Trump’s election, followed by Cohen’s death, has finally bent our febrile reality unto breaking point.
In a post-satirical world witnessing the crumbling of everything we held to be secure and dependable, the burgeoning bleak brutalist beauty of a grey morning on University Road provides a surprising comfort blanket — something nobody thought to be possible.
The silent minute hand confirmed the arrival of 3am in the library. I took one last glance through my cover letter, before glaring out of the sweat-steamed window into the bitter cold of the night. My focus flickered over the objects of the early hours, resting a while on each new interest, everything glowed in the obnoxious beaming of the ubiquitous lighting. It was all so… ordinary, as it was when I arrived, and as it will hopefully stay. The sallow trees, the sleep-starved jaundiced wildlife, the promise of a job in the city… all of it here, untouched. Brexit cannot touch me here. Nor can Trump. Reality, it seems, holds firm still in Warwick’s bubble.
The rumble of building work had come to a close, yet the drone of the cranes had long since worked into the rhythm of my thoughts, adding a hum to my caffeinated walk. The rising mist is caught flat under the sharp sting of the twenty-four-hour lighting, animating yet obscuring the figures that discussed Modafinil beneath them. The tobacco haze of wanton cigarettes mingles with the air around the job-seekers, the deadline-chasers, and the probably-should-find-something-better-to-do-with-their-nighters. All of whom oblivious to the fact that Warwick, our Warwick, is yet to elect racially-charged orange-tinted opportunist. Neither has it witnessed the death of the neoliberal left, nor the rise of a reactionary right. Nothing is more extreme than the exclusion of the occasional aggressor with an unconventional opinion.
The changing world outside is neither brave nor new. Irony and satire have been relegated to a redundant force. The news gives us reality TV, and reality TV, the news. Yet despite all this, Warwick lingers on, great in its mediocrity, boundless in its boredom. The Boar keeps churning out the mundane comings and goings of campus life, and The Tab keeps documenting the comings of fictional penises. Students aspire to change their bank balances, not the world. And yet, this lingering hollow stench of flatulent facility breathes the anemic lifeblood into the heaving corpse of the university. The regularity of it all provides a welcome crutch in the post-Bowie era. Warwick is shit, but there is no need to make it great, for our greatness is found in our shitness, and long may it stay so.
Fuck you 2016, I’m going for a smoke.