These days, I find great solace in reminding myself that all the awesome stuff which happened before last year remains awesome. 2016 was terrible, and I still get really, really angry thinking about it. Every time I see, hear or read anything about Brexit, I fly into an almighty rage. Humanity is going in the wrong direction, mislead by liars and fools. The only way I can calm myself down is to think about everything I find incredible, everything which fascinated me, and all the cool stuff which happened in, say, 2012 and 2014, and tell myself it hasn't been tarnished. When London hosted the olympics, it was part of the EU; when Monty Python performed at the o2, we were still in the EU.
These days it feels like everything has turned to dust: the xenophobes have got their way; society will soon become far more intolerant and inward-looking. There is a lot of fear and anger in my heart right now. The only way I can control it, the only way I can calm myself down, is to retreat into memory and think about all the cool stuff which happened before last year. That remains unblemished: it happened before everything was smeared with hate, before the country was fooled into betraying itself.
I used to love this country. I loved it's culture, and so much cool stuff that happened here. Yet, after last year, the only way I could justify continuing to love such things was to tell myself that they happened before the folly - before the united kingdom turned it's back on the world. I want to be a member of the global community - how could I continue to love a country which denied me that? Thus, to me, 2016 represents a partition - a dividing point before which I respected and loved the UK, and after which it lost it's way, and was taken from me. In a way I find comfort in the fact that all the cool stuff happened before the country lost my respect, so it's memory can remain untarnished by the utter folly of what happened afterward. These days, that is the only way I can content myself.
This might sound silly or childish, but it's the only way I can find any solace, and keep loving all the things I found so amazing in 2012 and 2014. Of course, cool things can still happen, and I really hope they do - I think we could all do with a shot of awesomeness right now - but I'm glad the cool things now so dear to me happened before the country lost it's way; at least I have a kind of heyday to look back upon, and remind myself that things weren't always so utterly, utterly stupid. Who knows: one day a british city may host the olympics again, and we'll see a repeat of the glories of 2012; but, for now, I can't see that happening. For now, for me, pride in the UK exists only as a memory, and won't return until we get back on the right, internationalist, outward-looking course. If, as many predict, the world at large is about to take a very dark turn, then at least I have some great things to look back on, before everything went crazy.
[Edited 20/04/2017 at 10:25:23 - added a bit]
[Edited 20/04/2017 at 18:01:45 - added links]
[Edited 20/04/2017 at 20:33:51 - added a bit]