Good news on the train on the way in . . .
Tube fares to soar in the New Year. Food Prices is already risen by 8.3% this year. And some feller in the Guardian say the recession is gonna make people happier. Claims he already see it happening. Claims people are gonna go back to consuming sausage and chips (did they stop?) to save money instead of eating healthy.
Well I don’t know what Britain he’s living in, but I ain’t seeing more happy people in London. Not by a long shot.
I’m sure this sick joke of a summer is part of it – the Gulf Stream too far south this year or something. And Londoners didn’t seem happy last year either – hell, I’ve never known people in London to be happy – but they sure as hell seem a lot LESS happy now. Walking into my friendly local recruitment agency this morning was like walking into a morgue for all the glum faces – which I take to mean there’s not much recruitment going on. On the train in, aside from the ubiquitious mobile phone rabbits filling the carriage with pathic bursts of their elevated, one-sided and profoundly annoying voices, everyone looked like their favorite pet had died just that morning. With all these glum headlines – economy in worst crisis in 60 years!! Gas prices going up by a zillion percent!! Gas companies record profits (another great British tradition – screwing the common man – that has never changed at all) – you don’t have to look far to find what’s behind all these sour faces.
Fact is, you could feel the anger crackling just below the surface here even before the downturn. Wonder how things will be in six months, a year from now. And having been here for the middle of the last recession – 1991/ 92- I can say being broke back then didn’t make people happier. It made people in charge drunk with power and just plain mean. It made people depressed and desperate and anxious to get out. And people way up top made more money than ever.
But maybe the Guardian feller has a point. Not about the sausages and chips – some traditions deserve to die – but maybe an end to the good times (that weren’t that good, either here or over the pond, for a whole lot of people) might make people return to some kind of values. Might make them think about their neighbor or spend more time reading or go back to that truly great British tradition, of fucking around on the job and taking the mickey out of the boss-man and generally screwing the system as much as possible. Of not taking things too serious. Might make this a fun place to be again, instead of the turbo-capitalist rich man’s palace that London has become in latter years.
Might bring back some form of real socialism, instead of the turbo-capitalism with a PC gloss that New Labour, Livingston et al have been peddling. Might. But folks are gonna have to get real unhappy first.
What do you think, readers? Are folks getting happier because there’s a recession on? Are you happier?