In the film, 2001, A Space Odyssey, the hero, or the cipher or the character or whatever the fuck he is, winds up at the other side of Nowhere, in Everywhere and Everywhen, spun across creation and time, as though, tripped-out on StarGate voyaging, he is sleep-walking into a heavy-breathing revelation of The Meaning of Life, albeit in a claustrophobic construct resembling a windowless Life on Earth. This set looks like real life, with real furniture, Louis Quinze Futuriste, it has tins and packets of food but they're not food as he knows it, just fucking goo; the books are just covers, with nothing in them, it's like someone has attempted replication of his EarthLife but only superficially; incongruously, his space capsule sits on the tiled floor and he can't make head nor tail of what's going on, as he observes himself grown older, sadder, dying. It is for my money, whilst notable for its technical, cinematic artistry, a miserable and confusing film, anti-human and anti-life, it reminds me of the current election process, which looks like an election on the surface but is really something else.
What is going on here, Gordon Snot, looking like a condemned man, wandering hopelessly around schools and supermarkets, accosting children and shoppers with repeated embarrassing inanities, smiling his sepulchre smile, wanly affirming his imagined role as pater familias not only to his own poor, bathing and squabbling children but to the nation? You're eight ? That's a good age. And you want to be a footballer? That's why we are making money available for Sport. It's great to meet you. Do you have grandchildren? We are doing a lot for grandchildren. You know, the Tories will put them down the mines. Aren't these shops great? Such a range of products. I'm a parent myself. It's great to meet you. Hello, how old are you? That's a great age.........
Snotty's Man o' The People canvassing is stomach-churningly embarrassing, his cruel exposure by the gobby, overpaid, smarmy fuckwit, Jeremy Vine, a low-water mark in public humiliation, from which a decent nation would have recoiled, its prime minister being treated the way those bold, pirouetting, fag dagos conduct their great sport, barbing, taunting, cutting, lancing, stabbing their fellow creatures to death, the disgusting fucking bastards;
Snotty stumbling around, flailing, wounded and bewildered, as shit journalists aim for their mark, picadors, toreadors, matadors, gleefully nipping in and darting out, conjoined in cruelty. What a fucking carry on.
Aside from Tony, Imelda, Donald and George in Shock and Awe, I don't see snuff movies, praise God, but they can't be any worse, any more unsettling than Snotty's now ritualised self-abasement, his complicity in his own humiliation; Prime Minister Snot, why does nobody like you? from the oaf, Paxman, being among the milder catcalls which Snotty tries to ignore, his PR wife looking on aghast, biting her lip. For whom is this charade noire enacted?
Sensitive souls such as myself were and remain distressed by the spread of cheap'n'nasty Cruelty TeeVee, whether it's the horrid old boot, Anne Robinson or the freaks Cowell or Morgan or the, whataretheycalled, housemates on BigBrother doesn't matter; people queue up to be nasty about others' homes, dinners, even, in a particularly grotesque show, their business proposals, the screeching fag, Ramsey, hurtles around the world, highlighted and Botoxed, to shout at witless cooks and the cooks, the cooks are everywhere, piling up ever more bizarre, arsehole-scorching inventions for the delectation of sourfaced cookery writers, dickheads and slags; these greedy bastards pollute, corrupt and deprave the national discourse, any wonder that we are plagued by cruel, homicidal, knife-wielding, granny-raping, vagrant-burning little bastards, any wonder that over-stretched teachers are set up for humiliation by their pupils when, as a nation, we pay Jonafun Woss millions of pounds to do the same fing to old age pensioners, guests and audience alike, go on, Mrs, do you, you know, take it up the arse? Any wonder that, morally decrepit, we now applaud every insult hurled at our prime minister - and thus, ourselves.
No good, infantile, to blame Snotty for his predicament, for our own inhumanity to him; time after time people lament his clodhopping, his bullying, his Stalinist mentality, as though there was a better way than his. And now they join in the bear-baiting as though two wrongs make a right,
Unlike the professional commentariat, which hailed his Ironness, his Prudence, for a decade, only changing tack when the shit hit the City fan, I have damned Brown's incompetence, his bullying and his downright obsessive, compulsive I-Know-Best nastiness since his entry to parliament and his preferment under Kinnock and Smith, I have mocked and lampooned him before a wider audience than assembles here, in Ishmaelia . It is not his hurt, as such, which alarms and depresses me, just the national lack of empathy as though bullying the bully made everything OK; it doesn't, nor does it substitute for proper scrutiny of his equally ghastly opponents.
Snotty and the rest, on all sides, in my judgement, should be in jail for theft and deception, for blackmail, money laundering, treason and crimes against humanity but not for an unguarded aside which any of us, baited and cajoled, tired and anxious, might have made. The fervour with which the Sun-reading nation has damned' Snotty's language, the alacrity with which filth like Trevor Kavanagh - shit-eating political editor of the non tax-paying Murdoch titrag - successfully dragoon it to reinforce Mr Cameron's tatty, Blairite banner reflect a crudity, a harshness more Nazi-German demagoguery than British democracy.
Maybe, as Ms Lilith notes elsewhere, Nanny Duffy reminds the nation of its grandma; an orphan in grandparent terms, I wouldn't know. Maybe this brutality masks a chivalric outrage, a Mohammedan concern for the widow and orphan but maybe it doesn't and the Sun nation sits back in its armchair growling, Bigot? He didn't say Bigot, did he, not the bigot word? He said Bigot? And to that sweet old lady? Fuck me, we can't have people walking about saying the bigot word in their cars. How we gonna keep the Pakis out, if everybody's saying fucking bigot? That bloke, Clegg, of the Wotsits, he wouldn't say Bigot, would he, he's married to one of 'em. Cameron, is his Mrs a nig-nog, too? Doesn't matter, he wouldn't give offence to a proper English person, now, would he? That Brown, he's a bleedin' foreigner, if I'm not mistaken, innee, how dare he call that sweet old lady a bigot, when he's a wog 'imself, like?
Maybe it is just that, after all, after the Miracles of NoMoreBoomAndBust and its attendant national bankruptcy, of EducationEducationEducation and its wastepaper A- levels and bogroll degrees, after the deathcamp hospitals, the lavishly overpaid laziness and incompetence of our GPs, the PFI insanity of Our NHS and after Baghdad, Fallujah, Guantanamo, of Stockwell Underground Station and The Lonesome Death of David Kelly, after the full and wide-ranging cover-ups, Hutton and Butler and now this useless, twittering buffoon, Chilcott and after the obscenity of Tony and Imelda, whoring their way around the world, hoovering-up his Iraq bribes, after all that - and the rest - maybe Cruelty TeeVee, the modern Colliseum Games, is all that people want to watch; maybe Snotty's public emotional dismemberment, his protracted evisceration by semi-literate, gabshite Lobby jackals like Andrew Rawnsley and his abandonment by the thieving charity bandits at the Guardian is the true post-showbiz entertainment of the times; if it is, we are in worse, more Ruinous trouble than we had imagined, our times miserable and confusing, anti-human and anti-life. It looks like an election, on the surface but it's actually an exercise in Swingometer sadism, ringmastered by those in skymadeupnewsandfilth, who, as deeply, as equally immersed in shit as Politics plc, brought us here.