From ‘Eurovosion’ to the Metaverse, these are my pop cultural new year’s resolutions

In 2022 our columnist vows, thanks to Måneskin, to finally get into the glitziest song show on telly. Here's what else he learned in the past 12 months

Boris Johnson has clearly learned nothing this year, if the photos of him appearing to defy his own social distancing measures are anything to go by – but what about the rest of us?

We learned that ensuring those around you socially distance by shoving a flare up your arse in a large crowd – actual scenes from the fallout of the World Cup this summer – is more reasoned and justifiable behaviour in a pandemic than you’d find in most of Westminster. And we learned that, when you’re cramming a year’s worth of live music into about four months, you’ll find yourself making an amazed-face selfie in front of The Fratellis with the caption: “AT AN ACTUAL GIG!!!”

It’s also become clear that the usual new year resolutions just don’t cut it anymore. Forget exercise, drinking less and cutting down on secret additional families. More realistically, we need to be promising ourselves we’ll do less screaming into the void next year. Be more zen about Brexit food shortages, passport queues and economic annihilation. Always make 100 per cent sure that the company-wide Zoom meeting is definitely finished and your laptop camera is off before ‘getting back to business’. Throw less furlough money into crypto. And ease yourself – maybe once a week to start off with and go from there – back into trousers. There are ‘Couch To Threshers’ apps to help.

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In the name of communal motivation, here are my resolutions for 2022. But, y’know, you do you.

Get into Eurovision

For years I’ve been foolishly trawling torrents of PR emails, online press recommendations and 6 Music playlists hunting for the next Reading & Leeds Festival headliners when, the whole time, I should’ve just been watching Eurovision. What was always, for me, a novelty cheesefest designed solely to play in the background of Euro-cosplay chemsex parties has, it turns out, started discovering the future of rock’n’roll. Italian rock band Måneskin have won respected awards, racked up four billion streams and bagged a slot at R&L off the back of seeming to hoof up a fat one at Eurovision 2021 (even though they denied it happened and subsequently passed a drug test). It’s a real possibility that we could be tossing up between David from The Love Trap and Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs for the UK’s 2022 entry.

Embrace the Metaverse

There is nothing I’m looking forward to more than cutting down on quality time with friends and family to turn myself into a poo emoji and go shopping for shit that doesn’t exist in Westfield Narnia. The Metaverse is set to offer us all of the tedious admin, daily grind, awkward social interactions, advertising bombardments and anonymous trolling of ‘real’ life but with none of the actual sex. I for one can’t wait to plug myself in and embrace my new virtual reality life in what’s essentially going to be Cyberpunk 2077 with Apple Pay, because I’m naïvely optimistic enough to think it won’t quickly turn into a writhing hotbed of confidence scams, data harvesting, sexual harassment and Moscow-stoked culture wars, like the rest of the internet. And that it won’t still cost a fortune to park anywhere.

Work for the Conservative Party (or not!)

Working for the Tories during a lockdown is like playing a gig at The Priory if you’re the Happy Mondays. Rules, sacrifices and restrictions simply don’t seem to apply. So I’ll do anything. Man the OS updates on Dominic Raab. Muck out Michael Gove. Take on the herculean, all-hours weekly task of delivering Boris Johnson’s child support payments. Just, before the ‘cron kicks in in earnest, give me the golden triple-A (All Absolute Arseholes) pass to Lit Lockdown. On second thought – maybe not.

Go viral faster than Piers Corbyn

Having been triple-jabbed, I can safely start to envy the freedoms of the anti-vaxxers. Piers Corbyn recently appeared at an anti-lockdown march and sort of bopped along while rapper Remeece performance an anti-vax rap, interjecting occasionally with “Don’t tek the vaccine!”. This just a couple of weeks after Piers appeared in a YouTube video singing: “Wearing a mask is like trying to keep a fart in your trousers…” Looks like easy money to me. Now, what rhymes with “wilfully misinterpreting data”?

Be less Clapton

This week, Eric Clapton brought the full weight of the law down upon a woman who was eBaying selling one bootleg CD of his live show. That’s a whole £8.45 that didn’t fall into the hands of an organised piracy ring (except, of course, they would have been paid when the woman’s husband bought the CD in the 1980s anyway). It’s just this sort of petty, sledgehammer-on-walnut self-interest that will see the true survivors prosper in 2022, when the Government enter the Hunger Games stage of their pandemic ‘plan’ and the UK starts to look like some sort of fiscal cage fight. It’s tempting to join Clapton’s side, but we must resist.

Start the new new rock revolution

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Meanwhile, opportunity knocks. You wouldn’t know it from The Brits nominations, but Wet Leg have gathered the most genuine groundswell excitement around a British band among media and industry movers in decades. With the proper push they could really turn out to be this generation’s Strokes: cool, distant, insouciant, knowingly retro (albeit less for New York 1975 and more for the Amish marriage ceremonies of 1693) and a band we’d all love to be in.

They’re also impeccably modern: ‘Chaise Longue’ could have been written by an AI let loose on Mötley Crüe’s tour diaries, then told to write a pop song (except the bit about getting a degree). They should own 2022, and I’ll be spending most of next year trying to help make sure it gets next-day delivered to them.

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