No, not that. It’s just that the president has been attacked by Mick Jagger, the leading light of the rather crepuscular Rolling Stones.
This marks a new tendency for Jagger. These days he likes to shoot from the lip, and God knows that’s a high-calibre weapon.
In the past, the Stone used to refrain from political pronouncements, instead choosing to lead by example. The examples he led by included starring in street riots, indulging in highly publicised sexual athleticism and consuming every illegal substance, imaginable or otherwise.
Plying his trade in the extension of the pharmaceutical industry that goes by the misnomer of music, Mick and his illustrious accomplices, such as John Lennon, were the shamans of a new cult: anomic, deracinated nihilism with satanic overtones.
They screamed their hatred for ‘the establishment’ so loudly that in the din no one caught the moment when they themselves became the establishment. They despised capitalism all the way to the capitalist bank.
Now, it’s wrong to dehumanise those one doesn’t like. Some people are too quick to describe their opponents as inhuman, subhuman or less than human, which diminishes not only those on the receiving end but indeed the very notion of humanity.
That’s why it’s essential to state that Mick and his colleagues are human both physiologically and, if you will, theologically. Having established that, and thus warded off any accusations of stridency, one is hard-pressed to define them as fully human in any other senses, especially those involving intelligence and morality.
Even rockers who start out with something approaching three-digit IQs then addle their brains with lifelong drug use. Hence typical rockers’ morality approaches that of a rabbit, while their intellect places them somewhere between a dachshund and a courgette, which ideally qualifies them to act as gurus to youngsters with gonadic minds.
However, unlike Lennon, Jagger was in the past worthy of some respect for merely showing youngsters how to live, rather than teaching them with highfalutin anarchist platitudes. Now he has forfeited any entitlement even to such qualified praise.
For he has come out to attack Donald Trump for his lack of – are you ready for this? – civility. That’s like Adolph Hitler castigating a US president for stifling racial equality.
Jagger bewailed “the polarisation and incivility in public life”, and really he shouldn’t use such long words. He’s better off sticking to his profound aphorisms of the past, such as “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might find you get what you need” or “A good thing never ends”.
“In my own country,” added Mick, things are just as bad, with Boris Johnson calling Jeremy Corbyn names, such as “chlorinated chicken”. (Note to Boris: When sniping at Corbyn, try not to hit Trump by ricochet. American chlorinated chicken is expected to figure prominently among the items specified in any future trade deal.)
One didn’t hear Jagger protest when Corbyn’s flunkeys were comparing Johnson to Hitler, so his championship of civility is selective. It’s also of recent vintage: he used to accuse Britain of being “too moderate” and “boring”. Now that Boris is belatedly trying to correct that image, old Mick is upset.
But never mind civility or lack thereof. Not only does Trump destroy social mores, but he also wreaks the same destruction on the whole planet by his decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement.
Now, contrary to what Jagger thinks (as it were), the president made that decision not out of a perverse urge to annihilate ‘the planet’, but because he felt that other countries neglected the Agreement’s provisions, thereby unduly penalising America and other civilised nations.
China, in particular, produces almost twice as much CO2 emissions as the United States, and the Chinese are churning out coal-fired power stations faster than anyone else. But of course, the Chinese, being both communist and off-white, are above criticism.
This isn’t to say that there should be no serious discussion about responsible environmentalism – only that Jagger isn’t the man to conduct it. Such matters ought to be left to the adults.
Jagger’s whole career was shaped by catering to adolescents, which has done wonders for his bank balance but destroyed whatever little ability he ever had to talk to grown-ups in their own language. Even worse, Jagger still identifies with the young, which is frankly pathetic in a man of 76.
His current idol is the mentally disturbed child Greta Thunberg, whose followers have just attempted to disrupt the Venice Film Festival, that immediate threat to ‘the planet’. “I am so glad that people feel so strongly about that that they want to protest,” said Jagger with his customary eloquence. That, then, is what he means by civility.
Please don’t take this as an attack on Mick Jagger – it isn’t. My problem isn’t with Jagger, but with a world where the likes of him have a wide, gasping audience lapping up their drug-inspired ideological nonsense.
I don’t know what Jagger is on these days but, if it’s cocaine, I wish he switched to heroin. Cocaine boosts activity and loquacity, while opiates have a relaxing, soporific effect and encourage silence. Mind you, he knows infinitely more about such matters than I do.