The air was thick with self-righteousness this year.
Whether you were the sort of person who shamed everyone for taking a walk while on a walk yourself, or someone who sneered at people for going to a six-person-per-table outdoor brunch while consistently holding “little soirées” in your back garden all summer, there is not one of us who has not, at some point, thought to ourselves “everyone else is a dickhead, except for me, who is good.”
As the year ends, we have taken it upon ourselves to formulate a list of some of the most hypocritical people of 2020, so that we may cast sweeping judgement upon them:
THE BOUGIE PUBLIC SHAMER
Easily identifiable by their genuine leather Anthropologie trousers and their impeccable lockdown living situation (two-bed house with garden) in Clapham purchased by doting parents, including a well-fed dog to keep them company and zero toilet paper-based stress because they’ve been “getting loo paper delivered bi-weekly from a carbon-neutral subscription for years, darling”, this person has spent lockdown pondering things like whether Brexit will, realistically, affect the retail price of buffalo mozzarella.
The public shaming element is brought into the equation when, for example, you decide to have a little sit-down on the grass while on your daily lockdown walk - because you deserve a little sit-down, don’t you, because it’s not been easy, sharing a small damp-infested house with four other people, unable to leave by law, and having no outdoor space other than the three-by-four-metres-square patch of concrete that was marketed as a “communal outdoor relaxation space” but is, in actuality, simply a place for local rats and foxes to hold their town meetings each night.
The Bougie Public Shamer, seeing you sitting down, will not loudly proclaim their distaste directly at you, but instead raise the volume of their telephone conversation loudly enough for you to hear it from ten metres away. “Fucking disgusting really,” they almost-shout, their Chanel No. 5 wafting through the breeze, “how some people literally think that they’re like, exempt from the rules. We all want to sit in a park, you know? I only leave the house to walk the dog, because you know the lawn isn’t big enough for little Karl to run around in. I would never sit down in a park. Would Not Fucking Dream Of It.” Then they post a pic on social media to the tune of 12,000 likes.
The Middle-Aged Tory: Lockdown 2020 Edition will, publicly and with vigour, call you a “foul beast” for not quite staying two metres away from them when passing them on the pavement because if you did so you would get hit by traffic and die instantly. They will proudly deck out their cul-de-sacs with horrible bunting and perform a bizarre, 1984-esque conga to celebrate VE day, and then, two weeks later, take to the mean streets of Facebook to viciously condemn anyone who dares celebrate Eid with their families. This person has, admittedly, always been a dickhead. But coronavirus – sweet darling that it is – has obviously exacerbated the dickhead-ness of Tories by about a million percent.
ONLINE DISCOURSE LEADERS
The Online Discourse Leader takes the phrase “everyone else is a dickhead, except for me, who is good” to the next level, using it as a rigid personal mantra by which to live. This phrase is their Twitter bio. They have printed it out on a T-shirt. Often faceless, and almost certainly listening to Lana Del Rey, these people have taken it upon themselves to act as the moral compass for this planet, and spend their time using their account to visibly dig at other people. Seems slightly odd, doesn’t it, that subtweeting (the act of passive-aggressively or indirectly tweeting about someone, defined in the Cambridge Dictionary as “one of the more insidious digital trends for teenagers”) has now evolved and grown from something we all did slightly too much of in Year 11 into something that we still, as grown adults, enjoy doing in 2020 as a way to fill the lockdown hours?
POLITICAL GIF REPLIERS
Listen: I know that when compared to other subsets of society these guys are not necessarily The Devil Incarnate. I know that. It’s still not really okay, though, is it, to reply to one of Donald Trump’s election tweets with a GIF of Simon Cowell shaking his head in disbelief as he sits stonily at The X Factor judge’s table? It’s just Not On. These repliers will almost certainly have the words “Lover Of Burgers” or “Cat Parent” in their bio. They will use Twitter to retweet BuzzFeed articles and reply to news of Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension from the Labour Party with a “yikes” GIF from RuPaul’s Drag Race. To be honest, at this point you should just say that you’re too privileged for politics to affect you and see yourself out.
“I just think it’s pointless to exacerbate the struggle of lockdown by drinking every night,” they say, their eyes shining with the manic glee of someone who has set themselves the “fun quarantine challenge” of doubling their daily fruit and veg intake from five portions to ten. You idly wonder how they climbed into your back garden, and why they are now pouring your ritualistic 6PM San Miguel down the drain.
“It’s strengthened my jogging routine too,” they continue, proceeding to start their full warm-up on your paving stones. “I’ve broken through the running wall and everything! It’s just pure fucking endorphins from here on out, baby!” You open your mouth to reply, but they are already jogging away, frog-like and into the sunset, their fleeting telling-off already feeling like a fever dream.
Listen, my dearest Alcohol-Free Friend – I know your last breakup was timed flawlessly with the start of the first lockdown. I know you took it out on yourself by eating far too much spinach, and you got really, really weird with it, and now you are a health nut and you are full of joy and you want everyone in your life to feel this joy: whatever. Please leave the swathes of people who are gently using alcohol as a coping mechanism alone.