“The wolf at the door has been handed the keys. Never stop fighting for progress, love, art, and freedom. We need revolutionaries now.”
Dazed.com via Twitter
So, Brexit II has happened and it seems this Compassion Crisis of ours isn’t, in fact, the reserve of the UK. Slow claps too to the United States for electing a racist, sexist, homophobic antisemite whose backward views don’t belong in the 21st century, let alone the White House. Let’s not normalise the following: Trump is a bully billionaire with a pending child rape case against him; a climate change denier with the logic of a tantrumming toddler; a groper of women who openly brags about his sexual violence; the son of fully paid-up Ku Klux Klan members with a family photo to prove it. (Et cetera, et cetera). You always have to go bigger and better, don’t you, America. Shall we dig up Jimmy Savile and make him King?
I’ve been struggling with my own response to it all. Like everybody else this side of the pond I’ve made an emotional investment into this tiresomely long election. Yet I didn’t get to vote and therefore I refuse to grieve twice. My heart cannot take it. But how do I move on? How do I make/do/write anything now that isn’t politically charged? Everything else seems pointless and petty in comparison. We have to regroup. We have no time to write about literature and lipstick. We are all resistance fighters now, right?
Before it became the world’s most annoying meme, Keep Calm and Carry On actually meant something to our grandparents and great-grandparents, who knew a thing or two about Having A Shitty Time. I won’t keep calm, Ethel, because I’m fucking livid, but I will carry on because Trump and his kind threaten everything I hold dear. We couldn’t influence the election, that wasn’t our fight, but this is: We must keep writing, keep drawing, keep making music, keep designing, keep pushing boundaries through art, keep challenging authority with our ideas. We must celebrate our brilliance, our youth, our compassion, our inclusivity and creativity. We can take to the streets and protest, of course – and we will – but living a creative life is being political, too. Because now we need culture like never before.
Art trumps shit. Always.