As I was saying before I was enveloped in a red haze, the C word that really gets you into trouble these days is ‘conservative’. The assumption is made, particularly in media circles, that one is a member of the socialism-lite club. That one has wrapped oneself if not in the nasty old-fashioned hammer and sickle banner, at least in a soft rainbow-hued pashmina made from the wool of ethically reared goats.
Socialist Lites blithely presume you’re one of them. They think you’re okay until they discover you’re a conservative. Then, as you rip off your Mrs Niceguy latex mask, the meltdown begins. Alarms sound and the indicator on their Nice-ometer dial starts spinning wildly, like in a Fifties sci-fi movie.
‘What does it mean, Professor?’
‘I’ve run some tests and they’re pretty conclusive. This is an alien and possibly dangerous life form masquerading as a normal human being. I just hope we caught it before it released its spores.’
It confounds Socialist Lites to discover a conservative in their midst. They lead with their chin and then they’re affronted when someone they had assumed to be a member of their club comes out punching.
‘Well,’ one woman said to me, after declaring the United Kingdom was now a police state and finding I didn’t agree with her, ‘Probably best to steer clear of politics. Lovely party.’
And so it goes.
I like people who know what they believe in, indeed after a certain age I think it’s essential, like being toilet-trained, and I’m very willing to listen to their opinions, especially contradictory ones such as opposing capital punishment whilst promoting abortion. I enjoy trying to work out how intelligent people can get things so wrong. I certainly don’t try to silence them. Mr F and I have always had an open-mic policy. So when someone eats at our table and then lets it be known that they never want to be in our fascist company again I think, ‘Hunh? When did we sprout horns?’
I just watched Congressman Wiener’s resignation speech. You have to say, the man is consistent in his failure of judgment. I guess the aide who allowed him to go out and grandstand for 4 minutes when he should have done a quick grovel and left the building by a side door was an aide who no longer gave a damn. It was all of a piece: first the crown jewels, wrapped and unwrapped, flashed across the ether, then the indignant denials followed by prevarication followed by the addiction/therapy gambit. I suppose the only way to end it was to weave his apology into the story of Mom and Dad and what made America great. The consummate politician. He’ll be back, I have no doubt.
Just reading through the first part of this post checking for typos it occurs to me that Ethically Reared Goats would be a good name for a rock group.