Reality Bites

This isn’t what Britain has become. This is what it has always been. After a decade where the ordinary, hardworking people of the country were punished by a select few spending money that didn’t exist (and in many cases still doesn’t) they are the ones who have suffered. Their community centres, libraries and public spaces have been sold off and shut down, whilst the super rich just get wealthier.

Brexit, like it or not, has become realistic change. It represents ‘better’ in a place where everything else is so dire and horrendous it’s easier to just stop thinking. After years of watching a bunch of people argue over the best way to do something nobody really knew how to accomplish in the first place, the country devolved responsibility to the charlatans. This way, in five years, they’ll know EXACTLY who is to blame.

Those of us who have sat in a left wing echo chamber for the last month or so are beginning to grasp that change for us is so far out of reach that nobody currently is capable of achieving it. No political party exists for us to vote for who embodies the radicalism that is undoubtedly required to save humanity, because that is the situation we find ourselves within.

A teenage girl has made everyone look foolish, and rightly so.

She’s not just the person of the year, but a benchmark for the next ten.

Watching sensible, rational people thrash about on social media over the last 48 hours, trying to find someone to blame, is a waste of everybody’s time. We’re to blame. Nobody thinks like us, or provides for us the answers required. It isn’t because they’re an anti semite, or xenophobic, or anti Islam. It’s not because they’re pro Christian or anti Gay. All of those things existed before all this happened. None of them explain failure.

What they do is highlight difference, diversity, a celebration of the world around us that has singularly failed to grasp that we are not everyone else. The assumption, arrogant that it is, that just because you know someone’s a lying cunt means everybody else must see the same. It makes you… well, a stupid cunt. Trying to then blame someone or something else for that failure of comprehension achieves nothing long term.

What will help, right now, is not devolving responsibility, but looking for who needs help.

An American friend of mine has started using the phrase ‘look for the helpers’ and although some might consider channeling Mr Rogers largely inappropriate under these circumstances, there’s a ring of truth to it. Maybe this is the moment you realise all this bad shit’s been happening a lot longer than ten years before getting off your arse to do something about it.

It can be as simple as when you’re shopping to buy half a dozen items to stick in the food bank basket at the supermarket. Dispose of litter responsibly. Stop using outdated racist language. Become more tolerant. There’s no way you can reverse the events of Thursday throwing bile and vitriol at the people you think fucked it up for everybody else. This will not work. What WILL work is if all of us start thinking more and reacting less.

Of course, you shouldn’t have to do it. Of course everything is broken and yes, it’s horrible, but you will not fix anything if your mindset assumes it is damaged beyond repair. All those superhero movies you watch that tell you HOPE IS WHAT MAKES US HUMAN are not just mindless entertainment. Listen. Learn. Adapt, and survive. Maybe, along the way, you can inspire others to do the same.

There’s an irony too, that a speech which was given by a man who now makes me feel physically unwell, is in fact what needs to happen. I need to get over my issues and find better ways to help others and my planet. I don’t need to spend weeks sitting, looking at social media, dissecting the truths that existed long before Thursday happened. This country is fucked nine ways to Christmas: Brexit was not catalyst, but consequence.

Populism is a concept that now underpins so much of modern politics, which this country has singularly failed to adapt to on the political left. The political right, however, is very good at doing just that… and it really doesn’t matter anymore whether they’re lying or not, if their leader’s an unqualified buffoon. This country has altered, as have so many others to the idea that ‘better’ does not mean either ideal or best.

As long as nothing actually changes that much, it’ll be fine. Of course, with Brexit, that is not necessarily going to take place. As long as the rich stay rich, who cares? Survival of the fittest will no longer depend on genetics or intelligence, but how much cash you earn. The problem, of course, as certain high profile rich blokes have discovered, is that having cash doesn’t make you attractive. 

There’s some dystopian futures at play here my writing brain does not wish to entertain.

If you’re still thrashing about on Monday looking for other people to criticise, it’s time to move on. You get this weekend to be angry, then begin the process of grieving. For those who did this when we voted Remain and were rudely awoken from our stupor to the real reality of the UK’s endemic failures, that’s already happened. We’re already mobilising, and could do with you as additional help.

Everybody, everywhere, needs to #Resist and push for actual, meaningful change.