Trump seems to have worn the hat for the first time while touring the United States-Mexico border in Laredo, Texas. In a video of his Laredo news conference, he boasts that “the Hispanics are gonna love Trump, and they already do.” At the very beginning, as he's settling into his pulpit, he invites members of the audience to fly back to New York with him on his private plane. During the nine-minute video, he generalizes, deflects, misconstrues, ignores, offends, interrupts, boasts, refers to his polls, talks about his plane and himself. I took a screenshot when he looks to the side at minute 3:23, right after predicting his winning the Latino vote because “over the years, thousands and thousands of Hispanics” have worked for him.
In May 2015, I earned a master's degree in art; in July, I took a job with an entertainment design and production firm as a carpenter. My first day on the job, I learned how to build flats. A flat is piece of cheap, thin plywood, reinforced with 1 x 4 wood to make, essentially, a mobile wall. Groups of flats create background scenery on stage and in the movies. Flats are things (accumulations of lumber milled from trees) that represent other things (say, the facade of a building in some dusty, down-on-its-luck pioneer town with nothing but a bank for robbing and a saloon for drowning broken dreams) and hide unsightly things (backstage). Flats are real things turned into fake things designed to create the illusion of a certain type of “realness,” while disguising another. A flat seemed like the fitting surface on which to paint the hat of the reality TV celebrity whose major accomplishment is the Taj Majal in Atlantic City.