Fuck. Firstly because this computer is on. I promised myself that if the computer wasn’t on I wouldn’t bother opening it up and typing this on it.
Fuck again becuase I have to use notepad, and despite extoling it’s virtues to a good friend just hours ago, I now rue the day I ever decided that typing prose onto it was a good idea. Luckily said computer is compiled of things that come for free, so a word processer on an artists computer is no more than wishful thinking, and this is no better than googlemail in hindsight, but we’ve gone too far already so I’ll try to turn this around.
Fuck because the first thing I did when I met up with an old friend for the first time in over a year, and definitely sober for the first time since… well, anyway, the saddest part was that after we gave our initial greetings, we met each other with:
Notice the absence of any question marks. This wasn’t a proposition. It was two adult males recognising that the other also felt the same way about the state of the world around us
Even family conversations have devolved from the state of each others well being to the state of the leadership of the Labour party.
And don’t get me wrong. I don’t support labour. I feel like there is no real party that represents how I feel, but even at a very hard push, I know that sometimes you have to take one for the team and play the game for the bigger picture.
Which in itself is great, but what do you say to those poor fucks who spent their whole lives voting red because it wasn’t blue only to have the red turn blue anyway?
I don’t buy into the hysteria surrounding Britain’s new situation. I’ve always had the approach that life will keep happening whether we like it or not, so public lunacy will only make things worse. The amount of hate everyone has seen, even as just an innocent bystander has been tremendous.
In the sense of a tremendous amount of people have been pretty fucking awful to each other and most of it is unjustified. And we, the collective know that and feel that way. Just like how so many of us were horrified and held our heads in our hands as we said a collective “oh for fucks sake, not again” to reports of English “football fans” responding to kindness and hospitality with violence and destruction.
And yet here we are, facing up to the fact that the failure of the referendum wasn’t the fact that it asked the public to indicate how they felt. A public who would name a famous ship as Boaty McBoatface given the choice, a public who for some reason still pay enough attention to reality TV shows that so many networks can’t afford not to provide them, and yet we call ourselves educated, or worse, are offended when labelled as otherwise.
But have we earned our right to be considered educated? Do we do enough to challenge what we’re told. Each day, one of us will be informed of a new tragedy in some part of the world. Turkey, Bangladesh, Kenya, but do we see it in the news? No, we find it on Facebook. On the day of the referendum, British news broadcasters were forbidden from reporting on the referendum itself, for fear of influencing the mindset of the public. Every single news company within the UK pulled every singe bit of information that they had gathered, collected, weaselled out of someone, woken up in the wrong bedroom for and out right paid for, because of the legal decree. It was a fascinating thing to witness. It also scared the living shit out of me and made me curse “fuck” louder than I did even when greeting said aforementioned friend.
They pulled it all. Everything, no trace. Archives still existed but you had to know enough about where to look to find anything. Nobody seemed to give a fuck, but in truth, they unapologetically demonstrated to us the public, as a united front, the telegraph, the mail, the express and the BBC among others, “hey guys, this is how easy it is for us to not show you something”.
The worst thing about the referendum has clearly been the hatred, the vile racism shown by some, seeing messages translated from English to polish Via google that basically demonstrate how sad it is that someone can’t even tell someone else to fuck off properly, not that I agree with their sentiment but for fucks sake if you’re going to do something, do it well. That’s a part of this “British ideal” that you’re dragging us all towards and yet you fail to achieve half of the objectives you’d set for anyone else.
As I watched the chaos of British politics in 2016 unfurl, i feel like I can almost visualise what HST saw when he spoke about the place where the wave broke. Worse than that, I see what he saw in his final essays, describing how things could only get worse. For some god awful reason, we went out and proved him right. Great work, society. HST killed himself because he saw this coming, and made it publicly clear that this was why, too.
I see the “right swing” taking place all across Europe, where parties like the AfD in Germany are gaining support by goading it’s own national sports stars for the colour of their skin or their right to take part in religious rituals. Austria’s far right party only narrowly lost their national election, whilst Le Front National in France under Marie Le Penn and previously her father, have been serious contenders in each french election for some time now.
The second generation of “no-hopers” were the first to be converted by the NSDAP. The generations that have lived before us appear to have awarded us the title of being the first British generation to endure two separate recessions between our twenties and our thirties, and it’s only a matter of time before the heady days of the early 2000’s are talked about in synonym to Haight-Ashbury and The Grateful Dead.
Our resolve is being tested, but it is our duty to ourselves, and to one another as citizens of the world to ensure that we do not let the mistakes of the past repeat themselves.
I know, man, fuck.
Words by Rich Taylor