Do you ever see something so ghastly that it feels like you are chewing a mouthful of tinfoil? I had that reaction today to a thing called “the great British get together”, a series of tea parties in the street to create community cohesion and get people talking. Frankly, I couldn’t think of anything worse. The problem is, when people throw these ideas together and you disagree with the organisers, you are instantly accused of being negative but it never occurs to them that they are. There are few things more negative and damaging than trying to impose a shit idea on other people. Firstly, they have to disagree with you, which causes bad feeling and secondly, if they don’t say anything and just suffer through a stupid idea it causes resentment. How is any of that good? Given the option, the thing most people really want to do is to be quietly left to go about their lives in relative peace, is that too much to ask?
I had a peek behind the curtain of community work a while back and I was completely horrified. There is an ocean of cash sloshing around for non jobs for people to tinker around with the lives of others in one way or another like a child with an ant farm. It is often tenuously linked to some minority or another and some woolly minded notion of making things better. Now, whenever I see some grandiose project appear on social media, I don’t look at all the bells, whistles and noise, I simply follow where the money goes. In a world where the sick and disabled are quietly being edged out onto the streets, it becomes obscene where the money actually ends up. Whilst the British television mocks the poor in shows like Benefit Street and makes everyone out to be a scrounger, the real parasites are the middle class people who exploit all the little pots of money lurking around to create pointless little groups and events and pay themselves handsomely for the privilege. When you follow the money you find that it lands in the pockets of people who already have too much.
You must have noticed this surely? Just how much shit free stuff there is about. It’s all a bit rubbish and its all a bit samey. That’s because it’s just the same few people phoning it in. The world is full of ever so slightly disappointing crap to drag your kids or your drunk self around of a weekend or bank holiday and this is why, people with their noses wedged firmly in the trough sucking up all that cash. The reason it is all so shit is that it is all either done on the cheap or by networking. Just look in any cafe or restaurant during the day and you will see them, casually dressed middle class people in their twos and threes, a little pad of paper to jot down notes as they carve up all the money between themselves. That’s where all the money goes, into the bank accounts of people who don’t need it. While you are tied to your desk and phone, while you are stuck behind the counter or till, while you are half way up a ladder or hiding from the bailiffs, there they all are, busy doing nothing.
Anyway, back to the tea party. I couldn’t think of anything worse. The nice neighbours, the people who have good energy and are interesting to talk to, I know already. That’s what most people do, they get along naturally, and the ones who don’t, well there are good reasons why.
Why on earth would I want to be any closer to the rude bastards who polute my world with smoke and noise at every opportunity? If someone constantly forces you to listen to their shit music, drunken ramblings or smell their burning rubbish, why would I want a cup of tea with them? If I could quietly slip a bit of rat poison in (joke!) I may be tempted but as the usual conversation consists of asking them not to do something before they just go and do it even more, why would I bother? Neither do I want the third generation feral kids around the corner assessing what I might have to steal or when I may be out or give any of the local pushy people an inkling of what sort of things I do so they can make demands of my time.
The reality is, community events are a honey pot for show offs, narcisists and people looking to exploit others or run roughshod over their lives. Whilst, somewhere in there, there may be a couple of deluded souls with the best of intentions, the idea would cause more harm than good.
As Jean Paul Satre so succinctly put it, Hell is other people.