Last night, around two in the morning, my partner, a beautiful fetish model, was coming home from his first catwalk show. Yes, I know, I’m a lucky young sod: but sit down at the back, there’s a story here. Shivering at the busstop between Mornington Crescent and Camden town, wearing big, black make-up that made him look like he’d been gently mugged by Adam Ant, he was approached by a group of crop-headed squaddie-looking wankers in business suits, out on the lash. One of them grabbed him by the shoulder, shook him roughly and screamed at him,
Another one clutched at his jacket and yelled full in his confused gothboy face: ‘You fucking cunt!’
If this highly imaginative insult-and-battery weren’t enough, someone then threw a beer glass, which shattered on the pavement a foot in front of him. Luckily, the bus came, and Team Arsehole disintegrated into the night, leaving my partner severely shaken.
Did I mention that my partner is physically disabled and on crutches?
We turned on the news to discover that we’ve just pulled out of Basra, and that those wankers were almost certainly either puffed-up city suits, squaddies just back from the Middle Eastern Front, or both. Whoever they were, they have crewcuts, are loud and drunk, and really hate the freaks: the strange, the queer, the disabled, the deviants, the reprobates amongst us. Hate them so much that they were prepared to work a little queer-bashing into their celebrations before staggering into the rest of a night of violence and paranoia.
Make no mistake: they want to see us weak and scared. They are out there, the dull, the rich and the powerful – soldiers, investment bankers, jaded consumer-faux-democrats and right-wing pop-writers, the dangerous majority who His Reprobation Hunter S Thompson calls the Sane. They are out there, and they want us locked up with our genitalia thinly sliced on top of their sashimi, because we live, even slightly, outside the black box:
Sane is a dangerous word. It implies a clear distinction between the sane and the Insane that we all see clearly and accept as a truth of nature. But it is not. No. The only real difference between the Sane and the Insane, in this world, is that the Sane have the power to have the Insane locked up. That is the bottom line. CLANG! Go immediately to prison. You crazy bastard, you should have been locked up a long time ago. You are a dangerous freak – I am rick, and I want you castrated. (Hunter S. Thompson, Kingdom of Fear, 2002).
Of course, it’s easier if less precise just to yell ‘cuntface!’.
This is why, no matter how much various sub-groups get on my tits, I’ll always have time for the freaks: the short, the young, the sick, the disabled and disenfranchised, the queers, the sexual deviants, swingers, fetish nutcases and drugged-up hedonists; for the goths and hippies and the geeks; for the Socialists, the Communists, the bickering Far Left beaurocrats, for the poor, and for women, especially those who’ve caught a glimpse of the nightmare of capitalist gender fascism in which we’re living.
Freaks are a threat to capitalism. Freaks are a large, deeply fragmented power-base of deviant energy that has long been languishing in the political Deep Woods in these crazy, fucked-up post-2001 times. But we haven’t disappeared, and we won’t disappear, and we won’t vote for you; we never did vote for you. Freaks and politics will collide again in this decade, and when it happens, I plan to be on the frontline, with a bag of glitter make-up and plenty of home-made placards. I hope to see some of you leading the way.