The Apple Store can be a disorienting experience, resembling a mix of a luxurious hotel lobby in Los Angeles, the deadly setting from Logan’s Run, and the secretive headquarters of Hydra ™ ®. The process of trying to get assistance from a staff member can be confusing, comparable to navigating an auction or forming a new friendship. This can cause mild anxiety and my heart races as I watch well-groomed young adults, who could be either customers or employees, gracefully move around me like geishas for the legacy of Steve Jobs. The lack of visible lines adds to the confusion – can I simply sit here and eat my snacks in peace? Is there a duty-free area?
It is difficult for me to distinguish between a commercial transaction and a discussion about my “needs” at the Apple Store, which is similar to my experiences with my therapist and other people. Additionally, the Regent Street location in London features a raised area that resembles a ziggurat, where ancient Aztecs used to perform human sacrifices to appease Quetzalcoatl. This sacrifice seems less demanding than the financial one required to purchase a new Apple laptop. When I mentioned this to the charming employee assisting me, he simply smiled as if I were praising the store’s bold design. However, I will have to return to the Apple Store soon.
My laptop has been malfunctioning for quite some time and I am in denial about it. It shuts down unexpectedly, much like my memory. The battery level fluctuates, similar to my blood pressure. It just turned off while I was searching for “Quetzalcoatl”, reminding me of the 1982 movie Q – The Winged Serpent starring David Carradine. The film is a bizarre horror movie with unnecessary scenes of nudity and kung fu, reflecting how life can be unpredictable and nonsensical. I know the truth but I can’t bring myself to accept it. This laptop is on its last legs, just like life itself.
Today is Wednesday, November 1st. October came to an end last night. As a child, I was a fan of author Ray Bradbury, who also had a fondness for the word “October”. This word evokes a sense of twilight, chilly weather, and the sound of dry leaves and burning wood. In his imagination, Bradbury’s October Country was home to The Autumn People and The Halloween Tree. Two of his best novels, Something Wicked This Way Comes and Dandelion Wine, take place in very autumnal Octobers. September, on the other hand, does not inspire such poetic descriptions. It is known for new pencil cases, the Ludlow food festival, and International Talk Like a Pirate Day.
Last night, our October Halloween passed by, with the usual hot and humid weather. For my children, the month of October holds no significance. It is simply another month in a calendar of mostly consistent weather, occasionally interrupted by extreme climate events. The year now feels like a dull version of Antiques Roadshow, with a monotonous display of willow-pattern plates, occasionally spiced up by unexpected moments where audience members shock the host with bizarre items such as a quartz phallus, old worms, or a fossilized religious figure.
October, as we knew it, has passed. In the past, I recall the first hints of winter and the end of the month leading into November. It was like Tories bringing a wine fridge into Downing Street. However, now I am preparing for heavy rain and tropical downpours. It feels like I am an old man from Newcastle who has run away to live on a beach with a Thai sex worker. The world, much like my laptop, is visibly deteriorating but the thought of fixing it is overwhelming. I give us a maximum of 10 years before things become dire. To put it plainly, if I were to get a new laptop, it would not be worth purchasing an extended warranty. And in the current state of things, I have no motivation to start watching the box set of The Wire that has been sitting on my shelf for the past decade.
As destruction and chaos ensue, the unelected and ignorant Rishi Sunak is giving out new licenses for oil and gas exploration in the North Sea. This is despite his party’s efforts to vilify and discriminate against the very people who will be displaced as their homes are destroyed by rising sea levels and fires. The wealthy see the future of our planet as collateral damage in their pursuit of wealth, ignoring the fact that being on top means nothing in a world that is dead. “Excuse me, there is a fly in my soup!” “That is because all other sources of food have disappeared, sir. Nothing can grow anymore, but flies still hatch from the maggots in decomposing bodies. You are fortunate to have a fly, to be honest. Can I assist you with anything else?”
Paul Marshall, one of the owners of GB News, is considering investing in the Telegraph and currently manages a hedge fund with $2.2 billion in fossil fuel investments. It’s not surprising that GB News has a strong presence of climate skepticism in their coverage, with reports stating that one third of their presenters deny climate science on air and over half criticize climate policies. It’s possible that this is influenced by Marshall’s UnHerd website, known for regularly criticizing climate action. Alternatively, Marshall may simply have a disdain for all life on Earth and desires its extinction for personal gain. But why? Perhaps it stems from the challenge of being the father of a former banjo player from Mumford & Sons. “That was great, Winston. But now I have to go discredit Thunberg.” Must we all bear the consequences of Marshall’s embarrassment?
We’re doomed. And our overlords are evil. Next Halloween, I’m going as the ex-banjo player from Mumford & Sons.
The upcoming Basic Lee tour will include a six-week residency at Leicester Square theatre in London, starting on 9 December.
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