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The Future Had Arrived
While we carved our names into school desks when we were boys and girls, politicians carved their names into history books as they carved up the world. As the bombs dropped abroad, we dropped out or tapped in. The future had arrived, we left the Millennium Bug in the dust and caught the iBug, got connected to the world then downloaded our fair share, let the world come into our homes, became secure in 21st century software.
Our names were written on application forms, added to Student Union databases and exam timetables. Or printed on name badges at the local High Street store, proudly taking our paychecks home and feeling independent while the High Street names put their money into independent islands.
Some of our names ended up on gravestones to mark the end of a life lost in the foreign wars we fought in. Some battles were local, and when we were defeated, we were forgotten.
I remember being the future, but then I became the present. Sold on the pretext Things Can Only Get Better, a line from the past played on repeat until the words lost meaning. England was still dreaming, slept through the world crashing down, let the bankers tip-toe around. Then, fuelled by this belief we were still the future, we voted, believed a lie disguised as a promise. A generation crippling the next, believing a politician could be honest.
In these low times, these names are unlikely to make the history books. Alongside war-mongers, Yes We Canners and future Kings and Queens, who will remember the little men and women implementing shake-ups to education schemes?
The children and teens of today will learn these names. And remember them. Children never forget playground chants, as they grow-up these choruses remain. Teenagers never forget insults or nicknames. Even when the world spins round, and the future becomes the present, the youth become the adults, those names of early 21st century leaders will be detested.
Names followed by a spit. Who took welfare and education and carved it up. A generation tagged underachievers, left to rot. Whose names mean nothing, statistics and digits. Bled of choice until there is nothing left. Just names of boys and girls carved into school desks.