Dominic Mekon

Dominic Cummings really does look like the evil Mekon, as I suggested last year: For those not brought up on the Eagle comic in the 1950s, the Mekon was the leader of the ‘Treens’ of the planet Venus – tall green men wrapped in copper hoops, and presumably women too, though we never see them – and the mortal enemy of ‘Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future’. This was all set in the 1990s – forty years in the future to the Eagle then.

God I loved the Eagle! And I’ve just bought a reprint of the first Dan Dare series – the Venusian one – to recapture my boyhood in my old age. The Mekon is introduced in the 30th issue, of 3 November 1950. He (or he may be an ‘it’) is a fantastically intelligent creature, with a huge brain, who worships only ‘science’, and despises human feelings, emotion and sympathy. 

Isn’t Cummings a bit like that? He certainly sounds a bit inhuman, and technocratic. And also somewhat Saturnine (yes, wrong planet, I know). I’m not however totally convinced about the intelligence that everyone attributes to him. He’s bright, certainly, but his main intellectual power seems to stem from the fact that he’s unwilling to be fettered by morality. Hence his altering one of his past blogs on one occasion to give the impression that he foresaw Covid-19 before everyone else. And if he’s so smart, why did he work so hard and effectively to get Johnson into power when – as he says now – Johnson clearly wasn’t up to it?

My characterisation of Cummings is that he is bright but has no depth. Just as Johnson is funny but has no depth. Life is not just numbers, algorithms, sheer logic, technology, intelligence, efficiency. Nor is it a game you learn at Eton. It has layers too. Cummings only sees the surface of things, and Johnson the fun side. Dan Dare, thou shouldst be living at this hour. You’d sort them out!

About bernardporter2013

Retired academic, author, historian.
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4 Responses to Dominic Mekon

  1. Second try:
    “And if he’s so smart, why did he work so hard and effectively to get Johnson into power when – as he says now – Johnson clearly wasn’t up to it?” Johnson was Cummings’ avatar: Johnson would be the nominated official PM and front man; however, Cummings would pull the strings and exercise real power behind the scenes, thus overcoming Johnson’s status as not-being-up-to-it.
    Third try:
    The English concern with ‘layers’ is manifest in the article, ‘Dominic Mekon’. One reads that irony is the dominant form of discourse in the UK, not just in comedy. Thus, Johnson is the ironic PM for the ironic nation. The surface is not good enough; there has to be something underneath subverting the evident, allowing the speaker or writer a bet each way.
    Part of the reason for Corbyn’s lack of appeal might have been that he was too much a case of – to use the cliche – what you see is what you get. He was too earnest, too serious for much of the British electorate, who preferred the clowns, Johnson and Farage.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Roger says:

    Hello. Apologies for this being entirely unrelated to the content of this post but I thought you might be interested and intrigued to see the following short interview of a woman born in 1868!

    What an amazing woman and when you reflect on her words about planes “when they first came out” one can’t help but smile…

    I enjoy your blog immensely and do hope you will continue to post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think you were right the first time when you situated the problems of Cummings and Johnson in the realm of morality; I do not think that ‘depth’, your second factor, is such a reliable indicator of worth.
    Take a figure such as Martin Heidegger, a philosopher and individual of great depth, but who supported Hitler and never fully recanted.
    I think a universalistic altruism is what we are looking for in a great leader, though that is not enough in itself, as the case of Jeremy Corbin attests. Trump, for example, gets 0 out of 10 for altruism and those whom he seeks to reward belong to highly particular categories and groups.

    Liked by 1 person

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