So I’ve discovered a few exciting things today. Some of my glaring shameful ignorances have finally been smeared full (to bursting) with that most horrible unctious goo that is ‘unpalatable truth’. For example, I discovered today (thanks to a conversation with Matt Haughey) that when the American press refers to the GOP, what they’re talking about is the “Grand Old Party”. The image of the “Grand Old Party” seems to me beautifully evocative of faded sepia, bruised faces, tight sphincters and mournful piano music – like some kind of apocalyptic and hideously decaying vision of the last half-hour of a Jay Gatsby-style social-gathering that went on just a hundred years too long. So I suppose it’s apt then that the phrase refers to the Republican party – since it seems to me that only a group of people so ruined by the hideous spectacle of infinite and never-ending indulgence could possibly need novelty so badly that they’d be prepared to allow an experimental monkey to lead them.
Another thing I’ve learned today is how to refresh the Grand Old Party in style and keep it going for another hundred years. I mean we all know how unsexy liberal policies are and how compellingly raunchy uniforms, guns, muscles and the enforcement of good down-home fist-action can be, right? So if you want to make something look and feel vibrant and sexy, then violence is where it’s at. I was reminded of this by SWAT which was one of the most gloriously power-fetishising, macho, reactionary, fascistically driven illiberal and hence enormously sexy and titillating films I’ve seen in months. Such films appeal to something deep and fundamental to all men and women. And by that I don’t mean our sense of morality, our aspiration for a better world, our attempts to aspire towards some kind of enlightenment or any woolly concepts of social contracts or democracy. Oh no – it is the wonder of our reptile brain that leads the way. It is that ancient part of our psyches that drags concepts of territory, aggression and violent fucking under its control and which we must surely thank for the glimpse of straining power under the GOP’s crumbling, dessicated and insect-ridden dinner jackets.
The other thing I learned today was to fear the French. In SWAT the villain was – to my surprise – not English or Muslim. Oh no, the new evil is far far worse than that. Where once we fought people with conviction and morality, now our enemies appear not to have morals of any kind at all. How could they when they disagree with us so violently? And if you disagree with us in the way we wish to fight terrorism – well that’s as bad as being a terrorist itself, right? And it’s not like we didn’t hate the French anyway. I mean they’re just so darn rude. They’re like that man at the Grand Old Party who’s secretly conspiring with the staff to create dissent! They’re traitors to their international class! To their religion! To their race! Well I’m sorry – you do that for long enough and you won’t get invited back, says our Muscle-Bound Bizarro Monkey governments. And quite right too! Quite right that their very name should be scratched out so we can put FREEDOM in their place.
Learning things is important. Learning things is good. And don’t worry! I’m learning well! I’ve learned the only position worth having is an absolutist one. The only party worth going to is the one that never ends – that has the strength to fight to maintain itself. After all, aren’t we right to be scared of what happens when that party ends? What will we do instead? Will there ever be a party like it again? After all, it’s them and us, whosoever they may be – and however much we’ve lost touch with what that US is supposed to mean.