I am probably suffering a case of severe solipsism, for two reasons
- Starting a blog post with ‘I’
- My life going well while the world seems to go to shit.
But I can’t help it. That perpetual Cassandra in me has been fairy-godmothered into a Pollyana. Stuff has gone alright for a while, and I’m enjoying life more than ever. Admittedly, this is from a series of low bases of unemployment, poor health, relationship disasters and that ole ches’nut, the chance of dying alone in poverty with nothing and no one. Somehow, I got out of all these desperate holes in acts that I will credit entirely to my own strength of will, in direct proportion to all the times I blamed shitty circumstances and bad luck for my previous poor run of form. A self-help book will inevitably follow. Perhaps consider the following a taster.
Annnnnyway, lets have a look at why everyone is going to pieces in 2016, and what to do about it.
EVERYONE IS BLOODY DYING
- THE CLOUD:This seems to have hit it’s peak at Prince, and now we’re clocking up deaths at a more normal rate. But my, the Grim Reaper had a time earlier this year, didn’t he? I blame Poldark, the daft scything bastard. Some have suggested the Rapture has happened, with all the heroes jetting off to heaven leaving us atheist scum to fight it out on a floundering planet. Bowie, why hath thous forsaken us?
- SILVER LINING: Loads of ace people are alive well longer than you’d expect them to be. Burt Bacharach (88) Chuck Berry (89) David Attenborough (90) . Professor Stephen Hawking (74 -was given 2 years to live back in 1963) . Dick Van Dyke (90). Angela Lansbury (90). Mel Brooks (90) (and Carl Reiner – 94).. James Lovelock (97) Kirk Douglas (99). Dame Vera Lynn (99) Jerry Lewis (100) . Instead of wallowing in the grief of those gone, and that sudden guilt you’d not really thought of them much lately, embrace what we have still got, well past their presumed expiry date. I still live in a world with these people. I am grateful. Be grateful too.
- THE CLOUD: The one that really hurts many. We’re out of Europe. We’ve cut ourselves off from our neighbours, and replaced the Union flag with a flapping piece of cloth saying ‘FUCK OFF’. We’ve suddenly discovered that not only is the country full of shy / ashamed Tories, as we did in 2015; but that 52% of this nation would like to find the mooring ropes of the British archipelago and cast us floating free away from those shirking French and their continental quislings, as a country ran by a hereditary Head of State and an unelected House of Lords DEMANDED we self-determine.
- SILVER LINING: While the Tories have seemingly regained a facade of control and stability with ruthless competence after the surprise result, and Labour have managed to once again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, the Nasty Party are possibly in deeper poo. The button embossed with ARTICLE 50 is unlikely to be pressed anytime soon, boiling the piss of the (majority)Tory Brexiteers. After May’s cull of the Cameron’s favourites , which swept arch-brownnoser Soubry to the backbenches (she claimed she resigned. Really. Even my Westminster mole, who previously defended her staunchness of position on issues, has described her scrabbling for retention as ‘desperate’. She was, it seems, sacked, denied even a junior ministerial role due to an impending court case regarding her electoral overspend looming ominously on the horizon. That and a litany of incompetence. Of which more later). The fact is, May is now strapped to the mast, unable to either initiate Article 50 or ignore it. To insulate this decision, she’s bought in key Brexiteers into her cabinet to wrangle the departure. In a act of almost Nero like cruelty, this grouping -David Davis, Boris Johnson, Amber Rudd and Liam Fox – have all significant responsibilities coupled with significant vulnerabilities: Fox is already being probed for alleged fiddling of a military family charity; Davis is seen as a politician with much gob yet little brain; Johnson is inevitably going to trigger an accidental war and Amber Rudd used to be married to hollow-souled twat and sociopathic baboon murderer AA Gill, which shows an incredible lurch of judgement. It’s a volatile mix, and will explode soon. Hopefully, the shambolic Labour Party will have somehow come together to get the boot in.
TERRORISM RUNNING RIFE
- THE CLOUD Nice, Paris, Jo Cox…the list of victims is a morbid procession of those killed by hate. We’re presently jumping at every shadow; with any breaking news story read for signs of terrorism before any other reason. We’re all on edge, knowing it is only a matter of time before the next attack happens. Have we ever been in such a terrifying place?
- SILVER LINING: It’s been calculated that the chance of being killed in a terrorist attack is at least 20,000,000 / 1. That level of risk means that you’re more likely to killed by your furniture (18,000,ooo / 1). You’re more likely to become an astronaut ( 13,200,000 / 1). Has it been worse? Oh yes, and in most of our lifetimes. The frequency of terrorist attacks on UK soil, that led to loss of life or injury, was much higher in the seventies and eighties, due to the continuing Irish issue. Back then, the lack of rolling news and hysterical social media kept this at a more reasoned pitch. The whole point of terrorism is to bring fear to a population, to terrorise. We make that personal choice about that happening. Be scared, they’ve won. You’ll also be making a choice to increase the chance of an early grave: excessive stress is a contributory factor to the REAL killer in the UK: heart disease. Chances of that getting you? 7/1
TRUMP BECOMING PRESIDENT
- THE CLOUD: Yes, like a bewigged Oompa-Loompa drip-fed a diet of pure hate since birth, orange faced demagogue Donald Trump has snatched the Republican nomination and is now one vote away from having his tiny fingers on the US nuclear button (and ours!) His brand of toxic racism and vicious rhetoric propelled him to beat off all the other competitors, who prefer to keep their toxic racism vicious rhetoric undercover, at least until they get into the Oval Office. Having Trump as the most powerful man in the world will be the end, surely?
- THE SILVER LINING: It’s probably not going to happen. While he rode high while in the primaries, he’s sinking now the actual race is on. It all seemed a bit of fun once, to many. Might shake stuff up. But now it looks like he has a chance, people are fleeing, his own party is collapsing round him and strong rumours abound that he might simply pull the plug, effectively destroying the Republicans for years. Demagoguery will be seen as a fatal road to follow, and a post-post-factual democracy, based on rationalism and consensual policy making will follow. The darker hour, etc. If he does win? Well, the phrase ‘Trump Apocalypse’ will at least cause some childish sniggers from the UK, just before the earth spins off orbit and is consumed by the sun.
We’re dead lucky. We live at a point of history where a baby born today will have a greater chance of survival than at any point in history, and will probably thrive enough to celebrating their 100th birthday. There is less poverty in the world than any other time. Education is spreading wider: the global IQ shifts up 3 points per decade. We are more connected than ever before, able to talk to each other cheaply and easily at virtually any place in the world (remember when we’d talk about the future, and how we’d have video phones? It seemed so far off, such sci-fi technology. But it happened and we just took it for granted).Wars, which seem to be raging harder than ever, are actually at an historic low in terms of casualties. Of course, any war is one war too many, any casualty a tragedy. But we’re getting more peaceful, and that should be celebrated.
We’re locked in a cycle of anxiety only by our own choosing. It’s a commonly noted phenomenon that fear makes for a more easily controllable, more passive society. If you think terrorists are on the cusp of killing you and your family, you’ll of course allow the state to apply more draconian methods to consolidate their power.
To be a real radical these days, ditch the anxiety. Embrace rationality, and stop ruining your present by panicking about the future. The world is an imperfect thing, spinning through space as those on board bicker and battle. But it’s also a sublimely wonderful place, and for every pissflap of a human out there, there are dozens of excellent, lovely people. We’re alright. Now, go out and enjoy yourself.