I suppose one of the perceived problems with the USA is that its so big
and rich and has the biggest guns that it regards itself as The World, with
the rest of us spinning obediently around it like much smaller, less
powerful satellites. The majority of Americans don’t have passports, feeling
perhaps that their country is plenty big enough to satisfy the need for
travel. The U.S. quite likes the UK. There’s a common-ish language and a
shared sense of humour for one thing, and there’s the Royal Family for
another. Americans are fascinated by privilege ;by lineage – even though
that aspect of UK royalty was only invented relatively recently by an
obscure German prince. But then, America is very young, isn’t it ?
But that’s no excuse for one thing that’s happening there at the moment.
American presidential elections are tribal things with much flag-waving and
whooping – all a bit irritating – but what’s so worrying about this one is
the presence of one weird candidate – Mr Trump. I watched the recent
Clinton/Trump debate. Trump is a disaster waiting to happen, and yet
millions of Americans will vote for him. They’ll back him to have sufficient
understanding of the world and its people to be able to deal productively
with Vladimir Putin. I ask you ! The debate also offered ample opportunity
to scrutinize Mr Trump’s hair management arrangements. They becomes stranger
and stranger. In that sense, it probably suits him.
Mrs Clinton is a much safer pair of hands. She understands that “the
world” means more than “the U.S.” Mind you, by that token, we’ve got Boris
Johnson as Foreign Secretary. Strange hair. Hmm.
Meanwhile here, the Turner Prize is causing its usual amount of
harrumphing. If it annoyed you, remember that fibreglass buttocks and
standing arrangements of junk are commercially driven. Rich [and not
over-bright] collectors have been persuaded by very bright agents that
somebody else’s bum is THE thing to have. Then, within your rich closed
circle, in time, you can maybe trade it for some standing junk. And its not
beyond the realms of possibility that in years to come, small
representational watercolours of the Lake District will be the stars of the
Turner Prize. In time, we’d probably get fed up with those too.