When you’ve settled yourself into the seat at the cinema, and cursed that you have sat next to a big box of crunched popcorn and a giant tub of noisily slurped Cola held by someone with the eating etiquette of a half starved hyena, you know that what you are about to see on screen is someone’s creation. It is a fantasy world often populated by larger than life characters often too beautiful or too intelligent for the real world outside to actually accommodate them. Occasionally, you are alerted to a story ‘based on real events’ but mainly the offer is fiction. This is why you came; to see action, suspense, glamour, thrills or even on screen sex that is so far removed from reality in terms of beauty, endurance and invention that your own performances in that department are belittled and shown up to be the episodic, child interrupted, short, half tired and stressed gruntings that they most often are.
Reality is not like the cinema.
Until it is.
…and it has been in History. Cinema and TV bring us glimpses into a mad past where autocratic monarchs burned each other’s serfs, where wars were fought over an insult, when women and children were traded as baubles in fly blown camel markets, when democracy was for everyone except slaves and women and those with a hue ‘not native to these shores’ and if you disagreed you’d end up hung, drawn, quartered, guillotined, crucified, shot, burned at the stake or imprisoned for the rest of your life…or all of them. Autocrats, Emperors and Kings ruled their populations accountable only to themselves or a God(s) they had just invented.
Oh how we revel in such on screen naked use of power secretly knowing that we, in the ‘nice countries’ have the vote. That we civilised peoples have fought for universal suffrage…even for women, puppies and the Cornish. We comfort ourselves that the age of revolutions and autocracy are matters of cinematic history.
But then this.
This was a reply to a question about whether the US election result in November 2020 would be honoured.
Usually the answer is “of course, why on earth would you ask such a question?”.
Bear in mind that it is estimated that there are 120 guns per 100 people in the United States. Of those 100, many will be ill, infirm, in prison, are children or mere facsimiles of real persons. This increases the ratio between ‘functioning’ adults and guns. Who knows perhaps the real ratio is not 100:120 but 50:120.
The United States is not blessed however with a majority of adults who can tell the difference between empathy and blowing a neighbour’s head off at close range. It is country of misfits, rednecks, rugged individualists, drunks, ex military veterans suffering from PTSD, white supremacists, Evangelicals waiting for Jesus, losers, the angry, cow shaggers, morons and fruitcakes in the Senate and Congress. The rest of the population is not much better.
They have a Commander in Chief who is actively suggesting that if he loses the election then – wink wink – “we are going to have to see what happens”. This is the same poor excuse for a wank stain in a blue suit who stupidly did not see that his remark ‘fine people on both sides‘ in Charlottesville, Virginia, gives succour to gun carrying white supremacists. Virginia is an ‘open carry’ state which means people can walk about in public with a gun on their person, at hand ready for use.
So, no you are not watching a western on the TV or on the big screen. This is reality. So, the next time you are sat next to a slobbering ape with his faced buried in a box of popcorn in your local cinema, feel free to imagine you have a gun to stick in his face. And when he says “what are you doing pointing that thing at me?” you can say “well, we are going to have to see what happens”.
It’s my ‘go to’ excuse from now on.
So, if you ask me for the £100 quid I borrowed from you last month, or when the bar staff asks for payment for the 5 pints of Guinness I just ordered, or when your wife asks you to confirm that you will be looking after the children on her annual girls night out, you can merely say “well, we are going to have to see what happens”. Just don’t say it it after her third preparatory gin or if she owns a gun.