By MICHAEL BLACKBURN.
IT’S OFTEN DIFFICULT finding the right word or phrase to describe that nexus of self-righteous authoritarianism which is the left — the liberal-left, brain-dead liberals, lefties, bien pensants, commie pinkos (an old one that deserves rehabilitation), etc — but today I learned a new one: muckety-mucks. Now I know (from having checked it out in the Merriam online) that this is a) North American, and therefore not news to those across the ocean, and b) that it really describes important people and not just those who are arrogant, but since lefties tend to have a high opinion of themselves and as a result believe themselves to be important I’m happy to go along with that. Look at actors, for instance.
The muckety-mucks are nothing if not interfering prodnoses (that’s one I forgot). When they’re not busy trying to destroy cultures and economies they like nothing better than calling people fascists for what they eat and drink. Now they’ve moved on to identifying them by their haircut. They’ve even named a hair style for them, the “Fashy”. That’s to the point and easy to remember.
The Fashy turns out to be what used to be called “short back and sides”, the style that generations of boys and men wore until the arrival of the long-haired Beatles and the Hair Liberation Movement, when all sense of decorum and self-respect vanished for years in a mass sprouting of lank and truly awful hirsuteness. It’s also been fashionable for a couple of years amongst the hipster types of the western world, noted for their beards, lumberjack shirts, bicycles and artisan beers. The Fashy tends to be a little more extreme than the regular hipster mode: a closer buzz cut on the sides and back, with more flop on top. Think Himmler when he hasn’t been to the barber for a month. Or Brad Pitt in Fury. Or more to the point, think Richard Spencer, hero of the infamous, green frog-infested alt-right.
Some muckety-mucks first noticed it a couple of years ago in Germany where trendy Nazis had started to dress like hipsters, inspired by Patrick Schroeder, who runs his own internet tv show and
sometimes conducts seminars showing neo-Nazis how they can dress less threateningly and argues that anybody from hip-hop fans to hipsters in skinny jeans should be able to join the scene without changing the way they look, an idea that, for many older members, is an affront to their anti-mainstream values.
The German media created the term “nipsters” (Nazi hipsters) to describe them.
It’s just not cricket, is it? If you’re going to be a fascist you can at least signal your naziness more openly and not look like a graphic designer from Shoreditch. The muckety-mucks in the States are now getting quivery about it, although it has to be said their home-grown nazis appear to cling to the regular clean-shaven look. As The Washington Post says, “When these groups look and dress like everyone else, it is easier for their extremism to look outwardly normal.” And we can’t have these folks looking normal, can we?
It’s an amusing conundrum for the muckety-mucks, for since the old short back and sides is such a conservative style, it’s a surprise they managed to adopt if for hipsterness in the first place. They can hardly scream “cultural appropriation” when they were the first to steal it. It’s ironic, too, that George Orwell’s hair was ever so slightly fashy; a half-fashy, perhaps, being a bit cropped at the sides and back but not the full-on cut, and plenty left on top.
And I noticed that Brian Lilley, the Canadian broadcaster from whose interview with fellow Canadian conservative Mark Steyn I learned the term muckety-muck, himself sports a fine fashy. Next time it’s a fashy cut for me and to hell with the muckety-mucks.
Currente Calamo columnist, poet, writer and lecturer Michael Blackburn lives in Lincolnshire . From 2005–2008 he was the Royal Literary Fund fellow at the University of Lincoln where he now teaches English Literature and Creative Writing. His poetry has appeared in numerous publications and anthologies over the years, including Being Alive (Bloodaxe) and Something Happens, Sometimes Here (Five Leaves Press). His most recent collection is Spyglass Over The Lagoon. A selection of his Fortnightly Currente Calamo columns, Sucks To Your Revolution: Annoying The Politically Correct (US), is available as a Kindle ebook.