Pick of the Political Pops: Yo La Tengo “Autumn Sweater”

Here at Americana-UK Towers we have unaccountably found ourselves in a new season and are ready to embrace all that this change in the meteorological world has to throw at us. Thank heavens that the madness of the spring and summer months is behind us we thought and that we can finally raise a glass of harvest punch on a reflective, calm and peaceful time.

Yeah – that harvest punch is strong stuff and sadly seems to have blunted our reasoning. We thought it reasonable to expect that a little bit of sanity might have returned to ours and the wider world. Not a bit of it. The pandemic is still with us for example and being handled in what has become time-honoured fashion. At the height of the thing, UK airports were fully open and nobody was expected to quarantine or isolate or even get a test. Now, given smaller numbers of infection (notwithstanding a possible second spike), whole areas of the map are put on a blacklist. At the height of the thing nobody was expected to wear a mask. Now they are compulsory pretty much everywhere. At the height of the thing tests were in short supply so limited in both availability and effectiveness. Now anyone can get a test if they feel like it. Except when Matt Handgrenade tells you to stop wasting them and offers to let you travel a hundred miles to get one.

People were told to stay at home it’s true. Do pretty much anything you can from your own four walls. But now you HAVE to get out and the government will even tempt you into doing so by picking up some of your tab. You now have to go out to work despite the benefits of home working for those fortunate enough to be able to do so. Whereas it was virtually a heinous crime to go out now it’s a heinous crime to stay in. But you should only go to places that tempt you to spend money. Pubs and restaurants are open. Lots of places that have card machines are open. This apparently is the key to our ‘recovery’ – spend your bloody money you peasants. The latest rule is that you can only spend time in a maximum group of six persons. So a group of twelve can go to the pub in two teams? Is that what they mean?

Schools, colleges and universities are now open and will remain so come hell or high water. By the same token Matt Handgrenade is saying that young people are to blame for the latest up-tick in numbers of infection. Play by the rules you young folk even if those rules mean higher numbers. This is ok because you are a convenient scapegoat. Do as you are told.

By and large we are OK with rules. As writers we like rules on grammar for example. They help us to communicate better. We also like rules on international trade talks since they provide a level playing field and make things function much more easily. Odd then that by its own admission the government has broken the rules over the Brexit trade talks. But they are the government so maybe rules don’t apply to them. As simple plebians who are we to question that?

But rules really are rules sometimes and one incontrovertible rule is that summer will follow spring, autumn will follow summer and winter will follow autumn. At least we know where we are with that. Although our sources tell us that because a Downing street advisor doesn’t like the mess that the falling leaves make this season may be reclassified soon. Watch this space.

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