WERE all those dystopian movies and sci-fi shows wasted on us? In the 2000s, films were a great deal more thought-provoking than they are now. It was common for the good guys to be dissenters going against the consensus, fighting the system and, more importantly, the bad guys were often utopians obsessed with the ‘greater good’.
Who remembers the movie Equilibrium, where emotion is strictly prohibited by law enforcement to maintain peace? Who recalls the Doctor Who episode where the villainous alien headteacher Mr Finch, masterfully portrayed by Anthony Head, makes it his mission to reshape the world and ‘improve it’? Who hasn’t yet seen the brilliant sequence in I, Robot where the machines, driven by cold logic, take over the world and impose a lockdown on the humans? In that particular sequence, a robot prevents the protagonist’s grandmother from leaving her home to attend church – ‘Please remain indoors – this is for your protection,’ the android reassures.
And who remembers ‘Zero-Covid’ in Melbourne – oh, wait . . .
So I am genuinely baffled at the credulous masses who allow sinister politicians and technocrats to take them hostage, rob them of precious moments they will never get back, and end the world as they knew it.
The wedding reception without a dancefloor, the ‘socially distanced’ funeral. The students who couldn’t toss their mortarboards into the bright blue sky on graduation day. The funny Greek waiter at the holiday resort whose big smile you never saw.
We have pawned our humanity in exchange for safety. Now we have neither.
Many of my fellow lockdown sceptics didn’t believe the YouGov Poll that revealed 72 per cent of people in England supported a second lockdown. I did believe it, and I’m generally dismissive of pollsters. But that particular statistic more or less matched what I see every time I go outside.
As the nights became darker and the media’s context-free fatalism about hospital admissions intensified, more and more people started to wear face nappies even in the few remaining areas where Muzzledom isn’t yet compulsory, such as parks. I still see grown adults leaping into doorways and walking into traffic to keep their distance from other humans.
Nothing justifies this shameful, pathetic surrender to bullying, abusive despots. If the ‘old’ normal ever gets restored, future generations will laugh at us and view the late-early 21st century as a backward, unenlightened era. It will be harder for militant atheists to single out religion as ‘just a way to control people’ and to dismiss Christians as superstitious fantasists. Elsewhere on the faux-edgy spectrum, the ‘cheese-eating surrender monkey’ jibe Churchillian blowhards like to poke at the French will be an even more lame insult than it already is. We can also be sure that everyone will be confident that they would never have complied had they been around in 2020.