Saturday, August 30, 2008

WKD = Wasted Kid's Despair

When I'm zooming around from place to place there's not much can stop me in my tracks. But yesterday I saw something so heart-breakingly staggering that I literally screeched the car to a halt. By the side of the road, at the end of a set of guilty looking black skid marks was a makeshift shrine. I've commented about these before (here) but have never seen such an 'impressive' example before.
The shrine was a couple of miles east of Manchester city centre in a place called Openshaw, somewhere that many of my friends have chosen to live so that they can be salt and light in this needy community. And what a powerful reminder of why they need to keep up their efforts. The real tragedy in this image is not that a young life has been lost (the flowers read RIP DALE) but that the friends' tribute is so completely without irony. If you can't make out the photo which I hastily took on my mobile phone let me explain it. Flanking either side of the 20 or so bunches of flowers are at least 100 empty bottles of WKD, with a few bottles of Jack Daniels and Smirnoff thrown in for good measure. Every single bottle has the appearance of having been 'downed in one' and is planted in the earth by its neck.
If ever there was an image that summed up the utter numbness and hopelessness of today's urban generation surely this is it.

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Dev said...

We were on our way home last night and there was what originally looked like a vigil of some sort - about 40 people standing around and sitting on garden chairs - but not with candles, instead with cans of lager and bottles of, I guess, more WKD. Sometimes it looks like that's all this country knows to do to have fun, celebrate, drown our sorrows or mourn.


theMuddledMarketPlace said...

....but there's got to be some ritual.
and does 'church' have anything to say here?
and if not why not?

( thinking aloud from another corner of our city....)

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