Thanks for a delightful response! I'll keep an eye out for your writing.

re: playfulness of Dionysian tradition, well yes there's the Disney-esque version (tipsy, fubsy Bacchus lolling in a wine-bath in Fantasia, for example)... whether it was a whole lot darker than that rather depends on how much credence we can place on Livy, whose lurid (and possibly libelous?) descriptions do read a bit like Moral Majority rants or QAnon wackery (oh dear... lately, far too many things are reminding me of QAnon).

But I think I'll agree with you that there's a stink of perpetual adolescent self-pity and resentfulness about the Trumpsters and especially their more bizarre fringe elements. As you say, a petty, spiteful, purely malevolent schoolyard-bully aspect worthy of Shirley Jackson's pen. Watching the mob happily vandalising the Capitol building I was thinking that they were indistinguishable from football hooligans, except that in this instance a core cadre actually had an agenda, a purpose other than revelling in transgression and destruction for its own sake.

It seems that the reservoir of destructive monkeyshines is always there, waiting to be tapped by some demagogue with that mysterious quality they call "charisma". Who knows whether it's testosterone-related (though the composition of the mob is suggestive) or what, but I suspect that every mob that's ever sacked a city looked pretty similar. As if there's an Ur-mob always waiting, immanent, omnipresent, hovering invisible in the air we breathe, ready at the slightest opportunity to incarnate in real bodies, cry havoc and let slip those dogs (again).

And now I'm starting to sound like I believe in demonic possession, cripes. Madness truly is contagious!

Retired; ex-software engineer. Paleo-feminist. Sailor. Arduino tinkerer. Enviro. Libertarian Socialist (Anarcho-Syndicalist, kinda). Writer. Altermondialiste.

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