Friday, April 14, 2017

Forked Paths

Self-consciously classless America is possibly the worst place imaginable to be leading the global cascading revolt against elites.

Classes are the headline acts in complex social ecosystems, but instead the US chooses to engage a set of stereotypical tableaux which it constantly plays back to itself through the sovereign medium of its cultural specula.

On my very first visit to America at 13 years of age I found myself within days of my arrival at that elite gathering - brunch at the Boca Ratón Club - which authentically featured a tuxedo'd string quartet playing The Hunt (K458) by Mozart. (Granted, in the Hollywood version of this scene, it is invariably Vivaldi providing the gilt-edged muzak.)

In that self-mythologising land, the person entering such a dining space with no clue about which sort of fork to use with which dish is a de facto social hero or heroine.

You can bang on until the vets with PTSD come home about the underlying radicalism of the American Revolution, but it was essentially a non-comformity of individuals who didn’t know which fork to use.

And this rebellion has never been far below the surface of American small-d democracy and freedumb. Hence the current incumbent of the White House - who looks like a member of the elite to any bien-pensant euro-chattereur, but on the other side of the pond has just the requisite number of chips on his shoulder to stand out as an insurgent.

No comments: