Wednesday, 30 September 2015

A different way of doing things.

My wife joined the Labour party yesterday.

It's really easy to do online apparently, literally a matter or minutes. I've got other friends who've joined recently too. I'm excited about this. Not because I'm not the most political person - you'll know that if you read this regularly -  but I do find it exciting that the ostensibly 'comfortable' 'middle class' and 'middle aged' or whatever other social groups I and my friends fall into... that these people are not being complacent.  They are  inspired that there genuinely appears to be an effort from Jeremy Corbyn to do away with the PR of politics and try to talk frankly about the issues that affect everyone apart from a small proportion of the wealthy. Of course that's been made into a PR slogan itself now:

But I like the idea that we might return to a country or indeed a world where people are interested in more than just going to Westfield shopping centre or how much their house is worth. I love the fact that Corbyn has more important things to think about than wearing an expensive suit and is quite happy getting on with things dressed like this:

This movement towards a rejection of 'The way things have always been done' is a GOOD THING. I genuinely think people are angry and increasingly motivated. With the help of the Internet, they are beginning to form communities that work for them without having to put money into the pockets of large corporations.

Here is a short list of things that I am viewing as part of this move away from being told what to do :

1) The explosion of craft beer and the return of local breweries.

2) Local Sell or Swap sites preventing needless throwing away or giving eBay more commission.
3) The rejection of car culture and return to cycling after Bradley Wiggins' made it cool again.
4) The debate about home ownership beginning to move towards the realisation: there is no longer a Property Ladder.
5) Actual empathetic human beings with social skills on reality shows.

6) The recognition of vinyl as the best way of communing with recorded music.

Obviously, this being A&Rmchair, it was inevitable that I'd slip that one in.

The point about all this is that it is something of a step back in time, to pre-globalisation when we weren't all supposed to buy and do the same things. I hope you will definitely have things that you've spotted about our lives changing. And those of you with children may say that you try and battle with the corporate stuff but give in to pleas for iPhones or McDonalds. I know I do. But small steps...

Of course, what is also going on is that many of the above 'middle class' people are a) having to find alternative ways to make a living and b) maybe a bit righteous about that. The fact that the creative industries have been changed out of all recognition in the last fifteen years means that a lot of the jobs in print journalism, TV, radio, publishing and music now no longer exist.

I'm finally reading Gone Girl (don't tell me who Dunne it!) the protagonist of which, Nick Dunne, is a longhand version of the sort of journalist who is no longer allowed to write about popular culture because there is no paid media for him to do it on. I'm also reading How Music Got Free which is a brilliant, forensic study of the events which led to the MP3 revolution which decimated the record business. What are all the people who lost their previous living doing now. In the book Dunne opens a bar (hello craft beer!) and the people in the music business are either managing artists or have reinvented themselves (hello, everybody!)

And now there's a book about the overall situation called Crash: The Killing of The Creative Class. The author, an American called Scott Timberg, himself a journalist laments the disappearance of culture in the climate of corporate domination. I confess to not having read it yet but apparently after the catalogue of misery that the book largely is, he finds some solace in the fact that creative people have always found a way to be creative.

Here's hoping. Now where was that Labour party url...