The Noughties were the shiny shiny decade of the bankrupt and the bewildered; the decade of the commercial, the consumer, the credit and the crash; the decade when the world stopped asking questions and gave us certainties; when Young British Art moved out of the underground into the establishment; when the angry young novelists grew comfortable pot bellies and politics forgot to be political. The decade of the surface and the superficial. Of lightness and greenhouse gases and other hot air. The decade our dreams were banished to the shadows and we lay trampled in the rush to the mainstream.
A new decade is here at last. Consumption and excess and luxury and the light in the sky and on our dressing tables is dead. A decade of darkness is ready to draw down on us, but darkness is only frightening if you're a creature of the day.
And we are not. We are writers, artists, musicians, poets, filmmakers, thinkers. We are creatures of the night; of troubled sleep; of disquieted walks under fizzing streetlamps; of screams hidden in the depths of our skulls as those next to us slumber in peace. We go blind at the shiny surfaces of consumerism and spin and the glib and the slick; we throw back questions to every answer; we refuse to take the easy path even when lame.
In the darkness, people won't need bankers to make them rich, scientists to heal their broken bodies limping on the surface of this broken planet. They will need voices to speak to their night terrors; hands to hold them and ease their passing; songs to explain the dark; to build the foundation myths of a new era; to unravel the damage and the guilt; to tell the stories that construct the new communities from the rubble.
The collapse of society is nothing to fear if you've always lived on its edges. Madness and despair hold no horror for those to whom they are lifetime companions. A decade of darkness is coming and the world is in retreat. It's time at last for us to step out of the shadows and into the full gare of the abyss. The twenty teens belong to the fuck-ups and the freakshows; the sickboys and the weirdos; they belong to the Cassandras and the Johnny Boys, the poet, singer, artist, piper, storytelling lunatics who believe that art brings its own light, its own truth; that words, pictures, music, film, community, society, myth can transform the ashes and make new.
When your fingers hurt, keep smashing them into the keyboard; when you head is cut in two with pain, pull it apart and let the hurt gush onto the page; when the world demands your silence, say "yes", say "no", say anything but "OK".
A decade of darkness is coming, of damage and despair and doubt. A decade at last that belongs to us. Your scream is its soundtrack. Don't be silent for a second.