Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Running Mate for Sen. Santorum

Why, at the beginning and end of debates, do politicians who’ve been spending millions of dollars trying to convince TV viewers that their opponents are the lowest form of human life beam at those opponents as though at long-lost friends? They seem to imagine they weill be seen as fantastically good sports, the sort with whom one might wish to shoot nine holes on a weekend afternoon. They’re mistaken. What it makes them appear is horribly two-faced. If they genuinely find their opponents so deeply odious, how can they bear even to be on the same stage with them?

Back in the days before my conversion to social conservatism, there wasn’t much about John McCain I didn’t loathe, but I sort of admired that he made no bones about his loathing of Obama.

Wouldn’t a significant portion of the American electorate be even more likely to think, “My kinda guy!” if Candidate 1, whose poll numbers have plunged since Candidate 2 received a huge donation from some rich Zionist and began running a series of ads depicting Candidate 1 as a lowlife nincompoop who secretly likes the idea of sodomists being allowed to marry livestock, opened the debate by breaking Candidate 2’s nose? Who’s the faggot now, bitch? And given the power of the NRA and the ongoing popularity of movie action heroes and hip hop, wouldn’t Candidate 2 stand to make himself look manly and decisive and a very firm supporter of the Second Amendment by lovingly placing his Glock on the rostrum before him while inviting Candidate 3 to make his day?

Americans love martial arts movies too, of course, but in the face of American xenophobia (we don’t much cotton to the idea of a French-speaking president), a candidate might be doing himself no good whatever laying out his opponents with a few karate or other Asian-conceived kicks. Real American men don’t kick, not unless they’re outnumbered by at least six to one.

Real American men hate feminism, and know how to discourage their women from getting any stupid ideas about embracing it. After his recent Grammys performance, during which he oozed sexiness, the girlfriend beater and singer Chris Brown inspired mass longing among the nation’s womenfolk, a great many of whom tweeted that a bloodied nose and a few loosened teeth would be a small price to pay to party with him. Sen. Santorum might do very well to consider him as a running mate. If the Democrats object, as they surely will, on the grounds that Brown isn’t legally old enough for the vice presidency, the Santorum campaign can spin their doing so as racist. There are few things we social conservatives enjoy more than accusing the other side of racism.

Friday, February 24, 2012

American Expats for Santorum - Day 1

I began working for American Expatriates for Santorum in earnest yesterday, and it was by turns exhilarating and frustrating — exhilarating because it feels so good, so right, to have committed myself to the causes of decency and American exceptionalism, the second because there are so few prospective converts in Kent, the county on whose coast I reside. Such notables as Mick Jagger, David Bowie, and the mathematician and philosopher Alfred Whitehead were all born in Kent, mostly in the London suburbs in the county’s northwest corner, not to mention The Beatles, David Beckham, Michael Jordan, Desmond Tutu, Muhammad Ali, and H. G. Wells, but AES could give me and my colleagues the contact details of only 117 Americans of voting age here, so we spent most of our day on buses and trains, rather than changing hearts and minds, as I’d have much preferred.

My male colleague, Earle, is in his late fifties, which is to say that he seems rather a whippersnapper to me, though the bags under his morose, colourless eyes are those of a septuagenarian who doesn’t get enough sleep. Back in his native Maryland (a name the British are strangely unable to pronounce), he owned a model airplane shop, and later served several years in prison for an inappropriate relationship with one of his customers, 11 at the time it began, male, and obsessive about such World War II-era British aircraft as the Hawker Typhoon. But if one can, as I have, accept that Speaker Gingrich, for instance, has come to Christ following many years as a fornicator, why can he not accept that Earle has genuinely foresworn pederasty? Indeed, my problem with him isn’t his criminal past, but the fact of his being a smoker, which doesn’t make him the most fragrant person near whom to sit on the train from Sniffingham to Headcorn, for instance.

On meeting our female colleague, Jennifer Erics, I reflexively asked if she got teased about her name. She had no idea what I was talking about. Generic, I said, winking. She still didn’t get it, and I decided I’d been foolish to presume that she, a la Aniston, at least in the checkout stand tabloids, is called Jen. She is very attractive in that hanging-on-for-dear-life way of women in their deep 40s, with a coiffure not seen since the early 1970s, and fingernails on whose maintenance I would bet she spends a great deal of money. I think she may be alcoholic, though it isn’t mine to judge, but not a smoker, and for that I am grateful. Often there is lipstick on her teeth, but I haven’t said anything, having put her far too much on the defensive as it is with the joke about her name. I believe she wears a push-up brassiere, and know for a fact that, having been aborted herself early in her mother’s second trimester, she was drawn to Sen. Santorum by his having condemned abortion more strongly than all the other candidates combined.

Our first visit was to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Charles D—, in Hurling, down the A2014 from Tonbridge. The couple retired to the UK rather than Florida because Chuck, a lifelong depressive, likes dampness and gloom. Mrs. D—, who insisted we call her Ruth, was palpably delighted by our visit; her and Chuck’s only contact with other Americans these days is via Skype, which they don’t know how to use, and all they have is dial-up, and all their now-adolescent grandchildren ever seem to talk about anymore is whether they can "borrow" money. The couple have apparently been leaning toward Romney for the simple reason that he’s by far the handsomest of the remaining Republicans. Ruth acknowledges that looks are a crap reason to favour a particular candidate, but argues that all politicians, even social conservatives, are lying, thieving whores anyway, so why not favour the one easiest on the eyes. “Last time I looked,” she chuckled, her own a-twinkle, “it wasn’t against the law in this country for an old woman to fantasise,” whereupon Earle excused himself to step into the garden for a smoke, and Jennifer reflexively poo-poohed the idea of Ruth being old. I’m not sure which country she was actually referring to.

Because her younger daughter, Parvaneh Shahrestaani, owns a fruit stall in Tehran, Ruth is concerned about Gov. Santorum’s belief that the West should bomb Iran. As only another woman could, though, Jennifer pointed out that Sen. Santorum is a lot closer to Gov. Romney than to Speaker Gingrich in the physical allure department, and Ruth agreed to read through the brochures we left behind for her as soon as she roused Chuck long enough to take his medications.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Piper Laurie at the Gates of Dawn

Yesterday was the most momentous of 2012, or whatever year it is now, so far. In the morning, I received my first injection of human growth hormone. In the evening, in a movie I’d never heard of before the missus ordered it on a caprice, I saw a bully forcing a smaller, weaker classmate to eat a urinal cake. In the middle, I decided which Republican presidential candidate to support. I also had three square meals and received medical treatment from the National Health medical treatment.

I have been reading in Vanity Fair about HGH therapy now being very popular in Hollywood, on whose outskirts I used to reside. My understanding is that it restores one’s handsomeness and virility, and that no less than Sylvester Stallone, whose work I have always admired so much (Rocky XI and all the Rambo movies being especial favourites), was recently found at an Australian airport to travel with a suitcase full of the stuff. It has now been 31 years since a woman I didn’t know from Adam, or Eve, slipped me her phone number as I returned to my table in a Los Angeles restaurant from the gentlemen’s room, and I won’t deny that I miss it — not the gentlemen’s room, but the advances of strange women. Not 16 hours later after my first injection, the ghastly creases that have in the past decade come to make my forehead so unsightly look slightly shallower, my speaking voice has become more resonant and authoritative, and I feel like ambling down to the harbour, here spelled as I have just spelled it, and starting a fistfight with a longshoreman, though I think they call them something else here, and though I think they are ordinarily found not at harbours, but at docks.

The treatment is expensive, but what price peace of mind? For the time being, because I inherited a nice chunk of change when my mother died in 2007, and I am very (all right, maddeningly) circumspect about money, I can afford it. I don’t want, as an even older man, to have to throw myself on the state’s mercy, but I equally don’t want to die with a lot of money in the bank. Most people will tell you they prefer not to know when they’re going to re-join Jesus, but how can one who doesn’t make sound fiscal decisions?

In the afternoon, I decided, after months of agonised to-ing and fro-ing, that I would support Sen. Rick Santorum for the presidency. Knowing that I am an avid Palinist, attentive readers will wonder why I have chosen Sen. Santorum over Speaker Gingrich, whom Gov. Palin herself has endorsed. They are both Catholics, and both men of great rectitude, which is in no way to be construed as a reference to their rectums, of which I lack all personal knowledge, and hope to continue to do so. It’s just that the senator is more youthful and dynamic, and has a spouse who didn't fornicate with him adulterously for half a dozen years while he was married to another, as the fetching Callisa Gingrich did with Newt. Also, I am uncomfortable with Speaker Gingrich’s campaign being bankrolled in significant part by a Jewish proprietor of Las Vegas casinos. Also, I believe Sen. Santorum to have articulated a uniquely compelling vision of the American future.

I had hoped, of course, that, on learning of my decision to join it, the Santorum campaign would fly me back to America, and get me ringing doorbells in swing states, and perhaps the odd bebop one as well, but they don’t have Sheldon Adelson writing them million-dollar cheques at the drop of a hat, and advised that, at least in the short term, I would have to ring the doorbells of fellow American expatriates here in the United Kingdom. Bad news, as the last time I interacted with other American expatriates, at a Thanksgiving get-together in London in around 2006, I didn’t enjoy it, as they’d all become sufficiently anglicised while living here to drink themselves stupid before the first course was served, and thus less receptive to my zany flights of fancy, my puns and hyperboles and what-have-you.

In any event, we proceeded after dinner to watch the little-noted (as in worldwide box office earnings of $4327) Hesher, about a heavy metal psychopath who inserts himself into the lives of a grief-stricken family in what looked to be one of the less salubrious backwaters of southern California. I felt sure the title character would wind up teaching the urinal cake-eating 12-year-old Valuable Lessons about What It Means to Be a Man, but he didn’t, not really, and I liked that. I liked also that the doomed grandmother in the story turned out to have been played by Piper Laurie, whom I’m old enough — hence the need for human growth hormone therapy, you see — to remember as Paul Newman’s love interest in The Hustler.