I’d just walked into the car park when I caught sight of it. It may as well have been a flying saucer. But it was actually a pink Cadillac sedan. It’s not often you see pink Cadillacs anywhere, never mind in a municipal car park in Herefordshire, England.
It looked like it was about 30 feet long, and its driver had needed to find a parking bay with about 6 feet of sidewalk behind it, over which the tailgate was cantilevered.
It wasn’t the model shown below, but it was the colour shown, and it had the same extended feel to it, like its 5 litre V8 engine would have no trouble doing 200 mph, and 5 miles to the gallon.
I gazed at it quite a long time. So did other people. Cars came by and slowed or stopped to look.
It was in perfect condition, and I guessed it was from the 1950s or 60s, and was the kind of car Marilyn Monroe would have stepped out of onto the red carpet on arrival at the Oscars. It showcased a lost set of values: It was glamorous, larger than life, over the top, no expense spared, showy, loud, unashamed, unrestrained, rich, opulent, luxurious, brash, crass, and self-confident.
Because that’s how America was back then.
My little Toyota was parked a few yards away. Its values were very different. Compact, minimal, economical, efficient. Like much else in Britain, and probably America too. We live in an age of finger-wagging self-denial and killjoy austerity, after all.
Who’s glamorous, larger than life, over the top, no expense spared, showy, loud, unashamed, unrestrained, rich, opulent, luxurious, brash, crass, and self-confident in America these days? Or anywhere else for that matter?
Donald Trump. And when he talks about making America great again, he means like America in the 1950s and 60s before the Kennedy assassination and the Vietnam war. The America of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall and Marilyn Monroe and 30 foot pink Cadillacs, long before Political Correctness had rotted its soul. Trump is an anachronism. He’s man from another era, with another set of dreams and values – the ones he grew up with in Brooklyn in the 1950s. He may as well have stepped out of the screen of one of the movies he watched back then. He’s a mogul playing a mogul, an Orson Welles playing Citizen Kane.
I got my EU referendum voter card today, and I was going to carry on writing about Europe. I’ll continue another time.