Confused, puzzled and angered by things like Brexit, the ongoing nightmare of Donald Trump, the various strains of nostalgia politics and the rise of gammon-faced people from the right and left, and just generally everything?
Well, the late, great Douglas Adams has a quote from the Salmon of Doubt that explains everything!
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
So there you go, the modern world explained!
Donald Trump, professional racist and the most orange flaky thing since that last bag of Wotsits you ate while drunk, is in the UK and will be heading for Scotland this weekend.
We’ll be waiting for him.
Peter Serafinowicz doesn’t get anything like the acclaim he deserves for his series of Sassy Trump videos which are wonderful pisstakes of Donald Trump speeches using his own words, and well, you can guess the rest.
At this time when it should be perfectly clear that Trump is heading up a movement of hard/far right authoritarianism that is empowering similar movements across the West, we face a time when liberal post-WW2 values and concepts like universal human rights are under threat it is only right we take the piss out the bastard.
This is the latest one. Enjoy and resist…
Puerto Rico has been suffering after the impact of a hurricane, and instead of acting like a president, Donald Trump has been acting like a massive prick. After weeks of criticism he’s now saying what Puerto Rico suffered is worse than the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
During all this Trump made an astonishing speech where he did this when pronouncing Puerto Rico.
Apart from noting Melania’s increasingly cold, dead-eyed stare the fact is there Trump is being racist at a time when being presidential is called for. Step up comedian Peter Serafinowicz who as part of his series of Sassy Trump videos to point out how Trump sort of could have done it.
It shouldn’t take a comedian to point out how to be a leader of your country, but if Trump doesn’t want to be seen as a angry authoritarian racist arsehole he might want to take notes.
Recently John Oliver had this fantastic bit on right wing conspiracy nut Alex Jones.
Jones is a fascinating character not because of his lunacy but because his lunacy draws people in. Here’s Jones interviewing director David Lynch.
I mean, Lynch isn’t an idiot. He must realise Jones is at best, a xenophobic lunatic, at worst a far-right conspiracy theorist that helps neo-fascists like Donald Trump? And make no doubt about it, Jones is way, way, way out there but back in the early days of the internet Jones was just a conspiracy theorist who attracted the attention of Jon Ronson for his 2000 series, Secret Rulers of the World.
For most of us in the UK this was our first look at Jones and hey, he was someone to point and laugh at because there was no way a nut like Jones could get anywhere near influencing power?
Jones big break was 911. He was one of those who carved himself a niche after that day (and there’s a lot of folk who tried) and used the attacks to vindicate not only his strangeness, but help build up his business which as Oliver points out in his video, is pretty substantive and worth millions to him.
Jones mined the early days of the internet when people would come online and look at weird stuff. UFO, JFK stuff, but also Jones’s libertarianism cut across right and left, yet it is perfectly clear what Jones is; a far right demagogue who has undue, undemocratic influence upon the American president. It’s only right Jones should be scrutinised because people like him were the vanguard of the alt-right, and indeed, all the online extremists from all political persuasions. He’s a danger to democracy and I find it extraordinary that people like Lynch and other somewhat sensible seeming people give him the time of day.
Don’t share anything from Jones. Don’t give him the clicks. Most of all don’t believe that he’s actually Bill Hicks!
Back in March 2017 the Imperial War Museum announced it was going to reissue the pamphlet from 1980 outlining how to survive a nuclear war. Of course it was utter bollocks because there’s no way to survive such a war, but the UK government of the time couldn’t, or to be exact, wouldn’t tell people that nuclear war would mean their likely death either quickly in the blast and firestorm, or slowly and painfully thanks to the fallout.
Except what should have been a reprint to remind us of the years when we seriously thought the Russians or Americans would start a nuclear war ends up being something that reminds us the threat has returned. True, it isn’t anything as severe as the 50’s to the end of the Cold War in the late 80’s, but thanks to Donald Trump, North Korea and insane politicians who think a nuclear war can be limited, we’re on the verge of entering a dangerous phase.
Hopefully sanity prevails but with lunatics and demagogues in power we can’t be too sure, so make sure you’ve got loads of white paint, some potato sacks and a screwdriver…
In the US right now there’s a load of actual real Nazis meeting and marching in Charlottesville with actual real life armed militia marching with them. It is by any stretch of the imagination an ostentatious display by white supremacists that’s resulted in one anti-Nazi protester being killed so far. I say ‘so far’ because I’m astonished more people haven’t been killed.
Terms like ‘alt-right’ are essentially meaningless. They’re Nazis. Call them that. Groups like the National Vanguard are just Nazis and here’s where we have to stop agonising about how to deal with them. We don’t tolerate them. We fight them, and we don’t sit around like some of the ‘radical’ left agonising about whether violence is wrong or how much guilt we should have for the situaton getting here. We know Donald Trump encourages these people and has made it easier for them to grow in his short time so far as president and we know good people have died while the far-right grow and become empowered, and this is what we’ve got to remember: Trump has empowered them, just as Brexit & it’s cheerleaders like Nigel Farage have over here.
At this point people should read Umberto Eco’s essay titled Ur-Fascism, because we’re living in the age where it has finally become real again and not something of Eco’s childhood. What we’re seeing in the US and UK is Eco’s Ur-Fascism, and that scares me that we’ve let it get to a point where we need to fight not just a bunch of National Front arseholes, but vast swathes of the country who are turning to a form of fascism that is endorsed by those in power.
Back in the early 90’s the NF tried to make one last push to start the race war they were wanting. Groups like the Anti Nazi League stopped them because black, white, whatever race, religion, background united to fight them; often literally. I myself carry scars from those fights back in the days when I lived in Nottingham and we’d have to stand our ground against them. We beat them. Sadly the job now is harder and it won’t help if people aren’t prepared to perhaps get their hands a bit dirty because I look at pictures like the one below and think the young folk surrounded by actual armed Nazis are among the bravest people I’ve seen.
Those people standing in the middle of a crowd are amazing.That’s who we need to be in the days.months and years to come because sitting in Byres Road cafes worrying about the structrual problems of racism isn’t going to stop the prick with a Union Jack tattooed on his arm from beating up Asian shopkeepers. Let’s be blunt, we’re in a fight and the time for polite discussion is gone.
And the problem is the same over here in the UK. We know Neo Nazis pose a larger threat than Islamists because this is what the authorities tells us, but it barely gets reported outwith of the odd mention. If we don’t actually stop this by fighting the Nazis where we can, and making an argument for a multicultural, progressive society (and those on the left leaping on the Brexit bandwagon to get Labour into power aren’t helping one bit) we’re fucked. So lets take it back to basics, unite, argue, fight and win together and remember, punching Nazis is good for the soul.
Seeing as Donald Trump is now running his foreign policy as if it was a clip from Robocop, it seems that those of you under 35 or so now have a wee snifter of what those of us slightly older put up for most of our lives. Welcome to the fear and tension of a potential nuclear war.
These days Millennials will Tweet and maybe write an angry blog about how nuclear war is a sign of the patriarchy while sipping a craft beer, but back in the day we had art like this.
Or we’d confront the fear in comics such as this Marvelman tale..
But until the Netflix generation does their own version of Threads they won’t experience the cold sweats of waking up thinking the streetlight is a nuclear blast. That was fun back in the 80’s.
So for those of you not familar with this fear; welcome to the party. For those of us who’d forgotten it, time to dust off your Protect and Survive tips to pass down to the younger generations as we all unite in fear that a pair of cunts could doom the world before we even get to the end of the new Twin Peaks.
Now that would be the end of the world!
In Wagner’s Ring Cycle, Götterdämmerung, is the final act. It means ‘Twilight of the Gods’. That’s relevant because on Saturday morning I went through to Edinburgh and the news-stands were full of papers heaving with the threat of war, in particular the nuclear kind, or the realisation one gets at 8am in the morning when your brain processes the reality of what’s going on which is something like this train of thought; ‘ohmyfuckinggodtheresaloonintheWhitehousewhomightactuallyfuckingdoit!’ . Or to put it more succinctly…
So what the fuck is going on? Is Donald Trump mad enough to actually use nuclear weapons and will North Korea be mad enough to push a madman far enough to do it? Will Putin step in and what about the wave of far right authoritarians in Europe from Erdoğan in Turkey through to Le Pen in France and Farage and May here in the UK? Where does Brexit fit into what’s going on? Is there a grassy knoll I can hide behind?
It does feel like it’s either a massive series of unconnected events which makes me a paranoid conspiracy theorist (which means I should move into a basement somewhere and live in my own filth) or there’s a load of stuff going on and various people/groups are taking advantage of what is a breakdown of the old social and economic order which has placed us in a time of chaos. So a twilight of the old ways as it were. Whatever is going on one thing is clear; we’re living in a future dystopia that if this had been written about in the 90’s would have been dismissed as bollocks. Trump in the Whitehouse? Aye, right. UKIP a powerful force? Oh fuck off. The far right on the rise across Europe? Oh fuck…
As future dystopias go this is more the 1984 type than the Threads type, but it doesn’t seem it’ll take much to push it towards that which as someone who lived through the 1980’s scares the crap out of me. See, we went to sleep with nightmares of nuclear wars which bled into every aspect of 80’s culture from film to comics to music which at times was positively Wagnerian in its scope.
We’re never going to grasp what’s going on because everything is just too huge and our minds aren’t built to process the scale of it in the same way that we can never see the entirely of a fractal shape or all of our life at once. We can only pick and choose what it is we want to see and how we want to interpret it, but either consciously or unconsciously we dismiss the scale of what we’re looking at. The reason I’m probably more scared now than I was in the 80’s is there’s too many wild cards out there and there’s a lunatic in the Whitehouse, the Kremlin, North Korea and smaller (but no less worrying) lunatics across the world, including our own Theresa May, who are driven by ideology, faith and an uncritical way of thinking. Reagan and Gorbachev look like giants compared to these people who seem to be intent on taking us down a path where we end up in caves drinking our own urine as it’s the least radioactive liquid available.
This is an unstable time where we’re governed/ruled by unstable people influenced by populist, hard/far right religious views from all the faiths you’d like to imagine.If this is the twilight of an age then lets make it the end of these people rather than us or democracy. We have to ensure things like Brexit, and people like Trump and Putin don’t walk us into the end unchallenged. We’re in a fight and it won’t be nice, easy or simple and it will involve many on the left, especially the liberal-left pulling themselves out of their echo chambers too. Because the stakes here are massive and quite frankly I’m not keen in spending my remaining decades on this planet living in fear of what may happen if one of these lunatics goes that step too far that takes us beyond the twilight and into the night.
Donald Trump in the White House. A hard Brexit coming. The rise of the far right across Europe. We are truly in hard days as we wade our way through a variety of bastards and pricks, but step forth Piers Morgan, the biggest prick of them all to proclaim himself as the man who will stand up for racist, bigots and the sort of people that would paint swastikas on doors for a laugh.
To be fair it isn’t a revelation that Piers Morgan is a cock. Those of us who have had to see the wee shite on British media for years realised it the moment he opened his mouth or hacked his first phone. However this new phase of arseholery is about him being at the centre of attention as Donald Trump’s familiar.This is the man who tells people to ‘get over it’ and then spends days whining about Ewan McGregor refusing to appear on TV with him, or indeed, anyone who’s managed to get through his paper-thin skin just as comedian Jim Jeffries did.
So as we enter the dark times remember that what unites us all is that Piers Morgan is someone who is the biggest cock you’ll ever see in your life. That will keep us all warm as the lights go out across the world…