It's dizzying to follow Trump's border wall talk. Speaking from Camp David on Sunday, he said it doesn't have to be made of concrete. The Huffington Post quotes him this way, “Democrats don't like concrete, so we'll give them will look beautiful and it's actually strong.” He seems to think the choice of building material is the hangup.

Channeling Don Quixote

Never mind that a barrier along the thousands of miles of U.S. - Mexico border is untenable – unless, of course, the government seizes an awful lot of privately owned land. The idea of enclosing America in steel or concrete - or even a beaded curtain - is plainly starry-eyed.

That said, it can be argued that the idea of protecting Americans is quixotic, even romantic on the order of the Man of La Mancha battling imaginary enemies. This makes Trump's talk of a border barrier nothing more than a wall of noise not unlike the 1963 movie of the same title. Even the theme is the same: the clash between a romantic idea and a realistic one. Trump's idea of protecting the country from fake foes may seem romantic, but when he shuts down the government to force the issue, the presumed glamor goes away.

Foolish fantasy

Still, the wall was never to be a poke in the eye partition. It was pitched as picturesque. At least that was the president's promise at the start. The Washington Post quoted him describing it during the run-up to the presidential election as “tall and beautiful.” Even as recently as March 30 at a rally in Ohio, Trump vaunted mock-ups of proposed fence designs: “You saw those beautiful pictures...We started building our wall (untrue), I'm so proud.“ When he talked like that about architectural aesthetics, the mind fantasizes something like the Alhambra, the citadel in Andalusia, Spain with its tall, fawn walls girdling the hills of Granada to form an immense crenelated crown high above the city.

Reality bites

The walls surrounding the Alhambra are gorgeous with the outer screen being made of rust-colored brick and numerous gates and towers. All of which creates a closeted world down to scented gardens and gently splashing fountains. Alas, Trump's latest version, a fence of steel slats, zaps the fantasy and brings yet another movie to mind - this one from 2001 titled “Never Mind the Wall.” While it's set in Germany in 1982 when the Berlin Wall divided the city and kept two young lovers from being together, the theme is not unlike the one in “Wall of Noise” and Trump's border wall: romance clashing with reality.