Tips On Surviving the American Election, From Your Friends Who Survived Brexit
Every little thing is going to be okay.
Image: Davide D'Amico/Flickr
In the months following Britain's decision to leave the European Union, there's been a mountain range of ups and downs. On one hand, it seems the youth are more engaged in politics than ever before, but on the other, quasi-legitimized racism has become an everyday occurrence. Even just today, one of our nation's favourite European imports—the Toblerone chocolate bar—has reduced the amount of chocolate found within its ravine-laden structure. Britain truly is on the edge of a meltdown.
Yet we can deal with it. Brits are hardy, we have it in our blood (or so we're told by the right wing powers-to-be). For you Americans voting today, here's how Vice UK dealt with the Brexit vote, and how you can deal with a leader you didn't vote for.
Sirin Kale, Broadly
"I dealt with Brexit by getting obliterated at Glastonbury [music festival] and then I put it in the box where I put all the other bad things that upset me like breakups, weight gain, humiliation, Theresa May, career fuck ups and then I never open the box ever even when I feel like maybe I want to open the box a little bit. If I feel like I want to open the box I eat a chocolate biscuit instead."
Mike Diver, Waypoint
"I felt like something that I had never needed to feel inside wasn't there anymore; an unspoken connection to people that I always considered myself a part of, but here I was being told: nope, sorry, those French folk, we're done with them.
"It was immediately upsetting and I felt incredibly angry - and it took a lot, actually, to not express that anger towards old friends who I know chose to vote leave. We still had loads of common ground - that's why we're pals. But I know of others who've had these relationships strained to breaking point by Brexit. IDK, maybe beer helps."
Simon McNorton, London
"Surround yourselves with people who share your perspective and don't expose yourself to bad people who disagree. Ignorance is bliss! And have a cup of tea. You can always justify the outcome—my friends and family all voted remain."
The author, Motherboard
"I woke up at 6am the day after the vote with a terrible hangover. I reached around under my duvet to try and find the TV remote so I could find out the news, obviously expecting a remain win.
"Maybe it's just me being a sensitive type—one who pins meaning on the slightest air of change—but the bus commute to work was silent. People were shuffling around, heads buried in newspapers. London had fallen into a coma. We didn't really do any work in the office that day. Sweltering in summer heat, we watched re-runs of the news, constantly baffled at the results.
"Still, slowly, the mood has returned to near-normal. Terrible things are still happening, but relish in company of those who think alike, and learn from those who don't."
So, what is a loser to do? As my good friend James May (not the Top Gear bloke, a really talented drummer) put it, "I didn't think I gave a shit about Brexit. But I think I do now."
Well, luckily there's obviously lots of ways to get on the mend. If the outcome you definitely didn't want to happen does, then surely that's a bigger incentive to get into politics. I don't mean run for governer, but rather morph into one of those annoying friends of Facebook that won't shut up about a political cause. Naturally, you'll have to actually leave Facebook and its echo chambers, and get out into the real world, but it's the only way you can start to prevent what's happened happening again.
Read more: Motherboard's Best Election 2016 Coverage
I suppose the opposite of this, even more drastic than hiding under your duvet and never returning, is to leave your good country altogether, and head for better shores. Many Americans have stated they'd move to Canada if Trump wins. This notion mirrors the many Brexit survivors in Great Britain who vowed (and some actually have) to go and live somewhere else (I wholeheartedly recommend some of the Nordics).
As for us here in Britain, we just hunkered down and braced for the storm. While the vote was cast in June, we still haven't left the EU yet, and it could still be some time for the infamous 'Article 50' is triggered. Everyday life for us here in London has mostly resumed to normal. We all got pissed, then drank some tea, and got on with it. The hard part truly comes in the coming months, and years, and potentially generations. At least for you Americans, there could only be four years of damage, right?
Get six of our favorite Motherboard stories every day by signing up for our newsletter.