England has exited, mic drop & all that drama. Smirky Boris looked very pleased with himself in his speech, saying nothing of any value other than…well, fucking hot air & a wagging paw, like a weak handshake. Big Ben got a cheap digital ring, a gesture, cheaper at least. We had it holographically printed on Downing Street, yip jump. O dear.
The clientele I serve beers, in the magnanimous taproom down by the quay in Exeter, despondently purchased shots of whiskey or rum to down on the stroke of 11 & who can blame them. A few tables were really drinking heavily to compensate their disgruntlement, from the time they got off work, to last orders. The taproom had no quarreling which side are you on, in our taproom, we have a safe haven from Brexiteers, boasting their triumphs against the ill pairing of their jingoistic effluvia with the economic powerhouse & neighbor over the pond, who has provided & paired with us on issues of importance: maternity leave, trade, co-operation, economic opportunity, freedom of movement, somewhere decent to go on holiday.
But we have learned little from 3 years, other than that we are a divided nation. Not only that, a divided world, because within the neoliberal catalogue of abuses is its own disavowal, which maybe even encourages critique if only to be able to turn around & say “you see, you have a voice…you don’t get that everywhere.” But then, what is the point of speaking out when protest isn’t ubiquitous, when outrage is confined to pockets of passive resistance, too tempered by the precariousness that is being middle class, with our terror of being poor, destitute. The precarity of subsistence urges us to genuflect at the foot of capital. O, the horror.
I went to the Brexit marches here & saw that it was students & those who have a 9 to 5, freeing them to take action on the weekend, who attended. Better than nothing, but never enough. What needed to happen is for the weekend staff in Boots & H&M to walk out, without fear that they’ll lose their jobs, if only because they couldn’t sack the entire staff. But that is not how capitalism tames us, & the act of protest against something as self-harming as Brexit is inextricably tangled with the capitalist blase attitude of passivity that has inveterately conditioned us to such erroneous, uncritical decision making. But of course, Brexit had to be done democratically, it had to be a choose-a-side moment.
What chance did we have really when this whole fiasco began because of the egoism of individuals, assembled like clowns in a hatchback (without the funny illusion) vying for control of the narrative that Britain still has any clout in the world? They knew pride would spill into error & the fed historical narrative of greatness would bend ears, it always has, always will. History died & yet it lives like a recorded message misinterpreted due to the wrong context, same as God, dead as a door nail, but like the recording of the dead, plays over to spool the hopeful momento that It is still out there with Their history & teleology for the faithful. To want history to repeat itself is probably the silliest effect to be re-energized out of this whole scrum. The irony is, by stepping out, we step into the unknown, despite the belief of those who voted for this, that it is a step toward the past.
What now? For those of us in disagreement, “go on high ship” or something to that effect, by which I mean, form your own society. Why is this helpful? Just feels like there is so much fragmentation that we might as well chip off the old block of wholeness more & encourage ourselves into formative resistance against the greater threat of dissolving whatever rights & privileges the EU provided us. But there’s the rub as well: it was speaking of the EU as a distinct body from ourselves that enabled resistance to it. The money paid into it, was paid into something we were part of. This wasn’t a bully pushing us around for pocket change. This was a collective of nations pooling together to purchase better community. This is what irritates me about it most of all. So I suppose the parts really are greater than the sum of the whole, or they must become so, if only so we can collect in lumps the strengths to countervail what may turn up for the worst. Things may get shitty.
Dunno if any of this makes sense. Brexit doesn’t, so maybe it has infected my own sense making capacity. Bollocks.