Let’s just go ahead and get this out of the way: 2016 really fucking sucked. A bunch of really cool people died. A surly, orange clown somehow managed to con his way into the most powerful position on Earth. Rampant nationalism seems to be sweeping the globe. And we may be looking down the barrel of so many loaded guns (climate change, Supreme Court nominations, the gutting of health care, diplomatic relations with China, Turkey, Russia, The Philippines, etc.), that it’s enough to induce an all encompassing panic attack…the kind that last’s a lifetime.
People are scared. I’m scared. And we should be.
I’m just one more voice screaming into the abyss.
Some days, I’ll be scanning through my Facebook or Twitter feeds, and as the constant and seemingly endless stream of status updates and selfies and shared articles and political rhetoric, the likes and dislikes and misinformation and click bait stack up like garbage piles infinitum on my eyes and brain, I’ll come to the gradual realization that I hate everybody I know. Or, more to the point, I abhor their online presence. I tire of all the “Look at me!” posts and the “Can you believe?” links, the mundane and asinine as glorified by characters and pixels. But I particularly loathe all of the political screeds and the trash spam articles masquerading as news. And I hate all of the condescension and contempt that harbors within me towards these people I normally have love and respect for in the non-digital world…the real world? And goddamnit, it always gets so much worse during an election year.
More and more frequently I find myself wondering whether the world has always been this despicable or if I’m just becoming more conscious of it. Concurrent with this feeling is a realisation that our generation is being increasingly more spoilt with a Pop Culture smorgasbord: the Heroes of our youth dominate the Box Office, favourite bands of the past reform and tour, the best TV show of all time revived after a 25 year hiatus, Comic-Con has gone supernova. One of the few gifts of being a dentally challenged, pallid skinned Brit is an ever healthy cynicism possibly attributable to being of an island nation still living on a pension from a highly questionable Imperial legacy, which during the best of times enables many of us to take a dim view of anything that on the surface seems too good to be true. Back in my teens when I thought ‘The X Files’ was giving me a window into the clandestine machinations of the world’s superpowers my dad calmly and succinctly cut through my teenage distrust of his adulthood by putting it to me ‘hypothetically’ that THEY would love it if we were ‘watching the skies’ rather than paying attention to what was going on in front of our noses.
The thinking behind bringing Bob Van Persie to Manchester for his first show in the UK was presumably motivated by little more than the fact that his son Robin is presently this City’s most celebrated adopted son, after Manchester United’s number 20 unarguably singlehandedly thrust them their 20th League title. This connection is exploited further still tonight as revealed by the restrictions on this private view, tightened to the extent that every VIP invitee is admitted under a couple of strict conditions:
“1. No photography,
2. Don’t ask Robin Van Persie for his autograph.”
L.S. Lowry ‘Going To The Match’
This is a preview of
Bob Van Persie, ‘One Man – Full House’ Exhibition Private View, Richard Goodall Gallery, Manchester England, September 12th 2013
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