surinenglish

THE MUSIC MAKER

Don't get me wrong

There's a vague whiff of general madness in the air, wouldn't you say? Whether its cause is to be found in the three months we spent contemplating our own belly buttons, the exaggerated uncertainty of what comes next or Lady Gaga releasing another album while we were distracted, I'm not really sure, but it's all gone a bit weird, don't you think? Jangled nerves are rife, causing odd little cameos between strangers that you used to see once in a blue moon to pop up at least a couple of times daily.

Just this morning, in the supermarket I witnessed a normal-looking chap insisting forcibly that the cashier change a ten euro note because the one she'd given him was damaged. There was clearly nothing wrong with it, but the restrained anger in his tone ensured he got his own way before he disappeared into the simmering heat presumably rejoicing in his perceived little victory.

Maybe it's because we've just been shown in no uncertain terms that no matter how much we like to delude ourselves that we're in control of things, we're patently not. Ergo, if you can demand an unnecessary fresh ten euro note from a stranger for no apparent and be indulged, that surely proves you have some autonomy again, doesn't it? No, not really. The problem is exacerbated by how polarised we've become - so absolutist in our beliefs and convinced of how right we are about everything, clinging like limpets to people of the same stripe in order to justify our views.

So, what's to be done about all of this? Fear not, I've got a plan.

What we need is a law that makes it compulsory for anyone expressing an opinion on anything either in real life or on the interweb, to include a remark that finds something positive in what they're criticising or something negative in what they're praising. It goes like this.

"I love the European Union but I haven't got a clue who those blokes in glasses are who make the laws."

"Blimey, that Donald Trump is a vacuous, crass and vulgar man isn't he? Tell you what though, he's deported fewer immigrants than Barack Obama."

"I can't stand that Pedro Sánchez with all his flip-flopping and hypocrisy; looks good in a suit though."

"Manchester United - no supporters from Manchester, darlings of the press and vastly overrated on every level. Mind you th..." Ok, that one's more difficult but, in general, this could be the perfect way to awaken our oxidised sense of empathy.

Anyway, that's my opinion. I might be wrong, though.