I welcome the new year in traditional manner — strolling over Westminster Bridge idly revising my thesaurus — when what should obtrude on my peregrinations but silly people snapping selfies. I’ll never understand these self-referential souls, no matter how long I write my every thought in weekly national columns. As they arranged themselves in spokes of sight lines centered on Big Ben, at every compass point but pointing only at themselves, Narcissi no longer prisoners of the poolside. But the sight of their shoulders against our iconic clock only told me it was time to tell them that they were wrong.
Who could possibly provide a new view of Big Ben? Well, me, just now, obviously. Maybe one or two of the more important Lords working next door. I suppose the Queen must be allowed to contribute if she wants. But everyone else is wrong. But these people, who’ve travelled thousands of miles at great expense to see one of the most famous buildings in the world, who want to remember this moment and share it with friends and family, why would they want a picture of themselves with it? Surely they understand it has been photographed before.
Perhaps if one of the anonymous hordes — they may have photographic proof they’re not faceless, but they don’t register as real people to me — was teleported to parts even further afield than their homeland, then their photographs might prove useful to humanity. Should they appear around Alpha Centauri, then I might allow them a snap, as long as they promised to capture some interesting new rocks as well as the inevitable obstacle of their own existence. In the meantime they should sit quietly in other countries. They may mail-order postcards of anything English they wish to see.
Worse is the idiotic implement employed to assist their exterior introspection. What I must eponymously call the “selfie stick”, the staff of self-referential. Who do these people think they are, using tools to achieve desires? Some kind of human being?
The selfie stick is surely our most idiotic invention. They should just invent an ultrarefractive new material which is cheap and easy to produce. Change the wavelength of visible light to better suit the scale of the human arm. Fold spacetime like a couple of meters of used tablecloth until they get the zoom right. Something sensible, rather than a stupid idea like “the first and most useful tool ever invented”. Ugh. Idiots.
Who could be so narcissistic as to think the least moment in their lives is worth such analysis and attention? Maybe some of the millions of readers of my nationally printed thought pieces might understand, but I most definitely don’t.