This week I saw an old man say some creepy things to Boy Scouts

The other day Donald Trump, the serial groper and misogynist currently occupying the White House, tweeted that he will no longer permit trans personnel to serve in the US military.

Here is a picture of Donald Trump’s mother:

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Paging Dr Freud. We repeat, paging Dr Freud.

Now, to use one of Theresa May’s favourite phrases, let me be very clear. I am not suggesting that Donald Trump has had facial surgery to make him look more like his mother. I am not suggesting that her bizarre, Bride of Frankenstein hairdo was the inspiration for Trump’s own remarkable follicular prosthesis. What I am suggesting is that the mind of Donald Trump is a bizarre psychosexual soup. And a big part of that soup is a heaping serving of anxiety about masculinity. Because the boy takes after his mother, doesn’t he? And he has small hands like a girl too, doesn’t he? And given how much Trump clearly wants to present himself as a Big Dick Playa, you know such comparisons with his mother will have preyed on him.

This is why Trump replacing Sean Spicer with Anthony Scaramucci didn’t surprise me all that much. If anything, it surprised me that he’s taken this long to do it. Trump likes to hang out with men who project an aura of virility, a kind of cruel, vicious joy in the exercise of power. the kind of people the painter Francis Bacon referred to as ‘the Nietzsche of the football team’. Ever since the days he spent under the tutelage of the late Roy Cohn, Trump has been a sucker for a thug in a showily-tailored suit. We learn that Trump was moved to hire ‘the Mooch’ because he liked what he saw of him on television. I bet he did.

White House Communications Team Reshuffled, With Sean Spicer Resignation And Anthony Scaramucci Appointed Director

To get a real taste of the bubbling Freudian broth that is Trump’s mind, however, you have to go back to his recent speech to the Boy Scouts of America. And to one passage in particular, a passage worth quoting in full. Trump began by singing the praises of the property developer and segregationist landlord William Levitt. Then he moved on to what Levitt did following the sale of his company:

‘And he sold his company for a tremendous amount of money. At the time especially, this was a long time ago, sold his company for a tremendous amount of money. And he went out and bought a big yacht and he had a very interesting life. I won’t go any more than that because you’re Boy Scouts, I’m not going to tell you what he did – should I tell you? Should I tell you? Oh, you’re Boy Scouts, but you know life, you know life. So, look at you, who would think this is the Boy Scouts, right?’

You’re Boy Scouts but you know life. Nudge-nudge, wink-wink, chuckle-chuckle.

Put aside the office that Trump has assumed, against the will of the majority of American citizens. Put aside the soap opera of Spicer and Scaramucci and the chip on Trump’s shoulder about inaugural crowd sizes. Pare this down to what it is on it’s most simplistic level: an old man winking conspiratorially at an audience of boys and snickering about what he and his rich mate used to get up to on his yacht. Expressing mock-shock at the idea that they ‘know life’, then jokingly congratulating on what big, worldly-wise boys they are. Look at you, who would think this is the Boy Scouts, right?

I think we’ve all encountered men like that before.

 

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I mean, where to begin?

This is why I always felt uneasy about the liberal vitriol directed at Melania Trump for choosing to stay in New York with Barron: because I wouldn’t want to leave my kids with Donald Trump either. Would you? 

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‘You think I’m a bad person, because I won’t give you what you want. But too many people have already given you what you want. This entire society is structured around you getting what you want: to be coddled, to be told you’re special, to never have to confront the consequences of your karma. But being given everything you want has led you to me. Being indulged at every turn has led you to the one person in the world who won’t indulge you. Your whole life, you never took responsibility for a single choice you made. Everything was someone else’s fault: the blacks, the lefties, Muslims, lesbians and feminists. They were to blame, not you. They wanted special treatment, not you, you told yourself as you squatted masturbating in the decadent remnants of Empire. And look where it’s got you. But karma is kind: make the right choices here and you’ll still have a life in which to reconsider the choices which led you to me. Make the wrong choices…well, make the wrong choices and you’ll still have plenty of time to regret them, but it wouldn’t be what anyone could call a life. Not really. And you’ll never see the end. I’ll show you what death really is, open you out into the eternity your choices made. Did you know there are things outside of time? They’re very keen to meet you. A nice, warm, foetid life in which to lay their eggs and watch them flower, forever. I can’t tell you what choices to make. I can only ensure that this time, for the first time in your coddled life, you won’t be able to ignore the consequences and go back to snorting cocaine and fucking your common law wife. This is up to you. So tell me: what’s my name?’

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Ruby draws the robofish

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Tell me the name that you think I should know. Pronounce it in tones which imply I should bow.

 I call these two my robofish. I draw them every morning, just before I start my shift. I always start with a billionaire’s name, a man of achievement: Musk, Kalanick, Gates.

Show me your faith that the things which you own will translate you to states of grace I’ll never know.

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 I break the name down into letters, then make them all happen at once on a piece of scrap paper no bigger than half of an inch. E becomes l becomes o becomes n. Then, on another scrap, I start again.

I’ll pretend I’m impressed by the money you make. I’ll smile and I’ll tell you to have a nice day,

The second robofish I usually use is Kenneth Pinyan, Patron Saint of the Humiliated Dead. Pinyan, immortalised in the Wikipedia entry for the Enumclaw horse sex case, was a former Boeing engineer who achieved notoriety when he died during what the entry dispassionately describes as ‘receptive rectal sex with a stallion at a farm in an unincorporated area in King County, Washington’. Already a figure of repute among those whose passion is for zoophile pornography, Pinyan crossed over into the mainstream when his colon was fatally perforated by an equine cock: the story of the philhippic Mr P became one of the Seattle Times’ most-read stories of 2005. Thus was Mr Pinyan spared the indignity of living on to become a whining boomer of the sort I find myself having to deal with most days. And became instead my robofish, my angler’s beacon in the foetid lake of English and American entitlement, my skeleton piper jangling his generational kin to their necessary doom.

as I make something beautiful out of your name. When I break what I’m making, my smile won’t be fake.

 Usually I use Pinyan but lately I’ve been using Cedrick Jelks as my robofish. Jelks is a somewhat more liberal sanction than Pinyan because his embarrassing misadventure ended not in death, but in the mere loss of a penis. Sitting down a little too enthusiastically in the front seat of his Nissan Altima, Florida native and convicted felon Jelks was only reminded of the firearm on the seat when it unloaded in his unit. To which injury Florida state law seems likely to add the insult of a mandatory minimum three-year prison term for possession of a firearm.

Here is the paper that’s all that you were.

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 I crumple the paper bearing the rich man’s name.

Jelks is alive, and younger than Pinyan, but his story contains just the right blend of haplessness and humiliation. He’ll be a good robofish for the overconfident, the egoists who think a seven-figure bank balance excuses their being too thick to understand how to delete the cookies in their browser, who think being a mean cunt from the other side of Skype will change the laws of physics. For the ones who never clock the gun or hear the truck because their world is protected by safety glass.

Here is the fire as that paper burns.

 I take my pen, push its end into the heel of my right palm and, on the word fire, force it through the paper on which I’ve made Jelks’ name happen, all letters at once. The paper gives beneath my nib as sure as skin makes way for needles. The paper is torn.

Here is the ash which is all you have left:

 I crumple the torn paper the same as the whole one, and flick each into its separate cardboard fate.

This cup of plenty, this cup of death.

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There. The robofish are drawn. The cups are primed. I can begin.

 

Chromaritual, or What I did during the Holy Days: an Intervention

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Ibarakou mollumba Elegguá ibaco moyumba ibaco moyumba

 I light the first candle.

Ibarakou mollumba omole ko ibarakou mollumba omole ko

 I light the pipe. I take a deep green breath. I exhale the dank smoke over the skull, its concrete spattered with dripped candle wax, the memory of rum, my blood, my semen. Irises of blu-tac recessed deep back in the sockets, with which I pin my sigils to the wall.

Elegguá.

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Immolator. Mutilator. Yemayá Oggute, virile, violent.

 I light the second candle.

Attaramawa, arrogant and proud.

 White candle. Blue candle. Lit from the red. Light passed on by the Opener of Ways. Light leaping the gap between candle and wick. One flame turned three. Firebreeding.

Olokun, the ocean maid, whose lovers dance in veils and painted masks.

 The candle held before me like a sword, raised and brought down to my eyeline in a warrior’s salute.

Your true face seen only in dreams.

 The tip of the blue candle points at my heart. A poor petitioner, beknighted.

Dream for me, with me, through me.

 I light the blue candle. Inhale and exhale.

Yemayá.

strange fall

 

I pull the book and stickers from the void beneath my bed. Spreading the sheet of blank rectangles out on a comic-book anthology of conspiracy theories I open Jarman’s Chroma to the chapter called ‘White Lies’. I read. I pull the thin adhesive border from the sheet of stickers, smudge it with smoke from the pipe. First breath of life.

‘When God made the first clay model of a human being, he painted in the eyes, then the mouth, then the sex.’ Greenaway, not Jarman.

I open the book to the chapter headed ‘Black Arts’. The hairpin N of the Palace chimney, Coco dancing, the wonderful long quote from Ovid, luck came at a price for the climbing boys. I read again, and then begin to draw.

It begins as a double-headed arrow, bending in the middle so both arrowheads point down. Then, from the left of the lowest of the arrows, curves all the way to the right of the point, then extends another, larger, longer curve which turns into a third, bigger arrowhead, pointing up, and finds its way back again to the base of the second. Like a flower, like a beast. Within the space created by the first curve, a circle is made, filled with a lowercase t like a single malevolent eye.

I add a date and three words from a radical poem, drawn in my best attempt at pixacao, a Brazillian graffiti style. Then I light the pipe and smudge the sheet a second time with smoke.

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I reopen the book, to the chapter called ‘Into the Blue’. Jarman writes of refugees and AIDS wards, tower blocks on fire. Plane crashes. A man who looks like Jean-Luc Godard. A pilgrim with a drip. A wink and the slyest of smiles.

The passage read, I take the felt-tip pen and fill the space around the creature’s eye a deep and haughty blue. Blue the priciest of dyes, the blood we’ll have to spill. Plunge the mind beneath the blue and when the circle’s filled, you smoke, you smudge.

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Open the book once again. ‘Seeing Red.’ Marches and Sparta, the red of the square is the root. Red Cardinals betray. Burn the blue out of Britain! Italian business, the way the Brits slip through a bill. With the first act of arson the child realises transgression is not always punished. Cytomegalovirus. Fill the space within the second, turning curve which changes to an arrow reverb red, reverb red, in the red room of the head.

Reverb red in the red room

Reverb red in the red room

In the red room in the red room

Reverb red in the red room

 

In the red room

In the red room

In the red rum

In the red

Red

 

Reverb red in the red room

Reverb red

Reverb red

Reaver bread

Reaver bread

 

Reverb red in the red room

Reverb red in the red room

In the red room in the red room

In the red room of the head

 

Reaver bread

Reaver bread

Reverb red

Reverb red

Reverb red in the read room of the head

Trespasses anew

Smudge, smoke, allow the Orishas to skinride if there’s time.  Repeat the oral incantations, blow the candles out with chronic breath, install the stickers on the altar, tip the ash into the bottle labelled with a cartoon devil. Take a moment. Take a breath. And rise.

Rise like a lion.

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Solstice 2017

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It begins as towers burn.
A Solstice morning thunderstorm.
Raven, spider, moth and skull.
The wax begins to wane.

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Replace with hat the pompous crown
and ring the ritual curtain down.
Killer, monarch, Doctor, Gull.
The last act of your reign.

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Eminences undermined,
witness we the undersigned:
outcast, outwith, unconfined.
It’s happening again.

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Theresa May is not autistic. She’s a sadist.

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Theresa May is not autistic, as I understand some are saying. The truth is worse.

Theresa May is a sadist. Look at the microexpression that crosses her face when she sees how upset BBC journalist Emily Maitlis is by the Grenfell Tower tragedy. She clearly WANTS to smile, but represses it.

Sadism and bullying defined May’s time at the Home Office. Sadism in the treatment of LGBT asylum-seekers, in the brutal and underhanded immigration raids, in the detention of vulnerable refugee women in the Yarl’s Wood rape camp and trans women in male prisons where they were persecuted so intensely they took their own lives. In the glee she took in threatening to rip up the Human Rights Act.

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Theresa May is not autistic. What she is is a sadist who can only mask her genuine pleasure in the pain of other people with the most robotic, tedious, rote circumlocutions.

The Home Office is a good place to hide a sadist in a cabinet. But a sadist as Prime Minister is too exposed. She has to go.

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White

 

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for Derek Jarman, England’s dreamer 

White is not white. White is not pink
or Caucasian. White is the colour
which comes before colour, white
is all colours when seen through a prism.
Through prism see spectrum.
Through glass spectral vision.
Refuse the white prison.

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A spectre is more than your white superstition.

If it’s good for the goose…

FB_IMG_1495269000008Protector of rapists in privileged places.
Supplier, through Saudis, of weapons to ISIS.
Our Lady Theresa of Tory tax havens,
and relieving your grandmother of her life savings,
and tipping the wink to electoral fraud
while funnelling funds to her husband offshore,
and letting toffs off as they rip apart foxes
still wants you to stick your cross in Tory boxes.
So this Thursday, don’t let her make you a mug:
vote this villain evicted, and then LOCK HER UP!

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Theresa May Thinks Like a Rapist

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Another day, another low, as our unelected Prime Minister, reeling from her humiliation in a much-vaunted TV debate, invites us to imagine her increasingly charismatic and popular opponent naked. Yet the true unveiling is not that of Jeremy Corbyn’s dad bod, but the stripping away of the last shred of the pretense that Theresa May is anything other than a deeply twisted human being. Because this bizarre episode in an unrelentingly weird campaign gives us an insight into the way Theresay May thinks, and it isn’t pretty. Because Theresa May thinks like a rapist.

What politician, in normal times, has ever evoked such a disturbing, prurient image of their opponent? Even in the low, dishonest years leading up to the 2010 election, as media trolls gleefully queued up to engage in the disability bullying of Gordon Brown, David Cameron didn’t stoop to asking us to picture the nude body of the former Chancellor. And while the Tories’ bizarre 1997 campaign may have submitted for our approval the contention that Tony Blair was an actual demonwe were not enjoined to envision ourselves making the beast with two backs with TB. However hungry for power these people may have been, however much they may have hated and wished to smear and damage their opponents, they recognised that there were some boundaries you do not cross. And yet Theresa May, lashing out with the vicious bitterness that has characterised so much of her laughable campaign, gleefully violates that boundary.

 

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This, the deliberate violation of boundaries, is how rapists and abusers operate. They push boundaries to see how far you’ll push back, to see what they can get away with. They get off on the feeling of having violated your autonomy, your consent, your integrity.

A couple of years ago, a friends’ rapist followed me on Facebook. The rapist knew that I knew what they’d done, knew that I knew about the rape, and knew I’d feel sickened to see their name pop up in my follower list. They probably also knew I’d block them pretty much immediately, but they did it anyway because the goal wasn’t to find out what I was up to, the goal was to violate one of my boundaries.

We see this same dynamic of gleeful boundary violation when May’s soulmate Donald Trump boasts about grabbing women by the pussy, or muses salaciously on the menstrual cycle of a female critic. The goal is not simply to boast or humiliate, but to test, and to violate, boundaries. I, a rich man, am telling you I sexually assault women: your chummy laughter tells me you will defer to me, that you will submit and connive with me, that I define the boundaries between us, and not you. I, a man, am talking about blood coming out of one of your intimate orifices: the media’s fixation on and gleeful repetition of my remarks tells you there are no boundaries you can protect against me.

 

Once you realise that musing on Jeremy Corbyn’s nakedness is not a bizarre gaffe in May’s campaign, but an illustration of her truest nature, many other things fall into place. Why does she get on so much better with an admitted rapist like Trump than she does with Emmanuel Macron, a man who respects women deeply? Because she thinks a man who respects peoples’ boundaries isn’t really a man.

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Why did she include the sickening rape clause in changes to tax credits legislation? Because she likes the idea of rape victims being further humiliated; because being forced to prove your rape to the tax authorities feels like an absolutely delicious boundary violation.

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Why she lost all those files on historic establishment child abuse? Because she doesn’t believe the abusers did anything wrong. 

With yesterday’s speech, the true horror of who and what Theresa May is stands revealed to us in all its prurient glory. The ‘vicar’s daughter’ whose media mouthpieces proclaim her piety and virtue is a sociopath who gets off on violating peoples’ boundaries. The force which drives her malicious perseverance in prosecuting those who disagree with her, and her Home Office’s open contempt for LGBT refugees, is nothing other than a desire to humiliate and degrade the Other. Indeed, her well-documented homophobia is something we see again and again in rapists, another aspect of their refusal to grant others physical and sexual autonomy.

Theresa May thinks like a rapist. It’s really that simple.

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