I’ve been trapped ‘neath a pile of indescribably hideous dayjobrealwork for a couple of weeks now. The end is in sight, (or at least the smoke has cleared sufficiently for me to see the horizon) although at this point my typically pessimistic mind is just using the view to amplify my fear to new and deafening levels. In my head, the freshly revealed hills and valleys are complicit in my persecution, harbouring all manner of overlooked paperwork phantoms waiting patiently to hurl themselves through the my office window and make my life even more of an admin filled misery than it already is.
Last night I hopped aboard the internet, hoping a few moments browsing smart arse memes aboard the ultimate cloud of collective human experience would distract me from their impending arrival and remind me of happier, less fraught times.
It seems that I will never, ever, learn.
It started so well.
Let me declare my interest first. Joy Division’s ‘Unknown Pleasures’ was released when I was three years old. A precocious child, I would nevertheless have to deny that I was aware of it’s existence until I was at least nine and my kindly step-brother took it upon himself to nudge my errant music tastes towards the path of righteousness by making me watch Depeche Mode’s 101 video until self-harming was a viable, even attractive, option.
I was fortunate. I’d probably still be extolling the virtues of Shakin’ Stevens and Tracey Ullman if not for his firm guidance, but I’m still irrationally furious every time I see people publicly querying cultural reference points it would take them .06 of a second to google if they were genuinely interested.
I can’t even take any pleasure in the knowledge that if they don’t know what the cover of ‘Unknown Pleasures’ looked like, they will without doubt be completely unaware of the genius that lies within. Because they’re almost certainly the ones whose purchases are choking mainstream music with today’s equivalent of Shaky and Ullman.
And if they’re not doing that, they’re making fucking memes.