The Special Relationship

Axis of pingpong

Axis of pingpong











Friday afternoon back in June the office erupted into excitement. From our window overlooking the Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre we would be able to see the US President’s motorcade, and wonder what he thought, if anything, of the sights and sounds of the Old Kent Road. [Note, this is a couple months back, before the unrest, before the economic desperation either side of the Atlantic]. We couldn’t actually see the alien of course. Just ten sets of darkened windows followed at the back by several minibuses. I have no idea how the office at large knew he would be there at that precise moment. Government sector grapevine perhaps.

I want to say, I quite like Obama, but cannot because the words are totally meaningless. Do I like his face, his voice, his manner, the fact that he is brown and relatively young? We could leave it at such superficial, cult of celebrity level…like the Royal Wedding, nothing wrong with the occasional whiff of state glamour for keeping the fairytale alive. And of course the current face of United States Inc is telling the fairytale – along with that other cracking old legend about the bearded bloke in the cave – in order to be the face of “The New Era”.

Is this the new Leftish (no, not like the Clintons) way of referring to the New World Order? Note the sequence of Obama’s pre re-election campaign moves:

  • Israel: statement on return to pre-1967 borders
  • War on Terror: Bin Laden is dead (long live Bin Laden)
  • Ritual visit to the Queen of England.

Certainly the stuff of Lizard canon, each bullet a carefully machined doublethink dumdum crafted for maximum – or is it minimum? – logoidal impact. Netanyahu could say any number of things. From “fuck off” to “what about Guantanamo”. (He went for the former.) Whether Bin Laden is dead, alive, undead, was ever alive, is one of many logoidal fragments (we can no longer say ‘facts’) lost in the void of 911 – even now, ten years on, being buried under further layers of n-tuple-think like Suzanne Lofthus’ contemporary production at this year’s Edinburgh festival, in which she interweaves “first world war trenches, Auschwitz and New York in 2001.” Reportage of the visit to the Queen is dominated by a cock-up in ritual toast proceedings.

So what was this all about?

In short, just international power politics business as usual. In Lizard terms, gently shifting strategic stance from right foot (End Timer) to left – New Era, new beginnings. What’s the difference? None. Two sides of same coin really. I’m going to say it, I kinda like Obama.