This morning when we woke we were going to have a long day off, free of obligation. Then an email landed checking that everything was “still good” for Jack and I to do a two hour long live Radio Sheffield spot talking to Majid Majid – the remarkable Lord Mayor of Sheffield. We had both ignored this obligation in favour of thinking about other things. Suddenly our day off was a little less … off. But a lot more interesting.
I got up and got out in the morning. Sleep was in short supply, strangely, and I wanted to explore Kelham Island – our local area. We won’t be in Sheffield for long, and it’s a town full of history. The biggest issue I had this morning, frankly, was that I had to be on BBC in the evening. No chance of sampling all the real ales and craft beers here in the “real ale capital of the world,” according to Majid.
We were partnered with two other makers in Sheffield – Kitty and Hassun.
Kitty makes music, and sings with “Speed for Lovers,” works for Mencap and does a podcast for autistic kids. Hassun does a scientific podcast, he’s evidently full to bursting with interesting facts, and he looks very much like Mo Salah. And Majid is brilliant. He was straightforward and smart and not self important despite being made Lord Mayor of Sheffield at 28. That lack of self importance is the single quality that I look to in authority figures. Expectation of respect based on notional status is a huge turnoff for me. We are all playing let’s pretend here, and worldwide right now the people who have the plastic crowns are setting fire to everything. If there’s a 28 year old with an honorific who is trying to make things better, I’m behind that. I am so utterly fed up of seeing politicians putting their JOB before the thing they should be doing for work. These dogshit humans who have never had perspective but have had privilege… They’re like some of the fools I went to boarding school with. Pointless, cruel and ultimately dangerous. We are actually literally killing the world to line their pockets. Sure, nature will survive and perhaps it’s for the best that we find a way to wipe out a huge chunk of humanity. But I’d sooner avoid it, despite having no children, because it seems like a lot of misery for something that we might still be able to prevent if we can just destabilise corporate greed.
But you can tell my mind is in the show. Scrooge’s journey is from terrified and damaging self interest to a wider perspective. He was visited by three spirits, and changed his ways over the course of one night. Some of his reasons are selfish, but he cares for Cratchett and for Tiny Tim. It’s the season to realise that no matter how far we think we are gone, there’s always a chance of redemption.
If any of you know any spirits, we need to get them to work overtime with this particular rolling cabinet of frantic ambitious sociopaths. You never know what might be buried under the varnish on some of their faces. They might have good hearts that have just learnt from the culture to pretend to be robotic. Surely this landscape can change. Majid is a torchbearer. Bring it.