Call me a skeptic, but at the moment Blighty is feeling decidedly blit.
It’s not so much the economic malaise or any of the usual global terrorism meets loss of empire ‘n’ David Beckham kind of mullarkey — more the sense of careworn subdual about the place, like the whole of the UK has been strung up by the John O Groats and beaten about the Lands End as if by a Victorian scrubber girl in some pre-Dyson rug filth hell.
Surely we ought to be on to our third Summer of Love by now? Especially after four back-to-back bank holidays, a splash of Royal pomp and such a generous sun:rain ratio that the weathermen are already predicting a drought before the BBC television centre is snapped up and converted into the world’s safest ever nuclear power plant.
It’s in the nature of inter-generational cyclicity for old hats and chestnuts to be re-treaded and regurgitated like they were spanking brand new, and the early 90s flared trouser re-imagining of the late 1960s certainly had something of that about it — albeit without the option to have Jim Morrison gad about the place with a Rooster Cogburn beard. Twenty years on, we’re due another reprise of this spirit, having endured a grim spectrum of right and left politics, witnessed the digitization of our privacy, and re-invented Opportunity Knocks with a more irritating host than Hughie Green ever was.
The best we can hope for this summer is a billion-to-one chance asteroid collision north of Burnley which prompts the world to send us the cream of its charity relief talent for a week-long festival of mourning and celebration in a huge tent with equal billing on its flaps for Richard Branson, Steve Jobs and whoever Katie Price has just married that week.
We certainly can’t rely on today’s ruddy kids. What kind of gay abandon and excess can possibly flow from drainpipe jeans shrunk to nothing from the knee up? Or girls whose sense of wonder and excitement flits from app to app to sacral tattoo between shopping for clothes designed to make it look like you’re wearing no clothes?
2011 in the UK is the antithesis of everything flared.
It’s blit and unlit — and maybe a little bit scared.
Whirlochre is writing fiction in a universe cast from shriekingly implausible shrapnel-haunts of fact.