Peace on earth?

I know it’s Christmas but it doesn’t really feel like it. When’s the second coming? That’s what I want to know. Yes, the lights are on and the carols are being sung and the shelves are heaving, the trollies colliding and the car parks bursting with pent up aggression but that wasn’t what Jesus was put here for in the first place, was it? So now that Christmas has another roll-over year and becomes one more more bloated and vacuous than the last isn’t it time to get Jesus back to sort things out? He could be like some kind of celestial Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen, wafting around with lace and brimstone and decorative suggestions, prancing from continent to continent sorting out all kinds of pickles and bastards. But it won’t happen because it turns out the apocalypse is all of our own making and no-one is going to save us. Merry, as they say, Christmas.

Only kidding. Off you go, go and have fun this Christmas. Stuff the wrapping paper in the wrong recycling box, buy more food than you’re ever going to eat and just throw out the things you don’t really want or re-gift them to someone you are vaguely connected with and who has lower standards than your own; they’ll be really grateful until they open them – note to the seasoned re-gifter: re-gifts can be very easy to smell. Don’t you worry about the planet because look where worrying about it has got us – nowhere. If no-one can be bothered to do anything about it then what’s the point even talking about it. Let’s just sit down, pull a luxury fucking cracker and let it all wash over us.

You see this is the world we live in now. The youth of today are protesting about the state we’re making of the environment and Greta Thunberg is apparently the most important person to have lived since, oh I don’t know, Floella Benjamin. If you’re over 30 it’s all your fault and now the teeny boppers aren’t going to be able to party forever because they’ll either be cleaning up the mess or floating face down in it. Look around and you’ll see that this is no Grinch tactic; it’s very hard to hide things these days anyway, you won’t have to look for long.

I mean, for starters Australia is literally on fire at the moment. When we came back from our holiday down under 2 years ago I was all ready to apply for jobs and get back over there for good. Now I’m not so sure, which is pretty handy because I’m probably too old and too useless to pass Australia’s vigorous entry criteria (which now seem a bit precious). Pretty soon they’ll be letting in anyone with a fire blanket and a bucket of sand. The temperature records are tumbling, or more fittingly, soaring and it seems like a real, proper problem. Never fear, Icarus, the sun shall come to you.

A glance at the rest of what’s going on outside and it just reinforces the idea of a planet in eternal, infernal denial. Big Boris’ bloody Brexit bonanza, Prince Philip being taken to hospital for his regular ‘precaution’, localised flooding across South East England and some new chap as governor of the Bank of England. That plus the knives and the violence and the collected sins of a most peculiar societal rot. All of it dull, all of it re-hashed from the last time it happened. The place is a disaster, not a disaster waiting to happen. It’s as if we’ve literally coughed up our lungs and then decided not to bother going to the doctors. Not that going to the doctors is much help either; they just send you to A&E, which might be ‘free at the point of entry’ but is also ‘shit’. This isn’t news, it’s just a distraction.

Anyway, why are you even reading this? You’re supposed to be enjoying your Christmas and letting the improbable love of a virgin birth sweeten your mince pies. There’s no point in thanking me for stating the obvious and I’m sorry if I’ve made you a bit sad; perhaps I’m just doing my best impression of a less better Greta. If I achieve anything it will be to remind you that if there is going to be a second coming, and assuming a second coming would be a useful thing, then it could do worse than to happen tomorrow. After all, then I might start believing in the first coming and then this Christmas might start to feel a bit more like Christmas. Believe it or not, once upon a time I used to LOVE Christmas.

G B Hewitt. 20.12.2109

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