As you’re no doubt aware I mothballed the grand Zero project a couple of years ago, having solved every available problem facing us and other species. I kept myself busy, securing Scottish independence, writing a spectacularly unsuccessful screenplay to be read by no one, and ending a spectacularly unsuccessful relationship to devote more time to dying alone. All was going swimmingly. Until Thursday.
As I peered out of the Zero bunker, keen for a spot of fresh air after my 30-month exile, I happened upon an internet and caught up with how things have been going. People, you’ve fucked things up good and proper. Undeterred by five years of Tory-lite coalition you went for a full on Tory majority. Undeterred by history, logic, reason and decency you’re heading for a Donald Trump presidency and a Boris Johnson premiership, and in your spare time you killed basically anyone capable of making music, film, art and telly. But the EU referendum takes the biscuit. Probably literally; Bahlsen were pricey enough already without colossal import tariffs, there’ll be no getting them now.
I wasn’t all that informed about the EU but when The Daily Mail, Donald Trump, Michael Gove and Nigel Farage all tell you to get out, you know to stay clinging to the ankles of Europe as hard as you can. But England’s disaffected lurched to the right, met the racists and xenophobes who’d always been there, and shit got real. Now we’re on our way out, a little island of Little Englanders left alone.
I am gutted. As gutted as when Bush got reelected. As hopeless as when the Tories got back in, stripped welfare to the bone, brought in the bedroom tax among their flagship cruelties. As useless and as irrelevant and ignored and as Other as on a bleak and shitty September morning a couple years back. And I am guilty. I voted, but that’s all I did. I got lazy. I didn’t read enough. Didn’t do enough. I didn’t knock a single door or change a single mind.
I’ve had a couple days of self-pity, another round of referendum hangover. I listened to sad songs, to angry Nina Simone: England Goddam. I got out my Yes gear, put on my t-shirt like a security blanket. I ate ice cream from the tub. And not with a spoon, either, I was like a bear with a jar of honey. I broke up with England again, that hateful, abusive partner. But even in self-pity I felt a pang of hypocrisy. Brexiters wanted out of a union they felt didn’t represent them, that felt distant and disconnected from their worries. I did that in 2014 and will do again when we get the chance, as now seems likely. All that sets us apart is that my worries aren’t mostly bullshit from the side of a lying bus.
But I’m past all that. I’m back, and on the lookout for which bottoms we should kick first. And it’s touching to learn how deeply I was missed. Logging in to the Zero site, I had literally hundreds of thousands of comments waiting for me, most of which I assume were demanding my triumphant return, though the few I read were mostly offering me knock-off handbags and easy money and giant packs of cock pills. Point is, I’m back on it. Onward, Zeroes, to victory!