I remember being surprised by my mother’s response when I asked her how she felt during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
“Which missile crisis?” she asked. “I don’t remember any missile crisis.”
My mother wasn’t a stupid woman by any stretch of the imagination, so it seems extraordinary she wouldn’t remember a game of brinkmanship between two formidable superpowers that brought us to the threshold of Armageddon. But I think I’m beginning to understand how you might shut traumatic external events like that out – if that is indeed what she did. My life is beautiful right now and I couldn’t be happier, which is why I’m almost too frightened to look at the news and check what’s unfolding.
Trump’s unpredictability and Sean Spicer’s stupidity are scaring the shit out of me. There was an understandable outcry recently when Spicer made idiotic comments about Hitler not gassing his own people, but I was more concerned about him talking about – and I quote – “the President’s decisive action in Syria and the attempts that he’s making to destabilise the region”. Was it a slip of the tongue? There wasn’t even a flicker of recognition in the CNN anchor’s eyes to suggest that what he was saying was troubling or extraordinary. At the time Spicer was attempting to defuse the situation of his own making, and given the seriousness of the gaff, this further remark gained surprisingly little traction. It seems there are so many slip-ups, and so many peculiarities, that little of it seems extraordinary anymore.
We all sat up and took note when Trump suddenly changed his mind about Assad and bombed Syria two days later, but we barely noticed when he talked about eating a “beautiful piece of chocolate cake” when he gave the order. Now he’s bombing Afghanistan and raising his dukes and waving them provocatively at North Korea. With incredulity I await what this frighteningly narcissistic, venal, pigshit thick and erratic President will do next, and I expect Mr Putin does too. If the White House is closer to Isis in ideology than they realise, then I fear Trump is at the wheel of a juggernaut, hurtling indiscriminately forward taking out as many “bad guys” as he can (there are only two types of guy in Trump’s simple, binary brain).
Then there are the French elections of course, which I could bang on about for the rest of the afternoon, but I’ll spare you for now. Just to say that the feeling in my water is that Fillon isn’t dead yet. Though the feeling in my water has been highly unreliable for a while now, so make of that what you will.
It’s Good Friday though, and the world keeps turning for now, so I intend to keep enjoying myself while we’re still able to draw breath. I’m off to the Palais de Tokyo later with my friend Russell, then I’m thinking about checking out a cinema in Montmartre later which every Friday shows new French films with English subtitles. I’ve been looking for a place like that ever since I moved here, even if, by now, you would have thought I wouldn’t need it. My band White Witches are resurrected in Sheffield tonight, which I’m delighted about, even if I shan’t be playing. And Claire gets back tomorrow, and given that it’s been a week since I last saw her, I can’t wait to give her a squeeze. Perhaps I should take a leaf out of my mother’s book and pretend like impending geopolitical calamity is simply a figment of everyone’s imaginations. Bonnes pâques mes amis.Follow @jeres