I don’t know what to say. Even Happy New Year seems both belated and unlikely given the state of affairs we are faced with. We loom towards Brexit without any clearer idea about what it will mean – though all the news suggests that everything will get pricier because of a poor exchange rate. Tories have turned their back on austerity, but you wouldn’t really know it would you? Theresa May keeps telling us we’re all in it together in the sort of headmistressy voice that suggests she believes the more you say something the more people will believe you. I have to say personally – there’s no reality in which I am in any form of same boat as Theresa May. And I’m not alone. Even if we’re all in the Titanic, I know who will bag the seats in the life-raft. And it isn’t the likes of me. I am a potential which has never been maximised and never will be. Not through lack of hard work on my part, I add. I’m not complaining. Just saying.
But what is a little local difficulty with all that bigger issues. I watched Obama’s ‘Goodbye’ to America. He urges everyone to keep fighting for democracy – to keep active, to keep the faith. Good luck with that one America. As I write this I feel that (despite the appalling weather outside) we are experiencing the last days of calm before the biggest storm in my lifetime. In a week’s time they will swear in Donald J.Trump as US President. How can that even happen? But it will. It’s the democratic will of the people. Obama told us. We have to accept it. And if we don’t like it, we have to work to change it. The phrase pissing into the wind strikes to mind.
I have to admit I feel pure, naked fear at the prospect of what Donald Trump will do to the world. My best hope is that he’ll be hog-tied by the ‘administration.’ But not much convinces me that there is a way to control him. Appeasement anyone? How can we see anything good coming out of giving the reins of power to the person probably least appropriate to act in the good of any ‘people’. I feel like we are seeing the death, not of democracy, but of any chance for reasoned debate. Obama pointed towards us all existing in our own little ‘post-truth’ bubbles and in the Age of Trump Twitter seems to be the discourse space of choice. That is truly terrifying.
So, from my own wee sinking boat, I just wanted to say that my goal in 2017 is to keep baling. That publishing Gateway may be insubstantial as an act of rebellion but that’s what it is. A small beacon (though not of hope) that I will not love Big Brother. That I will strive to present alternative views from the past and present. Throwing mud at a wall. Yes. Pissing into the wind. Yes. But it’s all that’s left to the likes of me. Until Theresa May acts on her words to help me maximise my potential. And with global warming all around us I don’t expect Hell to Freeze Over any time soon. Our leaky wee Independent boat will keep afloat month by month and I hope you’ll join us if you can deTwit yourself for long enough.
This month we’ve got articles on Burns, and Marx,(liberated from Public Domain Prison), a ‘political’ short story, and a question on the role of the state as well as The Orraman offering his own cultural resolutions. Fill your boots with freedom while you can – before they build a paywall around our virtual lives!
To find past articles please use monthly archives.