And Now the Good News


The self-elected committee is downgrading all threats. Economic collapse: unlikely. A new pandemic: one in several million. Nuclear annihilation: not the slightest chance. Climate catastrophe: oh, come on. I’m not convinced, but part of me’s reassured: the part that still waits for Santa on Christmas Eve, that still puts my trust in railway timetables, and is tempted to pull all my teeth out and leave them under the pillow for the guarantee of a few pounds in the morning. The committee asserts that it was elected, and that I voted for them, and for proof they send me a scan of my name crossed off a list. I can tell by the other names that it’s actually my old school register, but they used to use the hall as a polling station, so it’s near as dammit to democracy and, besides, if a routine check for absenteeism can’t self-identify as a fair basis for government, just how far have we come in the twenty-first century? The Committee, who now insist on a capital C, is downgrading the century to the fourteenth. There’s a plague coming, possibly the end of the world. We’d better just do what we’re told.



Oz Hardwick
Picture Nick Victor





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