Although you wouldn’t think so from my broad southern English accent, I spent much of my youth in Manchester. That’s where my mother is from, and where half of my relatives used to live (there are only three left – most are dead now). I have a deep love for the city and its people.
I’ve been to the Manchester Arena. Saw Morrissey there in 2004 (ironic). Franz Ferdinand were the support band, but I missed them because the girl I was with and I spent too long in the bar getting wrecked beforehand. The venue is huge and, considering its size, the atmosphere is incredible. Or was, I suppose.
I’m not going to trivialise things by crassly aligning my life history with a tragic event so you think I’m some sort of victim. I am not a victim; I have a nice, safe life.
But really, kids enjoying music. What could be more innocent? No, it upset me. And then things made me angry. Perhaps those things made me angry irrationally, but I don’t give a shit – an emotion is still an emotion whether it is rational or not.
So I will continue.
The armchair saints of the internet took to Twitter and soon this was trending:
Oh, fuck off. Like some imaginary man in the sky is going to swoop down and make everything better? But you’ve just posted a tweet telling people to #Pray, so now all is good in the eyes of the Lord and you can get on with your little life and carry on with watching the new season of Suits or whatever bullshit you do to occupy your pathetic existence right?
You’re telling me to #Pray. But what if I don’t believe in that crap? (And I adamantly don’t.) Am I now a #BadHumanBeing because I don’t want to #Pray? Are you somehow better than me because you have (or at least instructed others to)? Should I feel #Guilt for my cold, stony atheism?
And isn’t praying to all these different, fictional entities and getting on your fucking high horse about it part of the problem in the first place? If nobody believed in God, Allah or Mr. Smiley Face In The Sky, it’d be pretty hard to carry out some vile act in their name.
If anything, it’s less prayer that’s needed.
Doing things in the name of God is why we don’t have basic shit like marriage equality and the right for a woman to have an abortion whenever the fuck she chooses.
Perhaps I’ll try to start #SendGoodVibesToManchester trending, eh? Or maybe that’s a bit long for a hashtag.
Now, if it provides you with a little emotional comfort to believe some higher power is in control of everything, go ahead. I don’t want to take your beliefs away from you, but I don’t think bleating on about them on the back of dark news like the Manchester bombing does anyone any good.
People of the city coming together and opening their homes to victims and the help and love people gave each other that night. That’s what it is about. Not some twat that looks like Gandalf.
If you really feel bad about it and want to do something positive, you can donate a tenner here:
And now I’ve just killed half my fan base, I’ll leave you there.
JB, signing off.