As another month rolls round, I reflect on the particular requirements and skills of writing an editorial piece. A quick google tells me that this should be a short piece that reflects the opinion of the paper/publishing house. Not much to go on there then.
This month’s editorial then will give my opinion. And my current opinion as regards the current state of affairs is that I’ve gone into hiding. I’ve been keeping away from ‘news’ fake or otherwise and ‘opinion’ pieces on traditional or social media. The world has just become too dark for me. I know the mood will pass, but looking back on James Leatham’s editorials over the 33 years of the original Gateway I am somewhat heartened by the fact that he had this problem too. Often it’s easy to give your opinion, especially if, like him and me, you have strong ones on most issues. But sometimes, the world just gets overwhelming.
This is one of those times. And perhaps that itself IS the editorial opinion of the month. Heading for the Brexit and with President Trump in the White House (yesterday I allowed myself to wonder for just a moment whether that was actually a whole constructed piece of ‘fake’ news and I will wake up to find that in reality he’s not) I find myself, this February, quite overwhelmed to imagine either where we are or where we are going.
I am stuck in the following conundrum:
What is the value of free speech when no-one is listening?
The price of free speech IS that no one is listening.
I challenge anyone not to find this overwhelming.
The one light touch of the month for me on Social Media (which I have hidden from this month as far as humanly possible in this social media dominated world) was the SNP whistling the European Parliament Anthem ‘ode to joy’ as the voting was going on for triggering Article 50. It was a small and yes, ultimately futile gesture (as I fear all our gestures are at present) against Big Brother world.
Small and futile gestures seem to be the order of the day. I note that fellow McRenegade Cally Phillips is indulging in one of her own – she’s giving away copies of Brand Loyalty free in February. For more information click HERE. This is because the ‘news’ keeps telling us that everyone’s ‘into’ dystopias since Trump took the White House. Reading Cally’s article at McRenegades just reconfirmed to me the complete small futility of the world I (and we all) inhabit.
That’s just my opinion of course.
What can we do? Well, educate ourselves beyond the mainstream. If we can avoid the ‘fake’ news and the hype and the spoon-feeding and critically engage with the world, we may not be able to change it, but we may change ourselves and in the process may find a way to engage with this overwhelming world. The young have hope of course. Those of us who are starting to feel we’ve seen it all before, are less hopeful. And learning to live in the land beyond hope is the journey I am engaged on at present.
So what does Gateway have to offer you this month in form of diversion, or exploration? In most cases: more of the same. We finish the 2 parter on Rabbie Burns, the 3 parter on ‘Is the state the enemy?’ and are in the middle of ‘Marx, Spirit and Matter’.
And in a post-hope world, we offer you Cally Phillips allegorical story A Fishing Line in the hopes that some of you might realise that we do perhaps get the dystopia we deserve. The Orraman girds his loins in the cause of cultural revolution with an exploration on a similar theme.
I leave you with a question. If in the land of the blind the one eyed man is king – who really rules in dystopia? It’s not a rhetorical question, but it is one I feel overwhelmed by this February.
To find past articles please use monthly archives.