We have been oppressed by a crude heathen philistine for the past four years and it is time to celebrate his impending removal, to savour the triumph of sanity over the basest impulses and to revel in this weekend’s victory: I believe that literally billions of people across the planet are big breathing beautiful sighs of relief this weekend just as me and D are: it’s like having your brain stem attached back to the oxygen tank. We know that the enraged tweets will continue ad nauseam, and that there are multiple problems in the world right now that will continue to blight and challenge humanity, but at the very least those twittering insults and impotent, grievance filled furies (the fist pounding of a grotesque and amoral toddler) will be dimmed by the fact that they will be coming from one no longer in power. They will be coming from one dining on McDonald’s alone, sequestered in a fortressed, golden mansion.
For the Orange One, all that ever mattered was his maintaining a grip on his bankrupt self, his failed businesses,and not relinquishing his power. I don’t believe for one moment he has ever actually cared about the people he purports to (the working classes); he just took advantage of their insecurities. He didn’t care about the environment, he didn’t care about whether the coronavirus killed hundreds of thousands of people, it was always just his bottom line: bring in some cash. There was no culture in this White House; no Art. All previous presidencies, Democrat or Republican, have honoured the arts in some way: this regime severed all of that at the jugular on mean-hearted arrival.
I am not naive. I am personally under no illusions that suddenly the world is righted, or that the Biden/ Harris administration will be able to perform miracles without senate control, inheriting a catastrophic economic and pandemic crisis (which could easily have been less serious if sensible precautions had been taken by person with the power to do so); politics worldwide will still continue to be tumultuous in this period we are currently living in. But at the same time, I do feel entirely justified in celebrating this morning, feeling like the citizens of Oz skipping along the yellow brick road singing Ding Dong, The Witch Is Dead, because I physically feel something oppressive has been lifted from my neck and shoulders: I feel lighter. To me, this is not political, about left and right: it is about that particular person, a bullying, trivial, nasty little tyrant, who should never have been elected in the first place.
All we want is some quiet. Not the rabid postings, lurching the world into outrage every single morning to the point where no one could think straight anymore. It has been a nightmare. Four more years of it would have been utterly intolerable, untenable – which is why I have felt so ill all week with anxiety and why so many people lined up in the cold in the United States to ensure they could vote him out: why people made sure they sent in their votes: because all people with a conscience are just sick to the back teeth of this fool: all his noise. We need a reprieve; some peace. And no matter what happens next, I feel sure that at the very least, some dignity and decency will be restored to the proceedings; that other countries will finally think they can actually have a dialogue with America again; that we are liberated.
When I was a teenager I loved Salvador Dali. A cliche – the melting clocks, the surrealistic dreamscapes all obvious draws for anyone wanting to escape the restrictions of four walled reality. As an adult I got bored of him, as you do with any artist whose reproductions you have seen a million times, until we went one sunny winter’s day to one of the biggest Dali retrospectives ever held in the world, at the Modern Art Museum in Roppongi, Tokyo, where with all the drawings and sketches and ballet posters and bizarre objets, I had my eyes opened to the sheer rapaciousness of the artist’s eclectic talent and saw a whole new side to his brilliance and imagination. To me, Salvador Dali represents expression, not repression – a flourishing of the mind – not just everything reduced to the toxicity of cheap dollar signs. We loved that exhibition, one of those days, pre-corona, where you could line up for the exhibition in the crowed, and then enjoy lunch in the strange fancy French restaurant up in the sky by the ceiling; wandering through new streets and finding curiosities; just a fun, stimulating usual day out in Tokyo. Life, in other words.
All of this will come back. And celebrants are already in the streets, in America and elsewhere, dancing and singing and delighted, deep in their souls, that the gruesome reality TV dictator will soon be off their backs. To let some colour back in : dress up, put out, wear perfume, celebrate humanity, not just this angry, cultureless, limited and corrosive capitalist redprint for the American Dream. There is so much more to life : joy, for a start. Forget about the resentment, for a moment: hating people because they are different from you. Get a hobby. Find a passion. Stop blaming other people. Spray on some perfume and go out and have a good time, or dance around your house if that’s not possible. Join the celebration.
The perfumes of Salvador Dali (or at least the perfume house that is licensed to produce them in his name now) will do quite nicely on a day like this: Ma Victoire for instance, a sultry, buttery tuberose leather vanilla, sexy and tenacious, that smells very much like vintage Christian Dior Hypnotic Poison and elides from the skin in a poised, and self-confident, seductive fashion: I think, propulsed along in the chanting jubilations if I were to catch this on the air, I would look back and see who was wearing this, and just want to kiss them, whoever they were, out of sheer happiness for this moment. I could happily pass by someone in the throng of revellers on the streets wearing Ma Reine as well, a jasmine sambac/orange blossom perfume that smells happy and gay – just anything, any scent that expresses some positivity, after the poisoned well of negativity that that creature has been trying to suck us all down into for the last half a decade: a whirlpool of hate and strife and provocation that will now, at the very least, once he is removed from the residence, be subdued.
I am so very, very, relieved.