I get up this morning. Have a long shower. Wash my hair in “I Love Juicy” from Lush. Splash some jasmine conditioner in it at the end. Have my coffee, while reading my emails. Check the regular websites. Get a good laugh. I like farces, and some of my favourite blogs feature writing that borders that, or is that. My friend the mathematician makes me laugh so much that I get a belly ache every time I read him. I check the TV program. Today is Tuesday. Vincent will be on TV tonight, I tell myself. Unless the producers insist on being incompetent, again. Which they do, but this time I’m not surprised anymore. I realize, garsh, you have 5 minutes to get into the mood. Vincent will be on in 5 minutes, as he will also be on at 7. Two new instalments in one day! By Jove, such excess, I tell myself. But all the better. Between these hours I have to finish a paper on ‘nothing’ for a conference tomorrow, so yes, nothing plus excess is a good combo. This is just typical of me.

So, ideology and politics with Tøger Seidenfaden who is the editor of the Danish newspaper Politiken. The talk revolves around ideology as and in principle and ideology as and in practice. Great difference, as it gets disclosed by Seidenfaden who is almost as tall as Vincent and very dynamic. In fact, he also makes Vincent laugh, which makes me suspect that Vincent also likes farces. I already knew that he was visual, seeing things all over the place, but the other thing, I wasn’t so sure about. But sure enough, he laughs heartily when Seidenfaden gives an example of how, when some people threaten to leave their political parties and become members of some other opposite ones, they don’t do it for ideological reasons but for practical ones. This was the case once when a monarchist threatened to leave his right wing party for a left wing party because he thought that his own party was going republican. Doh! He forgot to check the ideology of the left wing party, which was openly republican, thus demonstrating a tendency in terms of people, now, focussing more on the ways in which parties handle practical issues, rather than what they stand for ideologically. So the point was that while ideology is on the retreat, people’s sense of pragmatism, however fallaciously construed on false grounds, is not.

The right wing party, Dansk Folkeparti was mentioned several times, precisely as an example of explaining what it is exactly that makes it successful, beyond solidly grasping and maintaining power mainly through lying. The party uses a common trick: when it claims to go with a concrete and precise ideology, instead of referring to the substance of this ideology, it insists on referring to universal foundations, which no one wants to challenge anyway. Hence the party is safe. In other words, when right wing politicians go on and on about championing the freedom of speech as the holiest of the Danish national cows, they know that no one will challenge that. Of course, if they were asked to elaborate on the substance of the freedom of speech, its functions and instrumental uses, they would have a problem. I’m afraid that the whole lot is not that smart.

This brings me to a thought I was entertaining on the spot. What would happen if such insistence, for instance, that it’s better for the foreigners to go home – even those who were born here, mind you, because supposedly they don’t uphold the Danish values, or that it’s better to keep the monarchy, because surely it does uphold the Danish values – was met with this reaction from the foreign lot that often gets the blame for all things rotten in Denmark: ‘however much you hate me, I still love you’. Basically this would mean equalizing the exact same strategy that the right wing parties employ: involve the foundation galore, and don’t ever even think about elaborating on substance.

It worked for Martin Luther King. He persisted in his love, and he won, even though he got killed in the process. I’m reading this passage from African American critic bell hooks’s book: Outlaw Culture where she says this in the chapter entitled: “Love as the Practice of Freedom,” emphasising the idea of choice in King’s statement: “I have decided to love.”

“King believed that love is 'ultimately the only answer to the problems facing this nation and the entire planet.' I share this belief and the conviction that it is in choosing love and beginning with love as the ethical foundation for politics, that we are best positioned to transform society in ways that enhance the collective good.” (294).

So, love. Hmm. Beckett is calling. Critics think that he never loved anyone. I am, of course, of a different opinion. But yes, before things get too cosmic, off I go to think of nothing. Stay tuned tonight, though. There’ll be another post. All as lavish, and excessive, and loving, as we shall care to make it. Love is as love does. After all.


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