We need a new movement of protest. What? I hear you yelp. If there’s one thing we have too much of right now, it is movements of protest. They are crowding each other out, like a million thoughts trying to gain mastery over the same mouth. The market is saturated. The gob is massed with inherent self-contradiction, exciting the nervous relief of those with every reason to be happy with things as they are.
Perhaps. But I have in mind something a little more primal. Perhaps it’s the words that are letting us down. Maybe we should leave them out. We should imbibe the oh so painful revelation that the children of our minds will never – on their own – set us free. Our urges imprison us. The words we spin to try and liberate ourselves are spun back at us. The powerful have always been able to afford the best wordsmiths, the best confounders of true meaning and spinners of counterfeit image. Our urges imprison us: but might not some of them at least be gainfully employed in the surge towards freedom?
My movement of protest is literally that. It is truthful in a way words can never be again. There is also a certain apt and brutal beauty about it, like one of Damien Hirst’s fossilized goat turds or a tweet by Donald Trump.
Picture this: there is a big meeting in some sort of hotel, one of those affairs to which hundreds of the loyal regularly trudge, with the holy purpose of engaging in veneration of the Great Leader, the Gobshite in chief.
The audience are called to sleepy, befuddled order. Himself enters, flanked by the usual array of heavies, each of them scanning the room for tell tale signs of any mind which might be harbouring an actual question, or indeed any kind of thought at all. Arms wide, the Great One commences the usual peroration about how wonderfully everyone is doing, about how everyone who matters is as happy as a pig in shite etc.
It is occasionally tempting to wonder how much of the spin the Great Leader believes while he is in the process of regurgitating it. Does he engage in some kind of emotional relationship, however brief, with the spin, or is it just, you know, like sex for money, a mechanical thing, a biological function, like going to the toilet or scratching his pelvis?
Never mind, never mind. The indulgence in such bootless speculations is one reason why people like me are doomed to remain powerless. Let us simply say that – like the best con artists and trick turners – the Gobshite in chief’s on the hoof cogitations involve some kind of limited engagement with the material. In other words, he kind of believes some of it just while he’s saying it; the best salesmen always do.
Yet as the exposition of wonderfulness builds to one of its many climaxes (‘all the other crowd’s fault, why don’t those pinkos just f.o.a.d’ etc.) some of the sharper witted handlers begin to notice that something is wrong. It will be some minutes yet before the malfunction comes to the attention of the Great Leader, but never mind, because they’ll assure him afterwards – as they always do – that it was all just fabulous, fabulous.
But still: every couple of minutes during the Leader’s speech, the sleepy attentiveness of the room is disturbed by loud, hard blasts. The voters might not be having their say, but biology certainly is.
The handlers apprise the situation and decide, at first, to be tolerant. Most of the Great Leader’s core fan base is, after all, getting on in years. Much of their self-expression these days tends to route itself through the bowel. The crude and ancient mechanics of peristalsis doom us all, sooner or later, to the inability to avoid expressing ourselves.
But it’s getting worse. Someone’s cracking one off every couple of seconds now. And what is more, even the heavily labouring ventilation system in the hotel cannot fully compensate for the fact that the air is becoming pretty damn rank. Someone is effectively subjecting the entire room, the Great Leader, the bitter and somnolent faithful, to sustained gaseous assault.
There will be nothing for it but to signal the Great Leader that his stock two hour anecdote about when he was a little boy looking at tractors and how he loves football teams that win things will have to be cut tragically short. The faithful will have to be left gasping for more, in case they literally end up gasping to death.
Give me a cadre of twenty or thirty likeminded cultural terrorists, willing to pre-load themselves with Guinness, beans and the divil knows what about an hour before one of these jamborees of the devoutly ignorant, and we will kickstart the kind of political debate this country – indeed any country – really needs. It might cost a bit in underwear, but by God it’ll be worth it. We’ll simply change quickly and then haul ass to wherever is the next love in with the Gobshite in chief.
There needs, you see, to be a proper mechanism for the expression of true dissent. Violence is out, so is shouting, so is raising your voice in any way, or asking a question that the Leader hasn’t had time to rehearse, and as for Parliament, well, come on, when was the last time anyone took that seriously?
You can’t create this much anger, this much inequality, this much ridicule of any notion of a social contract (whatever the hell that is) and not expect that something will happen. Of course, whenever something does happen, you have politicians rushing to the establishment airwaves to complain about something horrible that some stinking peasant said to them the other night. Interestingly, I’ve yet to hear an establishment media figure suggest that Cristiano Ronaldo has to put up with a fair bit of abuse whenever he plays away from home, but that he gets very well paid for it and so, comparatively speaking, do they. He and they can cry all the way to the new recapitalised banks.
So you can’t verbally accost the sensitive little darlings, or indeed say anything that might be construed as socially awkward, but you can do this. They could of course pass emergency legislation allowing them to examine the contents of peoples’ stomachs at the entrances to these carefully staged meetings, but one suspects that this might be difficult to implement, and let’s face it, we can’t even run a health service.
Seriously, what are they going to do? I really think this idea has legs as well as wind and power.
Maybe this will turn out to be what we really mean when we say we’re going to change the country with wind.