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I have to confess, I’m a little worried about the way certain people conduct themselves in public.
For example, Twitter appears to be a great way of showing minor transactions and fleeting thoughts, as they happen, in the minds of all sorts of people. These can be mad thoughts, bad thoughts, aggressive thoughts, romantic thoughts… so long as you are able to express them within 140 characters, you are fine, but do be prepared to be challenged.
This goes ten to the power squinty-twelve for celebrities, especially hot-headed celebrities who are used to being able to just speak and speak and speak until the person arguing with them curls up on the floor and dies. Put two of those together, and an unpleasant tableau emerges. They think they’re virile stags, rutting for the favor of a fair roe (in this case, the doe of not losing face in front of the internet), but it’s far more like a squabble at a wedding between the bride’s father and the caretaker.
So, yesterday on Twitter, Donald Trump, who for the purposes of this tableau we’ll call the bride’s father, issued one of his periodic comments about wind turbines in Scotland. He’s not a fan, in case you’re not aware of his stance. Too costly, and far too ugly to be placed in the beautiful unspoiled Scottish golf cours… sorry, I mean landscape.
“How can George Osborne reduce UK debt while spending billions to subsidize Scotland’s garbage wind turbines that are destroying the country?”
I wasn’t even aware Scotland had garbage wind, but we’ll let that pass. He continued, after some barracking from, well, Scots:
“You’re all wrong—check the facts! UK is massively subsidizing Scotland’s wind turbines & the people don’t want them.”
Lord Sugar, who is Donalds UK Apprentice equivalent, and no stranger to Twitterfighting, leapt in with this:
“Scottish don’t want wind turbines… I think you have that wrong. The Scottish don’t want you!”
Well. I mean WELL! What is a billionaire to do when faced with this level of impudence (from another billionaire)? Go on the attack!
“If you think ugly windmills are good for Scotland you are an even worse businessman than I thought… and, in my opinion, should not be doing The Apprentice.”
To which Lord Sugar replied:
“Well you have NO SAY in that. The British like me not you. The ugly windmills will bring more revenue and green power to Scotland than your golf project.”
It’s true. Some of us do like him. Maybe this is what made Donald play the “I’m a bigger Apprentice boss than you” card:
“Unlike you, I own The Apprentice. You were never successful enough to do The Apprentice but I approved you anyway. Without my show you’d be nothing!”
A bold statement, given that you have to have already been something in order to be the boss in The Apprentice, that’s kind of the point. Anyway, by this time it is ON. Wedding guests are buying popcorn and settling down to watch, the caretaker is waving his mop like a Samurai sword, battle has officially commenced. Your go, Lord Sugar:
“You approved me! What a load of rubbish, dream on. You don’t own Apprentice, Mark Burnett does. Shut up and argue with Obama.”
Technically you can’t shut up AND argue with someone, and The Apprentice is a co-owned production between its creator, Mark Burnett and Trump media, otherwise good comeback, fella. Oh, sorry, he hadn’t finished:
“Success is measured with what you have in business.I own all my real estate with no bank borrowing how about you big shot?”
Sadly, it’s at this point the bride’s father chooses to get his wallet out and wave a wad of cash in the caretaker’s face:
“You have little persona, but The Apprentice concept is great and lucky for you! When I made The Apprentice the #1 show in the US, that was a good day for you and many others.”
Yep. You don’t need to watch The Apprentice any more, America, Donald Trump is getting all the ratings on his own. And it seems to have done his ego the power of good too:
“Drop to your knees, Sugar, and say thank you, Mr. Trump.”
Well, what’s a Lord to do, when addressed like that”
“You have little persona …….in England we say the pot calling the kettle black . You have had a charisma bypass”
At this point Piers Morgan, a graduate of both the UK AND US celebrity Apprentice shows (and for the purposes of our tableau, playing the role of the bride’s elder brother) butted in:
Which really seemed to bring the whole row into focus. Suddenly it becomes clear that the reason the caretaker and the bride’s father are yelling at each other is because they used to to be roommates, best friends even, until the caretaker married the Bride’s Father’s high school sweetheart, and now they can’t help but feel bitter about it. They’re the same person, but gone in different directions, and it’s a bruise they can’t help pressing down on.
Lord Sugar was first out with a comeback: “Let’s see if the big shot can stop me doing The Apprentice.”
To which Donald replied: “I easily could but as long as Sugar is making me money (it’s my show) I won’t–unlike Sugar, I’m not stupid!”
But by now everyone can see the embers of a once-fiery passion in the bride’s father’s eyes. And when the caretaker calls him out on his hubris, things start to break down:
Lord Sugar: “You are full of sh.. Trump you have no power over the UK Apprentice, just like the Scottish people.”
Donald Trump: “Dopey @Lord_Sugar—Look in the mirror and thank the real Lord that Donald Trump exists. You are nothing!”
By now both men are crying, and hoping their tears will be mistaken for sweat in the heat of the moment.
And with a couple more half-hearted jabs about Twitter followers and bank loans (Lord Sugar) and a few more haughty calls to kiss Trump’s ring, they are eventually pulled apart and bundled off home, tired and scared that the thing they have broken can never be repaired.
Not that they’d ever admit it, of course. Mighty stags! Rutting! They’re at it again right now! etc…
See more posts by Fraser McAlpine
Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 15 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME, Guardian and MSN. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Radio 2.
He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage.
Fraser invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic