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From the roaring 20s to the boring 20s

In the last 5 or so years it has been somewhat disturbing yet hilarious to watch flat earthers and their theory gain a little momentum. Let’s be honest who in their right mind seriously believes the Earth is flat? It is antithetical to anyone who views the world through the eyes of rationality. But wait! They may not be wholly wrong, for the world may not be flat, but neither is it round, because as of late, it actually feels fucking square.

In my 47 years on this ball of clay floating through the universe, I don’t think I have ever been so bored or disinterested with any period more than the one I am living in now. Of course, this may just be my age as I ineluctably turn into that curmudgeon that I was born to be, that was evidently etched in the stars. But surely that’s not it entirely and perhaps my behaviour is subject to the ideas of B.F. Skinner. In short am I simply reacting to my environment and indulging in Golden Age thinking? An act of denial that embraces the erroneous notion that the time period in which we live is not as good as a previous chosen era. I don’t think I am.

So let us look back at the Roaring Twenties: a period of social and political change featuring the new woman, the ‘Flapper’: outrageous, immoral and downright dangerous, novels by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the musical works of Cole Porter and a popular rise in Jazz, with great leaps in modern technology, moving pictures and radio. A time when anything seemed possible. It does sound rather eventful, doesn’t it?

And now fast forward to the present, an age where anything is virtually possible and what do we pump out at will, by the second, non-stop with the latest up-to-date technology? Mediocrity. I now have a fucking front row seat to view Jane down the road dancing and miming in her kitchen half-dressed to an ABBA record because according to her it’s… Friday night! Or I can watch Steve, a 14-year-old help an OAP across the road, and apparently this is a fucking moral event! Or even better Sharon wants to share a video of a builder laying fucking tiles in a kitchen.

And how we celebrate it with the ‘thumb’. No irony that evolution began with the apposable thumb and in turn ends with it.

We are actually living in an age where people have replaced cocaine with ‘likes’, where the highest achievement one can attain in life is thousands of followers on Instagram, where to get your tweet retweeted is the holy grail. People follow these Social Network Jesus Christs because of their amazing mediocrity. It isn’t too late to bring back crucifixion, is it? I can honestly say I have barely seen anything that has left me impressed. It’s like a non-stop feed of inane dull gossip. I never realised so many people collectively could have absolutely nothing to offer, trying their hardest not to offend in their digital world of offence porn.

I recently joined Tik Tok in a failed attempt to promote my music, art and books only to be banned within 3 minutes. This was due to me sitting fully clothed on the toilet and a reference to Hugo Boss and Hitler. This was apparently sexual nudity and ‘hate speech’. My children, bless them went into a physiological meltdown explaining to me I would get so much ‘hate’ and were genuinely worried, unable to sit still until I finally relented and deleted my account. They couldn’t get their heads around the fact that I could with such ease turn off my phone and then all those pathetic keyboard warriors and smartphone pseudo savants would simply no longer exist, or that, if I’m honest on the contrary, I actually quite enjoyed the ‘hate’, had I remained on the app.

Celebrities are a great insight into a society. They are who the people permit to be there and celebrate. They are a reflection of who we are and what our society is. And I’ll tell you right now, it’s a popularity contest. Popularity over intelligence, talent and dignity. Don’t believe me, just take a look around.

I love living in an era where the most streamed song ever on Spotify is by Ed Sheeran, that deep edgy perspicacious singer known for throwing TVs out of hotel windows, snorting cocaine out of sycophant’s sphincter and writing political songs that rally against the system. Well, that’s a bit unfair, not all of that is true, just the bit about the most streamed song, the uninteresting part.

When I turn on Netflix and try to find a stand-up show to watch, I can only sit through an hour by a comedian that’s either older than me or one that has been in the papers for a salacious act. Maybe this says more about me, but I find it hard to laugh at these contemporary watered-down apologetic clowns who watch every word they say in case someone misinterprets them in their subjective fashion and they lose a… ‘like’.

The fact is, they are just not interesting. And in turn they are a reflection of the safe, dull, boring, plastic, soulless, ballless, spiritless, insipid period we currently find ourselves in.

Roll on the 30s.

Motta’s novels Celebrity Rape and VIR(US) are available from Amazon.

Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

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