I can't claim to know what's going on in Brazil, but the two spoilt brats that are Trump and Johnson are bored with the pandemic and their rich mates are no longer having their coffers refilled by the plebs who work for them. The idea of the working classes idling in their homes like rich people and receiving cheques for doing nothing is an abomination to the tory elite. Only they have the breeding to lounge around on chaise longue thinking intellectual thoughts. The plebs should be given doorsteps to scrub and stones to break, the lazy fuckers.
They say the Great War 1914-1917, was the biggest class leveller the world had ever seen. The officers, the gentry, fought and died side by side with the men from the pits and the factories. The women, who stayed home, took over the mens' jobs, proving they were just as capable as men, and they deserved the vote. It was a pivotal time in history, a time of huge sweeping changes.
This year, 2020, will be pivotal too, I believe. Covid-19, has been an equaliser on an even bigger scale than WWI. Probably, for the first time in history, we are all literally in the same boat. That is, we are all confined to our homes and, be they bedsits or mansions and if we are wise, wearing masks when we venture out for supplies. There is some joy to be had, thinking about all those billionaires confined to their castles, unable to jetset or procure young maidens from overseas. And it is downright weird to see the rich and famous speaking to the camera from their own homes (usually with loads of books behind them) and as much in need of a haircut as the rest of us. We are in a weird era where having loads of money really doesn't mean too much. Where can you go, what can you spend it on?
These are weird and surreal times, certainly nothing I have ever seen in my now, quite long, lifetime. I am usually a glass half full kind of person, but these days, I am filled with an unnerving sense of doom and gloom. I have spent a lifetime trying to imagine the thoughts of normal people on the brink of destruction. In 1930's Germany for example, Hitler had a similar base to Trump, around 30%, one third. The majority of Germans did not support him, so how did he obtain absolute power? The obvious answer to that, in this 21st century, is watch what Trump is doing now. He is following Hitler's playbook almost to the letter. Fake press, fake enemies of the people and now a reshuffle of history. His current fixation on statues and culture, is probably all part of his masterplan to replace all statues with statues of himself. You can bet your life it is not based on anything sane.
Meanwhile, I watched in horror, as the people of the USA and the UK, not only voted in the biggest eejits they could find, but they are prepared to go along with obvious lies that put their lives in danger. Covid-19 infections in the USA have spiralled out of control. At a time when the country needs expert pandemic help they have turned their backs on the World Health Organisation, the Centre for Disease Control and their own expert health officials. Trump is preventing Dr. Fauci from speaking! Trump's response to Covid-19 has been worst case scenario x100. It is horrible to watch as an outsider, slow motion slaughter, I almost wish you had Marshall Law where you could march that homicidal maniac out of the Oval Office.
Here in the UK, the curve has come down, but the decision to re-open pubs will probably change all that in the next couple of weeks. People are fed up with the lockdown, I get that, but the dangers now are far greater than they were back in March. Personally, I do not believe a word that comes out of Boris Johnson's lying mouth. I will continue to follow my own instincts and will treat steering clear of the virus like the bubonic plague. Which incidentally, could now also be on the way. Perhaps if a few limbs start dropping off, the Boris lovers may see the madness.
But I want to return to June 2020 as a pivotal time in history. One on which we should all drop a line to our descendants. Most people I speak to agree, the world will never be the same again. For example, many who commute to the office every day, may have found they can do their job just as effectively from home. Or, on the capitalist side, their employers will discover they just don't need them anymore. This government, I feel we have had a tory government forever, have failed to address how dramatically employment would change with 21st century technology. If the 19th century saw the Industrial Revolution, the 21st century has seen the replacement of humans with robotics. Ok, the rudimentary mechanics of the 19th century laid off many workers some might argue, others would say it led to a boom in employment. Another argument for another day, but try speaking to a human being when you phone your bank or any public company.
A forward thinking government would lower working hours, creating more jobs, and invest more in education, science, technology, public health, and the leisure industry. Very few now live by the philosophy of Presbyterianism and Opus Dei, we don't consider 'time we enjoy' as a straight to hell sin. Perhaps we should burn in the fires of hell of all eternity for enjoying a nip of gin and a sing song, but we don't care. We don't fear an eternity of suffering, maybe this existence was an eternity of suffering and the next one will be pure bliss? No baby has come into this world happy, they are usually screaming their lungs out, as in Oy, I was all nice and warm and snugly where I was thank you. Maybe when we leave this world, we go into a better one?
My regular readers will notice that I am starting to write even more crazily and haphazardly than I have before. Now I am thinking fuck it, why do I keep holding back, who or what am I trying to protect. I have already sold my soul - spoken all my secret thoughts out loud, I have given it all away, revealed everything when I first put pen to paper, so many years ago. I have shame, like everyone, but I have found freedom with every inner thought I reveal, I don't feel alone and I don't feel weird, because I feel a connection with those reading, I'm the 'bold' one saying out loud what they feel.
I think the biggest fear for writers is the knowledge that they are exposing all their vulnerability. It's probably the biggest hurdle writers fear - do they dare let other people know what is going on inside their heads? But this is not a writing tutorial, nor I hope, is it a sermon - God forbid. It is a record, I hope, for anyone in the future, wanting to see what life was like with Covid-19, who's full devastation we in the here and now have yet to see. It won't be difficult for those looking back to figure out where it all went so drastically wrong. That moment may be, where the East (China) seized power over the West. Not with weapons of mass destruction but with their ability and efficiency to conquer the world's deadliest virus since 1918. The West have proven they couldn't organise a proverbial piss up in a brewery. But that is only one example of how the world could dramatically change, there are hundreds. Black Mirror is a good start.
Sadly, as I have grown older, I have lost much of my faith in the goodness of humanity. I wish I could wave a magic wand and go back to the innocent child I once was, who believed everyone was good. Sadly life has taught me that they are not. I get that we need the psychopaths - they keep the wheels of industry turning and to prevent illegal parking. But those who are mean for their own self gratification are right up there with puppy and kitten torturers and serial killers. Demons do indeed exist among us, not in the hell fire and brimstone mythology of the possessed far right, but also in the most unlikely people, who we had otherwise assumed, to be just like us. That is, we thought, they like us, felt empathy. It is a shock to the system to discover they don't. It is a shock to discover, that a living human being, with a working brain, a lifetime of memories, can just switch off the pain they inflict on others. I don't know if it haunts them daily, or if they, like clinically diagnosed psychopaths, can just switch off? Those of us with consciences simply wouldn't be able to sleep at night, knowing that our actions were hurting someone. That is what separates us.
I am going to call it a fascist mentality. Because that is what it is. Trump et al, are entirely wrong in their attempts to label the Far Left and Antifa fascists. With Antifa, it's right there in the name Anti-Fascist, just like all those soldiers who fought the Nazis in WWII. Fascist does not apply to the Left, how dumb are they? It's the dumb and dumber equivalent of calling Trump a Marxist! So here we are, two certifiable lunatics with access to nuclear weapons.
To be fair, ever since reading 'On the Beach' in my late teens, I have always felt the world hovered on the brink of annihilation, but never more so than now. It's not just that the orange man and the rocket man would love nothing more than to get into a nuclear standoff, it is their total disregard for human life. Chairman Kim probably spent his childhood playing Grand Theft Auto, while Trump played stitch up the immigrant workers who built his towers. In a game of 'chicken' which homicidal maniac would push the annihilate world button first? Hard to pick huh?
So please forgive the doom and gloom - at this point I wish I had faith, but I fear I have seen too many episodes of Walking Dead. We are not far off that stage where law and order has broken down and the vigilantes have taken over the pharmacies, the gun shops and the supermarkets. Now would be a good time to learn martial arts and a thousand ways to cook lentils.
But I jest. I have had a great week because I finally got a delivery from Asdas! I had to wait two weeks+ but totally worth it. No yeast, gelatin or coffee extract, but Birds Custard powder - yes, the old fashioned round tub, yippee, which brought on a jig! Simply can't get on with beating egg yolks and using a fiver's worth of vanilla extra to make custard! Not quite on par with trying to make a cake out of a beetroot in WWII, but vexing nonetheless.
Anyway, my kindest wishes, as always to those who stick with me through thick and thin, it is much appreciated and I pray that you stay safe, listen to the scientists and the doctors, not the politicians. If this were a disaster movie, we are at the 'every man for himself' stage, now would be a good time to throw a deckchair overboard and hope it floats.