Happy New Year!
Well. Where do we even start with 2016?! Suffice to say, this year has been a messy bitch who’s lived for drama.
We all know what happened, and who died, and who got elected so I won’t reel them all off for the thousandth time. We know, and we’re SICK OF HEARING ABOUT IT ALL. We’ve just got to the point now where all we want to do is burrow under a duvet, wank off to Johnny Rapid, and pretend the outside world doesn’t exist.
But we can’t do that. If we do that, it means fear, division, fascism and stupidity have won. We need to close that Pornhub tab, pull up our pants, get out into the world, and DO something.
In this spirit, I wanted our cover for this New Year issue to represent not defeatism and acceptance, but imagination, innovation and unapologetic defiance! And what better way to express that, than to photograph shimmering, teleological drag performer Virgin Xtravaganzah being her fabulous self in front of Britain’s most famous example of institutionalized religion, Saint Paul’s Cathedral!
We also couldn’t resist storming down the road and taking some shots on Millenium Bridge (right). Particularly here, there’s some symbolism that’s important to me. Since its erection (stop it) sixteen years ago, the bridge has been upheld as a symbol of cultural connections and groundbreaking new beginnings. It also stands as a reminder of our country’s reckless wealth and predisposition to showing off. Nothing could be more apt as one of the UK’s most embarrassing and expensive years sputters to a wheezing, choking end.
It also represents how this year has defined us as a generation. We have been dubbed “millenials”. No-one seems to be sure of what exactly constitutes a millennial – the vague definition seems to be “people who grew up or were young adults during the millennium and early noughties”. We’re pretentious, hedonistic and sanctimonious.
We like smashed avocado on rye bread for £9.50 from an organic café in Stoke Newington. We’ve got jobs in graphic design and digital marketing, we’ve watched every episode of Stranger Things on Netflix, and the furthest north we’ve been was Alexandra Palace (to see Grace Jones at Afropunk festival). But above all, we’ve got a reputation for being entitled, tech-savvy, alternative and, god forbid, creative.
In other words, we’re exactly what this world needs right now (that’s such a millennial thing to say). In the wake of this year’s tsunami of despair and dread, we need to fight back. Question everything, be assertive, don’t accept the norm. If you’re unsure of something, don’t grumble and then get on with it anyway – refuse, throw down your tools, metaphorical or otherwise.
At the moment we’ve got a reputation for being apathetic. So let’s smash that preconception. Let’s be the generation that DID something. Let’s make a difference, and turn the fate of the world back on its head. We’ve got the power, resources and brains to do it, so let’s do it! Then we can get back under the covers, pop open a tube of Pringles, and wank off to Johnny Rapid to our heart’s content.