Brexit: The Uncivil War

Brexit: The Uncivil War – I loved it.

Yes, it was utterly depressing in its portrayal of the cynical manipulation and mobilisation of an uneducated, unengaged subset of our population by a corrupt conspiracy of vested interests.But as a drama, it was riveting.

“So this is it? This is what we have become?” as the mob is released was one of the most tear-jerking lines I’ve ever heard.

The huge underestimation of their opposition by the arrogant and entrenched powers-that-be is a sobering lesson as is the hidden strength of those who can tap directly into populations, by-passing media and politicians alike.

Not only was this good drama, it should be required viewing as a lesson in modern civics.

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From Hero to Zero in Six Short Years

Re-watching the one hour BBC special “The Golden Games” about the 2012 Olympics.

It’s painful – physically painful.

It recalls a time, just six short years ago, when this country could hold its head up high and be proud of itself instead of head down and ashamed.

It was a time when we showed the world how to do it right instead of be a model of how things should not happen.

It was a time when people of vision created and shared something unique and truly magical instead of withdrawing behind hatred and insular arrogance.

It was when we said to the world, “Come join us, it’ll be fun” – and it was, instead of telling everyone to go away because we don’t like you.

It was when tens of thousands of like-minded people gave their time and energy for free to help our city and our country look good and to give everyone else a great time instead of railing against our neighbours and withdrawing from everything that means anything.

It was when we had influence and power and showed how to use it for good instead of being a mean-spirited nobody hiding in the dark fringes of civilisation.

It was a time when being British wasn’t embarrassing.

I miss that time, just six short years ago. I miss it terribly.

Straight Actors in Gay Roles

The BBC published a story about actor Darren Criss who announced that after playing the gay character of Andrew Cunanan in American Crime Story: The Assassination Of Gianni Versace, he wouldn’t be playing any more gay roles because it deprives gay actors of that opportunity: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-46660373

This really – and I mean really – pisses me off.

Apparently, when you are acting, it’s okay to pretend to take on any of the attributes of someone else *except* their sexuality (and, presumably, their skin colour).

That’s some sort of half-arsed “reserved power” that can only be exercised if the actor shares that specific attribute.

Utter bullshit.

That is NOT what equality is about.

Frankly, it’s fucking patronising and I hate that sort of condescension with a vengeance.

Revolving Doors and the Future of Humanity

If there’s one thing that convinces me that humanity has reached the end of its growth process and is now at a complete evolutionary dead end, it is our inability to deal effectively with an unpowered revolving door.

Tower Bridge has to employ people – at quite a generous hourly rate – to stand outside and ensure that visitors don’t just stand there, feebly waving at the “Push” signs on the door, or try to ram their entire family of five obese adults into a single door compartment, or try to push it in the wrong direction, or decapitate themselves as it revolves.

As anyone who has read my Facebook posts over the years will know, my opinion on the capabilities of my fellow humans has never been terribly high.

Watching the planet’s most advanced species get totally and utterly stumped by a few pounds of rotating glass door has sunk it to a new low.

Disastrous climate change can’t happen fast enough in my view…

Where did all the adults go?

The New York Times asked why people put all the gory details of their relationships onto Instagram. They asked what it was for. I happily supplied the answer:

I can’t be arsed to wade through the article or its advertisements, but the answer your question about why is simple: Validation.

Since everyone these days seems to have a mental age of 13, validation is very important. It is vital to be seen to be a caring, humane, complete person. Far more important, of course, to be seen to be one than actually be one. Being seen to be grown-up enough to be in a relationship is a vital part of that.

“Admire my maturity! It’s all on social media for you to see. Wonder at my complex life as I lurch from self-made crisis to self-made crisis with all the grace and style of a fish on a dockside…”

So desperate are these simple-minded folk for approbation, applause and approval that they miss the point by a country mile. The only people noticing their desperate narcissism are others with similar stunted growth. People who think that reality television is real. People who define themselves by the reactions of others. People who live and die by the “Oxygen of the Click”.

This self-propelled circle jerk of inanity is great for the low-end advertisers who prey on these people, and it’s also great for everyone else out here because it stops these irritating little people talking to us. “Have you seen my Instagram page?” “No.” End of conversation.

I work in a public space, so I get to view close-up the behaviour patterns of flocks of humans. A large group of several dozen waddled past a couple of days ago, every one of them glued to their phone screen. One specimen even had two – no exaggeration.

A quick check online confirmed my fear – it’s Pokémon time again and the Pokémorons are all out in force, hunting the little collections of coloured dots that exist only on their screens and in their minds.

Several years ago, I realised that this planet’s most intelligent species was manufactured by Apple and Samsung and it is carried around by its dumbest.

Grenfell: Hillsborough II

Huffington Post reported about the Grenfell fire inquiry that ‘It is increasingly obvious to most of our community that this inquiry is unlikely to deliver the things we want, namely the truth, accountability and change.’

I have a horrible feeling that this is going to be another Hillsborough where they held enquiry after enquiry and finally got so sick and tired of the constant whining that they held a pretend enquiry that just said everything the protesters wanted it to say just as a final desperate attempt at shutting them up.

What on Earth do they want to be told that they don’t already know?

Yes, the cladding was substandard, no it shouldn’t have been used, yes the builders should have used better cladding, no the result of this enquiry or any other one isn’t going to bring the dead back to life, no you’re not going to get wealthy on any compensation deal, yes the families should have been rehoused by now and would have been if they’d accepted any of the offered homes, yes it would have been better if it hadn’t happened, no there isn’t some massive national conspiracy to hide anything, yes it’s getting unhealthy to keep raking through the ashes of the disaster, yes the tragedy is shamelessly being used as a political football, yes it’s time to think about moving on…

When did we as a country arrive at the default state that we automatically have to care about everything? As a substitute for thinking about it, perhaps, because after all, thinking is a lot harder than caring and you have to be able to rationalise and explain that. When you care about something you just have to shout a lot, point and maybe use a lot of emojis on social media.

The word “community” gets banded around so much these days that it has, like “anti-semitic” become a meaningless porridge phrase. What, exactly, is a “community”? Because it isn’t just the people directly affected by this event, far from it. It has grown to include all the hangers-on, the hand-wringers, the parasites gathering around the event like crowds at an execution, saying how terrible it all is while jostling for the best viewing position.

We’ve become a nation of professional victims using events like this as tragedy porn and I hate it.

Where did all the adults go?

Uber boss playing the crowd on diversity

Über’s Chief Brand Officer said that “White men need to make more noise about diversity.” Sounds a bit racist to me, but okay. I’m a white man. Here’s my noise:

I want to look around a company and know that the best people for each job are the ones there doing that job.

I don’t give a toss about their racial heritage, how many ovaries or testes they have, who they like to have sex with or whether they walk or wheel themselves around the place. I would want the best people.

If that means having more of one flavour of people than another then that’s the way it goes. Deal with it.

Like it or not, life is a meritocracy and all this tokenism and artificial discrimination biased towards less-able people purely because of their skin colour, gender, orientation or disability is regressive not progressive.

You want to do well in life? Get good at something or get out of the way.

Diversity is great. It’s just not a good enough reason for employment.