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Mourning through boredom

We are being “invited” (by whom?) to observe a minute’s silence at 8pm this evening to honour the queen, who died over a week ago at the (too young, it seems) age of 96.

Is it possible to grieve for someone you don’t know? I was sad when Mark died, but then The Fall had a profound effect on my life: I’ve listened to their music every couple of days for 30-odd years, and Mark – who was just 60 when he died (due to ingesting mountains of speed and lakes of strong lager for decades, it should be noted) – affected how I see the world, what music I listen to and what I read.

All mass, public mourning is mendacious. How can the death of anyone we didn’t know, at the age of 96 – least of all a functionary – be a cause of genuine sadness? Most of all, it’s profoundly boring – but perhaps it’s only through all the standing around, being serious, queing, bowing our heads, missing football matches and not going to the gym (and getting a day off work, to be fair) that it can be seen as truly important.

But it shouldn’t obscure the fact that the monarchy – even the strange, bland, “modern” version EII represented – is an offensive concept. And the day after the funeral we’ll still be living in a country where lots of us cannot afford to feed or heat ourselves, but prince Charles will have inherited a £16 billion estate.