Incidentally… on ‘Love Locks’ being replaced by ‘Love Tags’.

So you take away the fence and dispose of the locks and replace the fence with glass. And people show up with Sharpies. And they write on the glass.

It’s shockingly ignorant and arrogant and difficult to comprehend and yet, if you think about it, it’s perfectly understandable. Because for about four generations now if you include “Gen-X” the western world has raised people who are increasingly clueless, less smart (and I don’t mean degrees, I mean knowing how to fry a freaking egg and use a library) but absolutely running over with self esteem and entitlement. They are brilliant, they are special, each and every one of them because mommy and daddy and Barney and post-modern 90s psychobabble told them so.

And this is what you do when you live a life where every moment is captured, shared, and you yourself are the creator of your own online reality series. You mark your place. You produce, edit, and distribute to fountains of other people who are all doing the same thing and pretending to care, in turn, about you. And in the end — and I’ve heard more friends than I can actually believe openly say this — what it’s really all about is spying on people you know and you’ve grown up around to see if you’re doing better than them or not. Because all of that self esteem and positive reinforcement has failed to do one vital thing: make these people give a shit about themselves, because their happiness has been based on the approval of others. And to get that approval most people go to the biggest hit of dopamine that exists outside of drugs and alcohol: the Facebook like. Instant, unquestionable, unwavering approval. But about as thin in sincerity as a ‘Best wishes’ next to an autograph of some celebrity.

This claiming what isn’t yours is endemic today in these generations. And think about it, it’s not with a dry erase marker, it’s not with pen, it’s not sidewalk chalk.. it’s with a Sharpie. Permanence. Stability. Immovable. Firmly stated. Confusing characteristics for generations so supposedly assertive and in control to be striving to project. They don’t seek to proclaim their love nor do they succeed in doing so. They seek to define what is lacking inside them. And they’ll force others to witness it until they get their “like”.

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Incidentally… on the aftermath of the referendum.

brexit
In Baseball, from time to time, a pitcher and catcher can’t understand each other’s non verbal communication through all the hand signals and the crowd noise and they take a time-out, a relatively common request to the umpire, and have a mini-conference on the field. Every time the visiting team does it, the home team’s supporters boo them for taking the relatively insignificant pause. The booing doesn’t bother most sports fans and it’s taken as regular heckling but I’ve always found it extremely unsportsmanlike and childish. It’s interesting to note, that baseball fans, the kind that really get into the game and boo at these moments tout “the human element” as being one of the most beautiful parts of the game. There’s not a lot that’s more human than two people taking a minute to clarify themselves to each other. The umpire asks them to finish up their chat and the game resumes. But then the very next inning, if the same happens to the home team’s pitcher and catcher, and they have trouble communicating and have a mini-conference, no one says a word and it’s perfectly acceptable for them to do so. The number of ways in which baseball, both the game and the spectator sport, mirrors social behaviour in society could fill a multi volume book series, but that is for another day. It’s quite common in sports and in life for people to be appalled by what the other side is doing when it’s very likely they’d not complain about their side doing the same.

 

I totally support everyone who is upset with the UK ‘Leave’ vote. I would have voted ‘Remain’ if I was English, let me make that clear in no uncertain terms. The internet has been swamped with talk of the final vote’s narrow margin of victory as a reason to not accept it and indeed in some  cases even as reason to reverse it. But I have to say, I do wonder if ‘Remain’ supporters would be as appalled by the 4 per cent difference in the final vote if the result had gone in their favour and the ‘Remain’ side had won. I think they’d have taken it (wishing surely that it had been higher) but I think they’d be very good about ignoring their 4 per cent margin of victory and would be silencing any attempt by the ‘Leave’ supporters to argue the percentage.

 

When two sides agree to the rules of a certain “game” and nobody offers any conditional rules and the game goes ahead as planned, isn’t it too late for people to come back later and discredit what the final score was? Didn’t everyone involved know that it could have ultimately gone even as close as 51% to 49%, or surely even 50.2% to 49.8% which is still a majority outcome? Like the home baseball team supporters that boo when the opposing team has a time-out, but not when their own team does, shouldn’t the rules of the game be accepted as the rules of the game for everyone and if you want that conditional rule applied that the visitors can’t take a timeout or the final vote needs to be by a minimum amount to count, shouldn’t that be established beforehand? Does the loser of a vote by 4 per cent care that it was 4 per cent only because they lost and isn’t that just down to the rules of the game? The legislation behind the referendum didn’t say that the winning side needed to get a minimum percentage. Perhaps more importantly, neither did it say that Parliament, the only governing body allowed to set laws in the United Kingdom, had to act in accordance with the final vote. The referendum just asked the question and Parliament is within its rights to ignore the answer; no matter what the answer and no matter what the margin of victory. Right now, this is truly much ado about nothing.

 

However, something that is not at all nothing, but rather a very frightening something, is the horrifying and unspeakable racism that has reared its ugly head since the ‘Leave’ side won. And that is the real issue in all this that is not getting enough attention. Not where Boris Johnson is, not what Angela Merkel thinks, not what the promises were. What matters is not how much the ‘Leave’ side won by but the unimaginably ugly intolerance and ignorance that has slowly emerged from under the surface of a nation not many people expected it from. The behaviour of people in supposedly civilised society has been disgusting and the discussion over the political and economic repercussions of the vote seem shallow compared to the discussion that isn’t being had about how a nation that was bombed by the most extreme forces of intolerance 75 years ago can possibly have citizens demonstrating today the same kind of anger towards its own fellow citizens rather than at the politicians who created this situation in the first place.