Saturday, September 11, 2010


If a book burning isn't your way of protesting against global injustice, I suggest:

  • Burn your bra (you might have to buy one first; make sure it fits, most don't)
  • Burn your toast (but not with one of those "hilarious" toast stamps, burn that instead)
  • Burn your tongue on a Pop Tart (mmm, pop tart)
  • Burn your nose with poppers (I mean, fill your room with their delightful scent, don't inhale!)
  • Burn your bridges (...or maybe your copies of Bridget Jones' Diary?)
  • Burn your nasal hair (for the truly penitent among you)
...but burning symbols of faith this close to Eid is a bit like burning Santa on Boxing Day. Actually, that'd be fucking hilarious, but perhaps not the done thing.

Maybe burn your prejudices and stop caring about what it says in someone's religious text, whether it's the Bible, Qu'ran or the Girl Guide's Handbook. Instead judge people by what they do now as individuals rather than by some bizarre hypothetical set of rules in a creed written centuries ago, lest other people let your actions define you.

Be good, people, burn evil out of your lives by not looking for it in every hint of difference when the chances are you might just be humbled by how good, kind and disappointingly normal people are everywhere.

Then, take a torch to the authority that taught you to be so jingoistic and afraid of difference, and a brand to the society that stigmatises poverty and maybe we should all think about sorting our own shit out individually, then as households, then as families, then as neighbourhoods, then as communities, towns, cities, regions and countries before we start moralizing about how people live elsewhere.

Right, you languid, docile fuckers, get off your arses and be nice to some people today and see what we burn to make the world a better place. Rather than cutting benefits to the naughty selfish poor for being so cheeky as to have been born into poor families, maybe let's start to cut off the chains that hold people into those cycles of disenfranchisement and disconnection.

Fuck hugging hoodies, go have serious and engaged conversations with MPs about how current policies are going to create generations of social ills. Burn your apathy, burn your silence, burn the fucking rules that say you can't say what you think when there's a voice nagging at the back of your head that something's wrong.

Purge it, burn it, scorch the earth with the harsh fire of kindness, reason and love. There's so much that's brilliant, what will you be setting alight today?

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