Friday the 13th in an age of superstition.
Being dumped by text used to be considered the height of bad manners. So how much worse is the prospect of Global Armageddon by tweet? Well, that’s the Trump era world we live in. Am I alone in feeling like I’m going to have to spend the next couple of years (if I’m lucky) not breathing, in the hope that we’ll get through it relatively unscathed? And then ‘four more years?’
As I write this shades of ‘war is inevitable’ ‘not in my name’ keep swirling round my mind. The Cabinet is meeting in Downing Street. The MP’s are ‘revolting’ that they want to have their say but they’re not due back till Monday. By which time decisions may have been made. Or not.
In the meantime, the media (social and anti social) argues for and against fake media – and the people of Syria continue to be a pawn in the ugliest game in town.
And nothing we can do will make any difference. We, after all, are just so much data. The human is almost totally stripped from the phrase human resources. We have become resources. Is this a consequence of Brand Loyalty? The best dystopia money can buy, anyone? We can’t blame Zuckerberg for it all because we all ran to help him open the bottle and let the genie out and we’re still there, enjoying the bread and circuses of the early 21st century. Ultimate® is alive and well and we are all doing ‘productive work’ for them every time we log on.
This is the ‘context’ in which we look back this month in Gateway. Leatham offers pieces on Optimism/Pessimism and the Orraman goes his dinger on Ignorance, both of which have something of a particular relevance to my current mood. Perhaps it’s just me. The more Leatham I read the more I find that the problems have all been experienced and noted before. Do we never learn? Is it more that we mutate and survive and that the virus of hatred and corruption (and capitalism) is stronger than any other virus. The hopes of Socialism held in the 1920s certainly seem to have disappeared. Though even in the 1920s Leatham was reflecting back on how much had been ‘lost’ from the early, optimistic days of the emergence of Socialism. (real Socialism that is, before, as he points out, it became Labourism.) The pessimist in me sees Socialism as a cause seems as dead in the water as Communism is in practice. But then Soviet era Communism itself was a corruption of a noble ideal. The ‘Co-operative Commonwealth’ never really caught on. If I could imagine Donald Trump reading a book (let’s face it he doesn’t even write his own books) it would be more Ayn Rand than anything else. But who reads any more these days? I mean, who really reads?
Flip the coin to optimism? Today it’s hard to impossible to do. As we hold our breath Bay of Pigs style over the weekend to see who will blink first – or what ‘conclusions’ will be made about what the ‘best’ response will be to the Assad regime – I can’t find anything of comfort. I’m lost in the political algorithms of who will work out the best ‘probability’ in the particular game theory that’s being played out. I’m trying to second guess which interest is best served how and how it will be dressed up for us and which variety of fake news will contain any grain of something that used to be believed in called truth in it.
Is it any wonder we seek escapism in fiction? Though even in fiction I suggest there’s plenty to exercise the mind beyond simple escapism. This month we offer you an insight into the world beyond the ‘Stickit Minister’ – you have the option of escapism by just reading a story – or delving deeper from the download of the ‘retrospective’ by Cally Phillips, the leading Crockett authority of our times. It may be a niche interest, but isn’t it a more positive way to spend your life than finding ever new ways to justify killing ever more people in order that the virus of capitalism continues to prosper and dominate the globe? Like I said, optimism’s thin on the ground this weather at the Gateway.
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