It’s Thursday night. I turn up to this event where an important politician is supposed to speak. I’ve been told about this event by a friend, but I don’t know much more. The guest is, apparently, the Leader of the House of Commons, a Tory, and a funny-looking, puritan conservative.
I arrive a bit late, it’s dark outside Roberts building and the event is probably about to start. I enter the room: the atmosphere is quite immediate. Most people are sitting down, chatting composedly. 90% are males, a good ratio of ½ wearing a suit. The room is dense and filled with 19th century romanticism and nostalgia, most people seem quite happy of being in the room with their fellow Victorian mates, and almost no outsiders.
Few times in my life I’ve perceived such a vivid contrast between the room I was in and the outside world, the same feeling I have in ancient museums. It’s almost as stepping into the lecture theatre you stepped into another epoque. It was surely fascinating.
However, I could not help but think of the poor lives of these kids, destined to live in an era which does not belong to them. A lot of emo kids (at least, where I’m from) usually say stuff like “I was born in the wrong decade” trying to look cool and different. I never really liked those kids, because they never actually meant what they said, and their words were only a vague and ephemerous act of rebellion. But these people around me on Thursday night, they really were born in the wrong decade. There’s nothing worse than that, and I felt nothing more than empathy for them, sons of an era which they will never witness.
Yes sure, they were a bunch of self-referential and upper-class kids, referencing to themselves as the “elite of society”, but you know, once you understand their position, you can’t really hate them. And now I get Brexit. The European Union is a futuristic ideal, irreconcilable with the nostalgia I perceived in the room. It requires a constant aspiration towards the now, not the old. Maybe Brexit is good after all.
This appeared in CG Issue 71