Brexit Amexit

October 24, 2019

Extinction Rebellion (hourglass symbol) protesters just outside our pub for Happy Hour

On the very day Boris Trump announced he had scored a Brexit deal with the European Union, Carol scored a pair of tickets to the London production of Hamilton. There was irony, of course, in seeing a play on stage partially about America saying goodbye to Great Britain, while Great Britain, on the newspapers’ front pages, was saying (or trying to) goodbye to the EU. I wondered, as Carol and I sat in actor spit shower distance from that stage, whether the largely English audience caught that sense of irony, as the character of King George III sang:

You’ll be back Time will tell You’ll remember that I served you well Or maybe it’s just me being me.

Brexit apocalypse possibly…

I like it when art imitates life and vice versa, because I see my life more or less frolicking merrily between the two just about daily. Though Carol had won tickets last year in a lottery to see a touring company version of Hamilton in Orange County, I saw the chances of us scoring tickets at all, or at least anything remotely affordable, as highly improbable.

…But we have tickets to Amexit

Yet there I sat across from Carol on a Wednesday evening in the Silver Cross pub, in my usual useless and happy state, as Carol intently studied the possibilities before showing me two tickets available for Thursday evening’s performance. A few clicks later, we would be on our way to London’s version of Broadway, and for a tad less than what Carol had paid in a lottery to see the production in Costa Mesa, CA.

Carol and I kid ourselves about going to Hell, even though neither of us believe in one. (But if there is one, we’re definitely going. There’s gotta be payback for all this good fortune. Our guilt-driven Catholic upbringing demands it!)

In the street outside our pub, members of the radical environmental group, Extinction Rebellion, were cheerfully being arrested to chants of Power to the People and the melody of “Give peace a chance.” Later, some of the one’s not arrested, or able to post bail, joined us in the pub for further plotting. (I’m hoping the antic to climb the scaffolding surrounding Big Ben and hoisting the ER hourglass banner was hatched at that table across from ours. Yes, there was rebellion in the air that night, and then again on stage the following one.

Big Ben in chains, a fitting metaphor for the country right now

A further thought about that scaffolding (at risk of belaboring this brief discourse on irony.) We came out of the Underground’s Westminster Station to the only disappointment of our trip so far. The entire tower of Big Ben and much of Parliament was completely ensconced in scaffolds, as if the center of British government was literally being choked by pipes and planks. Between Britain’s Johnson and America’s Trump (and they’re both johnsons for my money), it appears both countries are where King George thought they’d be:

Oceans rise Empires fall. Next to Washington, they all look small , all alone Let them run. They will tear each other into pieces. Jesus Christ, this will be fun!

Oh, it was fun all right. On stage. Not in the newspapers.

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