Hollywood Money Rant

Rub Belly, Pat Head

Taking a Shit

British class shame is nothing a regular gun-toting American would or should know anything about.   Whether or not one has an understanding of manners, social hierarchy or top hats is neither here nor there.

I have spent blog time bashing America but really, the Brits are just as bad-if not worse.  My friend Pierre in New York, upon moving here at the behest of his company, missed London terribly but after a short while, much less time than I, understood why we come here and why we want to stay.   Pierre began to notice a change in himself and those around him.  He felt valued, pumped up, fearless.  In America he could feel like a man.

Like me, when he meets Brits who stay at home he marvels at their naivety.

It takes a huge amount of self-loathing to ‘know your place’.

In the USA there is no shame about bettering and reinventing ones self.  There are rules, of course, but every one of the rules (guiding principles) is designed to be broken.

You may have to pay a disgruntled employee a ton of money for a spurious sexual harassment claim but that’s how the dispossessed get their share of the pie.

Everyone is on the make, everyone!  It’s an on the make, nickle and dime affair that I am having with the USA.  It’s better than pecan pie and nuclear waste!  It’s more thrilling than Guantanamo Bay.

As a Brit I still hanker after public art and healthcare but the rampant small mindedness of my countrymen, their embittered jokes masquerading as irony, their post imperialist arrogance and their total inability to allow anyone to grow beyond the class they were born into keeps me from going back home.

I suppose for all my anti-American sentiment I love the hurly-burly, the hegemony, the extremes, the greed, the excess, the stupidity.  I love their terror of art and history.  I applaud their dogma and their denial.  I love that they think that they are the very best at everything they do when they are patently not.  I love that they behave like willful children.  I love that they think knowing about nature or food is elitist.  I love that an engaging presidential candidate can emerge from nowhere and take the world stage-where as the British produce a bunch of familiar, threadbare politicians like so many provincial repertory actors delivering lackluster performances in what passes for political theatre.   Imagine British MP’s sitting in their shared dressing-room waiting for lurid makeup to be applied before performing their ‘great scene’ during Prime Ministers Question Time.  Smoking, sinking rummers of whiskey, discussing their expense claims, squabbling over cabinet positions and who’ll wear what at the state opening of parliament.

We don’t cast our parliament terribly well.  Here they cast the Whitehouse like a huge movie.  No wonder Rahm and Ari Emmanuelle are behind Barrack.  They recognized his star potential and like a baby starlet hanging out in the Chateau Marmont plucked him from obscurity and handed him the best role ever in their box office blockbuster political thriller-so whilst the Emmanuells steal the money they got themselves the bestest alibi ever..a black president.  They got themselves a well-dressed first lady descended from slaves.  They got tears of joy at the inauguration and a divided, blind sided America whilst the spoils of the middle class were being divided up by unscrupulous hedge fund managers and Ponzi schemers betting on the downfall of their own and other nations.

So, there’s Barrack blustering over the war and the economy in his professorial tweeds, his sweet and sexy demeanor softening the hearts of the liberal elite and providing drama and focus for the next lot-the emboldened white Christian right.  There he is dithering over healthcare and everything continues just the way it was.

Am I the only one who can’t imagine Tim Geitner having sex with anyone other than himself?   He is such a WEED.

If China wasn’t running the world-this could look dangerous!

When British politicians get caught with their hand in the till-what paltry amounts of money they steal!  Awarding their friends dodgy $150,000 construction contracts and creaming a few quid and a meat pie for themselves…subsequently getting caught and fired.   An American politician wouldn’t waste his time or his position stealing so little.  Tony Blair is the only politician to get away with stealing real money.  He got away with the money and murder.  He understood what few in the UK do-that American politicians are not elected to represent their constituents but to steal as much money as they can within their 4 years in office.

And, you might ask, why shouldn’t he?  The Blair’s are just doing what the Royal family and the landed gentry have done for hundreds of years. He just took what he thought he was owed for getting to the top of the pile.  It must piss our lowly politicians off to go through all the pain of getting elected to public office and then once there, look around…bleak…lonely…underpaid.  Servants of the democracy that we hold dear and never really getting what they deserve-compared with the politicians in the USA who are on the fucking gravy train!

Drill baby drill, bailouts, healthcare, there’s money in them there for every politician in Washington, TONS OF IT!  Politicians accepting donations from whomever and where ever.

Poor old Dennis Kucinich-he’s the congressman President Obama lassoed into helping change the mind of the bold progressives who were holding out for a radical public option during the last few moments before the Healthcare Bill was forced into law.

Well, dear Dennis lives in a one room apartment in Washington…never accepts a dime from anyone..but he lives in a one-bedroom apartment with his wife Elizabeth.   If he had played his cards right, abandoned his principles and cut himself free from the people he was sent to represent then he could be living in a huge house in Georgetown-which is what the people expect by the way.  To the average American there is something vaguely retarded about a man who is able to steal the money but doesn’t.

That’s why we elected you into office!  To steal the money but, mind you, not so much that you piss the other thieves off who have seniority or think you are stealing too much.  Of course, once in a while an odd politician needs to be thrown to the lions so that the public think that the other politicians have some sort of morality.

This is America and once you get a handle on it it’s not that bad.  As long as you understand that to survive here you have to learn how to steal.  You have to learn how to lose.  Learn how to pick yourself up.  Not get trampled in the stampede.

You must definitely learn to rub belly..pat head..

8 replies on “Rub Belly, Pat Head”

Once again you hit the nail on the head with your observations on us ‘ex pats’ I hate that term, then again I always hated to be pidgeonholed.
One of the reasons I came here from the UK and reinventented myself.
There were times in the begining I felt like a fraud, amazed at the admiration of knowledge and skills I took for granted. Then, revelled in the attention and made more of myself. People listened to me for the first time, in awe at what I could do, yes better than most so I decided to make the best of the opportunity offered.
I, like you, long for decent healthcare a la NHS style, and free education and wonderful art free galleries to peruse, having said that I hardly ever took advantage of them, took them for granted I guess, even in my home town in West Yorks population was 28 thousand we had the most amazing art gallery with original art and visiting art, that was where I saw Munch’s ‘The Scream’ at the age of 11.Also my first view of Toulouse-Lautrec at the age of 15.
When learning French at school in 1960 I could not imagine ever having the need to learn or speak french, such was the span of my imagination, that teacher had a thankless job and who knew I would spend time in France painting and speaking French years later.
There are people who are not happy with the norm, who will always strive for a different view, who long for knowledge, travel and expanding the mind. You are right, I have been allowed to do all that since I decided to move here, I was in my 40’s so I took a risk.I love the freedom of living here, I miss my friends from the UK and have never been able to connect with anyone like them, but its always a blast when I go back and funny, I am always glad to return.
nice wallpaper in the bog.

….as I type this Obama is at Katz’s Deli on Houston street having pastrami on rye and making traffic HORRIBLE and I am stuck in that TRAFFIC……I guess my annoyance with this IS typical American Behavior as I want to move and get to where I have to go NOW….but I will be glad when he goes back to DC later today and things can get back to normal….traffic wise anyway…..xo

… going with Irena on the wallpaper.. as well as Duncan “stirring the pot” so to speak.

Though I love several other countries I’ve visited, and KNOW they have better to offer citizens in many areas of life, the one thing binding me to the USA is that it feeds my sense of absurdity. I can’t live without silliness, and America is the silliest place on Earth. It’s so happily, willfully, energetically ridiculous!
I mean that completely as a compliment.

(I posted about some of the symbolism in The Wizard of Oz, and finally wrote my own abuse stories.)


Saw picture & laughed my ass off. (You were in a mood, weren’t you?) Read blog & … ouch! thanks for the — back-handed — compliments though.

We are a young country. Not yet 250 years old. Senators sent from each state to Congress were not elected by popular vote until the Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution took effect in 1913. Women did not have the right to vote until the Nineteenth Amendment which took effect in 1920. Arguably, because of Jim Crow laws, poll taxes and literacy tests in the South, despite the Emancipation Proclamation, blacks did not really have full suffrage until the late 60’s.

We have a delicate and contentious balance between states rights and the ability of the federal government to pull many disparate interests together for arguably common goals like defense, infrastructure (e.g., interstate roads), and public education (intended to inculcate the intellectual foundation necessary for the understanding of civics: “…the rights and duties of citizenship. In other words, it is the study of government with attention to the role of citizens ― as opposed to external factors ― in the operation and oversight of government.” And teaching civics is beginning to be a lost educational art, but one that can be rediscovered and reinvigorated.)

I absolutely do not believe that every politician goes into public service with the idea of grabbing as much cash during their tenure as possible. I think that the confounded & confounding election process here, that allows so much special interest money to tip the scales in the balance of corporations and other interests against those of the majority of the people, is a great part of the problem. As is the media that has conditioned us to digest our information in sound bites, which comparatively, is like pablum compared to the steak of the adult reasoning needed to follow a debate or oration. (How many names on the list here are even recognizable to the average person today?: rays of hope are that there — I think — is a hunger to discuss issues at length and to find common cause. (Despite the evidence to the contrary of the emerging Tea Partiers and others, there is the counterbalance of the Coffee Partiers, who have a civility pledge on the first page of their website) And the local grass roots campaigns for campaign finance reform.

We are an on-going experiment in representative democracy. We have followed the common practice of many of our peers — imperialism, anyone? — and made our own mistakes but we have always tried to acknowledge them — belatedly, at times — repair them, and then move on. And we are. Sometimes it’s a dark ride, but I’m glad that you’ve chosen a seat on the roller coaster.



P.S. Erica Jong wrote a long time ago that each country gets the circus that it deserves. But the great thing is that if you get tired of cleaning up behind the elephants or getting kicked in the teeth by the donkeys… you can add a new act (third party system) or an entirely new show and get it on the road. 🙂

Brilliant Duncan – your discourse is sublime. Love the pixor of you on the pot! Hope you are over the dirty squirties (it’s going around).

Duncan, does this photo represent you finally starting your film? “shit or get off the pot?” Funny pic. Good points. Do you blog while going potty also?:)

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