We as a generation can do most things in bed now. So what can the poor, hard working era of crisis do to get more of us out of it?
Here’s an easy question, and it will make you chuckle in its innocence:
If the climate crisis appears to be signalling the radical die back of life systems on Earth that are keeping us alive, thanks to the consequences of late stage capitalist economics, why are we mostly still living like “consumers” trying to really ram home the results?
See? Naw. I’m like an adorable baby activist.
Go on, here’s an almost-as-easy one to pin on your fridge, while we’re doing this:
If Mark Zuckerberg’s launch of Meta signals a grim double-down from the tech giants hoping to shackle our lives and data to their platforms and devices, jacked in everywhere to their matrix, why are we all still on Facebook?
Oh, me, eh? Bless me.
So one more, weary parent:
If, here in the UK, the police bill signals a move to criminalise peaceful protest and stimulate an atmosphere of fear around it, why aren’t we filling the streets to stop it? While some of us cheer on lion-hearted, hooded anti-vax men bravely breaking into Christmas markets in Luxembourg for gluvine, why aren’t all of us across the political spectrum not scaring the shite out of the current British government for daring to begin outlawing free speech?
You haven’t got time to answer fatuous simpleton pressingly obvious questions no one else is bothering to answer, I know. You’re a grown up. Too busy wishing you could go back to bed.
It might be more precise to simply ask: What gets us out of bed?
Besides the endless task of keeping the wheels on something vital that’s falling apart.
I think I’d rather put that question like this:
“If not the relentless era of crisis, what are you currently plugging your passion into?”
WHAT WILL WE STAND FOR?
Tina Fey said that trying to write satirical comedy right now is like tiptoeing through a minefield. It’s making even big hitters timid. Which is interesting, since audiences seem to give stand-ups the most freedom to say what they like.
But what is funny right now? And what will any majority of us hear?
Next week, as an artist, I am sharing a little livestream event that will feature a brand new music video. One which the lovely first lady of Momo has judged insightfully with the words: “As funny as frightening.”
As part of a bigger creative project, the new single references a theme of science fiction. But really expresses an idea so common, so fundamental to our shared culture, it is almost unifying in the way we accept it.
In sharing what that is, I will first share a talk. In which I wonder just what new idea might help galvanise more of us to plug in our passion to the problems we’re facing. For all the mico niches marshalling and stirring our feelings in passionate dividing groups around the disaffected globalised world, is there a simple perspective that could redefine the most of us feeling in the middle? Just trying to live our ordinary lives. Exhausted. Is there a new idea of us that could finally light up new futures in our imaginations?
An idea that might help more of us unjack and finally plug in?
Don’t feel you have to get out of bed for it. But I’ll be taking questions.
And asking one big one.