Some old guy of 60 gets back to the UK from a three week trip mostly through Oaxaca, Mexico – starting in Mexico City and ending on the beach at Puerto Escondido – and feels like the country he grew up in really isn’t ever going to change for the better: the GE2019 has come and gone, the racists have got in again, the rich have got richer, and the PM is making his puerile way to the island of Mustique to enjoy a naff time with the von Bismarks over Christmas and the new year.
1975 and Hawkwind have Warrior on the Edge of Time and The Who have By Numbers and in 2019 they have All Aboard the Skylark and WHO respectively, and both these latter albums would have done it for me way back when I was sixteen going on seventeen. The difference is that what was radical back then is now totally non-threatening (well, even at that time each of these bands were nearly spent, culturally-speaking).
Mick Jagger had offered to put a knife through his heart to commit suicide on the stage on the Rolling Stones last album (the awful It’s Only RnR preceding the equally awful Black and Blue – how did they get away with it..?), while in 2019 he actually did have a heart attack on the stage…and it didn’t help to ease the pain.
Every time I check out the book-selling charts they are full of rubbish whatever the decade or year, 1975 or 2019.
Films. Gimme a break.
Art? Yeah, right.
It’s true the human brain has atrophied.
We could access all the information contained in the universe but instead prefer to remain locked in our skulls and go round and round along the neural pathways of our brains, spewing psychology and politics, eating, and neglecting to understand what our nervous systems are telling us.
Go back to the cannibalistic Indians, their European conquerors or veganistic modern descendants and you find the same mindset hopelessly spinning on this planet Earth unable to achieve lift-off.
Stuck in our bodies, we may fly and opine and generally believe change is occurring but it isn’t and it won’t until we let go of the physical being and understand that we are ready for soul-travel.
What seemed nascent and tolerable at sixteen ought not to feel the same many years on.
That’s not what getting to sixty is all about.