Recent events since the inauguration of Trump reminded me of a lengthy essay by Tom Wolfe – “Radical Chic.” Wolfe captures the essence of the ferment of the late 60s and the liberal guilt trying to atone for all the injustices committed since Cain bumped off his younger brother in a fit of pique that cattle breeders were more acceptable in God’s eyes than vegetable growers, putting an end to the rumor that vegetarians are non-violent.
As everyone knows, streets are filled with protesters because they’re angry that Nurse Ratched didn’t win as pundits had promised. The poised and polished pants suit pol got blindsided by an utter rube with a bank account to rival the foundation account founded by Hillary. They’re angry about a lot of other things, some legitimate, some frivolous.
Whatever the basis of their grievances, they have decided that the best way to get their point across is by dressing in costumes dreamed up by drunken gynecologists at a reunion in New Orleans. Many were also sporting pink knit beanies with two points that look like teats on an old sow.
At Berkeley in California, the home of the “free speech movement,” protesters chased off a Trump spokesman and smashed and vandalized property, set fires in the street and assaulted innocent individuals. Not even Starbucks was spared in the mayhem. They could write a 700-word essay on the concept of irony based on personal experience, assuming they are literate.
Tom Wolfe records the reaction of one wary gentleman at a trendy Manhattan party attended by Black Panthers. His words are worth pondering:
“He’s a magnificent man, but suppose some simple-minded schmucks take all that business about burning down buildings seriously?”
Patrick Hubbell/February 19, 2017