What is the appeal of slasher movies, of horror movies, of dark dystopian movies? There is something pleasurable , some thrill in imaging a really dark place-in much the same way as the man who pounds his head against the wall and when asked why he says, "Because it feels so good when I stop."
So it is readingThomas Meany's article in the October 3 New Yorker about Frauke Petry, the new leader of the AfD (Alternative fur Deutschland) Party, the German party which advocates closing its borders, banning the wearing of burkas, which proclaims "Islam does not belong in Germany."
There is much that is familiar here: There is the not so subtle sexual presentation of it's leader. She divorced her husband, stopped posing with her four children and made tabloid headlines, controlling news cycles with her affair with a fellow party leader. There is the posture of becoming an authoritarian leader, full of energy, vigor, pulsating heat.
|Her new hot lover|
The party has a "dark core" of true believers and another half of members who simply want to protest the alternative--Angela Merkel.
|Frumpy Frau Merkel|
Those events in German cities on New Year's Eve, when Middle Eastern men fondled and groped blonde German women who were out in city squares to celebrate New Years had long reverberations. As Petry remarked: These men do not belong here; "These people coming into Germany are used to being in completely different social circumstances...This is not going to work."
It was Donald Trump's Mexican rapists argument. Of course, Mr. Trump is having a harder time lately with that argument. He would have been right there with the Turks, groping women in the squares on New Year's eve.
Of course, unlike the fantasy of Mexican rapists, which was simply a convenient invention of hobgoblins, the Turkish and Syrian men in the New Year's squares were not products of an over heated imagination. They seemed to confirm every fear smoldering below the surface of the Aryan brow.
A series of violent attacks by Muslim men in Germany echoed those we saw in America, but in most of these cases, the men were later proved to be simply deranged, or acting in the heat of broken affairs, not politically.
What the whole story conveyed was that we are seeing in Petry's ascent to power a foreshadowing of what we may soon see here.
The fear of the immigrant gave us Brexit and the AfD. Nobody saw those things coming.
We might see it coming here.