Monday 23 March 2020

Go The Fuck Home And Stay There

Welcome to 2020, the end times. The death of all we have taken as a gibbon* these last hundred years or so. First came the floods, then came the plague. Those of us who have spent our lives being called socially distant, step forward: our time has come.

I am not here to condemn the fucking idiots who visited their families for mothers’ day on Sunday, those who had one last hurrah at the pub on Friday night, and those who are still congregating in large groups without a care in the world. I get it, I mean you’re wrong and you’ll probably kill your own mothers, but I get it. (Update, while writing this you’ve made sure none of us can go anywhere at all, thanks pricks). Nor the conspiracy theorists who are not convinced all this is to stop people dying. If the extreme measures (brought in as a result of the aforementioned fucking idiots) fail to stop after the pandemic dies down and become a tool of oppression I shall join you on the barricades brothers. Until then, I will relish the opportunity to stay home, watch Netflix and not have to feel guilty for not wanting to go and visit my nearest and dearest.

Once this is all over – if we’re not all on the barricades fighting to be let out again – we’ll have to cope with yet another economic crisis. But, if you follow the money up, who actually suffers if we just turn off the monetary system until all this blows over. Cancel rent and mortgage payments, and yes, the immediate beneficiaries will feel the burn, but cancel their payments, and the next tier and the next and everything freezes in situ as it were and nothing gets worse? Right? Cancel the debt, Fight Club style. Where does the literal buck stop and what happens if it doesn’t get there? Money is an abstract concept, no matter what anybody tells you. I’ve only got an A level in economics, and it was over twenty years ago so my argument is almost certainly flawed. But my (admittedly wildly socialist) mind thinks that if you just press pause on the financial system for a bit then this all ends far less painfully than it does otherwise. The laws of economics are not like the laws of physics, you can bend them.

I’ve always advocated Universal Basic Income and opening up empty town centre buildings for the homeless. Were such a system already in place, then the lockdown would be much easier to implement. Everybody has a warm home with clean running water and everybody has enough to eat. Everything after that counts as a luxury and you need to work to afford it. That’s it, that’s the system, not mind-blowing is it? Nobody dies unnecessarily.

Entertainers could pursue their careers without the constant fear of eviction. Musicians and comedians etc. live day to day, self-employed on gig fees that haven’t increased since I started out in this business nearly thirty years ago. Working class kids could pursue whatever career they want without fear of ending up broke and dead. And right now we wouldn’t have to politely watch the endless live-streamed gigs of our former favourite artists before tipping them via the virtual paypal hat.

Obviously I will be accepting tips for this magnificent performance

The virtual pub is the best thing to come out of this, and I shall be implementing it as soon as possible (friends, message me, we will make groups). Multiscreen calling on your messenger system of choice via laptop or phone. It has many advantages:

1) Your evening can’t be ruined by some weirdo nobody else actually knows barging in and banging on about something none of you care about.

2) You can all listen to whatever music you like, separately. Use headphones and avoid spillover.

3) The bar is much cheaper and nobody has to wait to get served. Also you won’t get saddled with the expensive round.

4) If somebody gets too boring you can pretend your connection has dropped out, rather than having to go for a pretend piss to get away from them.

5) You no longer have to go outside to smoke/vape (unless you don’t like the stink in your house) and even if you do, you can take the rest of the “table” with you.

6) You no longer have to put up with the smell of your smoking/vaping friends when they come back to the table.

7) You can turn up in your jim-jams, no shirt, no shoes, no problem.

8) It is much easier to leave and go to a different “pub” with another group of friends.

If you’ve made it all the way to the end then thanks for reading this disjointed mess. Please stay safe, don’t spread it about and if you need reading material then please consider one of my books and don’t be like the Facebook woman who has boycotted Amazon for principled reasons and thus will not buy my books from there.**

* Still my absolute favourite eggcorn of all time.

*It’s the only self-publishing platform I can afford, most of the profits go to me, and their self-publishing program is one of the few actually good things that Amazon do. It also works out much better for me (and other Amazon authors) if you go exclusive – for the Kindle Unlimited benefits. Amazon may be destroying a lot of businesses but principles will only get you so far, and all big companies are dicks (see Waterstones). If you can’t buy it anywhere else it should be a no-brainer. Don’t be a dick.

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