This week, the pages of the evening standard have been plastered with news of Angell Town in Brixton. They describe the horrors that occur involving the ethnic youth of what they name one of Londons most n otorious estates. They paint a picture of youth culture here, and the desperation to make a change to the local culture here.
Although I do dislike Angell Town, I detest the evening standards portrayal of life in Angell Town even more. They’ll have you believe that around every corner lurks a gang of thugs waiting in arms to start turf wars with neutral bystanders irrevocably caught in the cross fire. It’s nothing like that, and although I do respect the effort made to improve my local community, I think funds would be better served to improve simple functions like the water tanks in my apartment block which has been out of order for periods as long as two days.
For context, let me tell you about how I cope with my disabling mental illness. Psychosis in a mental illness in which the sufferer is unable to differentiate between the audial and visual hallucinations and reality, between periods of excruciatingly debilitating bouts of psychotic symptoms that sometimes leave me unable to leave the house for hours at a time, for days running, I feel a lot of anger. Anger, that this happened to me regardless of the fact that I haven’t done anything to deserve this agony, but have a troubled upbringing, estranged from my parents young and savagely bullied by mainly black and ethics men throughout my youth. I wear this anger, it’s in every item I dress myself in in the morning, and every accessory a lay across the fabric artfully and this stops me from going insane. But everyday I have to deal with a similar type of bully calling me out on my (what must seem to them like) peculiar dress sense, as I’ve had to deal with throughout my life, and as those who have also suffered with psychosis will agree, the more panicked you get, the louder and louder the symptoms become. Company here is a certain no, if the local residents see me with another guy, their reactions can be so strong that it sometimes scares off the company I have.
The evening standard will sensationalize the problems with the estate in which I live, but the truth is, although the problems with this estate are vast, They don’t begin and end with gang turf wars, the problems are not skin deep, they lie in attitude, and to change the attitude of an area, requires a regional newspaper to stop victimizing us while you throw money at the problem, while being borderline racist in their accusations that have been born after only a week of living here.
And while I would move if I could, sadly the only place I could afford anywhere other than here is a bed, in a cupboard under the stairs. Which sadly, is only practical in popular magic–based fiction.