Community Spirit


At the behest of a friend’s daughter I recently attended a free concert by a bunch of performers from a local high school.

I’m not sure what I expected but it was most definitely not to be as absolutely blown away by the amount of talent, joy, and love that burst off that little stage as I was.


There were three bands who were the match of many I’ve seen at major festivals around the world, and I’ve been to them all touring as I do with the likes of M83, Mogwai, and Caribou.

There was a singer with an acoustic guitar who’s songs made me cry.

There was a human beatbox dancer who I wanted to wrap up in cotton wool and take home with me, that cute!


What makes this all the more incredible is that these performers were all aged 14 or under, were 50/50 girls and boys, and were from all races, creeds, religions, and backgrounds.


The school, Morpeth, and the organization that put on the show, Community Music, are in Tower Hamlets, the London borough that is one of the most culturally diverse in the country, if not the world.


This is exactly what the EDL want to smash.


Having not been living in the UK for the past decade I was unaware of the EDL.

They are the continuation of a cancer that we should by now have eradicated from our psyche.

The letters EDL do not as I thought stand for Extremely Dense Lumps, but should.

The members of this cretinous collective seem somehow unfinished, like a vital piece of their brains was omitted when they were cleaved from bulldog chalk.

They are I suspect the kind of people that in childhood pulled wings off gnats, drowned kittens, bullied peers mercilessly, failed to get exam points for spelling their name correctly.

They are white, predominately male, and so riddled with fear that they pummel anything they don’t understands with fists till it’s dead.

Queers, coons, pakis, slags, and poofs.

Translated that’s homosexuals, anyone of African descent, anyone from Asia, women, and the people they seem to fear more than anyone else, men in women’s clothing.


As a man who used to wear women’s clothing I have come face to face with the look of confusion turning to fear, to dread, and to hate in their eyes.

It’s very hard to comprehend that someone would want to beat you to a pulp for just being you.

Fortunately I don’t have to put up with that particular abuse any more as I am now a woman.


This behavior is passed down through generations, the abused becomes the abuser.

I’ve seen it in my own family.

My father was a violent sot who failed to come to terms with the pain inflicted on him by his own father and so carried it on by battering me.

When it became obvious that I was the most terrifying person in the world, a boy who wanted to be a girl, and he was not going to be able to punch me into shape, he disowned me.

He hasn’t spoken to me in 30 years.


After a while this blaming on the past for ones acts is a smokescreen, a copout.

Ultimately we must be responsible for our own patterns of behaviour.


What I witnessed at that performance the other day, from all those children, from all their parents, relatives, friends, was the complete rejection of this nonsense, embracing community, love, and acceptance of all people, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, colour, background.


This is the true human condition, this is what we are, this is the next level of our evolution.

To those who preach hate, who would denying us our rights as individuals to be ourselves, to be joyous human beings expressing love, it’s time to put your knuckles down, hug each other, open up, try reading a book even, and begin to truly live.


When I see children embracing the differences in us like this with love, with compassion, I know we have a future.


Community spirit is alive and well.

Now, let’s save the planet too.




Julia Brightly

July 26, 2013