Wow! Brexit passed…
Welp, the people have spoken. The United Kingdom’s vote to exit the European Union has shocked the world. Like many people who value #Unity of all kinds, I’m doing my best to make sense of it now. My initial shock hit Thursday night but after some sleep and a bit of reflection, I’m not entirely surprised by the result. The Remain Campaign seemed weak in their marketing efforts. In my view, Cameron was the wrong face to lead the ‘stay in’ appeal. He engenders such visceral antagonism, that in many ways a vote for Brexit was, by proxy, a referendum on Cameron and Tory policy. In my view, the Remain Campaign didn’t do much to resonate with people’s emotions beyond a few knee-jerk fears. They appealed to reason too much and emotion too little. As a result, they ran a lackluster effort and the poll results reflect that.
Causes and Reactions
The corporate media utterly failed the electorate. First of all, they hyped up the discord, as they always do. They also reduced complex issues to basic soundbites, as they always do. That’s in addition to pandering to the lowest common denominators of fear, race-baiting and sensationalism, as they always do. They also pretended to inform while obfuscating the real issues at hand, as they always do. In conclusion, they basically did everything they could think of to boost their ratings figures to the detriment of their public mandate, as they always do. And as they always do, the oldest generations who rely on the corporate media fell for it.
A wide range of reactions have flooded my social feeds. Much of the rhetoric surrounding the Brexit issue seems to mirror the timbre of the discussions surrounding the US Presidential candidates. I’ve basically come to the conclusion that if the system is working for you, then you see value in continuing with it. If it’s not, then you really want change.
New Yorker magazine has a great piece that dissects the issues behind the Brexit result. The most note worthy factors they cite are, “The legacy of increased national inequality in the 1980s, the heavy concentration of those costs in certain areas, and our collective failure to address it has more to say about what happened last night [at the polls] than shorter term considerations from the financial crisis or changed migration flows.”
The EDM Connection
Too many Americans only know DJ Culture through the lens of EDM and the commercialism that comes with it. House Music actually has a very politically active and issues-oriented thread running through the fabric of it. Like disco before it, House Music was created by people marginalized by mainstream society and vilified by the culture at large.
By adopting Acid House in the UK, young people became the target of Thatcher’s moral crusades. Rave Culture was born from the youthful reaction to and opposition for Thatcherism. Decades of Tory party policies created what amounts to the UK version of the ‘rust belt’ and it was those de-industrialized areas that fomented rave culture. Things haven’t improved enough in those areas over the last three decades and they voted for change by wide margins.
While the corporate media focused on the UKIP’s narrative of anti-immigration and xenophobia, they completely brushed aside the potential economic impacts. They also ignored, as they too often do, the ways the proposed Brexit would impact younger generations. Gen Xers and Millennials have only known integration with Europe. We like the idea of having the option to travel freely abroad. We like to have the options of working or going to school easily, anywhere in Europe. The referendum results reflect these attitudes, with a majority of younger voters ticking the box to remain in the European Union.
The Mythosonix operate in a fictional world that is based upon our own. How would the two Brits in the group, Albert and Stewart, react to the Brexit campaign and the turmoil surrounding its aftermath? It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.
Stewart does quite a bit of businesses with foreigners while booking the group for gigs abroad. Because of the visa free travel within the EU, arranging bookings there would make Stewart’s work much easier. Stewart is savvy enough to understand that dealing with exchange rates and time zones wouldn’t change either way. He also likes to travel for fun and would experience first hand the benefits of traveling within the EU and outside it. For these reasons, Stewart supports ‘Remain.’
Albert is a DJ that works all over Europe. Within the EU region he can just walk past the longer lines at the airports while others have to go through customs. His educational background and age would also factor into his support for a ‘Remain’ vote.
Both of them live in London which, as the chart above illustrates, voted heavily to ‘Remain.’
For all of these reasons, the boys would be devastated this weekend. Albert feels it a bit more acutely because he has to work abroad on Saturday night. I can imagine Albert looking out across a crowded dance floor in Barcelona and wondering if gigs like that would be fewer in number or end altogether. Maybe a bit of both when other DJs would be cheaper and easier to book within the EU. No matter what he’s feeling inside however, he has to put it aside to focus on his DJ Set.
Read the full New Yorker Article here.
Stronger IN Campaign Website