I visited Sainsbury’s in a foul mood on Friday having watched the Unholy Trinity the night before; Newsnight, Question Time, Newscast. This may not mean anything to folk who don’t watch British Telly, but in brief it is (in order of broadcast) News, then criticism of the news, then a loosely comical look at the news, by which time the viewer is so fried by 3 hours or there abouts of bad fucking news. Massive fires in Siberia (Siberia, where the Gulag is/was), where it’s very cold and the climate shouldn’t or wouldn’t tolerate massive forest fires. Australia and America I can imagine the fires, but up in the Arctic Circle? Where its minus gazzlions degrees centigrade, where the ground is permanently frozen or permafrost (thats what it’s called folks) and humans and hummingbirds struggle to make a life there. Tornados about to land in America, Wars in the middle East, Desperate people trying to cross stretches of water all over the world to find safety with varying degrees of success from total asylum to total drowning.
The whole thing is a fucking shambles, if you believe what you see on the telly, the problem is we don’t see the whole picture all the time. Rolling news is all fine and dandy when we’re following the elections of which ever moron is voted in, but when we see “special reports from” these tend to be about things which are happening all the time, in places we will never visit, and only see on the news. But we see them for a few minutes on a news programme. And no more. Its there, in my head and it made me cross so when the checkout chap asked me how I was on Friday afternoon, I told him I was pretty jacked off (so the Americans don’t feel left out) with all that’s going on in the world.
“What, the virus and everything?” he said
“Yes, the Virus, Yes, Fires in the Arctic, Yes, Brexit, Yes, Despotic Leadership, the whole Shipshow (I was in Sainsbury’s and so felt I couldn’t swear, but having said that I am becoming one of those sweary men, publicly swearing in conversation rather than a shouty sweary man effing and jeffing at the top of my voice for no particular reason. But I feel I am pretty adept at knowing who would appreciate or understand the need for a swear in a public situation. In my defence No one has told me I shouldn’t swear, quite yet.)
“Whats Brexit? I don’t follow politics.”
At this point the whole cashier-customer conversation broke down. How lucky was he not to know what Brexit was? He must have been underground for years, maybe cryogenically frozen, he’s just woken up and taken a job as a checkout chap as cover, he’s a damn spy from the future who’s going to tell us exactly whats going to happen. Fuck I didn’t know what to say, really stumped, and then he started to say what each item was as he scanned it and then checked I’d not broken it as it slid slowly down the ramp into the packing area.
“Honey Roast Ham, got it? Coriander, got it? Ooh, 3 Pizzas; Margarita, Margarita, Pepperoni, Got it? Double cream, Got it?”
It went on. But the great news was that there was an enclosure full of wine boxes I could use as baggage which then I can recycle by burning with the tyres i’m finding pretty hard to light as they’ve been outside for years now, and the rubber isn’t as flammable as a fresh new Rubberett.
This whole episode came as a surprise to me that someone may not have been following the awfulness of the news, he may have only been interested in Charity shop literature and music, his world view was of a pure form, a world of Jackie Collins, Wilbur Smith and Paul Young; No Parlez. Local league football; Hereford, Worcester, Forest Green.
Would Brexit affect him, would it awaken him, does he need to be awoken? Who knows whats going happen, I’m going to avoid the news for the time being, kind of like the proverbial ostrich, while the Despots and the Privileged carry on moulding their countries the suit their vacuous futures as we the mainstream, watch as the world falls apart and Britains Got Talent peddles Sob Story Dancing Troupes as the rest of us walk down Cormac McCarthy’s Road, to, I don’t know. where.