Crikey



Think Kevin & Julia are bad? Imagine if Romney was front runner

Wyoming has abandoned plans to buy an aircraft carrier. The landlocked wilderness state has hit the headlines after state assembly members proposed a bill to prepare the state for the collapse of the USA, and thus to create its own armed forces, a navy, including currency, etc, etc. After much national ridicule, the aircraft carrier provision was removed. Support for the bill subsequently collapsed. The state’s sole body of water is Lake Yellowstone, frozen over for six months of the year.

Hours to go until the Arizona and Michigan primaries, your correspondent waiting in NYC to see where the candidates break, in what the booking website called an “aparthotel”, but which is really upmarket public-private housing behind the Port Authority Bus Terminal. The lobby is full of Haitian gay couples with elegantly sculpted goatees and recently released female prisoners. The area must be the last genuinely dodgy place in Manhattan, now a Disney version of its former self. The TV service is premium cable with three hundred channels.

There ain’t gonna be no good results of these primaries until mid-afternoon AEDST, 10pm US Eastern time. Arizona is a Romney slam-dunk. Michigan is what matters. Although if Romney conspired to do badly in Arizona — as only he can do — that would be another hole below the waterline.

Romney, my God. The anti-candidate. Case in point. Something every GOP candidate has to do is the NASCAR thing. NASCAR, for those unaware of it, is what was once called “stock car racing” is now branded. For decades, stock car was just a thing people did — racing with standard off-the-line cars — alongside “formula” racing, in which the cars were made to specifications, thus preserving the sport for the well-heeled. Stock car became NASCAR, and in the process a relatively democratic sport became a major corporate enterprise.

Inevitably, as it lost any touch with everyday life, it became a symbol of everyday life. To be against NASCAR, a hypnotically boring anti-sport, was to be un-American, elitist, etc etc. As with so much of what we have inherited from the 60s and 70s, what was once a relaxed and unselfconscious expression of a democratic culture has become a hyper-aggressive resentful assertion of a blue-collar culture shoved to one side.

Thus every GOP candidate — men who have not taken an afternoon off for the last ten years — must turn up, eat foods that their gold-plated insurance cardiologist told them to avoid, look out over the crowds, try to remember the names of three famous drivers, say something about how this was the true America not your chardonnay sipping college educated D bumf-ck, and get back to the Learjet as soon as possible, to return to DC for a fundraiser cocktail party. That’s all you have to do. What did Romney do? This is what he said:

This feels good, being back in Michigan. I like the fact that most of the cars I see are Detroit-made automobiles. I drive a Mustang and a Chevy pick-up truck. Anne drives a couple of Cadillacs, actually, and I used to have a Dodge truck — so I used to have all three covered.”

And:

I have some great friends that are NASCAR team owners.”

So, if casting a glance askance at Kevin ‘17, and Julia, you curse your luck, just be glad you are not part of a party in which Mitt Romney is the front-runner.

In the Hell’s Kitchen Barnes and Noble, the featured non-fiction book of the week is Ayn Rand Nation: The Hidden Struggle for America’s Soul, an exploration of how the amphetamine-addicted mid-century failed Hollywood hackette came to have such a hold on a section of the American public today. Her greatest triumph hitherto, was to convince a young acolyte to give up a promising musical career with the clarinet, and devote himself to finance.

Forty years later, Alan Greenspan would let out the throttle on an overheating, bubblicious US economy, fast going from dotcom delusion to real estate rort. Having trusted in the self-correcting selfish virtues of entrepreneurs, he would later tell a post-2008 congressional committee that he may have been wrong — and hence that his whole life had essentially been lived on an illusion and by that, had brought on the great American decline a decade or two early. Funny old world.

The deep desire to switch from news channels to the TNT network, which is having a Law and Order marathon.

First shot of Newt Gingrich I’ve seen for weeks. He appears to have aged a decade in that period. He now looks like a tortoise bought back to Kew Gardens by Captain Cook, a shrunken head poking out of a huge hardened body, the tragedy of a reptile that has lived too long, and seen too much.

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Categories: United States

15 Responses

Comments page: 1 |
  1. That’s some grand craic you’ve got going around over there Guy.
    One of your finest off the wall pieces in ages.
    Perfectly pitched to the madness that is the Republican implosion.
    Bravo!

    by paddy on Feb 29, 2012 at 1:46 pm

  2. Pure gold today, Guy.

    by Patrick Bowman on Feb 29, 2012 at 3:23 pm

  3. Bang on form Guy, wonderful piece of writing with deliciously weird and trashy undertones….more please

    by Phil L on Feb 29, 2012 at 3:34 pm

  4. I like those fancy raincoats you bought. Really sprung for the big bucks.” - HA!

    I think it’s a little dangerous for an Australian to bash the US for its surplus of time zones? Don’t we have 5 when Daylight Savings Time is on? You could double that easily when you take the external territories into account.

    by Down and Out of Sài Gòn on Feb 29, 2012 at 3:34 pm

  5. I have been to Wyoming, nice place. Did not see too many nutters there, they must have pollies there be enrolled in Oakeshoot long distance learning.

    by Suzanne Blake on Feb 29, 2012 at 3:54 pm

  6. Love to know which tinnitus medication it is????

    by Mark from Melbourne on Feb 29, 2012 at 4:11 pm

  7. That brought back memories. I arrived in the old Port Authority terminal building on my first visit to NY in early 1980, and was accosted 3 times by drug dealers wanting me to sample their wares before I got out on to the street. The new building is much nicer but it doesn’t sound like the local clientele has changed.

    by Brian Williams on Feb 29, 2012 at 4:25 pm

  8. Gonzo lives!

    by tony Millroy on Feb 29, 2012 at 5:25 pm

  9. Great to hear Obama’s getting into form. Can you imagine him meeting Prime Minister Abott or Foreign Minister Pyne ?

    by Andybob on Feb 29, 2012 at 6:23 pm

  10. Isn’t this piece just written like it’s meant to come out in a work of collected travel writing pieces by Guy Rundle (Maybe “Rundle’s Ramblings”? Geddit) for Xmas and it will be remaindered by New Year.

    by JamesG on Feb 29, 2012 at 6:56 pm

  11. For further details on the Wyoming bill, see http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-doomsday-wyomingtre81s05p-20120228,0,4574914.story. It was so crazy even a lot of state Republicans voted against it… Bit of a relief to know that there a limits even in the GOP in its current form.

    Re. Ayn Rand - history will be savage on her. She’ll be seen as a major cause of the decline of the USA.

    by Malcolm Street on Feb 29, 2012 at 7:10 pm

  12. He now looks like a tortoise bought back to Kew Gardens by Captain Cook, a shrunken head poking out of a huge hardened body, the tragedy of a reptile that has lived too long, and seen too much.’

    A masterful description of Newt.

    Another engaging piece, Guy, you have an abundance of material with which to work.

    by zut alors on Feb 29, 2012 at 10:06 pm

  13. Man, dat Mitt, he sho’ got da dere common touch!
    Sài Gòn - (I assume that) GR’s point re the time zones was that, like so much of the dysfunctional “atomised individuality” of amerika - eg, shires & counties deciding Federal electoral rules, time zones (as in Joh’s cane toad empire) can be decided on using the criterion “god’s time.
    Zut - re The Newt’s head, allegedly, when he was in high school he couldn’t play football because there was no helmet big enough.

    by AR on Mar 1, 2012 at 8:08 am

  14. Tonys the frontrunner here I see your Mitt and I raise you the son of santa…

    by j-boy57 on Mar 2, 2012 at 12:27 am

  15. Bravo Guy. You are having too much fun taking the piss out of our
    American ally and its invisible brain.

    Come back and have some fun with our Red Queen, her paramour, KRudd
    and his adoring family fortune, The Labor Ministry, mad Monk and his
    Sergeant Schulz and the assorted green ratbags who lead us.

    by Ken Lambert on Mar 2, 2012 at 12:41 am

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