My two cents

This blog was originally published on a different site, 29/04/2016

I haven’t written a blog in ages. It’s depressing to realise that it was Masterchef that pushed me over the edge but hey, whatever gets you shooting with both barrels.

2016 has been a rather unkind year so far. People fleeing war and persecution are dying in seas that surround us whilst neo-fascists rise all over Europe, telling us these refugees are out to get us. In Britain, Tories are fighting like rats in a sack over the EU, simply a power grab by the ruling classes over which of their factions should rule us.

Normally, watching them rip at each others’ throats would amuse me, but it’s too scary now, too important. I look around and collectively we’re putting our heads down, don’t look, don’t get noticed. You might be next.

But do look.

It’s Donald Trump and his preposterous, bullying swagger. It’s Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage et al, with their naked ambitions, pointing at Johnny Foreigner, it was him! It’s working-class people voting for the very people who oppress them and always have done.

It’s institutionalised sexual abuse of children, terrifyingly public and flaunted right before our eyes, on our televisions. It’s disabled and disenfranchised people being sanctioned while those in power dodge taxes and preach austerity for the poor.

They’re fucking laughing at you, do you know that?

It’s FIFA, it’s Panama, it’s the privatisation of the NHS, one of the last things Britain has to be proud of. And yes, it is the BBC, on a show that is supposed to celebrate innovative cooking and use top chefs to judge it, sending heads of chain restaurants swaggering across my fucking telly wearing mustard-fucking-coloured chinos. I don’t need Pizza Express to tell me nowt.

But I see green shoots, I do. I see it in losing artists, Bowie, Prince. I see it when I go back and rediscover their power, their gifts to us. Powerful, strange, scary artists who trouble you, don’t compromise, can’t be pigeonholed.

It’s Bernie Sanders, it’s Beyoncé at the Super Bowl and with Lemonade, crackling with anger and power, damn!

It’s the junior doctors, it’s the 96 and their damaged but unbroken surviving family and friends. It’s Edward Snowden, it’s the lights being shone on the previously shaded actions of those in power. It’s reading about Bloods and Crips in Baltimore calling a truce and fighting the institutionalising of African American men.

It’s the kooks and the freaks, the aliens. It’s the ones who speak up, challenge and don’t accept their pittance. It’s the revolutionaries, it’s coming and it’s going to be messy. It’s power.

Are you ready?

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