Alan Catlin: The Stepford Presidency
There she is, on stage, behind her husband, the president, preening. It doesn’t matter what stage she is on, or where, she is always there behind him, perfectly coiffed, impeccably made up, wearing a new, famous designer, form fitting, outfit. Sometimes two, maybe, three times a day. Hey, she even wears high heels to flood disaster areas. “I don’t care do U?”
There is no other word to describe her: The First Preener. She rarely speaks because when she does, the result is never good. Her first speech: plagiarized. Which would have been a relatively minor thing if it weren’t stolen from the former first lady, Michelle Obama. How embarrassing was that? Especially, as everyone knows, Mrs. Obama does not need to plagiarize from Anyone.
Melania, for that is what she is called, is always on stage. She, of the best body and facial features, money can buy. Watch her, turning her head from side to side, gradually revealing her features to all the onlookers, following the dictum: when on stage, as an actor or as a model (presumably), act as if you are the one everyone is focusing on. Given who her husband is, and what he looks like, and how he speaks, looking at her is a more viable alternative than staring at that grotesque parody of a human being her husband has become. By far.
She adds a touch of mystery, and a touch of class, to an otherwise incredibly dirty and classless act. What do we know about her, really? Not much. Of course there are rumors. Unseemly ones. But we should be cautious, and understand, she sued a British tabloid for printing those rumors and won a multi-million dollar settlement. We hope, for her sake (and his evil seed child, Barron’s), she was actually able to secure the check for herself and squirreled it away in a Swiss bank or a Cyprus/Cayman Island offshore account, for that day when the inevitable happens. We all know what the inevitable is, don’t we?
Anyone who has a Facebook account has seen her naked. Seen her, either on purpose or by accident. For some time, graphic images of her turned up in the oddest places ,without having to look for them. Presumably, they were all taken down, though the last one I saw came after that was announced. Images are so easy to share on social media. Even photo-shopped ones. Who knows what is real and what is not these days?
And this is what the Trump administration is all about: Images and confabulations. Someone should explain to him that life is not a reality TV show. That reality, in that context, is in terms of TV, and TV alone. Real life is much different and it is not scripted. Not that it would make any difference to the president, but it would be great to have someone on record as having pointed this basic fact out.
Increasingly, the arc of history, as expressed by the so called president of the free world, has been directed in what could only be described as Using the Principles outlined in Orwell’s 1984 for Authoritarians as a Handbook of Expression (repression?). Consider the Big Brother Principle :There is no history anymore, just the present. He who controls the present, controls the past, by being able to rewrite history to fit current needs. All contrary evidence to the stated “new” history must be destroyed. Sound familiar?
The president, or his spokesman, cum lawyer, Rudy the Red Nosed liar, says something then totally contradicts himself and calls the new reality “corrected”, as if what he originally asserted had never been said. If that is not rewriting history what is it? Lying does not cover it. Not even close.
Or when Trump says,” Don’t believe what you read and see, only believe what I say.” How is that not part of the process of rewriting history to fit one’s needs? It’s all right out of 1984. In fact, every time he opens his mouth, something Orwellian comes out. Not that he has actually read Orwell, God knows that can’t be true. But someone has. The someone or someone’s is, on the other side of the sub rosa hot line to Russia. No one should be surprised ,if and when such a hotline is disclosed once the Realm of Ignorance, Greed and Deception is brought down. Someone with a vested interest in Trumplestiltskin: He, she ,or they, are telling him what to do. Ask Eric Prince about that back door connection. Again. Under oath. He’s good at stuff like that, trying to set up a back door channels on his “vacations” to hot spots like the Seychelles. Hey, he’s a mercenary after all, and he wants a government contract to fight our eternal wars (see 1984 :eternal wars are part of the plan to keep the citizens under the state’s thumb). Remember when Infrastructure Week turned into Hate Week?...But I digress... I heartily endorse listening to 1984 before, after, and during a presidential speech/screed/ tweet storm, or whatever it is he does when words come out of his mouth, issue forth from his unsecured phone. I guarantee, it will prove instructive. I’ve done it. And plan to listen again. To 1984 not to Trump. Have you actually read texts of some of his more insane ramblings like the infamous CIA speech way back in the beginning? It is truly horrifyingly in its incoherence. Almost clinically insane in its incoherence.
Somewhere along the line, in 2018, in the midst of one of Trump’s offhand, whimsical, disastrous pronouncements, Rachel Maddow referenced a long forgotten novel 60’s by Fletcher Knebel (co-author of the thriller Seven Days in May) called Night at Camp David. The premise of this book was: what would happen if the president was insane? I, among thousands of others, rushed to our Amazon accounts to see if we could order this book. You could, if you wanted to order one for a hundred bucks or so. Months later, inevitably, it was released in an e-format and then, in a new paperback edition with the scarifying cover referencing the president’s insanity. It is no Seven Days in May, not be a long shot. But it is horrifying.
And here’s why. The president, in the novel, is definitely unbalanced and showing signs of paranoid delusions as well as, fantastical ideations, that could easily impact events both domestic and foreign. And here’s the scary part: on this fictional president’s worst day, he is not nearly as unhinged as the current president is on a daily basis. The book is resolved, under the assumption that: the process of government and a belief in the system of the rule of law and constitutional directives, the principle of the collective good of the country, must prevail over the needs of the individual. Government, and the president, act responsibly under that mandates of the constitution. Think that would happen today? I don’t think so either.
And the scarier proposition beyond all this: we allowed this state of affairs to happen. But I digress again....
There has always been something puzzling about Melania that I could not get a handle on. It wasn’t that she was just so, I guess, perfect. There was an adjective missing, before perfect, I could not supply. And then I saw The Stepford Wives. And the adjective to describe her, the obvious word suggested itself: Unnatural. Melania was unnaturally perfect.
Take Melania offstage and place her in one of the group pictures, activities, homes in Stepford and she would completely fit in. In fact, she could be a body double for anyone in town. How scary is that?
The more you think about it the scarier it becomes.
The version of the “Stepford Wives” I first saw was not the original, but the Frank Oz remake (not to be confused with Dorothy’s Oz but the Oz from the Muppets and Little Shop of Horrors, which is not be confused with the Corman, Shop of Horrors. As if it ever could be). While the Oz setup was meticulous, appropriately bright, and well, perfect, the actual story was locked in a conundrum of trying to reconcile camp, satire, humor, serious intentions, and Happy Hollywood ending issues. Ultimately it succeeds in satisfying none of these conflicting elements.
The casting ranged from appropriate: Christopher Walken as the head of the all-important Stepford Men’s organization (and presumably the scientific brains between the animatronic women) Glenn Close as his welcome wagon, eternally cheerful wife, and the always beautiful but not exactly buxom, Nicole Kidman. Bette Midler was an interesting choice for the rebel wife who befriends Kidman, as the new arrival, before her conversion. Midler plays the quintessential slob in a House Beautiful World, as well as anyone could. She is less convincing as the converted “Stepford Wife” but that was intentional. Matthew Broderick plays Kidman’s cipher of a husband. He is always exceptional as the wooden man, a man without a personality or depth, basically, as a man without qualities.
No one does Camp like Walken, even without trying. Hopefully, he will still be a available to play Trump when the Last Years of the Trump Dynasty is filmed. Of course he will need to add a couple of hundred pounds.... And Close, wonderful actress that she is, shows an almost uncanny ability to laugh at herself as the character who turns out to be the real villain of Stepford. She is the mad scientist who just wanted everyone to be happy. Her hubby is nothing more than a for-show robot. Her line, referencing the Stepford women, “They were all robots and no one noticed,” sums this near farce up. Of course, Americans don’t do farce (much too self-conscious for that) so the ending falls abysmally flat. The movie is resolved with an, “All well that ends well,” coda. The process that turns the women into robots is reversible, Broderick turns out, against character and expectations, to value his wife, flaws and all, than the “ideal”, busty, mechanized version. The bad guys die and Stepford reverts, we assume, to a posh, Connecticut suburb of NYC, where only the white folk, in a certain income bracket, need apply.
Real life can be like a movie after all.
That would be the scary part. What lurks behind the facile image of suburbia is the pastel
super market world, where anyone, everything, is color co-ordinated, completely harmonious and homogenized . Adding a gay couple to the mix (instead of the original black one) is supposed to update the community, but only succeeds in adding false note after false note. It’s not the actor’s fault, it’s the script. Is this comic or satiric? This is not horror, as originally intended, but low comedy, and not very successful comedy at that.
What intrigued me about this Found item (bought on vacation on Block Island, at an ongoing library book sale, to play on a night in between World Series games)was the idea: isn’t this what MAGA is all about? Unintentional social satire, as in: some day we will look back on all this and laugh at how absurd it was. The idea of going backward to move forward is what MAGA is all about: a logical absurdity.
In the president’s mind, one assumes, the 50’s were the ideal time. Everyone knew their place, especially the blacks. There were no immigrants or else they were confined to their neat little ghettos (Chinatown) (Spanish Harlem) or were invisible, working people, who did all the crap jobs a white person would never consider doing. There were no social activists, except commies and we knew what to do with them. Remember the Rosenberg’s? McCarthy and the UAC committee? Never mind that Ethel was probably innocent and McCarthy was drummed out of the senate and died a dissolute alcoholic(instructive reading on that subject include the obscenity trials for Howl ,unintentionally funny at times, and Nelson Algren’s essays on his appearances before the McCarthy hearings, not funny at all)Alas McCarthy’s evilest minion, Roy Cohn, survived to whisper in the ear of young, impressionable, rich bigot on the rise. We all know who that was.
Not only were minorities virtually invisible, social strife unknown, women were respectful of men, who were lord and masters of the home. The wife dressed for dinner, had a nice meal waiting on the table for her man, when he came home from work (one of Trump’s biggest grievances against Ivana was she spent too much time at work and didn’t have meals ready for him when he came home. He said that. Really. As if she actually cooked all his meals....), and was greeted by his wife, who presented him with a peck on the cheek, and a chilled to perfection, gin martini. The kids were genuinely glad to see Dad. The dog wagged its tail and shared in the general ecstasies of the daily homecoming. There was no such thing as divorce.
Men could smoke their cigars after dinner and no one cared. In fact, the wife would bring an ash tray to the easy chair for the man and empty it when it got too full. Everyone smoked. Even the dog. Mom fixed the antennae on the TV, to improve reception, without having to be told to, and changed the channels when directed, by the man. The kids went outside to play and came in immediately when called. There was no such thing as a child molester.
The man had his nights out with the boys (bowling was popular). The women might join a bridge club, which met in the daytime, so it would not interfere with cooking and other equally as important household chores. Men had poker nights too and no one cared if he had a little too much to drink. The cops all looked the other way, or drove you home , if you passed out behind the wheel and, maybe, crashed the car into an inanimate object.
The economy was going great guns. Sure there was stuff going on overseas like in Korea but that wasn’t a real war. It was a police action and everyone knew it. Besides where was Korea anyway? Way far away. Yeah, there was a draft, but if you got called up, you served. That was your patriotic duty. It was how we won the Big War and why we elected Dwight D. Eisenhower: to keep the (white) world safe. And Richard Nixon, who wasn’t quite the right stuff, but his heart as in the right place, was our kind of guy too. We might not buy a car from him, but we would let him run the country for us. He wasn’t one of those stuck up, rich guys. He was one of us, a kind of mensch.
Girls were actually virgins when they got married (or pretended to be). If you had sex before marriage, you were a tramp, a slut, a skank, and not marriage material. Naturally, every guy in the high school knew who those girls were and dated them in secret, whenever possible.
There was no birth control. For women. Men had rubbers, but it was a hassle to buy them. There were no abortions either. You were disgraced if you got pregnant, were a fallen women, and you were sent away somewhere, had the baby, and put it up for adoption immediately. No one went to college. Except the dweebs and the rich kids no one hung out with anyway.
Underage drinking was not only prevalent but encouraged. Real men knew how to hold their liquor and you needed to practice if you were going to be good at it. Girls drank too but not with the guys they were going to marry (see skanks etc.) . And never beer because they were always watching their weight. A perfect figure was how a girl caught a guy. Foundation garments helped create the illusion of hour glass posture ( remember girdles?) and man, those padded, push up, cone shaped bras.... How many guys were shocked to learn that beautiful busts they lusted after for years, were more fabric, elastic and wire under liners, than actual flesh?
Everyone kept up their property. There was no such thing as an un-mowed lawn. Untrimmed hedges and dead flowers, unheard of. Weeds knew better than to grow on anyone’s property. Pesky insects were annihilated by “safe” periodic clouds of DDT. Yes, Virginia, they used to drive around everyone’s neighborhoods and gas the bugs with huge impenetrable clouds of DDT: children, old folks be damned. I remember it well( Even as a child I knew that this idea of safe didn’t feel right.) Kill those fuckers was the watch word. And it really was safe, really trust us, just like atomic energy, bombs and all the good stuff associated with nuclear waste. (see Atomic Cafe the movie, a kind of documentary made from an assemblage of 50’s propaganda films about atomic bombs etc..)
You bought a new car every year, or every two, if times were hard. No one bought used except the lower classes. And there definitely were classes. The MAGA class was decidedly middle class with upper class pretentions; a pretention the real upper class tolerated with bemused benevolence.
Everyone read the same magazines: Saturday Evening Post, Life, Look, TV Guide, Better Homes and Gardens, Reader’s Digest.....And the same books: Book of the Month Club, reader’s Digest Condensed Books. People actually read then. Watched the same TV shows: Make Room for Daddy, Leave it to Beaver, I Love Lucy, Ozzie and Harriet (what happened to teen idol Ricky Nelson is an instructive side bar to the 50’s).
Everyone dressed the same way: suits for the work day, slacks and polo shirts for days off. Everyone had a less the wonderful set for work clothes but no one was seen in public with anything resembling second hand clothes. Hair was a respectable shoulder length, and permanent wave, if you were a woman, and either crew cut or neat and short, parted on the side, if you were a man. No deviations allowed.
This is what became the Silent Majority, when Nixon ascended to prominence during the late 60’s, but by then, the country was ruined. Just ask the MAGA folks. The hippies (commies) had taken over. But sure as shooting, we were going to restore order and kick the bums out (America Love It or Leave It. There is nothing like walking in peace marches, against the end of the Vietnam War and seeing bumper stickers like that. On the cop cars.)
Was life ever the way the MAGA hatted ones presumed? Well, in some people’s mind it was. Who was it? Richard Yates, maybe, in Revolutionary Road, who wrote about suburban lives in the 50’s as described above, “What terrible lives they must lead.”
Ira Levin wrote The Stepford Wives, in the middle 60’s. And, looking back now, at his several, extremely popular books during that time, he should be re-evaluated as one of the sharpest chroniclers of that age, that age that was being destroyed before the Silent Majority’s squinty eyes. Titles like Rosemary’s Baby,( a kind of Faustian bargain, the devil gives you worldly success and your wife get’s to carry Satan’s child. A small matter, that she isn’t in on the deal. That’s a real 50’s male thing), A Kiss Before Dying ( a small town nobody ,with aspirations for wealth and influence, and a good job, will stop at nothing, even murdering his pregnant girlfriend, to achieve those ends), The Boys of Brazil, (former Nazis eugenics adherents attempt to create (clone Hitler) a new master race in South America, and The Stepford Wives, the moral vacuity at the center of the American Dream.
No accident that the man who devised the new bodies for the Stepford women was the animatronics expert for Walt Disney. Doesn’t make you want to rush off to Orlando for the vacation of a lifetime, does it? All of these books were made into movies with varying degrees of success. Maybe the best being, the truly horrifying, original, Bryan Forbes, Stepford Wives.( I will listen to counter-arguments about Rosemary’s Bay which is an iconic movie that changed a generation of people’s thinking about a genre, much to Levin’s chagrin. Rosemary is really in a class all by itself.) Stepford’s success can be attributed to Forbes being a novelist who knew the value of sticking to the original story. The author really does know best when it comes to his creation. Trust me on this (at least when it comes to transforming books and stories into movies).
The casting is excellent: Katherine Ross, dressed down for effect, plays the feisty New York housewife/street photographer, to her high powered, lawyer husband, Peter Masterson. Paula Prentice brilliantly plays her new, unconventional, socially conscious friend to great effect (the role later played , appropriately over the top, by Bette Midler ) and Patrick O’Neal plays the Walken role. There is no real equivalent to the Glenn Close role in Oz’s version. This version is a real horror story about identity, conformity, and of toxic masculinity at its most extreme ends. Hence it is about a women’s issues. Not only are the women subjugated by their men, but they are, literally, molded into a desired, socially acceptable male image of a woman; part Playboy Bunny, Part House Beautiful Matron.
So what is a Stepford Woman? She is always perfectly dressed, hair always in place, and styled. She is an obsessive cleaner, OCD obsessive, and a four star chef cook. Most of all, she is sexually compliant and designed to satisfy men’s sexual fantasies on demand. She a porn star dressed inside Betty Cocker’s body. If that isn’t scary, I don’t know what is.
So who are the Stepford men? They are ordinary, at best, Ross’s husband is bald, uninterested in her braless, petite look. Presumably, in the climactic , skillfully underplayed, ultimate submissive scene, where Ross’s strategically “improved” new body (briefly shown through a sheer night gown earning an absurd R rating), lacking only the life light in her eyes, rises from her three sided mirror settee to strangle Ross and assimilate her life force. Presumably, She will meet the needs of her husband.
Many of the men do not even rise to the status of ordinary, as Bettie and Kathryn note in a scene where one of the converted women is seen with her husband behind the counter of his pharmacy. If you can imagine Mr. Whipple, the iconic toiled paper salesman on TV, as a pharmacist, then you can share the two, unconverted women’s astonishment of how this 1 on a scale of 10 could command a perfect #10 woman, a woman, they had accidently heard having raucous sex with that man in her home. ( a more contemporary re-enforcement of the Stepford theory as applied to the Rump administration, would be the money man Mnuchin. That guy does not even rate a number on the scale of 1-10 though his wife does. Personalities don’t count in the looks factor)
And what of Stepford itself. Except for the mansion, where the all important Men’s Club meetings are held (and, suitably, the conversion take place), every house in town is perfect. They are colonials or neo-colonial one and all. Everything is as modern as can be imagined, it is all veneer, all hallow. It is an ideal of the 50’s, from the new appliances to the Ethan Allen furniture. Of course, the past is always perfect when you can rewrite the narrative. Rewriting history is what Winston Smith does in 1984, knowing how false it all is. When you destroy all contrary beliefs, create a new image, a new marketing narrative, you have successfully recreated the past. You are MAGAed. Truth is Ignorance, Ignorance is Truth. Welcome to 1984, MAGA fans.
Now the Big Brothers of the world wear red hats with slogans on them. What does Make America Great Again look like? It just is not real. It is a fantasy That’s the whole point of it. Like the crisis at the Southern border that requires a medieval wall. It’s all made up. And that isn’t even the real scary part, a whole foreign policy based on fantasy, contrary to facts, is insane. It can only lead to an epic disaster.
Of course, the other obvious problem is the Stepford world is only for the elite. There is a token black family, but the presumption of the book, and the implication of the first movie, is she too will be converted, at three months residency, like everyone else. Her husband will be convinced of the merits of conversion, much as the other men have by the Men’s Club cabal. Then, no one will be ever able to accuse the Stepfordians of being racially exclusive. See: we have a perpetually numb Ben Carson in our cabinet, I mean, the unnamed black folk in our town. Black people don’t need names in Stepford. This is part of Levin’s message as it is Forbes’.
And if you are not of the elite what are you? You are a prole. Proles are laborers. They are rude and their lives are shortened by hard work serving the elite . Their lives are filled with drama: emotions, ah those pesky emotions, otherwise successfully eliminated by conversion, are ever present: you know love, hate, sadness, happiness all that crap. If there is ever a change in status among the elite, it is the ambitious ones in the middle who want what the elites have. They enlist the proles in some meaningless dialogue (propaganda), (fake news) promising them a slice of the pie when the powers that be, are overthrown and, when they succeed, they will renege. The process is endless like war for war’s sake. One needs an enemy to be against, not the conflict itself. After awhile, no one can recall a time when there wasn’t a war and it becomes part of the fabric of life. The effects of war, the occasional rocket bombs in London, for instance, in the novel, or the terrorist attacks of today. Even 9-11 has a symbolic purpose far beyond the actual event, even if it is not explicitly stated. Them foreigners did it. We must not allow them in again. Ever. Any of them. This is Orwell, and this is history as we live it today.
And what of the president? Of the Men’s Club? The campy Christopher Walken, who is actually a robot, is controlled by a female. And the sinister Patrick O’Neal? (who when asked why? By Katherine Ross’ character says, basically, ‘Because we can.’ “It’s better for us. It’s better for you.”)What are they all about? Clearly they are deluded. They have a special, mesmeric quality, and are all able to enact a perverse kind of social/human engineering project in a Hollywood image. How is that even possible? Even in fiction, today, that would not even rate as Dystopian. And then there is President Donald Trump. How is he different than them? Is he?
Everything is a set now (those people on grandstand behind Trumpy .when he does one of his rallies, tell me that, at least some of them, aren’t being paid. And tell me you haven’t seen some of those people at more than one rally, in more than one place, especially the black folks). Everything is made perfect in this make-believe place. We have the best people to do that.
In the end, it’s all about appearances. To me the scariest scene, the most effective one in both movies, is the perfectly arranged aisles of the supermarket, and the perfect women cruising them with their shopping carts, seemingly picking stuff off shelves randomly. No one reads labels, no one compares prices, no one varies from a routine. Lists? Who needs a stinking list? What would be the point?
These people would be equally at home in a world where you can program your refrigerator to order food for you when you run out of stuff. Or an always listening marketing device like the ones Amazon and Google have; spy devices invented by the consumer surveillance society of corporations intent on creating algorithms of our lives all the better to sell us shit. We take these portals into our homes voluntarily. How are they different from the tele-screens of Oceania in every citizen’s home? Only by degrees. I guess the message is the massage. Now, that is scary isn’t it?
What does the world really look like in the MAGA era. A serial fabulist lives in his perfect bubble traveling only to sets: border walls, conference rooms, carefully selected photo ops at disaster areas (remember the towel toss in Puerto Rico? That was epic, wasn’t it?)And all his little pleasure palaces at his golf resorts. Not to mention the white house. Everyone has places like that to hang out in, right? Maybe in his world they do.
Meanwhile, out on the streets, and around the world, where real people live, it is not so blissful: children are being remanded to concentration camps at the Southern border because they are non-whites, infra-structure is crumbling, hate rallies multiply, even at peace marches, and the hate crimes escalate. Only a serial fabulist (and he is nothing else but one)could see this world as idyllic. Trumpty Dumpty is the man who followed in his father’s footsteps as a serial housing discriminator. One must never forget Trump Sr. was a KKK sympathizer and was arrested at a march he participated in.
The largest protest march ever, happened the day after The Orange Nightmare’s inauguration, far eclipsing the crowd that came to see him enthroned( he wished ) no matter what he says about The Crowd. This is a man who watches television as his guide to living (even his mentors at Fox say he should not care so much about what the media says.) He is like the dimwit Chauncey Gardner in Being There, who also rose to political heights using observations based on his TV viewing, though, thankfully, that was fiction/cinema. How (unintentionally?) prophetic it seems now.
If all images are equal, if you are unable to discriminate between various content messages, then there is no variable truth . In The orange Nightmare’s world, there is no history channel, no race riots in the 50’s, no lynching’s (well there are but they are tacitly approved and given our thoughts and prayers lip service regrets), civil rights workers killed....In an Ozzie and Harriet 50’s world there are no disturbing images only harmony and bliss. The good guys where white hats and the bad guys wear black ones. The good guys have guns too. Though guys who wear white cardigans don’t pack no pistols, Why would they? The world is safe and the cops only kill criminals. There are seven, eight, nine million stories in the city. This is not one of them.
Evidence suggests, more and more, the only logical conclusion a person could make is Trump must have a handler, a foreign one. “They” (whoever they are, we might not know for sure but we can make an educated guess) have recruited a Manchurian Moron, a very useful idiot and elected him president of the United States. It is not a far out speculative fiction, or a crappy idea for a political thriller, but a very Bad Reality Show. Someone should remind MAGA men that the commies were also the ruskies.
Yeah, the wall fell, the Soviet Union dissolved, and communism failed but a new kind of insidious tumor attached itself to the old world: Kleptocracy. Putin and fiends have borrowed the old state’s methods and added a new look to it, basically a mob organization with an army of millions. Government by theft. In Trump’s corrupt world it is called the cost of doing business: bribes, back room deals traded for towers, babes, obscene wealth....These are the bennies. You have to give a little to get a lot. Maybe he is an offshoot of the Hitler worshipping Boys of Brazil seeking to create a Fourth Reich. An offshoot whose handler/partner/capo has compromised him. What then? What would his Stepford look like? More like the cities of Europe in The Pianist than the gaudy interiors of Trump Tower and the Kremlin palace. Only someone with divinely guided bad taste could decorate the way Trump does, a scheme guided by mistaking the expensive with the artistic; with good taste. But I digress, yet again.
Think about 1984, (Big Brother) every time you see the empresses’ new clothes and how she preens for us. How she knows the whole world is watching. And think of her husband , the one whose clothes don’t fit (and why that is) and his ties are too long (same reason his suits don’t fit).
What will it take to put an end to the madness?