I don’t know what to make of the results of the British elections. The chap who lost is considered to have won (the Brits, whose sports teams lose consistently, have a soft spot for losers) and the woman who won is widely considered to have lost.
The winning loser, Jeremy Corbyn, is the kind of slightly smelly professional protestor one tries to avoid at street corners, ranting passionately about the second coming of Jesus, Karl Marx, or perhaps Elvis. To be fair, I don’t know anything about his personal hygiene. His number two Diane Abbott, the only woman who admits to having slept with him, wasn’t available for comment, having been shunted to the back room with a severe case of foot in mouth disease.
The losing winner, Theresa May, is a stern looking woman in kitten heels who is guaranteed to attract a certain kind of male following at an S&M club. The thing is, I used to almost like Theresa May until about two weeks ago when I decided I didn’t – a state of mind shared with most of the British public. I still held my nose and voted for her – a skill I learned from Americans who voted for Hillary Clinton. Like Clinton, both Corbyn and May will soon be consigned to the dustbin of history and then…..what?
When politicians don’t know what to do they usually raise taxes. It allows them to do a bit of tub thumping about standing up against vested interests whilst conveniently freeing up some cash with which to buy votes. Raising taxes is wildly popular with students and welfare types who don’t pay taxes. Bankers allegedly don’t pay taxes either, but their votes cost more.
When we cannot comprehend what is going on in our world, we look outside our normal sphere of experience in search of meaning. Some spend weeks and months in silent meditation in an expensive ashram in Thailand, where they are fed tree bark and roots. This method come highly recommended by those who run ashrams.
Others escape by joining the World Professional Leisure Tournament (WPLT). This consists of wandering the world in search of the kind of meaning one finds at the bottom of a particularly fine martini. Having spent a goodly part of my life on the tour I recently met up with a couple of friends who are still active on the professional circuit. My homeless friend Moonlight Sleeping on a Midnight Lake is a Native American who has been travelling peripatetically for fifteen years. He has no home, no possessions bar his phone, the clothes on his back (identical versions of which are stored in various hotels around the world) and an iPad. He travels to about 70 countries a year, pays no tax and looks about twenty years younger than his age. Moonlight Sleeping on a Midnight Lake is the ideal dinner party companion – wherever you are from, he has been to your hometown more recently than you, and has been to the hottest openings there. Also active on the circuit is One Way Man whose modus operandi is to buy one way tickets to interesting places and to stay there until he gets bored.
We were dining at Gaucho on Swallow Street in London. Gaucho is a chain of Argentinian steak houses. I have been visiting their Swallow Street branch for over a decade. A rather masculine bastion of red meat and good wine, it has recently had a bling makeover to make it more female friendly. The decor which consisted primarily of black and white cowhide draped on the walls has now been supplemented with lashings of gold and many shiny surfaces. The makeover must be working because the place was full of attractive young women from Essex in impossibly tall heels and impossibly small dresses. Their assets struggle to stay contained within their Top Shop finds. Their accompanying men are the kind of generous lads who give their girlfriends boob jobs for Christmas. Collectively they are a good hearted, entertaining lot, which proves that you don’t have to be classy or clever to have a good time.
Fortunately the food remains consistently good. The steak, all of it Argentinian, is grass fed and tasty. The Churrasco, a spiral cut of either fillet or rump steak marinated for two days in a mix of oil, parsley and garlic, is a favourite. The richness of the meat is rounded off by the slightly bitter edge of the parsley and enhanced by the spice of the garlic. The basic cocktails are well made, although the menu strays into the sweet territory that attracts women from Essex. Best to stick with the wine list which is mostly Argentinian, interesting, and well priced. Argentinian Malbec is the perfect complement to steak – our Medel ‘G’ from the Mendoza valley was bold with soft tannins and good value at about £58 (about 10 US cents, the last time I checked the exchange rate). I was also impressed by the light, slightly fruity Colomé Altura Maxima Sauvignon Blanc on offer.
When our mostly well ordered worlds are disturbed, it makes us step back and think about that which makes our individual lives worth the living. However you choose to find meaning in your post election world – good luck! Remember the journey can be fraught with peril. Even those on the World Professional Leisure Tour have their share of stress. One Way Man was rubbing his shiny pate while stressing about his upcoming visit to Mozambique. It is reported that the locals are murdering bald men in the belief that their heads contain gold. One Way Man went off in search of Rogaine. I went in search of another drink.
The New Yorker did a rather fabulous piece called The Book of Jeremy Corbyn. I commend it to you.
“And it came to pass, in the land of Britain, that the High Priestess went unto the people and said, Behold, I bring ye tidings of great joy. For on the eighth day of the sixth month there shall be a general election.
And the people said, Not another one.
And they waxed wroth against the High Priestess and said, Didst thou not sware, even unto seven times, that thou wouldst not call a snap election?”