Friday, 18 November 2016

In We Go


Jeff Sessions apparently being approached by a dark gentleman
 
The new United States attorney-general  will be  Jeff  Sessions, a 67 year old  son of an Alabama shop keeper who is unlikely to reassure the right-thinking inhabitants of New York, LA or the UK Guardian’s “news” room.
In a conference following the lynching of a black man by the Ku Klux Klan years ago Jeff said of the KKK “those bastards - I used to think they were OK but now I’ve found out they smoke marijuana!”   
 
Now Jeff's conference was pure Lenny, Lenny Bruce, founder of modern satire.   It was almost word-for-word one of his album   fantasy skits, in line with LBJ being unsuccessfully coached by advisers on how to pronounce the word “negro”, or with an airline pilot having a bad LSD trip at 30 000 feet, chucking the Boeing into side-flips and cackling into the intercom while the passengers scream, throw themselves into the aisle, wet themselves, attempt suicide etc. etc. 
Saintly Obama was making a tearful Farewell and Reassurance Tour to  Europe this week. As he addressed the assembled rulers perhaps he used that peculiar sing-song preacher’s call & response voice he slips into for black audiences on emotional occasions. "We'll keep the world safe - Amen! - Ahm handing over the chalice - Amen! - of rights and equality! - Amen! - to Mr Trump  [dead silence]" -  and in his earpiece he's being told that Good Ol' Jeff, who'd also been turned down as a judge for being "too racist" and tended to call black men "boy", is the new attorney-general. Ouch. Ouch!   We are clearly somewhere quite new: that was an aimed shot and  Trump is  a games player.
Even Lenny  never riffed on a presidential campaign where one contender stated that he was going to put the other in jail - that's playing for keeps, isn't it? Where the hot issue being debated was not the rust belt  or  Russia  but - pussy-snatching. At the Bureau we love the uproar that Trump has caused among the luvvies, the putrescent media and the Europolitik class and we also think it's time for lots and lots of  change. But it’s, well,  strange to find ourselves living inside a Lenny Bruce fantasy, all of which were unnervingly funny precisely because they could never actually happen.
Thank God the UK, at least, is getting out of the EU, rather than being chained to a dinosaur.  Some nimble footwork  is going to be needed over the next few years, first to establish the right distance –  no hugs! – between Trump and the UK,  then to make the most of the very real opportunities that his presidency offers and, lastly, to avoid the fallout when  The Donald  gets accident prone. That bit could be tricky for both the US and us but in the end both countries will be OK. 
The EU? Nope. The EU doesn't do nimble - except when claiming their expenses. So it's going to get hurt.
But still…living inside a Lenny Bruce meth and shit-smoking fantasy whether we want to or not. It is very, very, very weird.