Black Sun and Dark Rainbows. By P.Hynes-Allen.
'Ideology means nothing if it decorates the Power that holds us hostage.'
Brighton is a very progressive city, at least in its image. A place of inclusion, diversity, open-mindedness, etc., but behind this Postmodern cultural facade, a group of people is not celebrating in this time and place. The mentally ill, a vulnerable and deracinated sub-group with no civil-rights movement to protect them, is left to the mercy of the State and its underfunded and over-bureaucratized institutions.
The failing health system reinvents itself to align with modern aesthetics and ideology. The bright rainbow flags, shiny hearts shaped logos, and gender pronoun badges that now personify its public image brutally contrast its regressive treatment of the mentally ill. The Science is clear: most acute mental health disorders can be traced back to traumatic events, a condition known commonly as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. But sadly, in this case, the NHS does not align itself with medical concepts, well, not in practice, as therapy is non-existent or comes in the form of re-traumatizing institutional punishment. In the early stages of an inquiry into the causation of 1500 deaths and suicides at the NHS Mental Health Essex, the Inquiry Chair 'had already seen examples of unacceptable and discompassionate care.' In our respective moment, which is centered around concepts of equality and justice, the mental health services' cruel treatment of this vulnerable group is even more apparent and downright hypocritical. They know what they have done. Most of the time, though, when the traumatized man, this stranger of strangers, is not being neglected, over-medicated, and triggered into suicide by ‘’discompassionate’’ staff inside the ‘’discompassionate’’ regressive confines of a postmodern mental asylum, he is wholly abandoned by the health sector anyway, either subverted through the prison system or left homeless, to crudely juxtapose the vibrantly colorful and metropolitan streets here.
Brighton is a fun and happening, very elite, sometimes dangerous, seaside city, home to the rich and the poor. It attracts an eclectic group of tourists, from lagered-up lairy London day-trippers to serious techno ravers from around the globe. It firmly retains the Zeitgeist and is the location of choice for musicians, digital bohemians, and intellectual elites. Even Left-Wing Politicians are attracted to its shores as the annual Labor Party Conference is held here. Brighton also hosts many alternative events with such spectacles as a naked bike ride through the town center. Most notably, Brighton serves as a beacon for the LGBT community to live and party. With the spirit of revolution, it is a home and network base for many prominent intersectional activists, such as non-binary advocate Fox fisher, who infamously clashed with Piers Morgan on breakfast TV. The liberal cultural milieu understandably pitches Brighton as an ultimate vanguard and the precursor to a golden, utopic age.
Whether nationally or globally, things are not looking very golden, from the Covid pandemic to war breaking out in Europe. Still, years before Putin's invasion and the Wuhan lab leak, while this epicenter of culture danced on mass in Europe's most prominent gay pride event, as the spectator hysterically laughed at the naked bike riders as the bars and clubs buzzed with excitement, I realized my own nation's frailty; like a fool on the street with no one listening I saw the Black Sun on our horizon, rising over this Progressive seaside city of love and Rainbows Hiding in plain sight, it was visible in the tent-filled streets and reflected in the lost faces of an ever-increasing homeless community, where a whopping 1 in 78 lives without residence.
We live in unprecedented and confusing times, in which Socialism can be seen working not only in opposition, as it traditionally had but in combination with Capitalism. Evidenced in the phenomenon of our 'Woke' mega-corporations, which avoid paying their taxes but eagerly try to outbid the other on how Progressive they can appear. It brings to mind the quote from Hamlet: 'The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” This project focuses on the contradictions of a city celebrating the progressive age as it fails its most vulnerable citizens. Presenting Brighton in an age bringing forth national, global crisis, and uncertainty as an ominous shadow, the prophetic metaphor of a heartless, collapsing, pseudo-ethical, neo-feudalistic society. (Paul Hynes-Allen)