There I was, reading the August 21, 2020 issue of the Times Literary Supplement in an article on the Franco-Lithuanian novelist Romain Gary, I suddenly came upon a new pantheon for our times:
- Totoche, the god of stupidity
- Merzavka, the god of absolute ideas
- Filoche, the god of bigotry
The article goes into greater detail:
Totoche is a red-arsed monkey, adored by all who hurry humanity towards destruction: dim politicians who thump tubs, pure scientists who release genies from bottles, social psychologists who lead us up blind alleys, and demagogues who shout and bully. Merzavka is a cossack who stands gleefully, horsewhip in hand, on heaps of corpses industrially produced by concentration camps and torture chambers. Half of us lick his boots and the other half live or die by the religious, political and moral ideologies by which he rules and kills. Filoche is a concierge waiting to pounce on petty infringements of house rules, a hyena scavenging for scraps of racism, intolerance and orthodoxy with which to justify lynchings, holy wars and persecution.
The article, entitled “Brought to Book,” was written by David Coward.
In many ways, Gary’s invented deities were to perfectly describe the United States during the Trump Administration, even though Gary himself had long since (1980) passed on.