We have returned back to the UK. This has been great after over 20 years away. Everything is the same and everything has changed.
Anna and I were in a typical English town over the weekend nostalgically wandering around ‘Boots the Chemist’ complaining about the lack of human manned checkouts. We were accompanied by the sound of mass drumming from outside. As we were leaving the shop (not ‘store’, it is now ‘shop’) I looked over to the drummers.
It was a group of maybe twenty ‘young people’ in high visibility vests. Some of them had the prerequisite blue hair. Some did not. They had some snare drums and were abusing them in order to create a semi rhythmic noise. It was not particularly unpleasant.
Obviously you wonder what they are making a noise about. There was a table with some things on (I did not care enough to look closely enough to work out what the things were) and the table had a banner.
The banner read “Deeds, not words” (I have added the capitalization and the punctuation which was missing from the original).
There was no other obvious message to communicate the cause that they had decided to hit drums to promote.
Ahhhh – this must be a group of vocalizational-phobes. Maybe they were just very strong advocates of sign language for the deaf – for everyone. They certainly were action-o-philes although the actual action that they seemed to be so enthusiastically advocating for was not defined, or even vaguely hinted at. Possibly they were just very enthusiastic percussionists who wanted to stop talking about drumming and just get the deed of drumming done, In public. With partial blue hair.
This is peak virtue signal. The message and cause no longer matter. What matters is that you get together, make a noise and publicly advocate. It doesn’t matter what you are advocating for, but advocate you must. You must confer visual and public virtue upon yourself in the eyes of your peer group of fellow meaningless advocaters. Blue hair is preferred but optional.
So, folks ‘deeds not words’ (to give it the original format) is the ‘message du jour’ for performative narcissists.
I assume they were woke, the partial blue hair and the soy tinged complexions were a bit of a give away. They were probably radical socialists (are there any other kinds of socialists anymore?). They all appeared to be either stupid, or stupid adjacent but they were without doubt utterly and irredeemably incoherent.
Whether they were badly drumming for net zero, trans-rights, illegal immigration, climate catastrophism, pubic masking, neuro-diversity in the British olympic synchronized swimming team or another season of the muppet babies it did not matter. It did not matter to anyone whose attention was caught by the drumming and it didn’t matter to them. The message was one hundred percent ‘look at me’.
The training ground for politics used to be speech and public debate, now it is incoherent performative narcissism.
I think about the politicians who now represent us and, well……..enough said,