Monday, December 26, 2016

You Lot'a Heels!

"Capitalism has made it this way
Old-fashioned fascism will take it away"

Marilyn Manson - The Beautiful People

"I don't read no papers and I don't listen to radios either. I know the world's been shaved by a drunken barber an' I don't have to read it."

So, it's December 26th. The kids have already unwrapped their presents and declared them unsuitable. You've packed your angry uncles and drunken cousins off to their respective abodes of the damned and you've finally got your home to yourself again. Mostly. There's probably still a great-aunt Mildred shuffling around the house, rifling through your sock drawers in search of fresh gossip, and the nursing home won't take her back until after New Year's. Oy vey.

In the U.S., among the rest of the Christmassy banalities on da TeeVee, you've likely also run across that sodden oldie, It's a Wonderful Life. For those outside the U.S., I can confirm that American TV stations really do put their viewers to sleep with that damn flick every single year. It's so pervasive that I've started attributing random scenes from other old movies to it. Well, given that the scene I wanted to discuss comes from another movie directed by Frank Capra, I may be forgiven my momentary confusion.

In fact, as Wikipedia and Youtube kindly jogged my memory, I realized that Meet John Doe makes a much more relevant movie for this particular holiday season. Despite some dragging dialogue and a very weak, sappy ending, a story about (among other things) a fatcat ironfisted would-be dictator hijacking populist sentiment for his own benefit rings painfully true after the recent election. Donald Trump is D.B. Norton. However, the most important scene in the movie comes early on (minute 22 here) where "The Colonel" a hobo, expounds his philosophy of life to a couple of incredulous bystanders.


"The heelots!"

"Who're they?"

"Listen sucker, you ever been broke?"

"Sure, mostly often."

"Alright. You're walkin' along. Not a nickel in your jeans, you're free as the wind. Nobody bothers you. Hundreds of people pass you by in every line of business: shoes, hats, automobiles, radios, furniture, everything. They're all nice, lovable people, and they let you alone. Now, is that right?"


"Then you get a hold of some dough and what happens? All those nice, sweet, lovable people become heelots! A lotta heels! They begin creepin' up on you. Tryin' to sell you something. They get long claws and they get a stranglehold on you, and you squirm and you duck and you holler and you try to push 'em away but you haven't got a chance, they gotcha! First thing you know, you own things. A car, for instance. Now your whole life is messed up with a lot more stuff. You got license fees, and number plates, and gas, and oil, and taxes, and insurance, and identification cards, and letters, and bills, and flat tires, and dents, and traffic tickets, and motorcyle cops, and courtrooms, and lawyers, and fines, and a million-and-one other things! And what happens?"

*confused head-shakes*

"You're not the free and happy guy you used to be. You gotta have money to pay for all those things. So you go after what the other fellers got. And there you are: you're a heelot yourself."

This sentiment somehow gets lost in the rush toward a stereotypical Hollywood ending (hero gets girl and social approval, not in that order) (it's never in that order) but it fills in the gap in the great mystery of how something as disgusting as Trump can happen. The film's last line, delivered in defiance of the fatcats, should rather have been delivered in defiance of the idealists at the rally.

"The people! Try and lick that!"

The "Tea Party" and the rest of the reactionary redneck imbeciles begging to be enslaved by corporate overlords are the John Doe clubs, the masses so eager to cannibalize their own ersatz principles. Like it or not, half the United States wants to believe Trump's lies - and the other half thought Clinton's a valid alternative, which is almost as stupid. The degenerate rabble aren't being corrupted. They are the corruption. They don't become a lot of heels by getting a chance at power. They always were heels and always will be, incapable of not scrabbling for power over each other, to enslave each other, to vote lying filth into power because the brainless sheep have deluded themselves that somehow the lion will share.

The world will not be fixed by the moronic circle-jerk of populist rhetoric, by hordes of mindless vermin patting their neighbour on the right on the back while stabbing the one on the left. You, dear reader, are the poison in the apple. D.B. Norton, Donald Trump, whatever you want to call that same beast always in the limelight, that's just a parasite. It could not survive without you. Your stupidity feeds it, John Doe. Helping the little people accomplishes nothing as long as each and every one of those little people thinks of nothing but being big, of becoming the slavemaster instead of a slave. The real problem isn't that sixty million retards voted for Trump. It's that three hundred million retards want to be Trump.

"You live with apes, man, it's hard to be clean."

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