I fell for fogeyism partially out of sheer desperation with neoliberalism, and partially out of the natural aftereffects of my condition - the desire for certainty and rules and norms, embraced and required all the more precisely because people on the spectrum can never fit in with them, and mostly spent their lives undiagnosed and locked in homes for the "subnormal" in the world where they did apply. The condition brings on a desire to romanticise whatever you don't personally know and never personally experienced, all the more so because you know you could never be part of it; the more naturally isolated you are, the more you will fantasise how life would be if you were a natural conformist. It's the cultural politics of unrequited love, or of being unable to love at all in the standard human sense. It's why I can recall the weather and even what I was eating when I heard, at the age of 13, that Donald Swann had died, and why - after I'd turned 14 - I was reduced to tears by the music from The First of the Few. It's also why I fell in love with The Owl's Map and We Are All Pan's People (not that the Ghost Box aesthetic represents a strict and straightforward delineation of the actual past - it would have been almost unthinkable in your actual Butskellite era for anyone to be both ruralist and in favour of modernist architecture - but the point still holds). It's why I genuinely felt sympathy, for a while, for the nativist interpretation of socialism, the Daily Mail with its support for global capitalism removed - it chimed with my romantic streak, my feeling for a few lost years that all modern culture was worthless, that the only way to go was back. And in all its forms, it's invariably a mistake I regret sooner rather than later.
For time and context have changed and, if anything, I've become more radical (in the genuine sense of that term, not simply the smash-the-market-but-only-to-restore-what-once-was Lindsay sense) as my fourth decade on earth has begun. Welcome to Godalming wasn't even on the And Then There Were Three level, it was on a Camel or Barclay James Harvest level of inconsequentiality, and the Aphex Twin's "Goon Gumpas" got that schools interval sound back in the '90s far better without even trying than anyone who's ever tried to make a cultural point of it, back when it was still the day before yesterday and wasn't a hopeless dream of a cul de sac, long past crying for. I almost invented this stuff, and now I don't want to talk or think about it.
The thing is that I wouldn't keep going back to Clark/Lindsay, usually despite myself and against my own will, if part of me didn't wonder - thinking, for example, of Reynolds' description of Sarah Palin as the ultimate rock'n'roll politician - whether they may be, at least in part, correct, whether the logical conclusion of the conflict between most of what I love in terms of mass culture and most of what I believe politically is this impasse. But this denies the complexity of human life, human experiences and human responses to both culture and politics; it is possible, in the minds of most people if not in the strictly-defined autistic mind, to disconnect forms of mass entertainment from their theoretical destructive effects on tradition (odious as it is, the widespread English tendency to say, effectively, "send the foreigners home" while knowing no culture beyond that effectively owned by Murdoch is an example of this), and the neoconservative mistake of assuming that simply because Iraqis wore jeans, they would automatically support the US military uncritically, is - like almost everything else about neoconservatism - merely an inversion of the worst aspects of Marxism, and specifically of the Marxist supposition that public taste for music rooted in socialism and radicalism would equate to actual active belief in those ideologies.
In many ways, Philip Cross's suspicion that Lindsay may have the same condition that he and I both have seems the most credible response; Lindsay's politics are born of the same streak which may sometimes lead me to suggest that if you are going to oppose Tesco in a place like this then you must also oppose Cee-Lo on local radio, or that the campaign to retain public libraries in a place like this is meaningless and pointless because they may stock the odd book by Katie Price, and if you had to define my condition in two rhetorical arguments which fall down when exposed to the nature of humanity itself, those would be the ones. Lindsay's greatest achievement may, in fact, be to make the market - and the assumptions and norms of the modern world generally - seem, by comparison, far more progressive than they can really ever be.