I wrote a few days ago that I was pleased all the cool stuff which happened in this country happened before 2016. That way, it remained untainted by the moronic events of last year, and I could still look back on them with pride. I can still smile at the fact that London hosted a great olympics, and at the fact I watched Monty Python Live. After all, they both happened before the referendum was even announced, so how could their memory be tainted by it?
Yet now I think we all need something else: we need another of those huge, grand events to bring us all together again. As a country, we are still utterly divided by the referendum; half of us hold the other half in complete contempt. 48% of us resent 52% of us for being duped into totally screwing up the country, while 52% demand 48% respect the outcome of the vote. The anger is palpable. What we need is something big to pull us back together: something on the scale of Live Aid or the Olympics, involving lots of celebrity razamataz, music and comedy which we could all get behind. Historically, such events have done wonders for national unity.
Now, I know what you'll be thinking: such an event would be a superficial, sticking-plaster solution at best; these divisions now go too deep, the resentment and contempt is too strong. But I think you will be surprised: think back to the 2012 olympics, especially the opening ceremony, and how everyone was talking about it. It blew all our minds away and became a collective talking point - a common point of reference we could all discuss. It was like a smash-hit film, but bigger; a narrative we shared and could all explore. That's what we need now, more than ever.
Last year tore us apart as a nation, and I think it's still doing so. There is still a lot of resentment and mistrust about. But think back to 2012 and how together we were, and how we all got behind that one big event. Now more than ever, we need something like that to happen. What it could be I know not - we're unlikely to host the olympics again anytime soon - but we need something on a similar scale to distract everyone, to draw our collective attention away from politics, away from resentment and onto something we can all get behind.
On a more personal level, I want to love this country again. All I've been feeling for it recently is a deep resentment, but remember how joyous I was at having watched Monty Python Live, or how obsessed I became with the olympic opening ceremony? Such events prove to me that truly awesome things can happen in this country - events which make me feel privileged to be here. That's a feeling I badly want back.
[Edited 06/01/2017 at 10:50:53 - added a bit]