Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Back in simpler times, when people were happy with things the way they were, there was a concept of "insurrection," meaning a raging mob with fire brands marching up the capitol steps and bursting through the doors. Usually the cowing legislators therein would run like rats, and it would be likely that one or two would be tarred and feathered and literally ridden out of town on a rail. In this simple time some legislators thought it wise to codify this idea, "insurrection." The whole point of having a legal government, they opined, was order. There were ways to get things done. Whilst one might argue in the court of yellow journalism that tarring and feathering was democracy in action, particularly if the jackass deserved it, cooler heads realized that down that path, if you followed the feathers and the blood, lay anarchy. An "insurrectionist" became a kind of criminal, and would sit in the dock with the jackass who thought it a poem to cry "fire, fire," in a crowded theatre.

These are not simpler times. Highly qualified Princeton lawyers have analysed the situation in their meta classes and realized that pretty much most everything is, in a sense, as Einstein might have put it, relative. So it is that after years of rhetorical exercises of such art and skill that most ordinaries would melt quite away in but a morning, an entire political party has now been utterly seduced, and lies swooning on the divan in the sun room, akimbo. Leaning against the mantle, brandy in hand, cigar wafting pure Napoleonic manly essence into the late afternoon light that streams through the French doors from the rose garden, stands our new leader. He says nothing, only smiles. Later his devoted mistresses explain that checks and balances were always at the ready, and that the machinery was made for this too, its own timely inversion. The silly people who stand at the locked gates, or wait for the unmade automatic deposits, or watch the only place left to put a little aside flutter down from the heights to melt away their meager "nest eggs" (for who but takers and losers even need "nest eggs," why next they will be darning socks, and next year patching saucepans). They never had anything to do with it in the first place, this "democracy." It only kept them occupied, whilst the real decisions were being made elsewhere.

Thus is an insurrection "legalized," same as it ever was. Re-read "Richard III." You may have to do it in the daytime if the lights go out. Have no fear. Someone will explain, eventually, that this too is only "natural."

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