Where Reason came to Die…

I’m two weeks in to my latest round of lockdown blues.  This one’s longer than the last few and harder to shake.  ‘We’re all going to die!’  I’m still thinking, only that’s my lines from an old script when we were all going to die before black lives mattered most urgently before black trans lives mattered even more before anti antisemitism was rooted out of the Labour party by a bloke that can’t tell the difference between clumsy criticism of Israel’s power structures and Jew hating.

Obviously, as a non-Jew, I shouldn’t have an opinion on what constitutes antisemitism.  I certainly shouldn’t conclude that conflating Israeli politics with the Jewish people is inherently anti Semitic, but there you have it.

It’s getting harder, though, to think for myself, and even harder to motivate myself to explain my thoughts.

Intellectual discourse is at an all time low, and the bar was never set that high to begin with.  It’s only a couple of millennia since we believed the world was created in six days by a judgemental maniac with a zero tolerance policy to disobedience – Abraham had to be willing to kill his own bairn, didn’t he?

We’re not savages, any more.  We had the age of enlightenment, hadn’t we?

But all that was so very long ago before the box in the corner, that our parent’s worried might lead us astray, and before the hand held devices we worry are damaging our children’s minds.  And before the thought police patrolled the corridors of every virtual group we dared to enter, in the vague hope of finding somebody, somewhere, that thinks the same as us.  And just like there was no room at the inn for the pregnant Mary, there’s no place at the table for the free thinker, and no donkey to carry them to the next best location.

And when I say them I mean plural and you can shove your linguistic mind games where the sun don’t shine.

And also your fear of science.  I’ve seen it before.  All ex Catholics have, assuming that there was such a thing as an ex Catholic.  ‘Coz religion and science can’t really co-exist, they are inherently suspicious of each other.  And if your gonna fly in the face of most reasoned people better hope your sources are better than Flat Earthers.

Or not.  Sources aren’t important.  Statement’s are.  Say it loud, say it proud, and whatever you do, don’t stop and think about what it is you are saying.  Curiosity not only kills cats, it literally turns women into human beings.  And nobody really wants a Mother, that is human, washing their underpants, reminding their information starved brains that they’re a lazy fuck.

And speaking of laziness, if you’re gonna sell conspiracy theories then at least buy the good ones.  To that end, any ideology with Trump as the end game is playing you for a fool.

Only I don’t say any of it, because there is no-one to listen.  Not really.  Sure, you can shove stuff on line, but what difference does it make?  We’re all going to hell on a handcart and my vague twittering ain’t gonna save us.

Or maybe, as per ‘The Good Place’ , this is hell.  We’ve all died in an event so catastrophic that we’ve wiped it from our collective consciousness and here we are in the afterlife, reaping what we have sowed.  An eternity of virtual self righteousness and out of context biblical memes, which is a kick in the face for the heathens who always reckoned God has no sense of humour.

 

 

 

How to make a killing on the property market.

Another day, another damning reveal of Tory priorities.  After the mayhem of the weekend, which saw Johnson’s re-branding of the virus as something controllable, as long as we #stayalert, we now have Wednesday Morning’s attempt to re-open the housing market.

This, it has been pointed out, sends a confusing message.  On the one hand, we cannot yet meet out loved ones ‘coz virus. On the other hand, we can have countless strangers sift through our property, determine its’ value and make us an offer.  So, to be clear, Grandpa is still out of bounds, unless he is in the market for a two up, two down, with charming views of the Thames.

One does not have to be a convicted cynic to see what is going on here.

The Tories are putting the sale and purchase of houses above the welfare of those living in them.  This is not a new policy.  This is Tory 101.  Money matters more than people.  It’s also housing policy 101, across the U.K., across Europe.  It is why people live and die in over the odds rented accommodation, so that others can live and die with a property portfolio.

One of the first and starkest casualties of the virus, apart from the dead old people, and the dead N.H.S. staff, was AIR B and B.  An industry completely reliant on tourists paying vastly inflated rent to cover mortgages and business models that had no get out plan for a world wide recession.   It was a very small violin that we played for these victims because, instinctively, we knew their retirement funds came at the expense of our children’s chances on the property ladder.

The property ladder that we all queue to join, coz you’re nobody ’till you own your own home.  That’s actually not true.  If you want lifelong, residential security, you are better off serving your time in the ‘homeless- will live anywhere for a few years’ property market, in order to gain the most elusive of things – secure, affordable, lifelong accommodation.

See, the most unbelievable plot line in ‘Friends’ was not how six white gorgeous people found each other, but how Monica walked away from a rent controlled apartment in New York City.  That would never happen.

People weren’t that stupid, then.

And people aren’t so stupid, now, as to buy and sell properties, willy nilly, during a pandemic.  Some will still try to buy and sell, but not enough people to keep the wheels of the property market, where they want it, spinning out of control.

Property rising without end only benefits the few.

Your refurbished bungalow, with a veranda that opens up on a lush back garden, complete with Granny flat, loses some appeal when we have to kill Granny to make the sale.

 

 

 

Eleven things I’ve learned in Lockdown

The longer lockdown goes on the more confused I become.  It’s not accidental.  In a time when data is worth more than gold, non bias information, that doesn’t come with a follow me caveat, is priceless.  Because of this, I feel like I know less, now, than I did when this shit storm began.  That’s not to say I am completely ignorant.  This much I’ve learned.

(1) There is a either a real virus or a pretend virus.  This possible virus is probably highly contagious and because of that we need to practice social distancing.  Social distancing means different things to different people and we have no consensus, as a population, on what two metres looks like.  The impact of social distancing is severely weakened if international travel restrictions aren’t in place.

(2) The only consensus we have is that we are deeply divided.

(3) If the virus is real, then we are reaping what we have sown.  We have prioritised wealth accumulation for the few, over basic social and healthcare for the many.  Most of us belong in the ‘many’ category, when stripped of our meaningful job titles and social status.  If the virus is real, we have been exposed on the world stage as the fur coat and no knickers, tin pot, sham of a democracy we actually are.

(4) We really hate old people.

(5) If the virus is real, many more of us are going to have to die, in order to convince enough of us to take action.  A probable virus verses an economic downturn is the false dichotomy we are all being sold.  The economy, in its current form, exists to make the rich richer on the back of zero hours contracts, a monopoly on residential real estate and the privatisation of public institutions.

(6) Demonising those on welfare and making poverty synonymous with idleness and a flawed character only works when the minority need state benefits.

(7) If the virus is pretend, then we won’t ever believe anything a government or media outlet tells us again.  If the polls are to be trusted, we don’t believe anything our government or media are telling us now.  If the virus is pretend, most of us will continue to be duped by the belief we have lived through a pandemic, if we do, for the rest of our lives.  If the virus is pretend, as we stay indoors, a global cabal may be planning to take control of our bodies and minds through vaccines and contact apps.  A sort of contemporary version of The Spanish Inquisition, with a celebrity angle, coz a cult without high profile influencers is just a group of people.

(8) The right to bear arms is making America more dangerous by the day.

(9) The closer we get to death, the deeper our understanding of the fragility and sacred nature of human life.   As a society, we have been duped into believing that we exist solely for the realisation of our personal desires.  We have been conned into the cult of individualism, where narcissism is a virtue and intellectualism is despised by a quick fix culture that doesn’t have time to think.

(10) Teachers should be given a fuck load more money.

(11) People dependant on food banks to survive.  Do not resuscitate orders flying out of doctors surgeries.  The elderly abandoned to a mass cull.   TV shows donating medical  equipment  to I.C.U. units.  Homeless, dying of thirst, on the gold paved streets of one of the finest capital cities in the world.  In an age where patriotism is enjoying a resurgence, there is very little about life on this island, right now,  to make us feel proud.