pig-mouth-fucking animation

I have not turned on my television yet today so I don’t know how the US news networks are covering (if at all) the business about the pig-fucking scandal in the United Kingdom. However, I do not trust them to report it with clarity, especially regarding the exercise of oligarchic power the scandal represents. So here is your Monday morning briefing on the British pig-fucking scandal.

The details are simple. The British prime minister is David Cameron. There are more than 43,000 google results when you search for “David Cameron” and “loathesome” together. According to the most insightful story about the scandal I’ve yet seen:

If you’re in the dark regarding “pig-gate”, the details are relatively simple; billionaire tax exile and former Conservative party deputy chairman Lord Michael Ashcroft has co-written, with journalist Isabel Oakeshott, an unauthorised biography of David Cameron. It is not flattering, and includes allegations of drug-taking among other things, but the attention-grabbing assertion is that during an initiation ceremony for an Oxford student society, Cameron “put a private part of his anatomy” in the mouth of a dead pig – and that photographic proof of this deed exists.

Why does it matter? Because it shows us how the rich and connected stay that way, and especially how they prevent defection by their members:

Lord Ashcroft, pollster and political guru in his own right, knows as well as anyone else what this will do. This is not a playful aside in a fun little unauthorised biography that he’s putting together as a hobby with his journalist pal, Oakeshott; this is a carefully targeted, focused attack designed to wreak career havoc upon, and cause huge personal embarrassment for, a man whom Ashcroft sees as disloyal, or as having stepped out of line. And here, I think, is something much bigger and more interesting than the scurrilous details of Cameron’s vivid indiscretion; here is a rare public example of how power is wielded by Britain’s elite, of how control is exerted over those they wish to manipulate, and of how those groomed for success from a young age can be destroyed should they be seen to diverge from the steps they’re told to dance.

At elite institutions, those earmarked – by wealth, by title, by connections – for future leadership roles are forced, as impressionable young people, to carry out humiliating acts in order to gain acceptance by an in-group. That same in-group will, over the course of their lives, help advance their career massively in ways both overt and covert; membership of that group essentially secures their success in life. The cost of entry, paid by all members of the group, is participation in humiliating acts; acts which will forever wed them to the group, because should they later act in a way contrary to the group’s interests or desires, their “indiscretions” can be brought back to destroy their careers or personal lives.

The rich are not like you and me. But they do have their own unique problems, the poor dears.

If you want to spend the day wallowing in schadenfreude and bad pig puns, Twitter is your place. (Probably FaceBook and Tumblr too.) As your hashtag sommelier, allow me to recommend #PigGate and #Hameron. Enjoy!

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