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.”
“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