Got Keys?

By Cyberquill 09/14/201513 Comments

If you’re like most people, you own not one but several keys, a good number of which you prize so highly that you carry them around with you at all times.

But what is a key for? What does it represent?

A key represents two things. It represents (1) a border, and (2) the fear that this border may be crossed by anyone except yourself and perhaps a limited number of other designated copy holders of precisely that key.

In other words, show me an unapologetic key holder, and I’ll show you a xenophobe. For how can you be one without the other?

If you insist that you don’t have a xenophobic bone in your body, I suggest you walk your talk and unlock all your doors (front door, car door, garden gate, etc.) and then throw away all your keys.

After all, it’s enough to simply close your apartment door in order to protect yourself from that chilly draft
wafting in from the hallway. No need to lock it.

Should you prefer to lock it anyhow, what exactly are you afraid of?

Would it be entirely unreasonable to assume that among your worries resides a fear of strangers with potentially less than noble designs trespassing into a territory that you have designated as your holy sanctum? Or even a fear of benevolent visitors, strangers or otherwise, just waltzing in unannounced at all hours, whether you’re in the mood to receive them or not?

See, there are all these well-intentioned do-gooders, who, as a matter of principle, rail against walls and fences, agitating for open borders and extending a virtually illimitable welcome to all comers, and yet these same people, somewhat out of step with their own highfalutin message of untrammeled inclusion, then turn around and reflexively bolt the portals to their personal premises as if doing so where the most natural and commonsensical safeguard in the world.

What’s that all about?

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  • Richard

    I agree with your final paragraph.

    When we were first married and in our first house, we frequently came down in the morning to find that we had inadvertently left the the front door wide open. I don’t remember having any particular views about migrants in those days, and that was after the large-scale migration from the Caribbean. Not long after was the arrival of asian refugees from Uganda. Despite the rumours and isolated incidents there was mostly good-natured acceptance of the new residents. It was, after all, a matter of pride that Britain wanted to be a place of safety to those who accepted the country’s ways.

    Later refusals to integrate, denigration of the country, violence and economic advantage-taking made people more wary. In particular they watched the demands and behaviour of illegal immigrants and potential illegal immigrants as well as the unreasonable expectations of some EU migrants.

    Thus we now raise the drawbridge, lock as many doors as we can and have a burglar alarm with a line to the police.

    • Cyberquill

      You have a drawbridge to your house? Do you have a moat, too?

      • Richard

        Yes, though we haven’t solved the problem of the siege-engines.

      • Cyberquill

        I’ve hired archers adept at taking down airborne targets.

        You are, of course, aware that the penultimate paragraph of your above commentary is what counts as an xenophobic rant these days. If you were German or Austrian, you’d be cast as someone that most likely keeps a well-thumbed copy of Mein Kampf by their bedside and a shrine of secret Nazi memorabilia in their basement.

        Of late, the term “besorgter Bürger” (“concerned citizen”), always written in quotes and usually prefaced “so-called,” is being been widely used as a euphemism for far-right extremist who basically wants to have all incoming migrants sent to the gas chamber but dares not say so openly and instead sublimates his Fremdenfeindlichkeit in a “Of course we must help the less fortunate, but…” kind of way.

        Enlightened thinking commands that under the motto “Never again!” all xenophobia must be nipped in the but [sic].

        • Richard

          I recognise the barriers you describe to intelligent discussion.

          You may remember Enoch Powell. It became impossible, and still is, to utter his name without risking accusations of racism. Yet he was gifted, far-seeing and emphatically not a racist. He had a brilliant mind and academic career. In his early twenties he was a classics professor. In his thirties he was the youngest brigadier in the army. He was also an accomplished poet.

          His political career came to an abrupt end when Edward Heath sacked him after a 1968 speech, only obliquely concerned with immigration. He had said, “Like the Roman, I seem to see the River Tiber foaming with blood.”

          • Richard

            As to my own defences, attackers have tunneled under the ramparts,(most uncomfortable), and are smothering the wooden props with pig fat. Any suggestions?

            • Cyberquill

              That hurts my vegetarian soul. Always make sure to keep a plentiful supply of olive or peanut oil stocked within easy reach of your attackers.

            • Richard

              I was mistaken. They were fracking. Now someone’s getting a tinder-box out. I need your help urgently.

            • Cyberquill

              Set your own house on fire. It’ll confuse your attackers.

            • Richard

              OK. I’ve done that. Now I’m homeless and impoverished. What’s the welfare state like in Austria?

            • Cyberquill

              It’s excellent, and refugees are welcome!

            • Richard

              Can you recommend a good airline, business class preferably?

            • Cyberquill

              Sure. Just take BA to any coastal town in North Africa. There you’ll have to get in touch with a human trafficker, who will happily arrange for the trans-Mediterranean leg of your journey. As soon as you reach European shores, simply join the crowd walking north.

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