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Our Crack Snapper

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One of the characters in the film The Clouds of Sils Maria says, if I can remember the quote correctly, "And if my era is Donald Trump and viral internet scandals I think I'm entitled to feel unrelated, aren't I?" Unrelated to Brexit, the current Tory government and much that passes for ‘online’ entertainment in the UK in 2018? Definitely. Sometimes I think this unrelatedness is due to the fact I’m not a millennial and that social media is an ‘iron on’ rather than something that I was born into. I was not a baby who was given an iPhone as a pacifier or a lap-top to communicate with my parents. I didn’t do my homework on a tablet nor was I bullied on Snapchat. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth or a misplaced sense of white, male entitlement. I’m not mediated by social media. I don’t think it’s real or exist within its bubble. My opinions haven’t been blanded out by information overload: I was shaped by class politics in the eighties and remain cleared eyed, if unrelated to it all. For instance surely any fool can see that May and Trump are sides of the same virtual coin. Spinning, spun so that people have no idea what’s real and what’s fake. There’s no one faker than Theresa May and there’s no one more real than Donald Trump. Both, however, are united in their greed for power and personal glory and their hatred of the poor and the needy. Contemptuous of the democratic process, both use the right-wing political machines at their beck and call to do their dirty work on social media: depressed hordes of sweaty, deluded keyboard warriors punching keyboards to death while their rank bodies decompose in a welter of hatred and wrongheadedness. The unrelated realise social media in all its forms is best left to the aforementioned ‘warriors’ or those who function with smart phones glued to their faces and wander across busy dual carriageways and high speed rail lines seemingly protected by a social media force field, which even I can’t explain. This unrelatedness, of course, doesn’t just extend to social media and politics but into everything else that goes on in modern life. Does the tag ‘old age’ cover this? And if it doesn’t, what do the unrelated do to become related again? Does it mean Snapchatting and Instagramming ourselves to within a millimetre of our personal privacy? Does it mean finding Trumpism harmless and riding the wave of his sexist and racist buffoonery? Does it mean embracing Brexit and watching the distressing process of the country turning from ‘economic powerhouse’ to empty warehouse in record time? Or maybe those questions are the wrong ones to ask. Maybe being unrelated isn’t something to be worried about. Maybe it should be embraced and encouraged until the time the unrelated become the majority and pitch the foundations of modern relatedness into the sea.