woensdag, oktober 01, 2003

Plugging in the Kettle

Now that we’ve had a chance to “plug the kettle in” (as BT’s new customer welcoming letter to us read), it’s time to set forth with the inaugural Desultory Turgescence British Home Office entry.

First and foremost, the content will likely be changing if it hasn’t already. Although long-winded political ranting cleverly-disguised-as absurdist distortions of the lies and destruction of the Bush Administration upon its own, until recently, majority-ignorant population and society, was quite a lot of fun and had become some sort of a hallmark of Desultory Turgescence, it was often the final resort of a heart and mind sickened with disbelief over the chain of events that began with the theft of a presidential election that officially turned the United States of America into a banana republic of corruption and lies and has continued on an unprecedented rampage of cynical, reductionist manipulation masquerading as patriotism with such vigor and verve that living even in a city as open and exciting as Manhattan once was had became unbearably toxic.

(whew! Now there is a sentence that would be hard fought to complete in one breath...)

However, now freed of the incessant barrage of ignorance and stupidity, no longer hamstrung by fears of caustic reactionaries belching out their undigested thoughts of patriotism and morality or offended by the sickening degree of selfish indifference while the world collapses around them, Desultory Turgescence is prepared to embrace a world as far apart from Manhattan as is chalk from cheese, as they say.

That embrace begins with our new digs in the tiny village of Blackwell.

One of the primary reasons for restarting the blog at this point in time, convinced that Desultory Turgescence had already long ago exhausted the limitations of Bush-whacking and political raving, was the rather flowering realization that no longer living the lie of politics in America did not necessarily mean that commentary of a different sort couldn’t flourish as well. Seeing so many opportunities to observe and remark upon; the graphic contrast of urban versus rural, the mean-spirited autocratic morality of Manhattan’s midget mayor compared with Shakespeare’s Stratford-Upon-Avon.

Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer’s Day? or a mayor who kvetches about his city having no gambling casinos?

Small wonder, getting out.

For one thing, its difficult to work up an righteous indignation out here. The things to complain about seem less urgent. For example, here is a small letter to the editor I cut out from the Stratford Herald last week, so touched was I not only over the issue of complaint but the ferocity of the rage involved in what some might consider such a trivial matter:

”Sir: In your issue of 7th June 2001 you were good enough to print my letter “Pee-d off with locked loo”, referring to Bell Court, Stratford.
I am now even more brassed off with the new toilet in Town Square: not only is it locked, they’ve never even bothered to open the damned thing. I can only assume the people in charge, whoever they are, consist of a constipated, bottle carrying brigade, who have no regard for the normal bodily functions of our many visitors or the poor benighted folk who live in Stratford.
Please, please open these toilets and I promise to buy my own toilet roll.”

Finally, after to all these years, I’m beginning to glean a sense of what Monty Python was on about.

Even this still-small taste of the kind of dry, sardonic British humor typically spilling out from street corners to pubs to bicycle shops and side-remarks in libraries and news agents, is sufficient to understand that one is not dealing with the same sort of oneupmanship of creeping meatballism and boorishness that one was force-fed so often on the streets of America. Not at all.

But I don’t want to give the false impression I’m actually in Stratford. Only for trips to the Holy Trinity Church to maudle over Shakespeare's tomb in between pints at the Garrick Inn just down High Street, sometimes, when the urge for department store shopping becomes overwhelming, and every great once in a while when I get lonely for the sight of large swarms of German tourists brought in by buses crowding the streets with their big feet and bellies. Otherwise, it's just a crazy burg 8 miles up the road from here.

In fact, from where this is in Blackwell, Stratford-Upon-Avon is a virtual metropolis. They’ve got the Royal Shakespeare Company, theatres, shopping centers, 500 year old pubs, housing developments and tons of tourists.

Blackwell on the other hand, has houses, a few horses and a few sheep. The nearest pub is a mile and a half down the road in Newbold-on-Stour, called The White Hart. It is there that in time, I am going to one day learn how to cook partridge and pheasant properly or learn how to skin a rabbit.

In the meantime, I’ll enjoy the refreshing change of pace and the lack of outrage and sense of injustice. For some reason, the mind functions better riding a bike along empty roads on cool mornings as the translucent veil of fog is still lifting off of plow fields and horse farms, and the air is ripe with manure and burning wood. Those last few weeks in Manhattan were positively Dantesque with the stale urine and rotting garbage wilting upwards from the asphalt in the stultifying humidity.

Humanity seems much more edifying when not experienced through the excruciating persistence of its morality monopolists and the dull hum of what some might deem to be civilization.

In the meantime, "Wouldn't it be weird if in twenty years Iraq had a functioning Social Security system but America didn't?". Lovely to see Get Your War on back in the pits.

Lastly, two brief announcements which are utterly unrelated:

The first trickle of hope for America? Looks like the Draft Clark mission was a success. Congratulations. Since seeing him for the first time on Meet The Press several months ago, he's been my favorite choice.

The last trickle of hope for Queens? Looks like The Great Satan Quarterly is back on line. The pressure's on, lad. You're my primary source of local sports now that I can't pick up the Daily News at the local bodega anymore. Now the only thing to sort out in the absence of the Daily News is where to find all those shots of Beyonce's bum.

That isn't to say I haven't seen some strange things out here. Without a doubt, I still do a double take every time I see a sign for Faggots and Mushy Peas.

But I'm hard at work already here. Only last Saturday night, I won a free t-shirt at the British Legion's Third Chipping Campden Beer Festival five miles down the road from home in lovely Chipping Campden for quaffing ten different pints of their mind-altering ales and ciders.

So Desultory Turgescence is strapping it back on again. And as once mulled in that song for the generations by EBN-OZN, EIOU and Sometimes Y,

"Yeah she took me home man she threw me all
around the room man
I mean this chick was really hot she was nice
to me you know
She let me keep on my cowboy boots and everything..."

So it feels, smoking up the Drum once again in pubs, no longer under the thumb of the mismanaging moralists and happy to be free again.

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