Monday, February 27, 2017

February 27, 2017--A Week Without Trump: The Curated Life

This is not going to be easy.

I am addicted to Donald Trump and the only way out is to go cold-turkey. I am obsessed with all things Trump from the entertaining to the outrageous, the infantile to the crypto-totalitarian, and also the hallucinatory. So I need to dose off for a week to see if that works. If it doesn't, I may have to check into the Betty Ford Clinic. I suspect they're offering a new Trump Intervention Program for which there's probably a waiting list.

This means no Fox News, no MSNBC, no CNN. And of course no Steve Bannon, no Reince Priebus, no Ivanka, and, the one I'll miss the most this week, no Kellyanne Conway.

But if I want to cleanse myself, after writing and posting 207 pieces about Trump and his world, it has to be for me no-Trump-none-of-the-time. I'll leave all-Trump-all-the-time to the cable news networks.

One caveat--if it is revealed that Trump knew about or, better, orchestrated the reach-out to the Russians working to undermine Hillary Clinton's campaign in order to help himself win the election, or if the gossip in the infamous BuzzFeed dossier is confirmed, I will not be able to contain myself. I know I will fall off the wagon and immediately resume blogging about Trump.

So, between now and then, here is Monday's Trumpless piece about curated lives--

While waiting for the Trump era to implode, out in LA, some, a few, are living the very good life. A life of unimaginable luxury or vulgarity--take your pick--that is being curated for them because they lack the confidence and taste to figure out what in fact constitutes a lavish life.

For example, there are a couple of places for sale, one asking $250 million, the other twice that, both of which can serve as metaphors for this new Trompian version of conspicuous consumption.

The former, the one that can be yours for $250 mil, at 38,000 square feet, sprawls across the hills of Bel-Air and comes with12 bedrooms, 21 baths, a four-lane bowling alley, and three kitchens. It has an 85-foot infinity pool and a 40-seat theater with reclining seats and a film library stocked with more than 7.000 pre-selected titles. There is a mammoth wine cellar with nothing by the finest wines, carefully pre-selected because, I am certain, the Russian oligarch who will likely buy this pleasure palace does not have the taste buds nor nose to appreciate anything other than icy shots of Stoli. Wine to him will be all Gallo. Dare I say a case of Lafite Rothschild before swine.

But here's my favorite part--as the New York Times reported four-weeks ago, a story that got lost in all the Trump clutter, in addition to the multi-million dollar art collection (included in the purchase price) the less expensive of the places comes with a 12-car garage, or "auto gallery," that includes a collection of collectable cars, including a 1936 Mercedes worth, they say, $15 million. But--a downside--there is no car elevator like the one Mitt Romney famously had in his La Jolla beach house. Nothings perfect.

And how could I forget--in this Age of Trump for two years the place also comes with a fully-paid seven-person staff, including a chef, chauffeur, and masseuse.

As the seller said, "It's all about the feeling and experience you get when your in the house." Or pool, or bowling alley, or movie theater, or one of the nearly two-dozen bathrooms.

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For the second day of my week without Trump, with spring training underway, I am working for Tuesday on a baseball story.

So far, so good. Today I managed to mention Trump only four times. For me I consider this progress. Tomorrow . . .

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