This ability to freely abuse workers was always part of the point of Brexit.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Dave Phillips on Unsplash

Recently, as part of what I assume will be a growing number of harmful initiatives that will be introduced while we’re all obsessing over the failed coup attempt in the United States, I saw an article that a Tory politician is urging for the stripping away of worker and consumer protections.

His argument, which holds about as much water as the Atacama, is that removing regulations designed to stop employers treating their employees like chattel will make the UK more competitive since it decided to shed the one advantage it had in favour of blue passports and bendy bananas.

I have a story to share with my UK friends and followers. It’s about what work looks like when you scrap worker protections and opt for an American style work culture. …


And until it is, here’s some good news coming from the election.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Adrien Olichon on Unsplash

Like me, you probably didn’t get much sleep last night. Instead, you watched votes pour in across the United States and learned what it’s like everyday for people who live with anxiety disorders.

And believe me, I know it’s not looking good unless you’re into spray tan and tiki torches. But it’s not all bad news, and it’s not over til it’s over. So while we wait to see whether mail-in ballots get counted or tossed, and results get finalized, here’s a selection of good news from state-level ballot measures:

I Prefer ‘They’.

Utah voted to replace gendered language in its state constitution with gender-neutral language. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Gage Walker on Unsplash

I woke up in a haze of navy blue with a large, ugly fish gaping stupidly at me. But the strangest part was that nothing hurt. The familiar itch to light up, to get high, to do anything to immediately escape reality was…missing. Did everyone wake up each day with so little direction, so little motivation?

More fish swim past. It’s like being in an aquarium. I’m not breathing. Frowning, I finally rise to my feet, and look around. An unnecessary breath catches in my throat.

I’m staring at myself.

It’s like having an out of body experience. There I am, hands bound behind my back, ankles similarly bound and tethered to a block of concrete that’s already sinking into the sediment. I float, like a ghost, hair waving in the sluggish current and fish nipping at my pallid skin. …


The concept of the TV Licence isn’t without merit. But its current execution is.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Jens Kreuter on Unsplash

The time is 5:30am, and I am awake. Because I am awake long before I need to be, I make a cup of tea and decide to watch the US vice presidential debate on YouTube. I would have been watching the debate the day after it aired regardless, because these days I tend to go down with the sun. But even if I had wanted to stay up late last night and watch the debate live, I would have been legally unable to.

Hello, I’m a resident of the UK and I don’t have a TV Licence.

When I first came to England from the US back in 2007 as an exchange student, I thought the lack of TV advertising was amazing. One of the modules the American exchange students took was meant to be a class examining the cultural differences between the United States and the United Kingdom as we experienced them. What it became was a weekly support group for us to lament the things we missed from our homeland. One thing someone mentioned was the ads. They missed the constant interruptions in even half hour slots. ‘When am I supposed to go to the bathroom?’ …


Presidential debates are obsolete. So why do we feel obligated to pay attention?

Image for post
Image for post
Source: CNN Screenshot, Taken During the Debate

Just shy of twenty-five years ago, The Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror VI aired. The Halloween special featured several short horror parodies, including one called “Attack of the 50-Foot Eyesores”. In this segment, a freak lightning storm causes giant advertising mascots to come to life. They start wreaking havoc on Springfield, terrorising the residents until Lisa comes up with a plan to starve the mascots of the attention that powers them. As residents stop paying attention to the mascots, they fall, one by one, powerless and inert.

Now, I could go for the low-hanging fruit and say that nothing the Simpsons churns out in a couple weeks for the 31st(!) Treehouse of Horror special could compare to what went down in the first presidential debate of 2020. But that goes without saying. Instead, I want to talk about how the 1995 special’s advice to ‘just don’t look’ is probably our best bet at handling the rest of the presidential debates, both this year and in the future. …


Poetry Sunday

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by pixpoetry on Unsplash

I emptied my dorm
You did not
It would take me four years to return
You would be back in only six weeks

We sat, giggling at the gate, breathless, in love
I licked the melted chocolate from the vents of my laptop
Essays all handed in, now Paris awaited
Stress like storm clouds broke
Laden with exchanged gifts and eyes bright
With all that’s promised on our boarding passes
Wholly here and nowhere else
Together, we’re home

The tiny plane boarded all at once
Adventure lay ahead and we had
Neither time nor inclination to acknowledge
The week after…

About

Ash & Feather

Poet and author across several genres, with a love of photography and gardening. Find out more: https://linktr.ee/hearningcurve

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store