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Thinking pop culture

Trump and Showering Golden

November, 2016. I took two weeks of annual leave to go to the U.S. and see in a female president. Like so many “sure things”, alas, it wasn’t to be.

The morning after, I went into a cafe to order a banana smoothie. On being informed that they’d sadly smoothie-ed their last banana, I started to cry. “We can get you another drink,” the woman offered quickly, trying to placate the crazed Australian. There is no other drink!

A thought I nursed sitting in that cafe, a thought that’s occurred to me every single day since, is how can it be business as usual? As I walked around Albuquerque in the days that followed - a city that went blue, in a state that went blue - I couldn’t understand how everyone was just going about their daily activity without falling apart. I was in a Target on the Thursday that they let Trump into the White House. Footage was playing on several screens in store showing the scumbag sitting with the President. So racked with sobs was I, I had to sit down at the feet of a mannequin.

There’s a poem by W.H. Auden. Funeral Blues. Recited most famously in Four Weddings and a Funeral. “Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun”.

Things were supposed to come to a stop. And they didn’t.

Matthew (John Hannah) reciting the Auden poem in Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)

CNN broke the news to me this morning about Russia’s dirt file on the President elect. I haven’t heard any CNN reporter say the phrase “golden shower” yet, but the sex act is trending on Twitter and memes aplenty are circulating.

And once again I find myself in that awkward position of having to defend a man who sits comfortably in my top 5 “Men Who’ve Made Me Cry” list. Trump, it should be noted, breaks the long-standing rule that once mandated fluid exchange for inclusion.

I could ask why we’re all talking about golden showers, but answering that is pretty effortless. The premise of my book Part-Time Perverts is that we’re all perverts, albeit with different degrees of gusto. Some of us give the shower, some of us take the shower, and some of us just spend an awful lot of time talking about it and experiencing the illicit thrill vicariously.

So, more specific than why we’re talking about it, I’ll ask why are we on the Left doing so? Why are we laughing? Creating memes? Finding this all so scathingly perverted? Why are those of us who should be championing consensual sex in all is wet and wonderfulness - or at least, indifferently shrugging at it - acting like giggling schoolboys?

During pussygate I argued that we - the progressive, the sane - need to be very careful about which wagons me clamber onto. It’s a warning bell I need to ring again. My convictions don’t allow me to condemn a man who mocks the appearance of women while simultaneously mentioning his skin or hair colour. Today, similarly, I find not a skerrick of pleasure in seeing Trump - who represents a party renown for demonising sexual minorities - being harassed with the very same gutter politics that his party normally resorts to.

There are a veritable deluge of reasons to think of Trump as vile and to cry like a bloody baby at his ascendancy. He’s a liar, he’s a turncoat, he’s racist, he’s sexist, he’s a hypocrite. Adding “deviant” to that list however, aligns us with our conservative enemies whose stock in trade is spinning yarns to link non-vanilla sexual practices to moral and social corruption.

So bloody what if Trump possibly likes a little urine play? There are gents on my Men Who’ve Made Me Cry list who share the same interest. I can assure you their interest in the warmer arts wasn’t ever what mad me cry. Equally, I’ve yet to come across any data that links urine-play to crime, to corruption, to being a bad president.

Trump is, unquestionably, a man grossly unqualified to lead the United States. His “values” are out of sync with the fair and compassionate society I want to be part of. His diplomatic skills are on par with that toddler who used her sleeping mum’s fingerprint to buy herself toys.

But picking on someone for their sexual interests is grimy. Slimy. It’s the hypocritical, God-bothering, nonsense we normally hear from the Right. And there it should bloody well stay.

In a world where equality is the true raunchy fantasy for many of us, picking on a scumbag for the odd golden shower smells a lot worse to me than that meal of asparagus ever did.

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