The Argentinean dictator Juan Domingo Perón easily changed his beliefs from rightist to leftist and back but he never departed from insisting that everything in the country should revolve around his name and his persona. You couldn’t engage in any act of public life, be it academic, professional, religious, athletic, or of any other kind, without simultaneously engaging with the image of Perón. Literary critic Carlos Granés calls this “symbolic jail” or “a jail of symbols.” You have the freedom of physical movement but your consciousness is imprisoned by the peronist imagery.
Today we live in the jail of far-left symbols. We have to work hard to create a tiny place we can crawl in to take a little respite from them. We have to devise strategies to hide our children, protect our livelihoods, and enjoy life. And the absolutely maddening thing is that it’s all done for the benefit of the tiniest slivers of the population. Juan Domingo Perón, at least, appealed to the masses. Millions of people sincerely worshipped him. Dumb they might have been but they existed. The “anti-police nonbinary drag artist” from yesterday’s White House ceremony, on the other hand, does not have majority support. I’m sure that Biden himself is convinced that “the artist” belongs in a bar and not at a serious event. I mean, imagine being 80 years old, finally becoming POTUS, and then having to pretend your role in life is to promote a guy whose job is to jump up and down in a dress singing “Show Me Your Dick.”
Neither we nor Biden have a choice, though. We can avoid coming across all kinds of art but we cannot avoid the dick artist unless we make extraordinary efforts to avoid all news, all screens, and all humans.
It’s normal and good to come together over the symbols we share and that have relevance to us. We are all about to come together over the shared symbolism of Christmas, which is a celebration of the very foundation of our civilization. But when every mother suddenly starts devising strategies to talk to her kids about puberty blockers – which are not a foundation of anything and haven’t even existed until 3 seconds ago – there’s something wrong here.