Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Islamification, Bad Nostalgia and British Design Genius.

I came across an article recently titled “the Islamification of Britain” in The Independent. I didn’t read it though, because I have a short attention span and Independent articles are always really long and use a lot of big words. I like to write but I don’t like to read. What does that say about me? Probably that I’m a narcissist. Oh well. Anyway.

As I lay staring at the ceiling listening to Radiohead that evening, I was awash with bad nostalgia. You know, bad nostalgia, the opposite of good nostalgia such as being choked with tears of joy at hearing the theme tune to The Mysterious Cities of Gold which you haven’t heard since you were 10.
Radiohead took me back to my late teens. The emptiness of youth. The disenchantment of reality. The indifference of it all. Yeah, I was proper Emo back then. In fact, I was Emo before Emo was even invented.
People often ask me why I started practising Islam and I never give them a proper answer because I can’t actually remember, but Radiohead reminded me. And I think it might be the reason for the rest of Britain, or at least elements of it :)

So why specifically Britain? Oddly enough I think the reason that British design is the best in the world is for the same reason for such Islamification. Wow. How did I even connect those two?! Here goes, using Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion:

Action: The British Stiff Upper Lip.
Reaction: Not showing and expressing emotion, or the fear of doing so can make people cold and unfriendly. This makes sensitive people become more introverted and seek approval from other humans by means of the work they produce. It makes people define themselves by their ideas. It makes people want to go into their sheds and invent stuff.
Spiritually, it makes people seek love in something that is bigger than a loveless society.

Action: The British Social Hierarchy/Class system.
Reaction: Historically, social class has massively informed social politics. Think about the monarchy versus the paupers and how that linked to value of oneself. It has filtered down through the ages and is still felt today. British people love fairness as a reaction to unfairness of being treated according to status. You are not the car you drive, etc.
Spiritually, this fairness translates into a yearning for equality.

Action: The Autonomous British Culture.
Reaction: Brits don’t like being told what to do, so we think a lot about what we think should be right. We decide what’s right. We develop a style. We work on this style. We refine it. It becomes brilliance itself.
Spiritually, there is a realisation that the truth is bigger than the self, but there is a need for rationale.

So because all of these things cause a reaction of wanting to feel free of whatever it is that is oppressing us, such is the liberation that is also required to be a good designer and explains twofold the British Islamification phenomenon and the path to British Design Genius. Thank you.

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