Donald Trump

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Donald Trump in the 80s was quite a different kettle of rotted fish from the TV personality we (cough) “love” now. First off, he was relatively new and hadn’t yet been given enough time to do much damage. Even then, though, there was already something cartoonish about the fellow. Start with the name, which sounded every bit as manufactured as Stuart Goddard telling some coked-up MTV VJ his name was “Adam Ant.” Ridiculous. Except the Trump name was real–Donald was the baby prince of an already established scuzzball empire built by his father. The surname is an anglicized version of the Low German word “Drumpf.” And yes, just as you might have guessed, that translates to “toadstool” in English.

His two great accomplishments this decade were the construction of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue and the 1989 release of the board game Trump: The Game.  The Trump Tower is everything you’d expect from something that was unveiled in the go-go 80s–tons of the “world’s finest marble” and heaps of the “planet’s rarest brass” all slapped together in the public areas to no memorable effect, but the black monolithic exterior does have a dozen or so live trees growing out of it, so you can give Trump credit for being a brave pioneer of sustainability if you want to. As for Trump: The Game, not enough people ever played it for history to record whether or not it was any fun, but I can say that as far as its name goes, it doesn’t hold a candle to the one released last year by a certain LA rapper called The Game: The Game.

His woman of choice for this decade was Ivana and she was very blond and very tall and liked to tell little fibs about being on the 1972 Czechoslovakian Olympic ski team. I don’t think she ever accomplished anything other than bringing three more Trumps into the world (readers can decide for themselves whether that is an actual accomplishment or something more akin to a criminal act) but her first name does comprise exactly one-half of my all-time favorite drag queen stage name: Ivana Koch.

Since this blog only covers a brief ten year period I am unable to discuss all the mischief he’s caused in the past 30 years or so, like trying to pave over half the Scottish Highlands or threatening to bum rush the White House every four years. He’s a hard man to look at, and recent rumors about him being the object of a new float in the 2014 Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade are worrisome. It probably won’t come off– The Donald would never cede control of his image to a bunch of mere designers and float makers, but if he does insist on “playing himself” this coming November, organizers will hardly need to pump in any helium in order to send his bloated corporeality skyward.

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Gary Hart

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“Too much monkey business” good ol’ Keith Relf sang, and you can almost picture a young Gary Hart back in 1964, snapping his fingers along to the off beat as one of his law school buddy’s copy of Five Live Yardbirds spun round at a party in some New Haven apartment, a Tom Collins in the other hand and his eyes roaming over every female in the place. With Presidential dreams already metastasizing under that thickly-carpeted scalp.

And by God, only 25 years later, it was all within reach–he had slithered and climbed his way into contention for residence in the biggest and whitest house in the land. Sure, there were some ugly rumors of infidelity floating about, but Gary, like all megalomaniacs with a lust for “high office,” considered himself beyond reproach, so he arrogantly issued a challenge to his adversaries in the press. Now, politicians have always been scumbags, even before Caligula donkey-punched his first 13 year-old concubine, but for centuries there had existed a gentleman’s agreement of sorts between these fellows and the fourth estate. Only the most egregious indiscretions were reported. But Gary ruined it for everyone–the leashes snapped and a little bit of arse-on-lap canoodling on the good yacht Monkey Business put an end to his venal ambitions.

He thankfully disappeared pretty quickly, apparently having learned his lesson, but so many others sure haven’t, from the practitioners of “wide stances” in airport restrooms to that one mentally-diseased creep who ran for New York City mayor (I refuse to type his name, although I always thought his foul-mouthed Communications Director was pretty hot and I encourage her to contact me through this blog if interested) society as a whole is still plagued by irredeemable figures determined to “represent us.”

Would Gary Hart have made a good President? I don’t think such a thing exists, and besides, who cares? Political scandals have a short shelf life (Teapot Dome, anyone?) and the handful of people who even remember this guy most certainly regard him as just another faceless, well-groomed fool.

As for the failed model/actress who ensnared him? A quick check of “Donna Rice” on the search engines reveals that she is currently the CEO of some sort of anti-pornography foundation. So, sadly, it seems she has become just like a politician herself, trying to ruin the world for everyone.

J. Danforth Quayle

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He moved–like a tiger on Vaseline. He could lick ‘em by smiling, his ass was God-given, he was the nazz. A  southpaw with a tan as white as Midwestern snow, the fact of the matter is, if you were anywhere near Greencastle, Indiana in the late 60s you couldn’t spend a day in that place without picking up the vibe of the hippest hepcat in town, a college student, a fraternity member even, who nonetheless exuded the gravity of a guru and the sex appeal of a silent movie sheik.

In 1967, a struggling young British troubadour named David Jones passed through town and played an acoustic show in the coffee nook at the Student Center at DePauw University. After the show he was introduced to “Dan the Man”—and he talked with this man; he got stoned with this man; he was changed by this man. Jones, who at Quayle’s suggestion would soon change his surname to Bowie, returned to England and ruminated on his profound experience for an entire five years, but by 1972 he had come to grips with what he had learned enough to create an alter-ego based on the life of this American sage who had exerted so much influence on him. And rock and roll was never the same.

Lloyd Bentsen, you are no Ziggy Stardust!!!