Ascot on Madison Avenue
New York City
Funny thing and I'm sure you've heard of it but Friday last a nylon and Lycra clad bunch of citizens including not a few crusties got on their bikes and ambled around town at a perfectly leisurely pace. What could be pleasanter? Surely we need more cyclists and less cars? A blameless pursuit?
So why then did the local constab act like a bunch of bullies from the Lower Sixth and knock a few of them to the floor, give them a going over and nick their bikes? Egad! Has the Knuckle-Dragger-in-Chief decided that cyclists are terr-rrists?
Not quite, it was merely that these gallant folk call themselves 'Critical Mass' and their vast numbers mean that right-wing-goose-stepping-fur-ner-hating-SUV (cheap American knock-off Land Rover)-driving bigots can't race along at fifteen miles per hour, instead having to stick to the slow walking pace of the mass of cyclists. Furthermore the organisers refuse to tell Plod in advance where they're going so the billy-club wielding uniformed yobs have to crawl along behind them on their scooters till they find a dark alley to wade in and spill some claret.
Now that's all well and good, and good luck to the Critical Massers, but how exactly does it affect your old mucker and correspondent? Well I'll tell you. Clearly born to lead a life of leisure, and cruelly denied the country estate and two mill a year to which one is morally entitled, I think it's incumbent upon a chap to show solidarity with those whose aims he partially shares. Well -ish, if you know what I mean.
What I propose to do is start my own movement. We shall share many of the goals of Critical Mass in that we feel there is no place on the roads for the type of rubbish that currently infests them, and we have nothing but the deepest loathing for corporations and their whores, sorry, politicians. In addition we revile the hoi polloi who voted for the Idiot-in-Chief. Our movement will be gentle and chivalrous and we shall be known as Critical Of The Masses. Catchy eh?
The way it'll work is this. I shall send out formal invitations to all and any drivers of correct English automobiles and we shall meet on one of the vast avenues in this fair metrop. At a signal, perhaps the dropping of a kid glove or a blast of Elgar, we shall park en masse and take out our wicker picnic baskets and portable cocktail cabinets. Barbecues will be set up by the Land Rover drivers and woollen rugs will be taken from the boots of the Bentleys to be thrown down for the ladies. We will unpack our campaign chairs and storm lamps and sit around in convivial groups comparing notes on poetry and hosiery.
I can see it now. The movement will spread and soon entire countries will be brought to a standstill by Flaneurs, Boulevardiers and Young Turks driving Rolls Royces, Land Rovers, Jaguars and Bentleys. What the heck, we'll even let in the little sporty hairdressers cars. Come ye forth MGs, triumph Heralds, Lotuses, Morgans and TVRs. Well perhaps not TVRs.
Madison Avenue will rival Ladies' Day at Ascot. They might wear hats and bright dresses. For evening gatherings the chaps might wear the full soup and fish. Perhaps we could have enclosures to shield us from basically decent but still quite revolting advertising types and bankers.
When the Lower Sixth bullies arrive we can cast before them vast mountains of doughnuts and watery coffee. We can erect video screens showing so-called sport, particularly rounders or whatever it's called. Any legal unpleasantness can be dealt with by the blood-sucking lawyerscum that choose to drive proper cars yet still leech onto anything worthy, sucking the life blood from it and ultimately killing it off. (Sorry).
All in all just what the place needs no?
That's not to say those against whom we stand don't care about the rest of the world of course. Oh no. They care passionately about anywhere that has something they want. When I say they care I mean they care how big an army the place has to defend itself. But before I get all gloomy about this lice ridden cesspool of political crack whores let me mention something they're trying to do to educate the populace about the wider world. Yes that's right. There is something afoot to show the knuckle dragging Southern and Mid-Western Sheet Wearing Cross Burning Republicans what it's like in other countries.
What on earth could it be you ask?
- Are they to screen the entire canon of Panorama back-to-back over a month with viewing compulsory?
- Is each person to be given a week's worth of Grammar School tuition amounting to something over double their entire previous education?
- Is Jeremy Paxman taking over the State Department (Home Secretary in real money)?
Nay nay and thrice nay. Hitherto the massed ranks have been exposed to life abroad, i.e. in the seat of empire, via the hilariously funny seventies' sitcom Are You Being Served? ('Gee, the thin guy sure has a purdy mouth'). That and the occasional Sherlock Holmes mystery is their entire exposure to furn culture.
Not any more. The powers that be (read: corporate whores) have decreed that henceforth the hoi poloi will be able to enjoy on a regular basis for their edification and education:
The Benny Hill Show!
That's right. They are moving up the evolutionary chain from department store double entendres to women in short skirts and low cut tops. Well done the Yanks eh? And to think people actually seriously consider American cultural imperialism as something other than an oxymoron.
Yours with not perhaps the very highest opinion of what's going on over here at the mo',
Nunc est bibendum,