There’s been a lot of talk about collusion, complicity and guilt by association recently. Why only the other day I heard whispers of none other than Jeremy Corbyn attending a banquet jointly hosted by the irrepressible double act of Mao Zedong and Tom Metzger, during which the dish of the day was roast Shergar with lashings of brown sauce. I mean holy shit, how could Jeremy do such a thing? Proclaiming that he’s for the many and a dedicated proponent of social justice one moment before choking down the remains of Shergar’s thorax down his throat the next. It’s horrifying stuff.
Normally I’d find myself a mildly concerned yet mostly passive observer to such shenanigans. But today on the afternoon of Sunday the 22nd of April 2018, I, Graham “Thunderthrust” Lithgow and my dear Twitter compadré James “Jimothy” Felton, found ourselves smeared by a fourth regiment of the wild speculation battalion – guilt by omission.
See? This is serious shit.
Naturally my first reaction was to become indignant. How dare this “Spadge” character (if indeed that IS your real name) insinuate that I am somehow in support of general misdeeds. We’re talking about “unspecified really bad stuff” here and I will not have my good name tarnished by the insidious tittle tattling of the baying mob.
However, I then realised something that chilled me to the bone. He’s right. I haven’t condemned evil sufficiently, at least not according to my hazy recollection. Sure, I may have used the opening monologue of my toddlerhood to disown Hitler as an irredeemable dick, but I can’t quite be sure. It’s certainly nowhere to be seen on the Lithgow family video archive. As weird a statement it would have been to make while unwrapping my Duplo set on the morn of Chirstmas Day 1993, it’d have least prevented me from spending my formative years tacitly supporting the Third Reich – and even that would have only ensured the purity of my soul with regards the ‘Mr Hitler’ subsection of evil.
That’s it. This must stop today. No more will I roam the Earth casually allowing malevolence to prevail by way of my silence, my complicity ends now with the following statement:
My name is Graham Lithgow. I’m 28 years old, going slightly grey and I’ve been known to occasionally stay in bed until early afternoon.
However these mild misdemeanours are not the reason I’ve called for your attention today. For you see I’m actually guilty of a crime far worse – silence.
For too many years I’ve stood idly by, drifting through life as atrocities unfolded around me. Wars have been waged, innocent citizens subjugated and my neighbours car radio was stolen by the bloke down the road in 1997 – yet what I do? Did I take to the streets in both defiance and solidarity? Did I attempt to kick start a clandestine grassroots movement to undermine and ultimately destroy the ill gotten car radio racket? Did I even say ANYTHING?
It is with great shame that I’m left to admit that no, no I didn’t. I didn’t manage to stop the war, I didn’t get my neighbours car radio back and I had no part in the operation to kill Bin Laden. Instead I rather disgracefully chose to spend my days running around the back garden, desperately clutching onto an ever melting Calipso as it faltered up against the baking summer sunshine. Not only did I do nothing of worth, I revelled in my passivity – selfishly handing over my barely earned pocket money in exchange for a frozen treat I didn’t deserve; all the while despicable dictators continued thriving across the globe as my hapless neighbour was forced to make the arduous journey to work without the heavenly rhythms of Grand Funk Railroad to soothe his heart.
I know I’ve done wrong. I know that whatever apology I can offer simply wouldn’t be sufficient or even welcome. But there is one thing I can do and it’s simply this:
I hate evil. I denounce it in its entirety, not omitting a single branch or sub group. I may have let you down in the past but I want you and indeed everyone to know that Graham is a new man. Next time you’re making your way home from Tesco and find yourself stumbling across a war crime in progress, know that Graham condemns it – one billion percent. Should a murder report flicker across your television tonight – fuck no Graham don’t jive with that. Not on my watch mister…and don’t even get me started on the strength of opposition the neighbourhood urchins shall receive from old Graham the next time they trample upon your prize rosebush. I don’t support rose trampling and I never will, not even in extreme circumstances. I trust this is now understood by all.
I can’t speak for my associate Jimothy Felton of course, I highly suspect he’s currently attempting to internalise his reaction and come up with a definitive response all of his own. You can trust that he’s a good man however and I have faith in his ability to recover from this potentially eternal shame and become a halfway respectable human being once more.
For my part however, I can only hope I’ve now made myself clear.
I hate evil. It’s shit.
Thank you for your time,