Melanie Phillips (Continued)

Speaking of Melanie Phillips, there is a rather fascinating character on an Internet forum I frequent. She is one of the ‘oldest members’. Awhile ago there were doubts about her gender and she was persecuted mercilessly as a result. I suspect that certain men on the forum had projected their fantasies onto her and became angry with her when it appeared that she wasn’t quite who she claimed to be. That says more about them than about her. Poor them, their dreams will never come true. I guess they’ll have to plunge into that shark pool called real life and find themselves a flesh-and-blood woman. A line from a Sinead O’Connor track pops into my head at this very moment: ‘So, you’re a fool to attack me for an image that you built yourself.’

She has a bizarre obsession with the US. Every attack on that particular nation draws a spirited defence from her. The odd thing is she lives in Paris. I wonder if she has a room in her chic Italian apartment devoted to the good old U.S. of A. Does she kneel at the foot of the Stars and Stripes every night before she goes to sleep? Does she make out with a George W. Bush blow up doll? Is it possible to fetishise an entire nation?

I must admit that I was once guilty of this myself. I fell in love with American culture and was desperate to leave home so that I could go and live in New York City. I constantly bemoaned the fact that my ‘Oirish’ grandparents didn’t have the get-up-and-go that their siblings had which drove them to move on from the armpit of the universe that is Liverpool for the New World – America, Canada, Australia. I got over this ridiculous little fetish though.

I was twelve.

This lady is twenty-four.

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