THE CORONA LECTURES: #2

Part two in an occasional

Series of Unfortunate Events

 

…a look at Corona Virus hit England in 2020… continued….

 

Close The Pubs

Following recent events this hashtag has been trending on Twitter. With the industry being as it is, I wonder if many of them will open again? Many never recovered from the smoking ban, high taxation, EU red tape and greedy chain breweries putting the squeeze on traditionally a massive part of Britain’s society.

No wonder the Eurocrats couldn’t understand them. No one does pubs like we do – the British have been alcoholics for centuries, and at one point there was a public house on the corner of nearly every street in some towns. On the Essex-Suffolk borders, where my parents moved in the 1990s, there was once 14 pubs in their small town of about 6,000 people. Until Londoners fleeing the rising cost of London or cashing in on the market migrated into the area because they liked its “character,” and in the process changed it irrevocably. There are now just two.

All that said, do you really miss them? Maybe it’s better that we no longer live in an age where the primary means of enjoying being alive is drinking until you no longer know about it. Smoking was a massive killer, more than any Corona Virus ever did. Still is. I still remember going to the pub, with eager teenage lungs, and coming out stinking of fags. Mine were the last generation who will know this. I think that it’s not a bad thing. Smoking has objectively 0 benefit to your life, especially in an age where vaping exists (note: it’s currently undetermined how safe vaping is so I don’t recommend it unless you’re coming off nicotine. Some people will find it helps them quit. Others will probably need some form of cigarette replacement for the rest of their lives. Even so, there is literally no reason to smoke cigs any more now).

I wonder if the kind of #socialdistancing that’s being talked about now will become the new normal? Will it end after 2 weeks, if the pubs do close as seems likely? Will going to the public house have a resurgence? Or will we decide that a fiver for a craft beer isn’t worth it, and drink at home or (unthinkable) become less dependent on alcohol? Will we admit that the people in pubs were tw*ts anyway, and that all the social interactions we had with them were sh*t? Looking back it seems like all the good times that I’ve ever had in pubs were with a crowd of people who I already knew anyway and could have occured almost anywhere… I realise this is heresy for a British person to say.

Looks like we’ve destroyed the institution of pubs. Almost no one I know goes to church any more. The cinema, which DW Griffith once described as a noble thing that kept people away from drink, is long gone. Universities are not what they once were, as I have detailed. What other pillar of the culture is next?? Pretty soon there will not be much left except to stay at home and look at the internet.

I suppose we could all read a book. And there will probably be a rash of “Corona Virus Babies”. Seeing as people have not got much else to do. But it’s hard to concentrate on anything for long, these days. Attention spans, thanks to the constant chirp of technology and cheap porn, are not what they once were. As the author Douglas Coupland said: “I miss my pre-internet brain.”

 

Next: conspiracy theories

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