Tuesday, November 09, 2004

the bright side

I've been looking for the bright side ever since last wednesday, and I think I've finally found it: the future, at least the broad picture, is now a known. it's appalling – as bleak a prospect as the darkest Goya - but at least it's not going to disappoint any raised hopes or expectations, which four years of the other bloke almost certainly would have done. this is the thing about fascism: it delivers.
I had a friend at school - allen - who was a cheerful pessimist, ie he always expected the worst in any given situation. that way, he proposed, offered the best chance of happiness, since one was never reliant on the vagaries of chance to improve one's lot. as long as you assumed that everything was going to remain the same, and that everything was going to be awful, you'd never suffer the depressing disappointment of dashed hopes, and every vaguely good thing that happened by chance in your life would be a bonus. he was the predecessor personified of marvin the paranoid android. I hitched around France with him one summer. one of the bigger mistakes of my life. it rained all the time and we spent most of it standing in puddles as cars drove past, drenching us. the tent leaked. he hated French food. I came close to killing him.
it helps to know that practically the whole of the rest of the world and the better half (because that the monkey stole it again goes without saying, of course) of the Disunited States considers this administration a pack of lying criminal thugs, and that, whereas they have almost limitless power to do what the fuck they please, they will be universally hated and despised for it. there’s a tremendously powerful inertia in that sort of solidarity that the political establishment ignores at its peril. if – big if – they have the mental capacity to process the implications of that degree of revulsion, it will of course only serve to reinforce their determination to proceed. expect much reiteration of terms such as evil, resolve, conspiracy, god, freedom, united, security, tolerance and understanding (only joking). but they’ve got a helluva domestic battle on their hands to extract ongoing compliance from those blue seaboard states. it’ll be fun to watch how they apply their sophisticated Afghanistan- and Iraq-tested ways of winning the hearts and minds of the people to winning over those of their own.
the point is recognising where not to invest your hopes. the politics of red v blue america is no longer the issue – as long as government is yoked to religious fundamentalism as its populist prop, that arena is completely deaf to the sort of reason that applies in any grownup forum. there is, simply, no arguing with people who believe that god made the earth and everything on it (including the fossil record, which He placed there deliberately to test their faith, doncha know) in seven days sometime around three thousand BC, and that Terror is an enemy nation. nothing personal, but a conversation with a sea cucumber is more productive. the progressive expansion of that sphere of international contempt and ridicule manifest on the internets is, on the other hand, one very hopeful indication of what’s in store for the monkey and his minders. the steady drip-drip of global ridicule – don’t forget your bulge, george – will do more, in the long run, to erode that flimsy dam of inflated fears and insane paranoid fantasies than any amount of head-on polemical confrontation.
unleashed, the rabid monkey is an undeniably frightening prospect, but he’d better look out for where he drops those banana skins.
meanwhile, over here, we have some fun of our own in store planning how best to punish the poodle for his incontinent roll-overiness next Spring. obviously, this tragic alignment with the leftover Special Relationship of the Maggie/Ronnie fuckfest days has just got us thoroughly shafted to no purpose whatsoever. any idiot could have told him that. several million did. so, as long as the monkey’s in charge, he’s fucked, and he knows it. and since the only thing that seems to ignite any passion at all in this anaemic parliament is the absurd debate about whether or not we’re part of Europe, I fancy that goading him about how little Europe actually cares whether we’re part of it or not, and that he’d be better off rolling on his back to Brussels rather than Washington and begging that they let us in instead of pretending that we’ve got any negotiating position left worth their consideration is the way to go. he’s looking old and tired and disillusioned, poor pooch. expect more of the following: sovereignty, history, balance, shoulder to shoulder, global, resign (I wish).

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