I have developed a fascination with the news that is quickly becoming The Mom-like in its obsession. I mean, I went to the pool a couple of weeks ago, shortly after the Brexit happened, and I came back and there appeared to be no one running the UK. Each and every time I look at the news, there is horror after horror. Nice. Turkey. Iran. The UK imploding to a rather spectacular degree – I mean, Boris Johnson is the new Foreign Secretary – that’s like hiring Krusty the Clown! Scotland keeps threatening to leave – which is looking more and more sensible as the days go on. It’s got to the point that Greece being broke and needing another few billion to keep itself going doesn’t even make the headlines anymore.
And then of course there’s Trump. Most of The Mom’s news is Trump-based at the moment. Which makes for strange conversations as I get a bit of Trump, but the UK’s got its own massive existential crisis at the moment and there’s only so much fuckwittery one can cope with on a day-to-day basis. So I struggle to keep up with Trump’s goings on.
The Mom recently informed me with equal measure of dread and a morbid glee that because Ohio is what’s known officially as an open-carry state – or colloquially as a ‘We’re bat shit crazy and don’t care who knows it state’ – that it’s perfectly legal to take an AK47 to the Republican National Convention. Never mind the fact that I don’t quite understand all these conventions and caucuses (even though John Oliver kindly tried to explain them to me on his tv program), the idea that when going to choose someone to run to become President of the United States might necessitate a semi-automatic machine gun is certainly quite concerning.
Not being an American puts one at a disadvantage when trying to understand why it’s illegal to buy or sell Kindereggs but machine guns are okay. And the rabidness involved in the American elections is also difficult to comprehend from these shores. I mean, we just got a new PM the other day – she didn’t even win any kind of election. Not even her party had to do a vote. The other lady just decided she didn’t want to run anymore because the press made fun of her for saying a stupid thing, and presto change we’ve got a new PM. No fanfare, no running, no voting, no nothing. We just got the job done. Not that anyone’s happy about it, mind, but since no one’s ever really that happy with the PM it hardly makes a blind bit of difference at this point. We just needed someone to look like they were in charge.
Anyhow, The Mom has been looking on at the upcoming convention with an increasing sense of dread. She remembers the riots that happened at the Democratic Convention in the 60s and she’s waiting for a repeat, but with more guns. And more anger. And quite frankly…
I remember in the wake of the London Riots someone saying that the weather had looked good and that there was an undertone of anger building and that it looked like a nice evening for a riot. I’m sure this comment was mostly off the cuff with only a bit of reality to it, but you can see where they were going with it. Rain puts people off. I’m almost completely convinced that’s why more riots don’t happen here. It’s one thing to have a riot in the sunshine, but quite another to have to go out in a monsoon to do your looting.
And then there’s all the racism and general sense of xenophobia that’s going on here. I’ve become more aware of my foreignness than ever these days.
It’s times like this that I very much miss Canada. The Guardian did a special week-long series about Canada recently, and one of the articles was on Toronto, and how fantastically boring the place is. And I remember loving London precisely because it’s not boring.But things in the world are getting a bit too exciting for me these days. I’m not saying that I’m seriously considering moving home, but I really do see what’s good about living in a boring country where not much happens and everybody is largely okay with that.
There’s an old Chinese proverb that goes something like, May all your days be interesting. Well, I wish for everyone’s days to get a whole hell of a lot less interesting.