I’ve been working in Manchester of late, doing the seven-fifteen shuffle across the peak district – it is so dispiriting sometimes that it has been known to inspire poetry!
There must be something about commuting at this time of year that leads to polemics. Last year I wrote a fairly heartfelt post railing against the commercialisation of Christmas. And while this year the corporate feeding frenzy seems to have been toned down a bit, you can bet your penultimate pound that they are working hard to manipulate us in a myriad of subtle ways.
Anyway to revolutions, beds and the like. Stumbling off my commuter carriage into the murk of Manchester Piccadilly station, I was struck by the multitude of ‘revenue protection agents’. In an instant, modern society seemed clear to me. All this effort goes into protecting revenue – not a man shall cross the threshold between platform and concourse without their purchase credentials being checked.
If only we protected the other more important aspects of our lives so assiduously – sanity protection officers anyone? Loneliness protection officers? How about a team of highly visible workers engaged to protect the environment, or the social cohesion of communities, or the souls of men.
Infused perhaps, with the spirit of one of Manchester’s most famous recent songwriter/rebels (that’ll be Noel Gallagher), I thought: Fuck revenue! Fuck all-encompassing capitalism, and in my head sung the lyric which which forms the title of this blog.
I then entered the office of my corporate paymasters and once again sold a little slice of my soul in order to live the life of a compliant citizen in this materialistic prison that we’ve built for ourselves in the twenty-first century..
Perhaps, in a moment of existential authenticity, I should have run through the open-plan office of my employ, screaming expletives at the top of my voice.
I didn’t, of course. I quite like my co-workers in fact.
You, of course, are free to pour scorn on my moral feebleness, and may quite reasonably argue that such weakness is at the heart of many of the ills of modern society. But pick up a mirror and you’ll realise that in all likelihood you’re doing the same thing too.
One day however, we the unthinking, the afraid, the useful only because we consume, will get backbone, and despite the heavyweight psych-ops that they will hurl at us (see Scottish referendum, September 2014) we won’t budge.
Then – as in many cases where the population are at odds with the powerful – there may be wailing, sorrow, pain, nightmares, injustice and death.
And there may also be change.