Glass of white wine may doom London - Politics | PoFo

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A gray-haired woman’s choice of beverage in a music video may decide the fate of London. Welcome to the Multiverse.

The music video of Hard Drive Gold by alt-J, which debuted in early 2022, before the Russian onslaught in Ukraine, depicts a city bracing for a nuclear attack and seemed to foreshadow the June 26 headline “Vladimir Putin ally warns London ‘will be bombed first’ if World War 3 breaks out.”

In the video, a female pole vaulter, inspired by the photo of her deceased, medal-winning mother, fills her track shoes with her ashes and pursues one last jump despite a radio warning to seek shelter and stay in place. In her trek to the athletic field through a London suburb while toting her pole, she passes a mother dragging her son out of the front yard. A serene gray-haired woman looks out a window as she holds a saucer with a cup of tea. The tea looks dark. I thought Brits put milk in their tea. Could that be coffee? Probably not, this is Britain.

The running athlete passes a couple who drop their luggage as they flee in a car. A bearded man pushes a shopping cart. Three helicopters fly between tall apartment buildings. A rocket speeds through the sky. As the vaulter reaches the field and runs toward the bar, the music stops, and a bright light fills the image as her body arches through the air. A moment passes. Then a mushroom cloud appears and a smoky blast wave envelopes our hero.

The video, in retrospect, can be seen as a big “F-you” to Putin. “We Brits will carry on no matter what you throw at us.” But it can also suggest that the United Kingdom and indeed humanity at large will relentlessly pursue “business as usual” despite all warning signs, whether of warmongering autocrats or climate chaos.

Having seen the video seven or eight times, I took still another look on July 3. Here we go again. The young woman retrieves her pole from the garage. The mother drags her son back to the house. The gray-haired woman at the window sips on a glass of white wine. Wait. Stop. What happened to her cup of tea? Do I have a bad memory? I’ve had “wrong” memories before, but some were shared by others, evidence that our minds had peered into a parallel universe or alternative timeline.

Different choices are made. New realities and new memories are created. And the memories seem to capture symbolic changes. In one world, the British identity and culture embodied in a cup of tea endure and the nuclear attack remains a fantasy. But not in this white wine universe. London will be destroyed. Or can disaster be averted?
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