When veteran campaigners say that Pride is now capitalism with a pink hue, they ain’t lying. In fact, I’d go further than that and say it’s the perfect example of how to emasculate activism through co-option. The pay-for tickets to march, the heavily restricted numbers, the barriers between the marchers and the many-thousands-more in the crowd, the way people were chanting the names of the organisations who paid to be part of the march (umm, hint, it’s not about you Corporation, Ltd), and the huge amounts of personal space around the marchers has hollowed out any reference to protest. You must pay to join the snake at its tail and walk through its fortified and impenetrable body until you emerge, bored, underwhelmed, and full of anticlimax at the mouth of the beast located conveniently far enough away from Downing Street and Whitehall. Yeah, London Pride 2019 is the perfect example of how the era of public protest as an avenue to human liberation is over by the simple condition of permission.
Imagine you went to Brighton four years ago and bought a stick of rock which you had a little lick and gnaw of before putting in a drawer without bothering to wrap it back up. Then, one night, you were fishing about looking for some such essential item and you come across the dirty, still slightly sticky, old piece of rock and you gingerly have a sniff. That’s what using peppermint essential oil in the steam room smells like.
Working in ‘professional services’ in a British university means that you will be persistently undermined by clueless academics who assume that they know more than you about everything simply because of their job title. Academics assume that anyone who is not an academic is inherently ignorant, and, even if you have a PhD, you will be repeatedly told that you have no expertise in your area by people who literally have no expertise in your area.
It tasted like someone put a bunch of pears in a wooden box and then set fire to the box. When the pears were soft and squishy from the heat, they mashed the pears down into a jar and left them to ferment, being sure to leave a few bits of charcoal from the box in the mix. Then, later, when suitably alcoholic, the remaining pear and charcoal ferment was strained and put into a keg and then sold to unsuspecting cider drinkers in order to disgust them.