And then I had to spoil it all by idly clicking around. Tripping my hair-trigger temper (that would qualify me for the Republican candidacy), I immediately set about compiling a deliberately tasteless mix - some N.O.U. "Target USA" here, a li'l Cassetteboy there, topped off with a little BJM for good measure. But little by little, my rage dissipated between constant dashes to & from the Mr. Coffee in the kitchen. Who, precisely, was I exacting some psychic revenge upon? What would this achieve, other than making myself smug for my detached political superiority and trivially diverse music collection? By the time it came to master the mix, I felt appropriately like just another dickhead with a digital soapbox.
In an election year, it's easy to become prone to hysteria and overreaction - especially when some man-size dress-up doll has swiftly castrated liberals' momentum and lent reactionaries some inauthentic-yet-iron-thick deniability. The growing dread is that November 4th will soundly prove H.L. Mencken's cynical theorem "that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."
(By Steve Bell of the Guardian)
At which point, there will be plenty of time for spittle-drenched diatribes about what a buncha blinkered rubes the American people are. But over the past week or so, I've seen enough misdirected hostility & troglodytic prejudice to have put me in an uncharacteristically conciliatory mood.
A friend of mine recently related that his own German students admit that, while exemplary as tourists abroad, Germans can be less than culturally accommodating at home - to which I'll testify.* Any derision I'd received in the past, I was willing to chalk up to the country's reputed wooden stoicism, but within a single three-day span last week, I'd found myself:
- having not only to delineate the difference between Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans, but defend East Asians in general as having souls to a self-professed "hippie chick."
- arguing that, biological complications aside, gay couples should have the right to raise a child. (This, I might add, to a divorced man who has adolescent offspring he sees maybe annually.)
- being tongue-lashed by a cop for not speaking proper German when I was attempting to report some domestic violence in a neighbouring apartment.
Tangentially, it was at the same party where I was called to argue that gays & Asians are people too that I inadvertently introduced both "hate sex" and "grudge fuck" to a friend's vocabulary. Though the concept of grudge-fucking put her right off, she immediately took an interest in "hate sex" and, ex-psych major that she is, asked me to expound. I began by reciting from memory - as best I could - this personal ad from Craigslist. (The cherry on top: "Your pictures get my smarmy pretension.") As best I could explain it, "hate sex" is the better of the two viscerally-exorcismic responses to someone utterly repellent; the other response, naturally, is violence.
While this reasonably sated her curiosity, my friend wanted an illustration more concrete than some idealised personal-ad respondent; Palin (having just won the Veep nom) was the obvious exemplar, though I hastened to endorse Dana Perino as my political siren du choix.
Most terrifying is that the American election won't be a potentially historic ideological battle, but a libidinal referendum.
(*) - Obviously, this isn't making a blanket statement about Germans being latent racists. C'mon, I'm not dumb enough to fall into that hypocrisy. The degree of icy aloofness (with regard to casual social interaction) also varies rather wildly from city to city: Berliners tend to be more forgiving regarding language, and Kölners are so damned cheerful I wonder if the Rhine is dosed with Prozac.
(**) - Yes, I wrote & recorded this when I was 16. That's my buddy Dan singing.