Wednesday, 15 January 2014

The Hit List

Oh, how there’s villainy afoot! The poisonous Clinton clan are at it again, playing politics on the clean green lawns of Washington DC…

Or so the media would like us to believe. The Clintons might be slinging their faeces around but I doubt if anybody could tell if they happened to be standing in the festering pig yard of frontline American politics. Politics is a stinking business and the laborers aren’t known for having the cleanest of fingers. Knowing the people out to harm you is the very same game as knowing where and when to make alliances. It’s the beating cholesterol soaked heart of politics and it has been ever thus since the first tribe agreed to stop stealing sheep from their neighbours in exchange for a couple of nubiles and a bushel of that miraculous new crop known as ‘wheat’.

There’s an arch moment in that unappreciated political satire, ‘The Campaign’, when the two candidates stand shaking hands at the beginning of a debate, smiling as the cameras fire. All looks decent, upbeat, and civilized, until the camera moves closer and we hear the candidate’s words whispered under their breath and squeezed out between those insincere smiles. They’re uttering the foulest insults at each other and that is the reality of politics I recognise and the only reality I believe.

I haven’t got a ‘shit list’ but it wouldn’t be a flight of fantasy to imagine myself writing one. I guess most people feel the same even if they wouldn’t like to go on the record and admit it. What would require a flight of fantasy, possibly requiring strong medication derived from Hopi magic, would be imagining a person with a soul so clean that they would never think bad thing of another person. Now that is a thought that sends a shiver rattling up my spine. Good hair and bad skin is the political archetype I see gazing out of the TV screen every night, as if the strong hair can distract from the bad complexion hinting at bad living, bad habits, and, no doubt, questionable morality. Political types always promote purity and it makes them unbelievable as both politicians and people. It’s the curse of Obama, the man who could do no wrong but was destined to ultimately do some wrong, even when he was still trying to do right. He’s the man who tried to walk upright with shin splints courtesy of the NSA. The fact that he still hasn’t closed Guantanamo doesn’t make him a bad man, merely a real man in the real world. I find something satisfying in that.

So too, in my eyes, the Clintons’ hit list doesn’t put a black mark by their names any more than Big Bill’s taste for kneeling interns changed my opinion of what he did for America. As far a recent memory goes, Clinton didn’t seem that bad a President, unless you really want to offer up an unhealthy dose of hindsight and blame him for not slapping a battlefield nuke on top of Bin Laden’s hideout in Zhawar Kili al-Badr back in 1998. More significantly now, Hilary didn’t strike me as a bad Secretary of State. She also knew what to laugh and play the clown and I find that more reassuring than all the serious words and frowns to camera.

Human fallibility is the missing ingredient in too much political campaigning. My instinct is to distrust the politician who stands behind his family and quotes from the Bible. That’s not to say that I prefer my politicians to be open about their villainy but if there’s a degree of the huckster about them, then they seem eminently more believable. I wouldn’t vote for either Nigel Farage or George Galloway but they seem cut from the same piece of shyster worsted. They are dirty players in a dirty game. I don’t expect too much from them, so they only surprise me when they don’t act like the enormous malignant arseholes I expect my politicians to be.

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