Donald Trump is a Rock Star

This far out from any actual voting and caucusing, it’s hard to say just how serious a candidate for the Republican nomination Donald Trump actually is. But that he’s leaving the rest of his rivals in the dust both in terms of the polls and of media coverage can’t be denied. Theories abound as to why that might be so, most of them centering around the notion that Trump simply says out loud what the most radically conservative bloc of American voters actually believe, which comes across as courageous when his rivals continue to confine themselves to dog whistles.

But when actually asked what’s appealing about him, his fans and proponents have so many reasons they defy broad categorization. So while Trump’s obvious appeal to the 27% surely plays a role, it also seems that he’s got the same kind of projection of personal hopes onto a candidate thing going on that Barack Obama did in the run-up to 2008. Which makes a certain amount of sense, given how underdeveloped his policy platform is.

Put briefly, his support, I think, is based on his being Donald Trump, who is famous for being famous and for doing and saying whatever the fk he wants without thinking twice or ever apologizing for it.

And that, I think, is the crux of it. Donald Trump is a rock star. Continue reading “Donald Trump is a Rock Star”

Making Gratuities Gratuitous

Depending on who you ask, tipping as practiced in the contemporary United States is either a crassly exploitative transfer of economic risk from a business to its employees which leaves them vulnerable to wage theft, sexual harassment, and economic uncertainty or a great way to earn a good living working part time for cash in hand — much of which is untaxed — leaving time to pursue any number of artistic or academic endeavors while sleeping in every day and getting paid for being likable.

As someone who spent the bulk of his adult life working front of house in restaurants and bars, I think I can say pretty definitively that both of those things are true. Continue reading “Making Gratuities Gratuitous”