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Tuesday, 29 November 2016

213. Fidel Castro would be proud of Trump/Brexit - the musical...


I am going to call my Brexit/Trump pantomime/musical Hair of the Dog Politics (H.o.t. Dog politics). If you don’t have this phrase in your country, it is something people say when they have too much alcohol the night before and start drinking again the next day as a ‘cure’. The full saying is ‘Take a hair of the dog that bit you’.

Hair-of-the-dog  is the equivalent of getting hit by a car and deciding that the cure is to throw yourself under a bus.

So

Forget Hamilton or Mamamia. I gave you Brexit the poem (see blog 207 Brexit means Brexit) now –its H.o.t. Dog politics the show.

I cannot help wondering what Castro, the life-long revolutionary would have made of this ridiculous mess. The Brexit/Trump results are as close to a contemporary revolution as the craving-for-the-days-of-empire dullards of the UK and the we-wish-it-was-1950 crazies in the US could do.

Imagine a sort of ‘d’ grade pantomime version of the musical, Cabaret with Nazi ditties playing in the background sprinkled liberally with cheap glitz, rubbish costumes and pre-recorded music.

This is the broad narrative of the new production - 
There is grumbling from rent-a-mob because the theatre managers took their money, turned down the heating, took the stuffing out of the seats and told them they can only eat straight bananas. Then the managers told the mob its all the fault of the low-paid immigrant cleaners. Rent-a-mob tear up the theatre and scream at the cleaners.

Un-elected prima donna Theresa May, rushes in to replace the weak previous headliner, David Cameron. Cameron suffered a terminal case of ‘oh shit, what have I done’. She finds herself thrust into the footlights where she lip-syncs catch-up while stumbling badly, repeating her lines and boring the audience.

The increasingly unfunny buffoon is played by Boris Johnson. Every time he appears on stage a groan goes through the audience. They yell, ‘how did he get up there’ and ‘seriously, he’s the best we could do?’ as he mumbles, leers at the chorus girls and hurls abuse at people far more talented than himself.

The chorus is made up of a motley crew of has-beens and never-weres belting out the production’s main theme tune,

Britain can be racist
Myopic, xenophobic
And still get everything it had before
Yes we’re mad and shifty
We want article 50
And
We’d rather drown in our own mess than help the poor.

And so on and so forth until everyone has lost the feeling in their legs.

In the background is the mesmeric beat of the Chancellor’s autumn statement song -
Hey baby, we’re in the shit now – you better believe it - etc.

No one is actually paying attention because the Remainers are dazed and depressed and the Leavers still think they won something.

Usually in such productions there is a primary villain with a side kick. In this production, there is a veritable football stadium of people jockeying for the roll of moron-in-the-spotlight. MP John Redwood – an oily, creepy private school cadaver - really should have been the director’s main choice. Redwood is always there, ready to sneer at the truth, denigrate anyone who may have actually checked the facts and dangle the rotting, whiffy carcass of empire glory under the noses of potential non-believers. For a while he was upstaged by the flamboyant racist Frothy Farage but Farage is chasing a bigger gig state-side.

As for Fidel Castro, the CIA once thought of eliminating him with an exploding cigar. That’s as close to pantomime style slapstick as you can get. It’s also an example of how the US has behaved like a colonial power intervening in any administration that doesn’t take their fancy (unless it ploughs substantial funds into the pockets of the US elite, like Saudi Arabia). When Trump trots out his one liner ‘make America great again’ I wonder if he is thinking Bay of Pigs! Or is that just the name of his new administration?

Few media outlets highlight the fact that Cuba has, for example, a better fairer health care system than many so-called democracies. But a couple of serious papers in the UK have pointed out that Castro replaced dictator Batista in 1959 only to become de-facto dictator himself. Maybe this marked the start of the popularity of Hair of the Dog politics. Look at both Brexit, orchestrated in part by UKIP / rich kid Frothy Farage and privileged non-tax paying Trump. 

In the US and Britain, arrogant, privileged white blokes have been messing up badly for decades. So, what did both countries do? They listened to privileged, arrogant, bigoted white blokes when those men said ‘hey – we have the answers’.


Hair of the Dog politics is so in fashion. Fidel Castro would be proud.
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