“When the times get weird, the weird turn professional.”– Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

We went to Williamsburg today to get sandwiches at The Cheese Shop, a Williamsburg fixture that’s having to discontinue sandwich-making due to the pandemic-induced labour shortage. I’ve been to Williamsburg many, many times, but today, I sat outside in a chair and felt like an alien, neither outer space or undocumented, but a stranger. In my own world.

There were people walking around, all dressed in fundamentally the same kit: jeans or khakis, plaid flannel shirt, collegiate, school or club Tee-shirt, and fleece vest, that would again proclaim their identity group. And there I was in my red and black buffalo plaid flannel shirt, jeans and L.L. Bean deck shoes. I was dressed to blend in, except for my black City of Manchester Tee-shirt, with Manchester spelled out on the St George red and white cross, like the flag of England.

There was a tasteful Santa Claus, dressed like some proper Victorian Santa, walking about chatting with the Volk, a busker playing Christmas carols, tunes, and ditties on a tenor sax, children dressed in conformity with whatever adult, parent, grandparent, or Auntie who brought them. Finally there were the dogs. They were top of the line dogs, French Bull Dogs, spaniels, terriers, and retrievers. These were dogs that cost more than what I got from Social Security last month.

I said to myself, “This is not my world.” I care not a fig for any of this. This well-crafted money pit is not my world, Much as I love history, tasteful decor, pleasant domestic and public architecture, and a well-thought-out town plan, this isn’t my world. It is a silk rose, a masterpiece of artificiality, worth seeing but totally forgettable

Maybe it’s because Colonial Williamsburg oozes Rockefeller money, like road tar on a hot day, is why I dislike it and by extension, those who flock there. This is not my world any longer. And not conforming to the materialistic, superficially intellectual culture merely represents another variety of conformity. No piercing, tattoo, haircut, beard or nonconforming attire will validate my individuality.

This is over one hundred years of a rootless cultural paradigm, a world of money, titles, prestige and accolades, that survives to attain and retain power, in whatever cultural milieu it spawns next. Conservative, Liberal, godly, godless, patriarchal, anarchistic, heterosexual, Queer, binary, non-binary. What counts is whether one holds power. There’s a straight line from Nixon to Obama to Buttagieg. And what matters is whether you distribute the money or order the killing. God help you if you’re one of the schmucks getting defunded, dismembered or killed.