Land of extremes

I’ve been lucky enough to spend several weeks in California this summer, joining my brilliant wife Anyssa Neumann on her piano recital tour, and generally having too much fun to bother with any blogging. We were based in Sacramento, her hometown, the state capital that is naturally overshadowed by CA’s coastal metropolises, but which has much to recommend it, not least the sunniest summers on the planet and a leafy spaciousness to its streets, as well as a remarkably varied restaurant and bar scene, the apogee of which is surely The Kitchen, hands down the most entertaining dining experience I’ve ever had. This meal would warrant a post all of its own, were I not the kind of person who cringes at the thought of reaching for a camera at the arrival of each bit of artfully plated grub.

Far removed from such pinko, West Coast frivolity, the ugly racist underbelly of America has been rearing its head. We’ve always known such elements have existed – indeed they exist in many countries – but it’s been truly shocking to see the brazenness with which swastikas and violently racist invective have been paraded on the streets of Charlottesville. Can you IMAGINE what would have happened if a self-professed ‘black militia’ were to wander the streets toting assault rifles and wearing full combat gear? How can such intimidation tactics be considered a legal interpretation of the right to bear arms?

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Emboldened by the thinly veiled xenophobia and misogyny of Ronald T. Dump, these semi-literate fucktards no longer feel that it is necessary to hide behind hoods or masks, while His Royal Excrescency himself refuses to condemn the ‘protest’ outright. I was always uncomfortable when certain factions on the British left would proclaim how they would celebrate when Margaret Thatcher, in her later years plagued by Alzheimer’s, finally popped her clogs. But rest assured that when this most dangerous and imbecilic of world leaders does breathe his last, through whatever agency, I’ll be cracking open the finest bottle of effervescent intoxicant I have to hand at the time.

White Supremacists March with Torches in Charlottesville

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