Hindsight’s a funny thing. In the aftermath of the Brexit referendum, stories of regretful Leave voters began to emerge, and a month into Donald Trump’s inauguration the same thing is starting to happen in the US. But I didn’t think they really meant it, come the cries. It’s only afterwards that we’re able to see the full extent of our actions and choices; only once some so-called ‘facts’ are proved irrefutable that we realise we should have seen through them straight away.
This doesn’t just occur at the level of international politics. We know that all of our decisions will have consequences, but we can’t necessarily know what they will be until later, and sometimes we make choices so fast that we don’t have time to consider any potential repercussions. Cliché though it is, we have to learn to think critically of ourselves and our decisions, as well as the words and evidence of those in whom we ought to trust, and turn our mistakes into something altogether more positive.
Our Muse teams have done a lot of looking back for this edition: case in point is our cover feature in which Jack Davies looks back 20 years at the days of ‘Cool Britannia’. Music check out the archives to choose their favourite-ever movie soundtracks, while Fashion take us through the career of Alexandra Shulman, Editor of British Vogue, following her decision to step down after over 25 years.
But wonderful as days gone by may seem in this age of uncertainty, it’s important to stay involved and keep looking forward to the future. The past can teach us, it’s true, but we need to listen to its lessons: Hina Rana’s conversation with cultural commentator Jay Smooth is there to remind you of just that.
Still, we can’t always be as prepared as we’d like; if you’ve picked up this issue on its release date and have found yourself struggling for Valentine’s Day ideas, head to Film & TV for a speedy rundown of the best films to watch with your significant other (be they a partner, best friend, or pot of Ben & Jerry’s), and Food & Drink to find out more about Yorkshire’s lesser-known brew, as the team take a tour around the county’s best beer.
Wow, that was a cheery one. Now I’ve reached the end I think I probably would have been better off just chattering on about Valentine’s Day for 400 words instead. I guess hindsight’s a funny thing.