I’m fucking writing this at 5:57am having been up since 11pm the previous night. You know what fucking annoys me about House of Cards? It’s that no matter how hard they tried to hide it, everyone else is an idiot except Frank Underwood and his pasty, thin-lipped cornstalk of a wife (which is exactly how the designers of the series want me to feel about her). And the worst: the imbecile tag team of President Walker (and his obviously fake – even by make-believe standards – eye bags) and his wife. Truly, truly idiotic.
As a consolation, one can already see the Underwoods’ downfall in play. Lesson: Never; never ever have bald people on your team. They’ll fuck you up eventually. Something to do with gaps.
I shall now proceed to offer my thoughts in a more lucid and less bawdy manner. And oh yes, this post’s title is not a bait. I swear by all transition metals. We’ll get to the substantiation of that claim later in the piece.
House of Cards, starring the inimitable Kevin Spacey, dramatizes the building of a house using cards (duh), the house being Frank Underwood’s presidency and the cards being the bounteous and rather imbecilic pawns its writers have so graciously supplied us with. The choice of titles is rather perfect, because you can just sense the onset of that simple gust of wind that will unravel this flimsy house of cards, regardless of the intricacy of its design.
HOC gathers deliberately like a storm: it gets dark, really dark, before it begins to rain. There are other metaphors: the stretch of bad road that stands between you and an expressway properly so-called; a song that grows on you, blah blah and other such pretentious nonsenses.
HOC of course tries, to a lesser degree, to imitate Game of Thrones in its elimination of those characters one is most invested in. Take Zoe Barnes for instance. Zoe Barnes is played by Kate Mara. (I have some history with that Mara name. Sometimes in 2011 I watched the frankly very much butchered Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Lisbeth Salander, one of our two protagonists, was played by Rooney Mara, whose sparse features and gothic affectations seduced me no end and led to an ultimately futile entanglement with a young lady who possessed both her proportions and affectation. Zoe Barnes is an upgrade in proportional terms and falls very nicely in the endowment bracket of the girls – they’re rather few – I’ve had the fortune of dating. Somehow, the gods keep me away from the more handy ones, despite my best efforts. Back to Zoe Barnes however.)
My empathy with Zoe Barnes is little else if not visceral – you’d either want to be her boyfriend, or her friend with add-ons, or her significantly older man, all of which boil down to the prospect of torrid sex. I should of course construct that last bit in cruder, more explicit terms but sometimes I like to pretend that I can maintain a modicum of decorum. On the other hand, very many are kindred spirits with the undervalued, the underappreciated, the underrated, which taken together are other, less selfish ways to empathize with Zoe. So Zoe Barnes dies,
and I’m bloody fucking sad because I cannot continue to fuck her vicariously. Boo fucking hoo.
Before her however was Peter Russo. Russo is your typical train wreck who has a lot going for him if only he would stop one moment, perhaps two, to fully contemplate what plenitude was available to him. My empathy for Russo – despite his baldness – was further inflamed by Kristina, his loving girlfriend, and the two kids whom he dearly loved. If I wouldn’t cheer Russo on for himself, I could and did cheer him on for Kristina and his children. (And I’m still not certain if the American obsession with second chances and redemption stories is a worldwide obsession, but I do know that Nigerians are not typically inclined to let you have even your staple first chance in peace, never mind the luxury of a second chance.) Underwood palms the cards labelled Russo and Zoe to bring the game of cards to a favourable conclusion.
There are of course the parallel lines that run from the fictional pair of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to another fictional pair of Frank and Claire Underwood, HOC’s resident diabolical family. We could even extend the lines to a non-fictional third pair: the semi-literate duo whose offensive aura permeates Aso Rock and by extension, much of Nigeria. But I excuse this third pair and situate myself solely in the security of the realm of fiction. If Frank Underwood wasn’t already coldly calculating enough, his wife, Claire, leaves us and her husband in no doubt that she can and will smash a baby to bits, literally and figuratively, to further the Underwood cause: the satiation of an insatiable lust for power and influence. Frank, like Macbeth, would not be outdone by women of course, and voila!, fire-breathing monsters are born. Through Claire Underwood, that not-too-peculiar propensity women have for pushing their powerful husbands over the brink of tyranny is demonstrated. This is of course no indictment on the general institution of wives; that would be silly and narrow-minded. It is also not a stick poking the hornet’s nest of rabid feminism. I generally dislike being stung by anything; I have not-very-happy stories to tell.
That intellectual nonsense done, I would like to announce that I have started a new musical group, right before I detail in graphic terms, how lesbianism is natural. The name of the group is SQUEAKY and it’s a duo in fact. Our first single is titled “S.E.X.Y.” which is short for an anti-extinction campaign we’re also launching soon: Spare Every Xylophone. Here are a few sample lyrics:
Sexy, sun mo bi
Wa je ka ma relate
Sexy, sun mo bi
Je ki ngbe e lo le
Sexy, ta ba dele
I’ll tear you like a drum
You can download the song from the various re-enactments of a single blog.
As per the naturalness of lesbianism, pictures, I’ve heard, are by far more eloquent than jibber-jabber.
P.S: I am typing these last words at 7:16am.