– Pray For Ugly Babies, Mime, and a Viagra-Vodka Flavour McFlurry –
Although the Faded-Tricolore-Temporary-Profile-Picture is a very useful tool for morally elevating ourselves above an impassive stream of our friends, acquaintances and strangers, it doesn’t achieve much else. If it achieves anything else, it is only to prove how defenceless and devoid of answers we really are. Understandably, British people want to show sympathy towards the families of victims whose heads they’d gladly trample over every single morning for 40 years to get an aisle seat on a commuter train. It isn’t meaningless to feel that ‘we’ need to be ‘united’ against ‘them’ – Which hopefully, (though doubtfully) means ‘we who wouldn’t kill someone’ against ‘they who would’. Unfortunately, though, the consensus on the chosen method of establishing this unity, is the rather snide, divisive, and most importantly pretend method of projecting moral superiority by “getting the flag picture up first”.
People who hate their neighbours with such a passion that only the deterrent of a prison sentence prevents them beheading them through a rather violent twist on the gloryhole – are now posting “Je Suis Nice” in order to morally elevate themselves above people they haven’t seen for 10 years and only ‘stalk’ occasionally to derive satisfaction from the ugliness of their baby. The sub-Tricolore comments offer their own solutions – “All vehicles in Europe must now be checked every day.” Ok, let’s run with that. Let’s dunk Mick Jagger and Katie Price into a giant Viagra and Vodka flavoured pimp-my-McFlurry, quickly breed enough people to enable us to check “Every vehicle in Europe every day” – Sorted, right? Wrong. It’s too fucking late. This attack happened yesterday. And just as it wasn’t at a gig at the Bataclan, the next one probably won’t be a lorry-based incident. Perhaps there’s a bigger problem here than people being allowed to drive lorries? The solution certainly isn’t a feature on a website owned by a man who bought literally a high-walled fort in Hawaii, enabling you to superimpose a French flag onto your latest selfie, to fleetingly be more fake-compassionate than a load of people with whom you have a secret, bitter, mutual hatred.
One of my 8 year old Guitar students recently performed at his school’s end of year concert. His Mum proudly showed me the video and I commented (as in made a comment, not as in – Commented On Facebook – It will not take ownership of all verbs) that it looked like a great show. She then told me that the show contained several acts of mime. To which I said “Oh wow, really? Is mime artistry making a resurgence or something?” – “No – Miming…Singing…but not real, just miming the song”. Apparently the school has an “inclusive mentality” that praises everyone equally and gives everyone a chance at everything. (Unless they’re Gay or not a Christian, in which case they can fuck right off) I like the standpoint, as the awful spade-a-spade-everything-entirely-on-‘merit’ attitude makes me feel disillusioned, sad and dysphoric. But the point is, let them sing, if they want to, and praise their effort and passion even if they don’t sing well…Not let them mime. These may be the people who will grow up to superimpose their St. George’s Flags onto their profile images of whatever succeeds Snapchat, to feign sorrow for the deaths of all their friends’ grown up ugly babies. (Note re: St George’s Flags – It’s not that they’ll be racists necessarily – It’s just that the Union Jack will no longer exist, as all the other UK countries will have decided they’d rather be completely alone than have us as a mate. Or maybe there’ll be a Football tournament on so nobody has to decide who’s racist and who isn’t)
Another way to use Facebook to morally elevate yourself in the wake of a terrorist attack is: “Ummm…..Hello?!?! Why does no one seem to care about the attacks in Bangladesh or Turkey?!?!” The answer, as everyone already secretly knows is the same as why you’re more scared if you hear there’s been a spate of burglaries 3 streets away, rather than 80 miles away. There is also an element of the closer-to-home attacks being reported more, but that’s essentially the same thing – Whether to keep us informed, or scared, or both. What’s really nice to do on Social Media is to pretend we don’t all know this, and to throw the question out there “Does Nobody Care About Bangladesh/Turkey?!” – The answer again is – No, they don’t! As above, they hate their neighbours. I personally hate about half of my family members. Therein lies the problem, and a huge component of all of this issue. The implication – If Paris/Nice is more in your brain than Bangladesh/Turkey then you’re a racist, but I’m not because I’ve mentioned it…More fake Facebook Moral Superiority. Pretending to give a shit about everyone doesn’t take any additional effort to pretending to give a shit about just the white people. Unless you’re scouring porn playlists.
Another thing that doesn’t take any effort at all, is pretending to pray. We all know why God invented the hashtag – So non-religious people could use it to say they’re praying for a place when they’re not actually doing so, in order to offer a false embrace to both the victims, and religious people, the implication being – “Well I may not be religious, but this is too important to be divided…plus it sounds vaguely poetic, emotional and defiant, let’s give it a whirl, “Pray for —“ – sandwiched on my news feed between a ‘timehop’ of them drunkenly vomiting into a park bin in 2007 and a picture of the wedding of two friends who they fucking hate.” Well – Pray to who? If we had agreement on which God was the real one, a lot of this wouldn’t be happening. Should you “Pray for Wherever” to the ‘local’ Christian God, or to Allah, as he’s a bit closer to the action? Or to one of the many heads of the (real) Hindu God who created both the Christian and Muslim Gods back in the 1960’s, just to mix things up a bit? Ultimately, what’s clear is that praying for places isn’t working. And why would it? If you want something to change, you have to actually do something.