated Anecdotal History of the Sixties Underground Press in the U.S. (PM Press) Edited by Sean Stewart (who between 2007 and 2009 owned and operated Babylon Falling, a bookstore and gallery in San Francisco), recalls the Underground epoch. Through interlacing interviews with Emory Douglas (Black Panther), Paul Krassner (The Realist), Art Kunkin (The L.A. Free Press), Abe Peck (The Chicago Seed), John Wilcock (Other Scenes), Jeff Shero (The Rat), Trina Robbins (Gothic Blimp Works) and many more (including Al Goldstein of Screw), the remarkable journals that shaped my life (and career) are revived as oral history.

(read more)

November 28, 2011

The Book Bench - Loose leafs from the New Yorker Books Department
New Yorker Online
Check out the first installment of Ethan Persoff's serialized comic-book biography of the publisher and writer John Wilcock.

(read more)

October 22, 2011

The New York Years

An authorized comic book biography of John Wilcock,
art by Ethan Persoff and Scott Marshall

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.

(read more)

January, 2011

The Return of the World's Worst Businessman

Sneak Peak “The Return of the World's Worst Businessman”
Tyler Malone
PMc Magazine

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,...

(read more)

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Reader Comment from the recent New York Times Frugal Traveler post
RN—Sydney, Australia

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,

indifferent to self promotion and the hoarding of gold, it is great to see John get a dash of recognition.

(read more)

October 27, 2010

A Budget Travel Pioneer on a Time When $5 a Day Was Real (Frugal) Money Frugal Traveler

by Seth Kugel
John Wilcock at the New York Times

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.

(read more)

and in print...

Manhattan MemoriesManhattan Memories
An Autobiography
by John Wilcock

"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."

-From the preface of Manhattan Memories, by Martin Gardner
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