At the back of my venue there is a cobbled road, Blossom Street. It’s only wide enough for one car but it’s a two way road. Various satnav apps have it as a way of bypassing traffic lights. Which is fine if you’re the only car on the road. But the traffic volume is extremely high. It’s a favourite fighting point on a Saturday night for ubers filled with drunk arseholes. I walked out after the show into total carnage. People arguing with people on the street about who had right of way. Nobody did! When I tried to deal with it, I noticed something that struck me.
I was repeatedly running around a corner and organising cars and drivers. I had a very good idea of the extent of the problem, and what would help fix it. Despite having done two shows and being knackered I somehow decided it was my job to try and sort out the almighty Saturday night mess that had developed around stubbornness and boozed up uber passengers.
What struck me is that, with very few exceptions, the drivers and passengers were unwilling or unable to accept that there was a bigger picture. They were looking at the car in front of them and nothing else. “That driver just needs to mount the pavement and let us through.” insisted mister drunk hipster, having got out of the car to attempt to physically threaten me which went nowhere as he’s shorter than me, a drunk hipster, and didn’t have a handle on the situation. I tried to teach him my perspective, but even though I was just trying to sort it out, he behaved towards me as if I was a rival in some way.
I spoke to lots and lots of idiots over this. All behaving in isolation, crying about their filthy nappies. “I will not give ground. I am me. I have no idea how to sort this out so I’ll just lay on my horn and judge everybody. The things I can see are the only things that are wrong. Nothing is real outside my perception.” There was a whole mountain of other cars round the corner with no pavement to mount and a similar critical mass of fucked up passengers, but they were round the corner. So they weren’t there. This was all shortly after closing time on a Saturday in Shoreditch.
I had a clear perspective on the snarl up and I tried to tell them so. Almost everyone refused to look outside their own narrow view. I sorted it out in the end with help from Natalie, but as I was sorting it, more problems backed up, and I realised that we are fucked as a species and left them to it.
Here we are, almost certainly past extinction point, with one of our world leaders who is so asphyxiated by his own selfishness and greed that he is unpicking what little there is in place to stop us from properly keeping our planet habitable in future. Why?
Because the scale is long. It ain’t us who will die in incomprehensible numbers. It’s unlikely to be our children. It’ll be a few generations. So meantime, we can’t see beyond our immediate shit. I’ve had empirical proof of that part of our nature tonight. As far as they were all concerned, the other car should get on the kerb, irrespective of what’s round the corner, and the bloke who knows what’s round the corner because he just looked – he can be ignored because we can only see the car in front.
The selfishness of some of the people I spoke to was astronomical. All they had to do was accept that by giving ground they would eventually gain ground. But they were happier to remain at loggerheads and honk their horns than to give an inch. I sorted it eventually with my traffic cop routine, in my ski suit, without a whistle. But seriously. So many animals. Angry selfish idiot animals. And it’s hard to even try to teach that there’s a better way when the most powerful person in the free world is an exceptionally dangerous lunatic who wears his animal selfishness like a badge and actively attacks and demeans perspective and intelligence.
Anyway, I had a lovely week. Radio 4 were in today recording the show… Thankfully I don’t think they heard me trying to direct traffic afterwards.
Here’s Jack and I. End of a good week. Comedy partners. Business partners. A whole lot of love.