This morning 51% of America awoke in a modern, moderate, sensible, educated, peaceful and healthy democracy.
So did the other 49%, except they hated it.
I’ve spent a long time wondering what causes such hatred, and I think it comes down to a combination of marble and penises.
I realise that’s an odd statement, so I’ll explain.
When I was a kid I lived in a bizarre household. I actually think most households are bizarre when you look at them close-up, but I was discouraged from staring at strangers ever since my older brother saw his first ever black man on a bus, and asked my mum, in a loud, clear voice: “why is that man so dirty?”.
It was the 70s, but still.
Fortunately my brother was only 2 years old, so the man just grinned and laughed it off, and there was no long-term damage other than my mother refusing to go on busses from that day onwards. But that story has been drummed into me since I was old enough to be drummed upon. Those lovingly applied, highly rhythmic beatings quickly taught me to stop staring at strangers, let alone make comments; and the rhythmic beatings also made me appreciative of the 7-4 time signature (but not enough to ever want to be in Sting’s band: he’s a cock).
So instead of looking at other people I just looked at my family, and came to some conclusions: they were fucking weird. Believe me folks, I know. I’ve done the research. These are findings.
One of the strange things about them is their ongoing experiment with milk. In ye olden days most people had milk delivered by a man (who is now unemployed because people find it more convenient to drive 1.5 miles to a supermarket to hear other people’s children being yelled at in the next aisle, then queue for 45 minutes to use a “serve yourself” machine that works at best 1 in every 450 times. Are you sure just collecting it from your doorstep and giving that man a job is less convenient?)
But for my whole life my parents had a couple of pints delivered each morning. And for that entire 42 years they’ve left the milk on the warm doorstep until at least 3pm, when they’ve decided to bring it indoors and store it in the most logical place: on the window-sill, in a beam of sunlight. I was 14 before I saw a cup of tea I didn’t have to chew on. It’s a miracle my dad made it to 77: he was playing fast-and-loose with food-poisoning for as long as I can remember.
Deliberately placing your milk in the best location for it to poison you is a strange decision, although I wouldn’t blame my mum for attempting to murder any one of us. We were bastards to her, and are responsible for 2 of her 3 nervous breakdowns. I’d like to say it was an accident, but nobody accidentally leaves a snake-skin on their mum’s ironing board or steals her car when she parks it outside Tesco.
- Waited until she was on holiday, then wrote “hello mum” on approximately 5,000 small slips of paper and hid them all over the house – inside pans, under mattresses, in shoes, and even, imaginatively, peeling back a bit of wallpaper, sliding a note behind it, and pasting it back – she didn’t find that one until she redecorated 5 years later.
- Recorded 5 minutes of silence on a cassette tape (it was the 70s, but still), followed by an official-sounding voice saying THIS CAR WILL SELF-DESTRUCT IN TEN SECONDS. We then placed this in the car stereo, pressed play, and turned off the engine. When she turned the engine on it started playing silence… until she was half-way home, when it suddenly made its announcement. She nearly died.
- Made her one of those “pass the ring along the bendy wire” games that you need a steady hand to play. You know the type: you sometimes see them at school science days. She has Parkinson’s disease. How we laughed as she chased us around the house in slow-motion, trying to kick the shit out of us.
- Built an earwig farm in our bedroom. An earwig farm is just what it sounds like: we kept dozens of earwigs. Slight construction problem: the farm was made from Lego, and the earwigs escaped en masse every single night. Didn’t stop us, we just went out and found some more.
But the oddest thing my parents did was to put carpet on the bathroom floor.
It was the 70s, but still.
When I think back to it now, I realise that having a carpet in your bathroom is, quite frankly, the biggest snub to basic hygiene that I can imagine. Because my household included three males, and at every moment of the last 40 years at least one of those males was either drunk or potty training.
Even stone-cold sober I have my doubts about my ability to piss straight. Every man reading this will agree, and every woman reading this will agree and be furious about it. But I have to defend myself: my penis is a stupendously poor instrument for urinating through. Or for anything else, for that matter.
Women, a group of people who are never wrong, often complain about men’s inability to hit a 3 square foot bowl, right between their feet, only 9 inches away.
But to be honest, that’s a bit unfair, because women have it easy. They don’t have to piss via this strange, gently squirming object that looks like the chestburster putting a sweater on. When liquid comes out of a lady, it doesn’t have to negotiate a ring of skin that could be in any position, and is designed purely to bounce your stream of fluid off so you end up pissing like a watering can.
And women are, let’s face it, damn near in the bowl to start with.
If you leave the foreskin hanging in the stream, it causes… let’s call it “turbulence”. Every drop goes in a different direction, it varies wildly in speed and flow, and it’s impossible to prevent dribbling. If you pull back the foreskin the head of the penis is tightened, your tinkle-hole is pulled into unpredictable shapes, and your piss comes out at the speed of light and in a strange, star-shaped stream that starts as narrow as a pin-head, but is over a mile wide by the time it gets to the bowl.
Either way you have startlingly little control. The penis is designed to direct piss away from the body, not to direct piss into a toilet. Frankly the penis doesn’t care where it ends up. It’s a bit like the baggage handlers at Manchester Airport, but less smelly.
I say the penis is “designed”, but of course the penis isn’t designed at all, and I think this, combined with marble tiles, is what makes Republicans so angry (sorry, I may have drifted away from my point a bit).
My only explanation for the existence of a carpet in my parents’ bathroom is that it hid the rogue splashes, whereas they just linger on the tiles, forming small pools of ammonia where earwigs can easily die. I’m moderately confident that in my parents’ youth, carpets in bathrooms were the norm, and all those carpets soaked up the urine into a dark, gnarly ring around the toilet plinth. So back then Republican men wouldn’t be confronted with facts. Just unzip, stare at the wall (and NOT at your cock, in case it turns you gay – I never said they were rational, did I). Then piddle wildly on the rug without any consequence, and zip up and walk away. Nobody’s beliefs need to be challenged by that. Nobody has to think about the inadequacy of God’s perfect design.
But fast forward to the 80s, and we see the beginnings of the domination of the marble bathroom floor, which coincides neatly with the rise of religious fervour in the USA, and with the crisis of capitalism.
Tiled bathrooms mean the carpet no longer soaks up the piddle – it’s now splashed back onto your white, wealthy ankles, or left in standing pools around your bathroom. So you have to look down, take a bit of control, and be confronted with the evidence. It’s there in your own hand, and, if you’re not careful, trickling down your leg a bit: errant micturition and stinky puddles of piss! It’s just too much evidence for feeble minds to take. You can’t avoid the conclusion that… deep breath… there is no God!
Let’s face it, what kind of supreme being could design a penis? The whole male genital area is a farce, and it drives Republicans insane to know their beliefs are utter poppycock. Excuse the pun.
So what do they do when confronted with this problem?
- shout louder and louder about how ace God is in the hope that noise and enthusiasm will make it all true
- get mad at gay people because they hate having to look at their own penis, and don’t understand anybody who actually does that for fun
- get a Colombian immigrant to clean up the tiles and wash their trousers
- become very jealous of how good ladies are at piddling
This explains everything you need to know about the modern Republican party:
- they’re so religious and anti-science that if you exchange the word “God” for the word “Allah”, you could mistake them for the Taliban
- they dispise and fear homosexuality in equal measure
- they hold the poor and minorities in contempt, except as people who can be called upon to clean up their mess
- they have a dysfunctional relationship with vaginas.
Ah, vaginas. How I’ve missed talking about you.
There’s been a lot of talk in recent weeks about vaginas and breasts. Being British, we’ve been obsessed with breasts, because, well, they’re funnier and there are twice as many of them (four times if you include John McCririck). But in America it’s different: vaginas have performed a very important role in the non-election of Mitt Romney.
We’ll come back to cunts later, but first…
Britain: the land where breasts are unavoidable. It turns out that in the UK, norks form an integral part of the news gathering and dissemination industry. Several of our most popular newspapers are simply unable to tell us about Quantitive Easing unless they accompany the discussion with topless photos of Stacy from Gravesend, who has strong views on the EU, a fine set of heaving funbags, and a pout that looks like it was sliced from the corpse of Frankie Howerd.
This, apparently, is essential. I’m sure we’ve all seen those woodcuts of tarts with big tits adorning Shakespeare’s First Folio. Nobody would take him seriously unless they could turn the page and have a quick wank. What light from yonder window breaks? It’s your mum, coming in to catch you spaffing on your tummy.
Some of those feminist types, concerned that this constant bombardment of facile bints in our daily news might be having a deleterious effect on our national psyche, have demanded No more page 3. But what would our nation be without the right to demean women and detract from real issues?
Better. That’s what our nation would be.
On the other side of the Atlantic they’ve been much more obsessed with vaginas. A startling number of so-called “social conservative” Republicans have got into a rare old tizzy over women’s dew-speckled love-caverns. They (the Republicans, not the cunts… I know, they’re interchangeable terms) include the lovely Todd Aiken, a man who prides himself in a 100% record of never colliding with facts, and who believes that women’s wombs somehow “shut down” when a “legitimate rape” is committed.
And then there’s Richard Mourdock, a man so vile even Rupert refuses to share a spelling with him. Mourdock delights in the belief that God intends rape to happen. It happens, and everything that happens is God’s will, so God must want rape. Presumably God also intended Richard Mourdock to be kicked out of office, because thankfully, that happened too.
Not content with pardoning violent criminals who help themselves to your womb, a significant number of Republicans also want to force women to be prodded and poked on an industrial basis, employing the very doctors they don’t want to be available to the poor, to do “trans-vaginal” testing of pregnant women. To you and me, that’s shoving a pipe up you for absolutely no medical advantage. Just because they can. Just because they’re men and you’re not. Just to show you who’s in charge.
And these people rant about small government… apart from when it helps them to demean and control women, blacks, Hispanics, gays, lesbians, the disabled, the poor, the mentally ill, the unarmed, the uninsured, leftists, centrists, socialists, Atheists, Muslims, Sikhs, nations who need relieving of their stock of oil or, frankly, anybody who just looks a bit funny.
I’m a bit of a lefty, in a thoughtful, sensible “steady-on-now, let’s not go too far” kinda way. I’m unapologetic about it, at least as far as any Englishman can be anything without apologising slightly: if you punched me in the face I’d bumble that I’m sorry for all the inconvenience I’d caused your fist.
But I don’t hate government, not even the current British government of right-wing ideologs and spineless toadying fuckwits. I don’t hate them, any more than I hate vaginas or tiles. In my opinion this idiotic cabal of Etonian gobshites are a dismal failure who had one economic idea (cutting our way to growth), which has been tried literally 176 times worldwide since 1980 and never worked. But I don’t hate them. I just think they’re idiots.
Likewise I don’t hate their supporters. I find it confusing, that’s all: confusing that anybody could vote for a party which is hell-bent on dismantling the NHS which we own and have paid for; and who can’t recognise that private companies are often utter scoundrels who pillage our national assets then fuck off to Belize with the takings. But I don’t hate people for voting that way. I’m sure Belize is very nice, if you need a warm, sunny place to hide your £300 million.
But the idea that you can hold such visceral, groundless and – let’s face it – reckless hatred for your government… well, it baffles me. Especially as the government is, in every sense, the nation. Obama is one man, and maybe you like him and maybe you don’t. But underneath him are about 40 million anonymous Americans, some of them Democrats and some Republicans, some with vaginas, some with penises… probably a few with both (let’s hope they don’t live in Alabama!). Possibly a few of those people still have carpets in their bathrooms, and I hope its preserving their faith as much as its dismantling their immune system.
But all of them are simply working to keep the nation on the rails. Do you hate all of those people? All those firemen and teachers and soldiers and social workers? Of course not. So how can you hate your government.
So that’s it: my theory, which I hope you enjoyed. It’s a theory about penises and marble tiles. And if you didn’t like it, try this theory: Republicans have, at some point piddled on their tiles, slipped in the dribblings, and banged all the logic and compassion out of their heads. I simply hope that they do it again sometime soon, and invent a Flux Capacitor so they can all go back to 1955, and feel right at home.
Frankly, Back to the Future might just as well have been their election slogan….