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You can tell when the West has forgotten which way is up: it cuts its pants too low. Consider the early 2000s US rise of the very low-rise pant. It is precisely when our clothes no longer bother to conceal a human crack we should no longer hope that the state will cover our arses. Those arseless jeans unfit for human contours produced a new and persistent neuralgia. They are the perfect fit for GW Bush-era doctrine. The 2000s were a terrible prelude to terrible times, and also I got quite tubby.

Just months before the US invaded Iraq, I was stopped by a shiny display. This David Jones window I hurried by had seemed to contain a crude picture of Britney Spears, but in a fat-suit. I looked again, and, of course, the likeness was mine. Rising from absurdly low trousers, a great loaf of white was reflected. With no waistband to contain it, my gut had grown. Fast, like a weed made out of pork.