Pray for petrol?

The things that really get our goat tell us (or otherfolks?) a lot about where we’re at as people, right? As ‘individuals’. They give stuff away. Like looking your fellow in the eye when you talk to them whilst simultaneously trying to tell the minimum amount of the truth – or an outright lie I suppose – they represent a tactical error, a cheap submission of possession. So I should probably be somewhat circumspect before blazing into some further Vinnydiatribe about well… anything. But life would be less fun, eh, if purveyors of colour and opinion such as my good self let too much restraint and consideration get in the way of a good rant? Rants can be okay – both entertaining and cleansing even – if they manouevre or lurch accidentally into the lush territory of comment; real comment, where spite and spittle and punkydelic revelation bridle against dumbstuff. So, eyes a-swivel… here goes…

Let’s start as so often with the abstract; the felt. There is a direct correlation between my feelings for and about my Outlaws (which are mixed), their adherence to the gospel according to the Daily Mail and the panic buying of petrol. And by surreal but clearly imagined extension the demonization of single mums/chavs/gays/blacks/Asians/everyone who has not the fortune to be starchily anglo-saxon with-a-little money invested, is further enwrapped, infuriatingly, into this blue-rinsed(?) bundle. Meaning the wasps’ nest that is currently and indeed typically my head responds with a kind of spontaneous fury to linkages between What The Mail Thinks – or its obvious but sometimes unsaid manifesto – and what then actually happens in the wider world. Although – forgive my anarcho-pedantry here but I am loathe to view this particular landscape as in any sense wide – it’s surely arse-clinchingly narrow but let’s move on. It is, therefore often the machinations of the sub-Middle Class Right that get my goat.

The comb-over racists; the instant coffee-slurping homophobes; the blandly bitter; the church-goingly devilish, Jammy Dodger-toting entrenched. With their silver cars and silver spoons. Their white sugar. Their propensity to sound so one-dimensionally thoughtless whilst in Twenty Eight Second Deep Political Conversation Mode that you wonder if they might implode like some un-gay fairy at the culmination of their most killing observation that everything is because “All these people are getting all these things and we’re paying ferit!” Yup; luv them.

So the panic buying of petrol – which I don’t of course entirely blame on The Mail – has troubled me. In terms of the demographic of the slavvering topper-uppers it might be interesting to see who these folks are – even who they think they are? – but sadly anthropologists are otherwise engaged in (relatively?) lucrative projects in Dubai or Cambodia, I suspect. Allegedly, much of England – you poor poor loves – has been standstilled by these decently law-abiding and Minister-attentive folk. Only a heroic few have resorted to battling on the forecourt in defence of their honour and their right to dismember the opportunity of other, less aggressively responsible souls. Should their physical condition allow it – ie. if Gaviscon/Werthers levels have been sufficiently respected, these Defenders Of The Right To Get Absolutely Mental have launched themselves from their Renault Clios in lion-hearted response to some other’s hands upon the precious nozzle. I picture them, rolling around in the blotted sands of the forecourt; legs thrashing the unleaded air, flat caps awry, brogues still immaculately tanned but twitching out, violently, the death-throes of Moral Rectitude. For the good of this great nation; for the civilised world; for Biddy Baxter and Douglas Barder and yes! David Beckham. Then dusting down and finding that bloody Tesco Clubcard.

There is no strike, incidentally. And if there was all the Great Powers know/knew that a week’s notice had to be given, begging questions about the realness of any emergency. (In fact, probably wee-weeing all over any such notions at all.) Interestingly or not, fairly compelling cases have been made for this whole farrago of clunk-clicked politically-motivated or simply inept ‘statements’ being a sharp little number from the government to help swiftly massage income up at a time when unhelpful figures might bundle economic commentators into using words like Double Dip Recession (and stuff). Conspiracy Theory or Truth? As always the twitter/internet beast seethes with contradictory passions but queues down the road have made a comparative irrelevance of such unpatriotic sideshows.

Perception is nine tenths of the law. People have been led to believe those commie lorry drivers (who spend surely too much time in French travel-stops talking to their unwashed comrades?) are about to stitch us all up; best get our retaliation in first. The top man himself has even suggested it might be prudent to stock up. The paper says The End Is Nigh – right there, on page 1, 2 and 3, next to the stuff about George Wassuname and the other Scots peril. Salmon! No – Salmond! He’s a red an all! And now he IS trying to nick our petrol!! Best strike a blow for the family, for us, by filling right up; in the blurry understanding that this might even have the double benefit of denying some treble-chinned Jock or workshy other from dribbling 5 quid’s worth into his unroadworthy Escort. Why not? I’ve paid my taxes; bet they haven’t.

If I’m cruelly extrapolating or inventing well then so be it. Personal experience leads me to believe and to fear in this way. On the one hand I ooze faith in people; on the other their herdiness, their plodding dumbness and perhaps most offensively their selfishness is, to me, galling. How dare I? Well, having during the writing of this mal-focused reflection visited out of some honestly genuine – ie. diesel-deficient necessity – a fuel emporium in Haverfordwest, only to find it bereft of that syrupy elixir, the hackles are again rising. I am transported by the vogue for rage.

So don’t talk to me about pipelines or planning or tankers or truths; get me a club. For I am preparing, raging but prudently, for the next life, where karma ensures I now know that I fetch up on some snow-blown floe, icily bank-full of purpose, marching at some doe-eyed seal pup; a particular and hypnotically engaging one; wearing a flat cap and – admittedly bizarrely – brogues.

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