BY BEN PENSANT
It may come as a surprise to younger leftists, but there was a time when socialism and fun went hand in hand. Yes, really. Indeed, as anyone lucky enough to have been part of the burgeoning activist scene of early ’90s Newcastle will recall how a commitment to fairness, equality, and mass subordination wasn’t always synonymous with having a face liked a slapped arse. Of course, these days progressives have no choice but to be as miserable as sin, as the relentless onslaught of right-wing nastiness and ruthless electoral victories leave little room for bonhomie.
Life changes fast these days. Indeed, as Matthew Roderick said in Breakfast Club, “If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could end up missing someone getting dog-piled on Twitter”. Granted, that iconic piece of dialogue should be quoted with caution as it was written by an evil Republican. In fact, I’d have no complaints if you reported me to the nearest rainbow truncheon-wielding police officer simply for repeating it. However, as all students of ’70s cinema know, Ted Hughes was a notorious plagiariser, so it’s a safe bet he stole that line from a superior left-wing filmmaker like Ken Roach or Sly ‘Sylvester’ Stallone. Which explains why it popped into my head just now.
Either way, if you close your eyes and pretend it was scripted by a progressive rather than a dead right-winger with appalling taste in shirts it’s a deeply positive sentiment full of wisdom and Vimto. And it’s one that’s ever-present in the minds of modern leftists terrified of missing the memo informing them that a viewpoint considered perfectly acceptable on Monday has morphed into the most dangerous idea since Hitler split the atom by the weekend. No-one wants to be the last New Statesmxn reader to find out it’s mandatory to capitalise the word ‘BLACK’ or that it’s deeply transphobic for lesbians to hold hands with other lesbians.
Thankfully, the most dedicated progressives – me, Jeremy Corbyn, that Canadish transwoman who took a beautician to court for refusing to wax her arsecrack – have no trouble keeping up with the latest developments. And we’re equally comfortable educating and lambasting reactionary bozos who refuse to get with the frickin’ pogrom. So a quick primer for you wannabe leftist Country Squire Readers:
- While free speech may have been a principle dear to leftists’ hearts back in the ’90s, in 2021 it’s a tedious, problematic inconvenience that only matters to right-wing comics furious that they don’t get to make fun of ‘p**is’ and ‘woofters’ anymore.
- While ten years ago it was generally agreed that men had penises and women had v*****s, to even suggest such a thing nowadays makes you a bigot, a conversion therapist, and a genocidal maniac who wants to eradicate the planet’s transwomen population by banning them from pissing in front of ten-year-old girls.
- While liberals have long agreed that harassing and assaulting people on the streets because they’re Jewish is Not On, in this day and age the only people who still think that are Zionist shills, anti-Corbyn Nazis, and dumb female music hacks with names that sound a bit like ‘fart’.
Approach every interaction with these bullet points in mind and you can’t go wrong. And if you still go wrong then belt up and take the abusive DMs like a (trans)man.
Fortunately, while keeping up with the OJ Joneses is paramount, it’s worth remembering that change isn’t everything. Because some things never change. And one such thing is the glorious fact that no matter where you are or what time it is, there will always be a gang of hard leftists trying to get someone sacked for taking the piss out of them.