In the days of my youth, when women were women and men were …supposedly what they always have been – ‘men’ of course […where did we go wrong? …at what point did we begin to fuck things up? …that’s rhetoric – no answers required].
Back then there was an old saying – “Sweetheart, your slip is showing” (ask someone older if you are not aware what that is all about). But today, when women can be men if they so choose, and men can be women if they so choose – or anything in between – and no-one wears dresses or skirts, and especially not slips …except for a few… […look, I will leave it there …that is another story, and again not what I am writing about].
These days, the term ‘your slip is showing’, now holds little relevance. Except…
Involving slips of a different kind – none of them virgin white – there is the case of the self-styled Grand Dame, ‘America’. Aloof and foreboding, and for more than a hundred years used to getting her own way. Her slips were always showing, on many public and also on many private occasions. But no-one dared to mention her indiscretions. Any titterings, discrete nods and whisperings were done far away from her prying ears and eyes. Those were the days of her power. Where suitors would crawl over broken glass for small favours, and those she disfavoured were either subject to her vociferous threats and various forms and severities of shunning, or brought to their knees in attempted destruction. She was never much good or effective at doing either of those things – although expertly causing untold chaos and collateral destruction in the fumbling process of trying – but the threat was always there and there were many willing and supportive suitors to act as aids and provocateurs.
The days have changed, and America is now the Grand ‘Old’ Dame, past her prime and growing weaker by the moment. She still has a few suitors of course – now mostly ‘past it’ themselves – and new ones, whether willing or coerced (bribed? blackmailed?) are damnably hard to find. Not surprising really. When you look under the covers – as any prospective ‘wise’ suitor would want to do – there is not much there to entice and allure any longer (if there ever was). It’s all a bit ‘nasty’, ‘worn’, and ‘deformed’, having been hidden away and abused for so long – and any number of seductive slip showings would not now much beguile any ‘valued’ suitor.
But the ghastly play still continues …for now.
It is becoming more than a little ridiculous though, and bringing this back to a real-world context (while I have rarely enjoyed a little allegorical journey quite as much as I have this one) it is also quite embarrassing to have to speak of such things – especially when there are over 300 million real people who have been trapped in the nightmare for the whole of their lives so far, and many others, equally trapped in the suited suitors, who must also be feeling (or will soon feel) rather sheepish about their own part in the (what is it? dark comedy? farce? hardly a thriller? – the exact word I need will not come to me just now but I’m sure you can fill in the blank with an appropriate choice word or words of your own). Let’s just refer to it as a ‘sordid affair’ which will be etched in the memory of a great many of us for longer than a lifetime prison sentence – or for as long as we retain memory, whichever comes first.
A few current ‘fer-instances’…
These are not given in any particular order or scale of magnitude, but are typical of many examples of the madness that pervades and illuminates the downfall or decline of a living global scale diva, from recent reports. This is also not a catalog of the diva’s juvenile crimes – that would keep me here endlessly, as new events occur almost on a daily basis.
Childish outbursts of pique at not getting own way… This is the entire basis of unilateral sanctioning of disfavoured entities. Examples are too numerous to list but this trend can never be more than a gesture of grief at being powerless to enforce any more stringent ‘punishment’, regardless of the fact that these things almost always rebound on the sanctionist or their suitors in quite predictable ways. The old ‘Cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face’ notion, readily comes to mind.
Outlandish efforts to push boundaries in order to appear strong and still able to dominate… Examples of this come from the recent use of naval vessels to sail through seas in areas far from home ports but known to be legitimately claimed by others. As in the Taiwan Straits and the Black Sea, where a suitor’s destroyer infantilely engaged in a manoeuvre designed to provoke retaliation off the coast of Crimea – on exactly the same day as a single similar vessel (the bigger ships used earlier fortuitously requiring maintenance elsewhere and therefore having withdrawn from the arena) was again used provocatively in Chinese waters. In both cases, denial of reality being the lame excuse, and in the Crimea case the denial that the incident ever happened.
Also in this category is the provocative build up of armed forces on the western borders of Russia (and the hasty defusing of the situation when Russia proved it could quickly build up sufficient force capability to quash any threat).
Politically motivated gamesmanship… The Biden European tour – Pointless Team-Building Exercises – G7, NATO summits – ostensibly “Rah-rah for us!” shows, based on little more than fantasy (absent any substance). Then there is the Blinken tour now ongoing, supposedly building on the Biden show – not much of a foundation – as is being realised by such luminaries as the leaders of Germany and France. The EU slowly becoming aware of the precarious nature of allowing itself to remain as a potential US nuclear battlefield, in which support for the Ukraine is becoming something of an embarrassment.
Withholding one’s bat and ball so others can’t play… As controller of much modern digital infrastructure – including the internet – the US has motivated its dependent corporates in the field of social media to harrass and restrict many opposing outlets and most recently has cut off communication with specific websites entirely. That it has the power to do so has long been known (and previously exercised), but one expects the controllers of such utilities to behave in relatively adult ways for the good of all. Apparently that is no longer the case, and whether you will be able to read what I am writing here depends on the juvenile whims of such enterprises embroiled in the foundational subsidence of the wounded pride of a disintegrating empire. We should expect such moves to continue and even to spread, as time passes.
There are other things I could add to this list but I think you see where it is going and why the situation is what it is.
I will leave you with the thought that with all the other problems facing our world that are not of a geo-politically centred nature, but which are equally or even more forcefully pressing for our burden of concerns, we would be able to put to one side such petty issues as occupy the self-interests of our national leaders, international ombudsmen, politicians and media, to come together for mutual beneficence and coordinated action to lead us away from the precipice of the abyss that is now looming, not on our horizon (such scenes are long past) but now stepping into the foreground of our portraiture. You would think that, as a matter of self-preservation, wouldn’t you? Well, sadly there are no signs, or even slight indications that such is or will happen. The Abyss approaches, unstoppably. But don’t panic, it’s entirely natural. And I feel sure it has happened before.
There’s ‘Many a slip…’