The strange comfort of being future isotypes

I went to see OMD last night and they played Isotype, which is one of my favourites of their post-reformation output.

I’ve written about it before, because it was part of a #TimsTwitterListeningParty just after Dan Martin and Seb Patrick had died, and it made me howl with grief. But time heals, and seeing it last night (and that weird website thing last week) had made me think of them again, and actually I found the message strangely comforting this time around, about how we had definitely missed out on all the brilliant things they would have done in the future, but we still have all the things they wrote while they were with us.

“Everything you’ve ever seen,
Photographs and magazines,
Vivid color, black and white,
All reduced to isotypes.”

OMD at the Royal Albert Hall

It is one of the things that sometimes fascinates me, and I guess reassures me, about the work that I’ve been lucky enough to have done. That my byline is woven into the way the media have reported on Doctor Who and Covid-19 and the Olympics and Paralympics, and that maybe one day in the future there will be some dusty academic research about media portrayals of disability in sport or something, and there’ll be someone doing whatever the equivalent it is of using a microfiche to call up something I wrote last week, one hundred years from now.

Having said that, maybe I am counting my chickens. OMD also played History of Modern (Part 1) which cheerfully informs us:

“Every thing you say,
Every thing you do,
All the things you owe,
All the things you knew,
Every one you love,
Every one you hate,
All will be erased,
And replaced.”

And any gig where the main set finishes with Enola Gay was suddenly quite anxiously raw again in the year of our lord 2022.