Some days, I think I’m ill. I feel ill. Not the ill of my pained and exhausted body: the source of depletion and variability in my personal resources. That’s bad enough but I can cope. Mostly. For now. I’m afraid it’s all become very much dependent upon government policies and familial support.
No, I’m coming down with something else, I know it. It’s dis-ease. I’m battling with symptoms such as defeatism, depression and doubt. Oh, and bitter sarcasm. It functions like one of those irritating pop-up messages or a heavy, wet cloak; a would-be usurper of thought and emotion. That’s fear. Fear that the world’s and our domestic problems are too big and too numerous to surmount; that I’m too small to make a difference; that nothing will change because leadership and its ideas don’t; fear that the solutions – to nigh-on everything – are driving us towards ever more complex systems. Natural entropy, mutated. Things have gotten so ridiculous, so utterly convoluted; ‘the devil’ must be having a field day.
We’ve tried marching and petitions; we’ve emailed our MPs and complained to mainstream media about how they have ill-served us and little, if anything changes.
The whole world is at war – for it is a war – with the avarice of a few inordinately powerful bastards and it feels like we are just creating skirmishes. From ‘Arab Spring’ to Spain, Turkey, Brazil, I watch their passionate running battles and their courage and ingenuity with awe and a little envy – or maybe it’s wistfulness, because here in Britain, we just sit around moaning about what’s wrong, march a bit and put the kettle on. We practise the equivalent of petty skirmish. So much for ‘bulldog spirit’ – we’ve become more like abused Labradors.
Anger is justified in our current climate. It’s highly appropriate. Anger, like fear and pain, tells you something is wrong and, channelled well, it’s Anger’s best gift. But the anger, so consistently expressed until a few short days ago, is in danger of becoming the acceptance of victimhood. Like me, I’m sure you’ve noticed the creeping despondency on twitter lately and within the pages of our favoured bloggers and journalists. We know what’s wrong; we’ve identified that much. We even have some sound solutions between us all. And yet…
I don’t know about you, dear Reader, but I’m finding the idea of years filled with endless skirmish completely and utterly soul-destroying. I’d rather go out fighting – hard. But, like many of you, this old carcass would find the mischief of which my healthy self was capable, almost physically impossible. My own personal acts of dissent and my amateur efforts at blogging are not even a drop in the ocean and my circumstances inhibit my other impulses. Not to mention the fear of consequence that comes with lone protest – real or imagined. No wonder I feel impotent and no wonder I’m reading that same sentiment wherever I look.
In my dreams, I want to storm Parliament, take our MPs literally by the scruffs of their fattened necks and hurl them out into the street. I want dramatic change. For the better, obviously. But Nature, abhorring that vacuum cannot guarantee it.
Nevertheless, I want us all to demand a halt to current proceedings. I want one of those transitional government thingies to keep the country ticking over – doing nothing new – while we all decide what kind of a people we want to be and how that should best be reflected and enacted. Don’t tell me that’s naive or impossible. It’s essential if we want to make real, meaningful, sustainable and ethical change. Neither does it need to take very long.
None of our politicians from the main parties will achieve our notion of a better world and we all know the reasons for that. But, dear Reader… If I did have a magic wand; if I was as big as enough of us; if I was organising a protest…? It would not take the form of a march, a carnival or a rampage.
I would go to Parliament or Downing Street. Or other pertinent places of Government. Please don’t bother to write and tell me all the reasons why I’m not allowed – I don’t care. In fact, the fact that I might need to request permission tells me all I need to know. I wouldn’t be seeking permission; I’d be exercising my right.
I would go to Parliament. I would take candles and a banner saying “Government, stand down. Now” and I would stay there in silent vigil until it did.
[Now, just to reassure you: this post reflects a temporary and fluctuating state that I have observed in myself and others. Ultimately I am optimistic for the Human Race. I don’t know if I’ll live to see it and I’m not all that confident that my children will. But Humanity will. As to my preferred form of protest? Silence is golden ;-)]
“One Moment in Annihilation’s Waste,
One Moment of the Well of Life to taste –
The Stars are setting and the Caravan
Starts for the Dawn of Nothing – Oh, make haste!”
Omar Khayyám (1048 – 1131)