Curtis Dahlgren
March 1, 2017
Art of the Deal or dart of the eel*; a book review
By Curtis Dahlgren

"Trump makes one believe for a moment in the American dream again." – New York Times

THIRTY YEARS AGO, that kudo was on the cover of Donald's "Art of the Deal." Just above it was a photo of him with the same hair he has today. No one then was making fun of his hairdo. The last words in the book by Trump were these:

"The biggest challenge I see over the next twenty years is to figure out some creative ways to give back some of what I've gotten. It's easy to be generous when you've got a lot, and anyone who does, should be. But what I admire most are people who put themselves directly on the line.... To me, what matters is the doing, and giving time is far more valuable than just giving money.

"In my life, there are two things I've found I'm very good at: overcoming obstacles and motivating good people to do their best work. One of the challenges ahead is how to use those skills as successfully in the service of others as I've done, up to now, on my own behalf. Don't get me wrong. I also plan to keep making deals, big deals, and right around the clock."


Well, the Don – which is what I call him for short – certainly put himself "out there." Now he's working on some really big deals in the really big show. Who would'a written such a script? Someone said that aliens in some parallel universe must be using us as chess pieces in a HUGE chess board, just for fun.

Let's see, the Cavs rallied to win, the Cubs rallied to win, the Patriots rallied to win, and of course, the Don rallied to win. A Marquette University poll published five days before the election had Hillary up 46 to 40 in Wisconsin. The Boston Glove even had the Falcons winning the Super Bowl on page 1 in an early edition. So "rallies" have been the dominant thing in the past "12-month."

The Don had many prophetic lines in his 1987 book. His other strong suit – er, trump suit – is his instinctive ability to relate to people and win without hiring professional "handlers." From the book:

"I have learned much more from conducting my own random surveys than I could ever have learned from the greatest of consulting firms.... The other people I don't take too seriously are the critics.... they mostly write to impress each other, and they're just as swayed by fashion as anyone else....

"When I'm in another city and I take a cab, I'll always make it a point to ask the cab driver questions
[the proverbial "dumb questions"] I ask and I ask and I ask, until I begin to get a gut feeling about something. And that's when I make a decision."

There you have it: His decision to run for President may have been made by a cabbie in Puxatawnee, not aliens from an alternative universe (though that may be a possibility too in a sort of way).

More to come, but that's about all the room I have in one column – except to add that the most sophomoric reaction to his election was hints by critics that he is anti-Israeli. DUH? His book is full of name-dropping, and half of the names he dropped were like my mother's, Greenberg (p.2), Hirschfeld (p. 3), Schoenfeld (p.6), and Goldstein (p.7). LMAO – Donald came from Brooklyn, for Pete's sake. Shoot (that's barnyard slang for 'this ought to drive the government supercomputers crazy'), the Don is about as anti-Israel as the archangel Michael (may he stand up for us so soon as possible).

In conclusion, this was the year in the eyes of the Left that was supposed to be a celebration of the Russian Revolution's centennial; instead it came down to Cubs win! Pats win! Trump triumphs! Blame some cab driver in Puxatawnee, Pennsylvania, not me.

P.S. Oh just one more thing. This week I had to decide whether to focus on important geo-socio-political and economic issues. Or the Oscars. It was an easy call. "La La Land wins! No wait! We need a recount! Somebody screwed up the outcome!" I still don't know if "Hacksaw Ridge" won any honors. As for that "red carpet" junk, I must paraphrase someone who once said, "People who live in glass houses should put on some clothes!"

Oh, one more thing. A few words more from another book, "The Book of Quotes" by Barbara Rowes (1979):

"Hollywood is a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss, and fifty cents for your soul." – Marilyn Monroe

"If it weren't for those friends persuading her to stay in Hollywood, she would still be alive." – Joe DiMaggio

"If you use Hollywood as the test tissue for mankind, what would the prognosis be?" – Pauline Kael

"In California everyone is going to a therapist, is a therapist, or is a therapist going to a therapist." – Truman Capote

"All creative people should be required to leave California for three months every year." – Gloria Swanson

"Reality is something you rise above." – Liza Minnelli

"Reality is just a crutch for people who can't deal with drugs." – Lily Tomlin

"Every time they make a pornographic film, I make money." – Walt Disney

What is wrong with this "picture" (no pun intended). Oh for a bridge for the gap between President Trump's friends and his critics (sigh). Is it a bridge too far? Time will tell. Don't quote me, but someone once said that "laughter is the Vaseline that makes the ideas penetrate better." And on his way off the stage for the last time, Jack Paar said:

"There's gotta be a better way to make a living."

PPS*:
In my title this week, "dart of the eel" was a reference to that serpent the devil, who, it is said, attacks us with "fiery darts."

Oh, just one more thing ma'am. There's a lot about New York City in Trump's book, some of which I hope to get to next week, but just for the heck of it, here's one of my favorite quotes of all time, by Nikita Khrushchev believe it or not. On a visit to New Yawk City! in 1964, the Russian said:

"There's no greenery. It's enough to make a stone sad."

© Curtis Dahlgren

 

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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)

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