Donald, Melania, Ivanka, and Jared Visited the Taj Mahal. Their Poses Spoke Volumes

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE DAILY BEAST)

 

Donald, Melania, Ivanka, and Jared Visited the Taj Mahal. Their Poses Spoke Volumes.

TOGETHER FOREVER

Donald, Melania, and Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner posed in front of the Taj Mahal, joining a long tradition of celebrities using the historic site to promote their own image.

Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty

Melania Trump stood in front of the Taj Mahal, built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a symbol of devotion to his wife, Mumtaz, and watched her open-mouthed husband bellow to photographers.

Her high-necked, ivory jumpsuit matched the exterior of the famed marble mausoleum (CNN’s Kate Bennett identified the one piece as made by Trump’s stylist, Hervé Pierre). It came with a moss green sash made of “vintage Indian textile” that slightly clashed with her husband’s canary yellow tie.

Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty

Still, the First Lady—known for looking absolutely miserable when out with her husband—appeared happy, or at least flashed a few more step-and-repeat smiles than normal. One tabloid described the pair as “loved-up,” which is as big of a stretch as the notion that burger-loving Trump enjoyed his meatless Monday in India. Still, the Trumps were able to hold hands for a while, and they stood close while watching a flock of birds fly away, like two characters from a gothic poem.

Ivanka, too, arrived with Jared Kushner in tow, though she kicked her husband out of her own picture. In a poppy-patterned turquoise dress, which matched the reflection pool she stood in front of, Ivanka mugged with her vacant-eyed but determined smile.

If you have any doubts about any future political aspirations for this “presidential adviser,” then (take a deep breath and) look at her Taj Mahal photo op. Despite all those “Unwanted Ivanka” detractors, just like the building itself, she endures. In Ivanka’s words, such resilience is “awe inspiring.” Others might call her seemingly ceaseless, free vacations (thinly) disguised as diplomacy, a horror scenario.

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The Taj Mahal was completed after ten years of construction in 1653, outlasting threats from the Japanese Air Force in World War II and Pakistan’s bomber pilots in the late ’60s. But the historic site, frequently referenced as a Wonder of the World, has succumbed to one thing: the rich and powerful using it as a backdrop to make coded statements to the world.

The tradition began in earnest with the 1992 image of Princess Diana on a marble bench, her body a lithe strip in a cherry red blazer, nearly dwarfed compared to the gargantuan building behind her. She went to the site alone, without her husband Prince Charles, implying a fissure in their not-so-storybook romance.

But Diana was not the first celebrity photo op at the Taj Mahal. In 1962, Jackie Kennedy took a solo trip to India and Pakistan, at a time when First Ladies did not often dabble in foreign diplomacy. For her pilgrimage to the spot, she wore a preppy blue and green sheath, projecting the Camelot-era’s sunny confidence.

Four years later, George Harrison snapped a selfie in front of the site, looking very anti-Kennedy in his counterculture duds: an unbuttoned cotton shirt and dark sunglasses.

Since then, plenty of other young and famous men have come to the mausoleum in search of themselves, or at least a performative version of it.

In 2015, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said the Taj Mahal was an example of “what people can build—and what love can motivate us to build,” using the elegant language of a good copywriter to plug his company after paying respects. That same year, Leonardo DiCaprio visited too, while in the country working on a climate change documentary. It was a “secret trip;” DiCaprio asked tourists not to take pictures, because he was working.

In 1995, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton also sat on one of the Taj Mahal’s benches for photographers, sitting close and smiling, visual code for girl power. Five years after that, the first daughter would return with her father, Bill.

Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty

In wide-angle snapshots of Donald and Melania strolling in front of the Taj Mahal, the yuge building’s scope leaves the pair looking tiny, nearly as tall as the shrubs which line the monument’s grassy aisles. Trump, who’s got a thing for screaming about his own bigness, might not appreciate how tiny he looks.

But for a man who views the presidency as just another prize to show off that he’s won, the Taj Mahal visit was a success. The man whose legacy was once a knockoff-named casino now has got his photo in front of the real thing, joining the star-studded ranks of those who came before him. And as we’ve seen from this optics-obsessed administration so many times before, the facade is all that matters.

(Philosophy/Poem) America, O How I Will Miss You

AMERICA, O HOW I WILL MISS YOU

 

A Truckers Farewell Song

 

Hardly a month now have I been gone from your highways

Now living the sad picture of a life that I have always dread

No longer each morning waking to new air and your scenery

Your pictures hopefully forever framed now within my head

Bad health, depression, normal aches and pains age brings on

They have now ended the only life I had ever wished to live

 

 

Sweet beautiful Lady for decades you let me sing your songs

Thank you so much for all the memories both good and bad

Depression in ones old age I’ll find a way to kick your ass

Those of us who have worked like a junk yard dog all our lives

Who broke our backs and families working for a poor mans dime

Health problems and broken hearts no choice if we marry you

 

 

America, sweet Lady do you now see the cost of loving thee

A lifetime your threads I crossed Sea to shining beautiful Sea

Pretty lady your winding roads I know every pothole and stitch

Pictures in my mind forever of all your beautiful scenery

No longer will I be able to tread thee

Nor travel the roads of our cold North Sister

Your wonderful memories sketched forever in my mind

America I salute you, and I thank you, Good Night

In My Time

O Lord, the things I have seen in my days I have been given

O Lord, the things by your grace to me You have shown

South-West Virginia and Your beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains

Iron Ridge culture, hard working poor white trash, 1950’s.

“I’m going to start remembering now”

These, the first words I ever remember

Spoken aloud, words from within my own soul

Inner words, everyone has a soul, I know They speak to all

Placed all the rooms in our little home, which I still remember

Outside, counted all the concrete blocks front to back

Two years old, friends how do we do and know such things?

Born with math skills, but look at Mozart what at three he could play.

Summertime, setting on the front porch, my two siblings by my side

Walk across the dirt road to the wood gate

Sunny day, watching the cattle on the other side

Mom gave us each a nickel for us a Coke to buy, a great treat at the time

Walked to the Shell just below the house that sheltered us five.

O how hard it was on Mom, to always be so poor

Minimum wage factories, workers just chafe on the rich mans floor

I guess it’s easier on the pre -school children, the classes they don’t know

School starts, you see other children, realities you had not seen before.

Mid 1960’s, poor flight to to west, a better life your hoping for

You trade the Blue Ridge for the Great Sioux’s Black Hills

O Lord, on at trip like this, the things a child’s eyes ingest

Moon light shines, illuminates the beauty of the big rigs

August Rattle Snakes playing in the sand, 114 in the shade

30 days later, chest high snow in September, O what a land.

One year later, hoping for better, for a good job toward Windy we ran

When you are so poor, you spend your whole life trying to escape it

But even young, I knew that pain, always present in my Mamma’s eyes

Life is always hard with an alcohol disease riddled parent

Knowing that you are hated and he beats you with glee

Even harder on the child when they know other adults know and see

They never ever come to your aid, they always just let it be.

Life’s early hardships, good or bad, they help create the person inside

About forth or fifth grade I walked into your door Lord

My life long rock, my life many times You have saved

Poor white boy, learning of life in the mid-west, with a Hill Billy mind

With some knowledge of Dakota’s  beautiful Black Hills

These life’s lessons, good and bad, always living behind my eyes.

Now I am aged with gray beard and store bought eyes

Now the projector in my mind plays me many memories

Occasionally I see some of the good I have done in my life

Though I do try to castrate these pictures from my mind

A lofty heart leads to evil, I wish to give ego no quarters to hide.

In my life I have mastered the art of many evils

O how I wish I could say that this thing was a lie

But when you have seen and have known pure evil

Pay some attention to the news, evil all around us resides

Demons have no fear of man, they will lie, looking you in the eyes

They will tell you they are Angels, for your best interest they care inside

Do not be deceived, mainly in the worlds capitals they hide.

In my time Lord You have shown me many things

Through Your Spirit You have given me some site

In life it is so easy to become a manic-depressive

You have so plainly shown me our planets plight and demise

Our leaders and the media so filled with venom to Your light

Evil so blinded and hungry for more power, money, and pride.

I know that by the time the trumpet sounds

I will once again be just dust upon the ground

Though I cringe for all our children, and theirs

The battle of the Nations against their Creator

For left behind loved ones, Armageddon lies ahead.

As the Lord and His Angels return to fight from the clouds overhead

The Demons pre-judged, to Hell they will now be thrown

Leaving the poor defrauded people to fight God and His Angels alone

They are now like grapes in the press, confused, disillusioned, and dead.

Lord I thank You that this event I will not have to see, “In My Time”.

(Philosophy/Poem) My Quiet Night

My Quiet Night

 

Quiet out tonight, very few rigs a running

Cloud cover, no stars do I see a shining

Good night to drive, make some miles before light

Instead I’m parked here in a Petro just wasting time

No big hurry, plenty of time to kill wishing I was home

 

 

Thirty-two hours to get there, on a four hour run

Laying a round a truck stop, just wasting my time

Trying to pretend that I really have a life or home

Pull out pictures of the family, put them on the dash

It is these little things that help keep a truck driver sane

 

 

Not just a job, it totally consumes you, it is your way of life

Always be careful in the parking lots, don’t lose you life

Never know what’s lurking in the shadow of the rigs

Never let your bare feet touch this soiled and filthy ground

You never know upon what your toes may step and get stuck

Diesel, oil, and urine, three good reason’s to carry a handy light

 

 

Act dumb, don’t heed my words, you will soon see I’m right

Finally time now to lay down my head, to waste this quiet night

Just now you close your eyes and hope for peaceful dreams

On your right a reefer box backs in with its unit running wild

Now on my left a bull rack appears, stench to Heaven on high

All the bellowing noise mixed in with the cows back side perfume

D.O.T., hot Jewelry Salesmen or Lot Lizards someone always knocking

A quiet night, something only in your dreams, if you could ever get any sleep