Is it safe to come out yet? I ducked under the covers for most of the week, but on Coronation Morn there was a knock on the door and I discovered Aunt Zeituni’s deportation order had been reassigned to me. Fortunately, it was accompanied by a complimentary pint of Ben & Jerry’s special commemorative “Yes, Pecan!” ice cream — a smooth cloying goo concealing a remarkable number of nuts, which seems as appropriate a way as any of marking the incoming administration.
Seeking refuge from the prostrations of the U.S. media, I turned to the foreign press, only to find that Canada’s Globe and Mail (which is like the New York Times but without the jokes) was contrasting the incoming president with, er, me. “He belongs to a demographic — it made his win possible — that doesn’t even get the problem with a black, a woman or a gay president,” wrote Rick Salutin. “They don’t clutch old identifications with race or ‘the West.’ They glory in ‘hybridity’ and ‘mongrelization’ — as Barack Obama did when he called himself a ‘mutt’ like the shelter dog he’d prefer for his kids. For another demographic, this shift induces panic. They worry about ‘shrivelled birth rates’ in the United States and its ‘enervated allies’ (Mark Steyn); they mourn the decline of ‘the last serious Western nation.’”