That Biff Tannen is now in charge of the US is proof positive of a kink in the fabric of our space-time continuum. Like a VHS tape that’s been played, replayed, and copied over, the ghosts of movies past linger in the background of the world Americans now inhabit.
My son, Oscar, is three. He is articulate and perfectly able to understand plain English, but people are constantly talking about him, in his presence, as if he’s not there. Many of my friends are self-described fierce feminists, who can and do rant indefinitely about the indignity women suffer by being silenced, ignored, objectified and dismissed, and yet they consistently do all of these things to Oscar.
In an era of Donald Trump, Pauline Hanson and the alt-right, it’s easy to forget the uniting power that George W Bush, the 43rd President of the United States, had over the world.
For the duration of his eight years in power, Bush was a near universal symbol of mockery, derision and utter hatred.
If Dylan has one indefatigable character trait it’s that he’s not preoccupied with the small details. He cherry-picks the essence of the thing in question and tosses out the carcass. Poetry deals in the language of feeling, capturing and amplifying the fleeting sensations too unimportant for the day-to-day functions of consciousness. The practice of poetry is less a matter of form than a state of mind. Few saw that proposition last year when the Swedish academy announced the 2016 laureate.
It’s hard to predict what will happen from here. The Greens and Labour could spend the next seven weeks fighting over that 4% of the left-wing vote which will make a great deal of difference to their respective post-election fortunes, but none over who gets to form the next government