What’s the connection between Jose Maria Martin, former President of the Brazilian Football Confederation, under house arrest in his apartment; Baby Doc Duvalier, ex-dictator of Haiti; Andrew Lloyd-Webber; Michael Jackson; and Donald Trump? They have all been residents in Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue.
Strolling there close to Christmas in 2012, the tower and its stinking wealth was not really part of my consciousness. Buildings come and go, like empires. I came across a black woman who appeared to have extreme mental health problems on the steps of a Catholic church. While the thick snow fell on us, her grey blanket did nothing to combat the freezing temperature, her skeleton face chattering. Inside, the priest was celebrating the life of someone who sounded very heroic and important who had recently gone to heaven, whilst outside it seemed like someone was about to die and not peacefully. Being a tourist with a guilt complex I gave her some money, told her she needed to get inside. Others, with expensive gifts in fancy bags saw but didn’t see. That’s the culture that existed a couple of years ago, and now the epitome of this culture rules.
Philip K. Dick in The Man in the High Castle writes of a world where the Nazis have actually won the war; and in some ways they actually have. But, to repeat myself, empires come and go. Locally, and globally, there is pressure to sit back and let it happen and go with the flow. Rock the boat, don’t rock the boat, baby. This is what those around Michael Jackson did, they just let it happen. This is what those around Donald Trump are doing, worshipping the man in high castle. The question is, how low do we want to go?