One is tempted to say appetite is everything. I know you know. I’m ravenous. The old stomach is cleaving to the backbone. With wings I’d be a raven like the one that flew over my house clutching a live snake in its beak. Now the raven is nature’s true hunger. With human beings appetite becomes voracity, greed, it’s entirely covetous. This is why real estate agents tell home sellers to bake cookies before potential buyers visit. Eat that house. And while you’re at it devour the tricycle in the yard.
The raven represents true hunger. Late capitalist hunger is something else unless you’re in poverty. The rich who are America’s decision makers only understand the desire to eat your Chevrolet. That’s where their appetites are centered. The children who suck on pebbles to get to sleep are nowhere in their minds. Literal hunger differs from hedge funder’s appetites. If this was a college classroom, right about now a student would raise her hand and say “professor where are you going with this?”
I know. Forgive me. It’s just that I’m seeing a new kind of American appetite, an edacity, a thing beyond desire or covetousness–a Thanatos driven wild fire quickened rage to eat anyone who stands in the way. I will chomp you and I’ll wash you down with milk and iodine or blood.
Once you’ve turned people you don’t favor into symbols they’re nothing more than the other industrial junk you’d like to eat, the swing set, the pony, the Mercedes Benz, the cash cow megalith shopping mall your neighbor invested in, the great post-modern dehumanized but entirely human hungriness. It’s like the prose Edda. Kill your enemy, drink from his skull.
That’s what I saw when the Trump fed Q-Anon Proud Boys and their molls attacked the Capitol. These were people who’d eat anything. Grandfather clocks. Settees. Dropped mittens. The faces of policemen. They were hoping like Piranha to eat the Speaker of the House. They’d eat anything before them. The new appetite is of course the old appetite, straight out of Jefferson Davis’ kitchen. It’s a racist hunger. “Here,” say the Proud Boys, “I’ll get down on all fours and eat the rug.”
And then they’ll eat you.