Campfires

Back home today and looking ahead. I’ve had a figure for the damage I did in the car park and it’s under 2 grand. I reckon I’ll see about that much from this Cornish filming, so once again it bounces in and bounces out. Upsetting and yet is it a good thing that it leaves me without funds for a motorbike? Probably… I shall be testing the trains. But also testing the auction houses around me. There might be a way. I’m so privileged to have these options. I’m a lucky lucky boy.

I’m white, straight and have a roof over my head and I’m gainfully employed to do what I love. This world is getting nasty for people who can’t tick those boxes at the moment. It’s received wisdom that what is permissible at the top trickles down. And there’s some pretty unpleasant views being aired publicly at a high level right now, giving permission for people who are angry and feeling immune to consequence to strike out against humans who exist more as ideas than as reality. The idea of the outsider. The monster in the trees beyond the light of the campfire. The vampire who wants to steal your life. People put these ideas into people who are identifying differently from how they identify. As the potential for a global reach is more achievable, the ability we have to huddle together in tribes and wage war against the “different” is growing. All of us might go viral in someone else’s story, and if we do we will have no control over how.

Two women were beaten up on the night bus because four straight drunk kids noticed they were gay and didn’t have the empathy to frame women kissing in any other context but porn. When the women refused to conform to their young male gaze and kiss one another for their pleasure, they quickly resorted to violence. I can follow the thought process, flawed though it is. “Come on!You were kissing just now!” It’s about ownership, control and terrible empathy. I thought we were better empathetically educated these days. I hoped people were safer, particularly here in London, this somewhat permissive city. I’m upset.

Their story, and a picture of them surprised and bloodied, has been shared widely on social media to the extent that I know that Melania and Chris are their names even though I don’t know the name of whoever took the photo and used their profile to kick start it. “You’ll never believe what just happened guys!” They’re speaking well as the lens focuses on them for a bit before moving on as it will and does and must.

Meanwhile across the country someone I’ve met has had a rock thrown at them from a car whilst they were with their partner outside their place of work – almost certainly because of the work or the nature of their relationship. They’re involved in a piece of work that asks intelligent but challenging questions about gender and sexuality. They’re in a small town. Someone there had enough bile, and has enough societal permission, that they can get a rock and some mates, one with a car, and wait for the right moment to cause actual bodily harm remotely during an intimate moment. “Now mate, go on! Do it!”

Is this where we’ve come to after all these years? We need to try to understand more I guess. I need to understand how people can feel justified to behave violently to people who threaten their sense of status quo. And we need to find ways to engage people in dialogue and not attack them immediately. If you start to dismiss and use nasty names you just give people an opposing camp to belong to. Nobody believes that they are fundamentally wrong. So I’m a snowflake libtard or whatever for being an ally and I can throw things at the baddies who don’t think like I do? No!

But I’m so angry right now, from my happy safe liberal place making money from filming, executive lounge for three hours yesterday. Grr. It’s the job of the artist to speak out. But how? Like this I guess.

photo

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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