The trouble is, it’s supposed to be funny. Or at least mildly amusing in a wryly light-hearted way. And the truth is I have been finding it rather challenging to find a light-hearted way of writing about what life is like now, compared to when I started this blog.
Only a few years ago, and yet it seems like a faraway dream; a distant paradise where I could make carefree jokes about the dog-poo fairy and hair straighteners, when there wasn’t a tangerine toddler-Nazi in the White House and I didn’t spend my evenings on the internet, pricing up fall-out shelters. These are dark times, and the task of making jokes seems impossible when all I see around me is the angry pile-up of furious chickens coming home to roost.
But do you know what, I think I might have had enough of feeling gloomily livid, ambiguously pleasant though that combination can sometimes be. I am after all, as was noted by my old head of sixth form on my school report, ‘relentlessly cheerful’ (which, on reflection, might not have been a compliment) – surely not even the imminent threat of impending global apocalypse can hold me down forever?
In the end, jokes are perhaps the only thing that will help us survive this somewhat sticky time in our history. That and our British sense of understatement.
So I have spent today thinking about what I can still feel cheerful about. Feel free to add any ideas of your own in the comments below….
Pronouncing the name of GUY VERHOFSTADT. Geeeee Fheerrr HERRRRF STARRRRTT. GHHHEEEEEE VER HEEERRRRFFFSTAT!!! What a splendid name for a splendid person. Definitely my second favourite Belgian (after Plastic Bernard).
Shouting BREXIT MEANS BREXIT!’ very loudly whenever I see Theresa M on the telly. (In the 80s I used to chuck things at the screen when Thatch appeared, so perhaps that’s progress in terms of my level of political debate.) The vacuous meaninglessness of BREXIT MEANS BREXIT never fails to raise a smile, and in 2018 laughing at your own jokes is sometimes the only pleasure available. Sometimes you can swap it for other meaningless but satisfying phrases like ASDA MEANS ASDA! Or PANCAKES MEANS PANCAKES! Try it – it’s fun.
(I also like to shout ‘THEY WILL PRISE THIS BURGUNDY PASSPORT FROM MY COLD DEAD HANDS!’ occasionally, which makes the children just a little bit scared).
Twitter-brethren – finding out through the fevered medium of Twitter that the most unlikely people are in fact your brothers-in-arms. Exhibit A, Gary Lineker with all the energy in the world it seems to torment Piers bleeding Morgan – an open goal if ever there was one, but still fun to witness. Ditto Neville Southall, Lily Allen, our Anthony from the Royle Family and – weirdest of all – Sam Allerdyce. Realising that I have something in common with a load of ex-footballers and minor Brit-celebs I’d probably struggle to recognise in the pub is a strangely cheering thought.
The fashion for amateur ukulele playing among the young folk seems at long last to have passed (I have even taken down the ‘NO UKES!!!!’ sign in the sixth form common room) along with the desire play Mumford and Sons songs.
The young folk have become, almost overnight, passionately interested in politics. Perhaps once they stopped trying to play those elusive two chords on the ukulele they had time to pick up a newspaper for once.* Not a moment too soon and they are finally pretty cross about, erm, everything. Some of them were under the impression that the older generation could be trusted to look after their interests and not actively destroy the planet before they got to enjoy it and – well – they have had a fairly rude awakening in the last couple of years. Could be interesting when they wake up one day and realise exactly HOW much of a massive disaster everything REALLY is and how we really can’t fix any of it. Who’s going to tell them? Not me, thanks.
BLACK MIRROR– It’s a great time for satire. In fact it’s hard to escape the idea that satire is just writing itself. Also, Netflix, Game of Thrones, Hamilton – maybe difficult times make for great art?
The state of UKIP.
And you can’t work out whether this blog is genuinely cheerful or bleakly ironic, well, that’s 2018 for you.
*This is obviously a joke. The young folk are as likely to pick up an actual newspaper as they are to vote Tory. And who can blame them? The newspapers know nothing, nothing at all.