Wow. We’ve had quite a time, haven’t we readers?
If you haven’t guessed it by now, I’m a liberal, left-wing, pacifist, pansy, wet, arty, idealistic dreamer. I’m a pinko, socialist book-reader. I’m a libtard, race-traitor and a cuck. Whatever the current terminology is, that’s me. A bearded, tree-hugging hippy. I could go on all afternoon.
Recently some people in my country decided to leave Europe (if that’s even possible… I’m not sure if you can leave somewhere you share centuries of culture with… let alone a landmass that is currently connected by a tunnel… I mean, I can WALK to France if I’m so minded… what are we gonna do, sever the tunnel, put sails on the Cairgorms and float off into the Atlantic?). I would say that the decision was democratic, but due to the way the referendum worked, only those who could be bothered to vote got to make the decision. There’s a good section of the country who didn’t even vote. We don’t know what they think. They might not give a shit. They might. Who knows? Some of the people who voted to leave were tricked by a campaign that promised more money for the NHS, our wonderful health service. If you don’t like in the UK, you won’t know about the NHS. It’s currently underfunded, but it’s FUCKING BRILLIANT. I’ve used it, I know. It does need more money. It won’t get it from leaving Europe. So, the people who voted on the strength of that might feel righteously pissed off.
Other people voted to leave Europe because they’re sweaty racists. Now, I know that they are varying degrees of racist and varying degrees of sweaty. Some are full-on, flag-waving, hate-screaming, boggle-eyed fascists. Some are just people who say, “Well… I’m not racist but…” Followed by some anxious whispering about the number of Eastern Europeans who have moved into their neighbourhood and the fact that the supermarket now has a section of Polish food. Well, perhaps I’m not British enough, but I LIKE the Polish family who live across from me. The dad of the family always shares a frankly camp wave and a “Good morning!” with me. That’s pretty damn English. Still, I like him because he’s middle class, like what I aspire to be. The people who complain about immigrants are really complaining about poor immigrants. Nobody likes the poor, do they? Being all poor and that. Coming to this country, taking the jobs that people here they think are too good for. Seriously, you get a lot of Eastern European cleaners and waiting staff. Lots of Brits think that they’re too good for this kind of work. Lots of Brits like things to be cheap, too, so we should be grateful that Eastern Europeans are working for pennies in our factories and warehouses so we can continue to have cheap stuff. Perhaps we should just let these poor immigrants use a system of tunnels to live in and commute through, then we wouldn’t have to see them. Where was I? I’m rambling and ranting. I’m rantling.
Look, I’m not saying that voting to leave Europe means you are a racist. There are some non-racist reasons to leave, like wanting this country’s court to have final say on shizzle. Fair enough. You don’t like the European Courts having a say. I DO like the European Courts because they introduce some splendid laws that protect workers, amongst other things. Anyway, you’re one of the those non-racist people who voted leave. That’s fine. Just know that you’re on the same team as the sweaty racists, the mealy-mouthed fascists and the heartless rich who know that, whatever the economic turmoil, they’ll be fine. I say, we might even be able to negotiate trade deals with China while we lower taxes for ourselves! What’s that, Viper? China’s human rights record is poor and we’d be better promoting trade with Europe? You’re a wet, Viper. You’ll be rounded up along with the other undesireables!
I’m not saying that Leave voters think like that. Some don’t think at all. They just have a lot of feelings. Feelings about flags, about immigration, about brown people. The great irony is, for the racists, that leaving the EU probably won’t stop freedom of movement in Europe, not if we want some decent trade. It will also increase immigration from other countries, ones with immigrants who aren’t white as ice-cream. I’m sure the sweaty Leave voters will be fine with that, they’re not racist, don’t-you-know?
Then came America. Land of the free. America, where half my childhood dreams happened. America, the inventor of cool.
It turns out that about a quarter of Americans are willing to vote for someone that I consider to be vile in thought and word and deed. Apparently, a quarter of Americans can put that man into the most powerful job in the world. I fear that he will hasten climate change. I fear that he will oppress the vulnerable. I fear that he will use weapons that turn our self-destructive hate from a metaphorical fire to a genuine inferno. It is not foolish to imagine that one man’s juvenile temper could put hasten the end of all human life.
I’m a Depressive. I might have mentioned it. I might have droned on about it, like the miserable narcissist that I am. It’s hard to deal with my depression and my paranoia when the world backs me up. There really are a lot of people out there who would hate me just for existing. I’m not even at the far end of their spectrum of loathing, but they would despise my camp ways and my liberal thinking. The world really might be doomed. Nature’s strangest experiment, humanity, might have run its course. I could see everything that I love sink beneath the waves or burn in the fires of mindless rage. Worst of all, I might survive to see a terrible winter descend, stifling nature in all its glory.
Bleak stuff, eh?
So how do I cope? What do I do? I do nothing. I’m not a revolutionary, I don’t have the strength of character to raise a rebellious mob. I’m not a lone freedom fighter, I don’t have the courage or the skills. I can barely summon the energy to join demonstrations. I’m one of those good people who stand by and let evil flourish. That’s where I excel. Maybe I enjoy some satire. Maybe I send the odd political tweet. How tremendous of me! A few people giggle and the flags keep waving, the walls get built and the boots march on until the bombs drop.
In the face of my doom and in the depths of my weakness, I try to find joy. My wife and children are not safe, so I do my best to protect them and make them smile while we can. The natural world is being killed, so I enjoy what is left of it before the end. The economy may collapse, the wars may begin and famine may come for even the rich; all the more reason to be generous with the little money I have, to be friendly with the few people that love me and eat merrily while we can. I won’t help anyone by weeping and abstaining from fun. I shall try to be joyful, even though it is a melancholy joy.
I would like to do something. I try, when I can, to make my small voice heard. I try to offer kindness to those around me, even if it is only a camp wave to my Polish neighbour. I wish that I lived in a mythic time, a time when heroes great or small could save us. Sadly, there is no Ring to drop into Mount Doom, there are no Ghostbusters to send the President-Elect back to his own dimension (seriously… LOOK at him… does he LOOK human? There’s something Lovecraftian about him).
I’ll comfort myself with the knowledge that it was NOT a majority that voted for Brexit or for the Abomination-Elect. We have a flawed system that can make a group appear bigger than it is. As we slide into our own destruction, at least I’ll know that it wasn’t ALL of us that were consumed by hate. Some of us were just lazy or fearful or damaged. Some of us strong, but not me. I’m weak and afraid and powerless. I’m the one who contents himself with the melancholy joy, the only thing that remains when hope is gone.
Be kind to one another. Much love, Viper.