Gaze if you will upon this iconic viral video. If you haven’t seen it before: great, welcome. If you have: great, welcome, it’s time to see it anew with fresh, 2018 eyes.
The scene is simple enough. A couple of lads (maybe even blokes??) are outside and shirtless. One is holding a bottle of alcohol and a cigarette. The other is holding a wooden chair.
What proceeds is what some YouTube commenters have called “a cinematic masterpiece” and “the most British things [sic] I’ve seen.” The pair kiss (absolutely riveting), then the standing lad attempts to break the chair (I think???) over the other lad’s back, fails, and then gives it another unsuccessful go. That alone would make it worthy of countless replays BUT, what if there was more happening here? What if there was....political and economic subtext?
This isn’t just about a bunch of idiots trying to entertain their idiot desires in the new millennium. No, this exercise mirrors the plight of working class people all over the world (booze + cigarette lad) who engage with neoliberal ideas (chair lad) about the free market, only to be crushed under the surprisingly sinister thwack of evil capitalism (chair).
Incredible. Well done, lads.