This morning for want of something better to do I checked out the chat lines of the Daily Express newspaper and found there the usual chorus of hatred and hysteria directed at the usual figures such as Jeremy Corbyn, Diane Abbott and other prominent members of the IRA/ Hamas etc. Demands for the public humiliation, execution, repatriation, excommunication of these loathsome traitors poured off every tweet and every page as the clamour for justice grew to a deafening roar. Reading these and other exhortations made me think briefly of Yeat’s famous poem The Second Coming which foresees the imminent overthrow of all that is vile and corrupt in our modern societies. Surely a cleansing is at hand? Although the authors’ spelling is often faulty what can not be questioned is the passion and deep rooted conviction that informs all of these howls of outrage and that the authors are united by a common sense of purpose — certainly their rather brief observations point up some vital truth relating to the inner workings of our rancid social orders. Everywhere it seems decent ordinary people of our country have finally rumbled the hideous con being foisted daily on the long suffering public. As I read through these impassioned and doubtlessly sincere descriptions of Corbyn and his treacherous co conspirators it becomes clear to even the dullest mind that this monstrous fraud must be thwarted in his evil designs or else the very moral fabric of great island nation will torn to small pieces by sinister gangs of evil men and their gullible lesbian wives.
The one certainty that emerges from these anguished outpourings is that uncertainty is for wimps and to hell with all those who do not share the clarity and powerful insight of these visionaries. Let’s be pragmatic about this- doubt and hand wringing are two of the most time consuming and wasteful of all activities known to humans and must be challenged vigorously by all right thinking people. As an aside I should note that it is usually the undisputed domain of all right thinking people to define just who and what right thinking people are. May the circle be unbroken. So there it is then: Jeremy Corbyn is a filthy communist dictator who eats children and wants to get his hands on the nuclear button because he wants to obliterate the royal family so that Corbyn and his evil cohorts can stage cross dressing parties at Buckingham Palace attended by Satan and other socialists.
Now since the point of reading newspapers is to absorb some of the useful information they impart to their readers I took some time studying many photos of this evil monster that the Express and other socially concerned organs had printed in the interests of saving our sceptered isle from falling into the hands of this ghoul and I had to admit that there was something eerily unnerving about this rather gaunt figure looked menacingly back at me from these pages; was it it the rather large nose that so troubled my gaze? No, it couldn’t be that since I have a rather tremendous proboscis myself and over the years I’ve come to some kind of fragile accommodation with my hooter- it gets me noticed after all and an attention seeker as desperate as the present writer would prefer infamy to obscurity. I also noticed that he was tieless which unnerved me- history has shown that tie avoiders are only out for trouble. I mean look at the Sufragettes- not a tie to be seen amongst the lot of them. My God it stank! Somewhere in the desert indignant birds reel in the shadows and across the barren sands huge tieless creatures with wonky eyes stride ominously towards me like terrible portents of some unknowable, unnameable future and some rough ill hewn creature slouches towards Islington to be born again.
I mean what can you do in the face of such nonsense? Laugh, I suppose otherwise see a doctor, perhaps? I have to confess here to a terrible weakness which has dogged me all my life: when I am confronted by transparent nonsense of this order my first instinct is to make fun of it. Can people REALLY be that stupid, we must ask ourselves? Surely just like me they are only aving a larf?
Is it possible that people are so full of cringing fear of an elderly soft spoken gentlemen with a slightly scruffy beard that they would resort to coining such muckraking infantile pap? Isn’t there some tiny inner voice seeking to ease their tortured, tormented souls? And even if that voice is muffled and obscure it must surely be there, contending with the uglier more raucous noises to which all flesh is heir to? I mean come on here aren’t we all just one type or another of those poor conflicted souls ably described by our better poets and songwriters? A terrible thought occurs to me even as I write: if I am wrong about this voice malarky then it probably means I am schizophrenic and ought to be seeking help pronto. And let me honest about this there have been many times in my in my troubled life when it seems I have good cause to doubt my own sanity and have given serious consideration to the possibility of having myself sequestered to the confines of some agreeable asylum where outside my window birds twitter sonorously as nurses in soft shoes bring medicine, kindness and soft honeyed advice which they pour gently into my raptured ear. And that is why at such critical times I take to reading the chat lines of such august organs as the Daily Express: however bad it might be for me I aint THAT bad, I tell myself.I simply can’t get enough of this intellectual slurry, it seems. Whenever I doubt myself and feel a nagging insufficiency I invariably google some chat line or other (football forums are especially useful to appease the drilling insecurities to which I am often prey at one time or another) I read their messages greedily hoping to restore my sense of self.
It is I confess a perfectly low trick to compare oneself with others much less fortunate but mostly I do it because it works. Surely the whole point of idiocy is to help others navigate safely through the rocks onto which less cautious souls so willingly impale themselves? It is surely stupidity’s most enduring trait that it is profoundly and unashamedly proud of itself? Stupidity screams at us from every nook and cranny of the known universe, shouting, stamping, screaming its narcissistic self endorsement. Perhaps my aspirations should be higher but I can not wean myself from the ego trip I enjoy whenever I pore over their childlike rants. Surely even their shabby little prejudices can be tarted up a little? But not these guys, they are absolutely shameless in their shamefulness! Corbyn Monoxide, they scream. The Marxist scum of Liebour! Whinging Remoaners! And the worst of it is they actually think they are being witty! They seem to think that if they repeat their hideous little catchphrases often enough they will win others to their rancid cause. Or do they? It’s difficult to tell just exactly what it is they want other than to express their hatred for the monstrous Corbyn! Alright I’ll make a concession here, to express hatred isn’t entirely pointless but surely it behoves our authors to explain WHY they have such hatred for such and such an individual and for such and such a political party. Sure, they tell us he’s a Marxist which as any decent thesaurus will tell us is yet another synonym for scum but I’m afraid even here we not very much further up the cause and effect ladder. If we follow their logic (a difficult task I know) we must conclude Marxists are scum BECAUSE they’re Marxists. It beats thinking about stuff, I suppose.
But enough of that for now because I want to move on to a more troubling problem I’m having right now and this concerns the undeniable similarity of the recorded observations associated with those I am happy to call fellow travellers and the rabid semi literate right wing fruitcases described above. The liberal left too, it seems, also has its bogeypersons . For some time now I have been used to seeing Theresa May described in terms similar to those the fruitcakes fall back on when they attack the satanic Corbyn; for instance I have read on various media May described as an unfeeling bitch, a woman whose only desire is to crush ordinary decent working people, an overpainted harridan, a vile shrew, a woman completely bereft of empathy and much other chilling stuff besides. And here’s the truly troubling bit I have written about her myself using similar language. Shame on me, then! Not only ought I know better, the point is that I DO know better! I read somewhere that May ‘teared up’ when she she eventually met victims of the horrendous fire in west London yet it seems there are many who doubt the veracity of this story but I am not one of them; after all most of us ‘tear up’ when exposed to such heart rending circumstances. Some, I have no doubt, are more empathetic than others but we are not in some kind of race here, surely? I would be greatly surprised if Theresa May did NOT feel deeply sorry for the victims of this awful event (and I must say profoundly disturbed were this not so) the logic of the absurd accusation that May is so utterly without feeling necessarily leads to the equally ridiculous conclusion that she is unambiguously sociopathic but the truth is sociopaths and their near neighbours psychopaths are not nearly as common as some would have us believe. I’d like to say here and now that I don’t actually LIKE Theresa May but in the greater scheme of things this prejudice is singularly unimportant. What I must concede is that since the absurd referendum what was once in me vigorous opposition to almost all conservative policy has now become a deep rooted loathing of certain individuals within the ranks of that party. In other words I too have bought into the hatred of those people I have tried my hardest to ridicule but it’s pointed in another direction and this being so is it not reasonable to ask myself if I should not be looking at myself for worrying symptoms of extremism? What did Bob Dylan say about becoming mine enemy in the instant that I preach? I take such stuff seriously, you know. Maybe Dylan found that he couldn’t write headlines for popular newspapers and found other ways of talking to the people? Henceforward I shall try a little harder not to be too hard on Mrs May who after all has enough problems of her own right now.
But let’s get back to the monstrous Corbyn. He’s not REALLY a monster, is he? Or maybe he is- who can tell these days? To look like the innocent flower but be the serpent under it seems to be the overriding ambition of many a public figure these days, does it not? Maybe it’s a certain sign of rampant paranoia but I feel uneasy whenever I see a smile beginning to form on the faces of all but the youngest members of our society- what is s/he after I find myself asking whenever I see a smile threatening to break out into the open. Let’s face it, the smile in modern society isn’t directed too often at one’s face but at one’s wallet. Be aware of facial expressions, I tell myself. But going back to the May v Corbyn face off if we may end up playing yet another version of Good Cop/ Bad Cop and then we’d be in danger of exhausting all the distractions that keep us amused. Surely what is important here is what lies behind the masks of these protagonists; one of them believes (I think) in much less power to her government (to which end she recently called an election to empower her desired powerlessness) while the other believes that ordinary people matter and that the best way to protect their interests is to elect a government actually self confident enough to govern. I am not trying to pretend that I don’t like one of these people a lot more than the other but it wouldn’t matter to me overmuch if Jeremy Corbyn was a thoroughly bad egg as long as his commitment to an unashamedly interventionist government remains sincere and -more importantly- deliverable. What matter here surely is the idea. I want to get with the programme as the young people say. But which programme? I greatly fear this article may be interpreted as merely a plea for better manners when what I am really calling for is an end to the mind numbing guff one is exposed to everywhere one chooses to look. I apologise if I’m a bit of a snob about these things but I really do believe that if we can’t win power then we can at least embarrass some of these oafs who cower behind their empty slogans and meaningless hate infested jargon (but we will win and soon). Let’s get ’em, these Tories with their gaudy personalised number plates (it’s almost always Tories who hide behind such ostentatious props) let’s get these philistines most of whom wouldn’t know a good book from a bag of chips. Let’s fight them on the golf courses, fight them at the Stock Exchange, fight them in the fields with their idiot tally hos and long eared dogs. Whatever our faults we are better educated than they are, more compassionate, more humane, more resourceful and infinitely more interesting but most of all let’s get ’em by playing our owngame, not theirs.