As the English writer and academic Mark Fisher tells us in Ghosts of My Life, in the 21st century we exist in “a general condition: in which life continues, but time has somehow stopped.” The “general trajectory” of the future has disappeared — and, with it, culture “has lost the ability to grasp and articulate the present.” Popular culture exists in a constant stasis of anachronism and “formal nostalgia”, with the music of artists like Adele exemplifying a general “classic” tone which — in terms of its sonic signifiers — could be temporally placed anywhere from around 1950 on. “Or it could be,” Fisher goes on to hint, “that there is no present to grasp and articulate any more.” Without the general trajectory of the future, we have lost the ability to understand what it would mean to be present anywhere — we have only the past.

From Everything happens so much by Tom Whyman