From the Phrygian cap to the 4 Iron

I can never quite believe what I know to be true: that the so called “liberal-left” press – using liberal in the American sense – is actually a neo-liberal conservative press. The conflict between image and reality is hard for me to fully comprehend. These machines pump out the propaganda: that reform, which is actually the long delayed reaction to previous reforms, is “necessary”; that an austerian rhetoric that has failed for the past ten years is the only economics we need to consider; that globalisation, with the pressure on the working class and the insane inequality that it aggravates, is our no alternative, we are socially liberal one stop shop; etc. The rule seems to be, if the press is solidly behind gay marriage, and is also solidly behind making sure that gay partners have less health care, education, and public resources, that the factories they work in our shipped to lower labor ports of call, and the infrastructure that they rely on is benignly allowed to decay, well then, the press has done its job as socially liberal, nay, progressive!  That said, le Monde’s coverage of the demonstrations yesterday, which accorded quotes to demonstrators in about the last paragraph but gave as much respectful coverage to the desintox experts in Macron’s cabinet as possible was, well, a step beyond the usual guarddog rhetoric.

Meanwhile, alone in his palace at the Élysée – which I think we can now call, with a hat tip to Superman, the Fortress of Solitude – Macron salutes the men and women in uniform that have made us safe:

To all the forces of order mobilized today, thanks for the courage and exceptional professionalism which you have demonstrated.

This is nice. This is fine. These are the words of a true leader, the man who warned all France that :

a  ” groups of many thousands” was coming “to loot and kill'”.

This is the focused Superman of so many laudatory le Monde editorials. Myself, it is true, in my wee little peahood, thought, hmm, this sounds like demonizing the protesters and a naked appeal to the prosperous to close ranks with you know who. It even sounded, hmm, Poujadist – even though the press has been assuring us that it is the protesters who are all populist and authoritarian.  Whereas the guardians of our liberty put down the revolts of schoolboys with a firm hand. Such is the topsy turvey world of our neo-liberal establishment.

And so it was that the forces of order, in the person of those necessary helicopters, were sent out to buzz the looters and killers who were Marching for the Climate to the chants of Gilets verts, gilets jaunes.  Macron knows his history: the rich require a large and aggressive police force. In the fortress of solitude, I am sure Superman is thinking, Gotham is morally depraved! Yet I will save them yet with a brilliant scheme in which I will award Investor of the Year medals to some of the financial heros that have been… (at this point, the soliloquy breaks down into sobs a bit – even Superman has emotions) – so reviled by scum! They even – sobs here – pillaged a golf shop on the Champs Elysee yesterday. Golf! This attack goes too far! And then, getting hold himself, Superman prepares his no concessions, no surrender speech. He alone can save Gotham from the Joker of these riff-raff!

Luckily, the tv news is with our hero. I’m pretty sure the tv news, in 1789, would deplore the pillaging of our national treasure, our monument, our Bastille! But the casseur equipped with golf clubs is an image for the ages. Who needs a phrygian hat when you have a 4 Iron?

Roger Gathmann
Roger Gathmann

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