So now is the morning. I get up and my back aches and my stomach feels bloated. I get coffee and take pain killers and things evolve and I feel as if I need to go to the loo. My lower back is aching and threatening to hurt and the top of my legs at the front are stinging and aching. So I go to the loo and my stools are like sheep poop. And although it is a slightly taboo topic I wonder why it is taboo. Doctors know these things matter but we are not allowed to talk about them; It does rather brush things under the carpet (Not the sheep poop!).
And then, as I sit here and play Go I feel slightly shaky and quite worn out, I wonder what life is like. I have nothing to do. I don't know what to do. I am browsing old photos from a software convention that I attended as the 'official' photographer some 10 years ago. Hundreds of enthusiastic software developers' faces and I look at them and wonder what life is like for them. What are they doing now? I recall how I felt all those years ago and how rushing around for three days attending talks, taking hundreds of photos, socialising in the evenings and consuming large quantities of alcohol was all done with energy and enthusiasm to spare. I had ridden over 100 miles to the conference on my motorbike and returned to edit and organise all the photos to put them up on the internet. All this was done with ease. But as I sit here and write this diary whilst resting both arms on the table I find that if I need to take the weight of my body with my back in order to lift my arm to hold the mouse to edit a mistake I am tempted to leave it until later because it is a significant effort.
I am not well. There are 90 year olds who have more energy than me. I am only 56. But the significant thing for me is that I know this level of exhaustion is not right for me at the moment. I don't mind getting old and worn out but I do object to feeling far worse than I might reasonably expect. And just to put all this in perspective I am devastatingly broke. It strikes me as interesting that when I mention this other 'taboo' subject people have a strange way of interpreting what is meant by 'broke'. I know I have interpreted broke as meaning different things at different times in my life. So how do I simply explain what my financial situation is? And, perhaps more importantly, how do I convey the incredible negativity of it and the destructive power of my situation.
I look at these revolutions and collapsing economies around the world and although I regard myself as relatively lucky at the moment they are very close to how it is for me. When I make references to the Holocaust people seem to think I am being extreme and exaggerating. But for me, although it is an exaggeration, it is not so much of one that it is unreasonable. There are thousands of people that understand we are doing very similar things in this country right now. For the record and as supporting evidence there is the frightening case of the DWP and Atos Healthcare. Currently there is a call for them to be investigated for corporate manslaughter and crimes against humanity. One set of evidence is the rise of people on sick benefit who have died. In 2010 310 people who were on sick benefit died. That might be regarded as the baseline or the norm. When the DWP introduced their 'medical examinations' carried out by the IT company Atos, masquerading as a healthcare company, in 2011 the death rate rose sharply. In the first nine months of 2011 10,600 people who were on sick benefit died. Many people who are involved in this situation are very clear that this is the result of intimidation, stress, and hardship imposed by the DWP. A very moving illustration of the utter inhumanity and ridiculousness of this scheme is well represented in the image below from Mike Silver's blog.
When you are confronted with the insanity of what is going on it comes as a profound shock and then a frightening realisation that you wouldn't have believed it. What is frightening is that you know other people simply will not believe it if you tell them. You begin to understand how the illusion is maintained. So which way do you turn? Who can you tell when the very people who are in a position of influence are the very people whose focus of interpretation is on defending the perpetrators of the crime. You begin to realise how the holocaust happened. You start to see that the people who make the most noise about how the holocaust was an unacceptable and intolerable crime against humanity are the very people who are enabling it to happen all over again.
Someone once told me that they didn't trust sentimental people. I wondered about this for many years but over time I certainly began to understand at least 'a' reason for not trusting sentimental people. It is similar to people who deny something a bit too much. The suspicion rises that perhaps they have a reason to be denying it. It seems to me a bit psychological. It seems a bit Freudian. They cannot accept that part in them that is 'like' the undesirable attributes of the oppressor. They actively 'hide' it from themselves and become over emotional and sentimental about the devastation and pain. But what do these people actually 'do' about this subject that appears to distress them so much? Very often they do nothing but continue to soak up the opulent substance of their current environment. They are materially comfortable and psychologically secure and they cling to it compulsively. To fend off guilt they go to church and give a pittance to charities (who are too often simply offering the service in the style of 'selling indulgences' - that issue that was central to the protestant movement led by Martin Luther in 1517 - for their own benefit). What they don't do is face the terrible truth. They don't concern their conscious mind with the evident paradox. They don't object to the bits of insanity around them. Why not? Because to object to these small bits of cruelty and irrationality would disrupt their comfort and would appear to make no difference to the larger picture. There seems no point in making an issue of things. And so they carry on. It is the very same reason why all this shock and horror at the Jimmy Savile affair will do nothing to stop abuse in our culture. All it will achieve is to brush it further under the carpet and to make it harder to detect.
I cannot write more at the moment because I am in pain and exhausted but I will continue to put these incomplete missives up on the internet in the hope that eventually I will be able to coordinate it all. In the mean time please set up a standing order to pay me £1 (or $1 if you are a parochial American) a month (If you are serious you can contact me via Toxic Drums contact page :). It would only take a thousand or so people doing that to afford me a way to live and look after my daughter. Then, maybe, I would start to get better and get stronger and be able to do something about the terrible situation that is rapidly evolving in this country. You could also take a look at the ukcolumn which is a very informative organisation pursuing real insight and justice.
How could I possibly describe my world just now? I am lying in bed listening to Radio 4. I am in pain. Last night whilst cooking dinner my back gave way.
That is as far as I got on Saturday morning. After that I couldn't move and 36 hours later I have managed to get out of bed and sit at this desk. On Friday evening after my back had given way I struggled upstairs, ate the dinner I had cooked, and went to bed. I felt dreadful and my back was extremely painful. In the morning, hoping it was improved, I got up, went down (two flights of stairs) collected a bottle of water (to take painkillers with) and a coffee and headed back up to my attic room. I sat down at my desk, began to write a blog, and 30 minutes later I simply couldn't get out of the chair and into the bed. Eventually, and with some help, I got into bed and four hours later called the doctor. Well the NHS has funny ways of working and four hours after that two dizzy nurses turned up with more aches and pains between them than you could count. But they covered the NHS arse by assuring themselves that I wasn't bleeding out of any orifice and no limbs had dropped off, advised me to take lots of pain killers and to phone my doctor on Monday. That was decidedly unsatisfactory. Several hours later I wondered if I should phone again.
Having spent the night in pain I managed, at about midday today (Sunday), to crawl out of bed and go to the loo. I decided to challenge myself, partly out of boredom and partly to 'exercise' my back, and to head off downstairs to make a mug of coffee. I have just achieved that and decided to finish this blog.
My suspicion is that I ate some pastry on Friday afternoon round at C's place. I think my body, partly due to a bunged up malfunctioning gall bladder, adversely reacts to pastry. This has been a growing suspicion and as far as I recall I had eaten pastry the night before I was taken to hospital in an ambulance. Although this time I got severe pain in my lower back I can feel that it is related to my guts and something that is not right in there. But maybe it will be understood one day and maybe not. And maybe it will be resolved one day... and maybe not. But as I sit here now I 'can' sit here but I feel ill and am quite uncomfortable. So I have to make this short so as not to overdo my first little stint at being 'up'.
But there have been one or two things in the news worth mentioning. The first being the Pope. There seems to be quite a concern over the issue of the Pope resigning. So far I have not heard anyone suggesting that it is fundamentally wrong and clearly indicative of the hypocrisy of the church. There seems to be a lot of sympathy for the dear old chap. Even Sinéad O'Connor apparently said something about the old man not looking too well and that he shouldn't be made to carry on working. But I have a problem with this. It brings to mind a song by the Rolling Stones (one of my favourites as it happens) called Sympathy for the Devil - which you can watch live here...
I happen to know a lot about Roman Catholicism and I am not, in their terms, a Satanist or anything weird like that. But what I am is a rational and thinking person. What I am is someone who understands the profundity of Christianity. It is well known that the line of Popes from Peter to Benedict XVI has not been without controversy and corruption. I am quite happy to accept that many Popes 'want' to do good and even try to do good. But I am not willing to accept that they 'are' good by the simple fact of being Pope. There are one or two small points which are clues that something is profoundly wrong with the Roman Catholic church and the Pope himself. Jesus Christ, the man they elevate to a God, was born in a stable (for good reason) and died on a cross (for good reason) and in between times he was quite clear in his views on the elaborate symbols of hierarchy of the Jews. Of the scribes and Pharisees he complained "But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues." and goes on (as God remember) to say "For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness." (All from Mathew 23 if you want the reference.) I don't think you can get more specific than that. The wealth of the Vatican and the Pope are abhorrent to their own God. And, since the Pope claims (by the very role of pope let alone the individual man) to believe in this Christian God then it is unacceptable to live in such wealth and opulence. I understand the arguments about preserving the teachings of Christ but if you have to counter the teachings in order to preserve them then the evidence is that you don't actually believe they are true because you think they wouldn't survive if you actually acted on them. And, since the Pope is designated by God to be his representative on earth, how come the 'man' Joseph Ratzinger gets to override God's decision. It just ain't Catholic. I'm sure Jesus would have liked to have retired at age 32.
I don't object to the old man Joseph Ratzinger wanting to retire. But it totally undermines the 'reality' of Catholicism. It exposes it as a fantasy performance from which you can retire. What I find bizarre is I like some of what I see of the man. He has written some very thoughtful philosophical stuff. Some of his expressed ideas are, in my opinion, brilliant insights into humanity and our perception. But he is/was the Pope. Of course the likely explanation for this feigned "can't cope" retirement is likely to surface at some point in the near future. This is one thing that is good about the information revolution (evolution) and one reason 'they' (any hierarchical dominators) are so afraid of it. Unfortunately I was not quick enough to make this point. The first thing I thought when I heard of his retirement was "I wonder why?" and fully expected some devious machinations to surface. I wondered if there might be some mafia involvement and some blackmail. Well lo and behold if there are not significant rumours already. It is being suggested that the private papers allegedly stolen by the butler, Paolo Gabriele, that contained "papal correspondence that depicted the Vatican as a seething hotbed of intrigue and infighting" may also contain information about factions "united by sexual orientation" and blackmail or "external influence" by laymen.
So it seems the Pope, given our understanding of human history, is as likely as not to be resigning for reasons, as yet, undisclosed. What is that I hear in the wings? "False witness!"
But not to worry because there is one nice Evangelical Priest in Germany who wants to help the poor. He has this idea that it would be silly to waste all the horsemeat tainted beef products as there are so many poor people who could eat it. This is exactly what I worry about in our declining culture. Lots of people (including this priest) cannot see the inherent evil in their "I'm so good" ideas. Of course it is a good idea to give food to another human if they have none and are hungry. But to create poverty so that you can massage your own self image by bestowing the crumbs from your table on them is heinous whether done in ignorance or by intent. It won't be long now before this 'oh so kind' culture of ours will be taking the satirical ideas of Jonathan Swift in his "A Modest Proposal" seriously. The idea being to reduce the burden of the poor by feeding them their own children. "I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled ... "
Of course the next thing I am waiting for is for them to find human DNA in the pork stew! Remember - You heard it here first!
This is a visually altered and enhanced image of the inside of my stomach.
Earlier today I had to go to the hospital to have a gastroscopy. Well strictly speaking I had an oesophagogastroduodenoscopy but gastroscopy is easier to say. A gastroscopy is a procedure performed with an endoscope inserted into your stomach via your oesophagus (more commonly called your throat) and possibly beyond. The endoscope is a medical instrument used to examine the interior of a hollow organ in the body and is usually a long flexible tube containing optical fibres to supply illumination, a tube to supply air (to inflate the organ) and instrumentation to relay video images. There is also often a spare tube to insert other instruments like snippers to cut bits out for biopsies or culture samples.
Not a pleasant experience. You can be sedated for the procedure but this carries its own additional risks and leaves you unfit to do anything for 24 hours. In my case I have no one to get me home so I opted to simply have the back of my throat numbed with a very nasty tasting spray. Having someone push a rather large and not so very flexible rubber hose down your throat and then guggling about for 15 minutes is decidedly uncomfortable and quite gruesome. The sensation of having your stomach blown up is pretty weird too. I suspect that if you ever have to have a gastroscopy the idea is to only have one because after you know what to expect I think it is probably even worse. But, if you are reading this because you are going to have one and want to know what it is like all I can say is it is quite tolerable but not nice. I think the worst of it is the idea of what is going on. At least that is the worst of it for me. They did warn me that I might have a sore throat for a day or two but when the numbing spray wore off after about 45 minutes there was no soreness at all. I drove home and have been perfectly fine since.
But since this is a particularly horrible subject I decided some light entertainment was required and so here is the latest Patty-cake cats video for your entertainment.
If you eat poisoned horse meat the NHS will treat you. They will attempt to cure you and make you better. Why? Well that is a bigger question than it may appear on the surface but the perceived wisdom is because collectively we want to help people. As the years go by and the scientific model of physical medicine encounters more and more borderline cases and more complex causes the world of mental health emerges. It is one thing calling it mental health but eventually they will realise there is a deeper issue and that is of emotional health. They are getting there but they really are taking their time. A doctor once said to me that all ailments have a psychological aspect to them. It is quite amazing since that very doctor completely dismissed psychological ailments as if they were 'all in the mind'. How inconsistent is that? But there is some value to the idea that there is a psychological aspect to physical diseases and as time goes on it is being recognised more and more. We can't really separate our physical and psychological aspects. And we can't separate our emotional aspect either.
There are many who feel that it all starts with emotions. They are the instigators of the psyche. It is what the stuff of emotions do that form, eventually, into our 'conscious' interpretation of our world and our 'thoughts'. Of course there are physical changes in our bodies which we experience as emotions and to some extent if they do their stuff our versatile and 'learning' bodies comprehend our environment and can usefully adapt and learn how better to survive in this very changeable environment. But if they cannot process correctly the changes reside in the framework of the body and pervert it. Hence we find 'bottled up' emotions cause physiological problems ranging from skin rashes to reduced resistance to cancer and higher risk of stomach ulcers and heart failure. These misdirected fluctuations also lead to psychological problems like bipolar disorder, paranoia, schizophrenia and post traumatic stress syndrome.
So, as the NHS accepts, effectively dealing with emotional problems has a desirable therapeutic effect. Not only does it help people 'get better' but it also prevents more costly and devastating psychological and physical ailments. So the NHS invests money in counselling services. Counselling is a much more important function in my opinion than most counsellors realise. The public perception, and that of many counsellors, seems to be that counselling is a luxury. It is perhaps because it is a relatively new subject in the health arena. But counselling, in one form or another, has been around for a long time and in many cultures. It is like gymnasiums in that it can keep people well before they 'need' invasive therapy. There is always the possibility that the pharmaceuticals don't like it for that very reason - it reduces the need for their remedial drugs.
So there is me being a very strong and obstinate and coping with years of difficulties and abuse and trying to prevent my mental health and physical health from collapsing. I think I am maintaining my psychological health but I am losing the battle with my physical health as bit by bit my physiological systems are coming under strain and collapsing and giving way. So I attempt to get some counselling from the NHS. I get to see a counsellor and he decides, after only ten one hour sessions, that he is fed up and wants to leave Britain and sail his yacht round the Pacific Ocean. He leaves and no one from the counselling department contacts me so I go to see my doctor and request a continuation of this counselling. I get a copy of the letter from the counselling department to my doctor...
(The names have been altered to protect the guilty.)
Dear Doctor Narrowstrath
Thank you for your referral of the above gentleman.
We note however that Mr Spruce was only recently discharged on 19th December 2012 following a course of 10 sessions of Interpersonal Therapy with Seaman Staines Community Mental Health Nurse and Interpersonal Therapist.
Given the recent nature of this treatment we would therefore recommend that Mr Spruce utilises a therapeutic break from therapy to reflect on previous treatment, consolidating the therapy and applying the principles learned as it is too soon after the conclusion of this therapy for further treatment to be considered at this time.
We have a policy in place that suggests a client needs a minimum of 6 months after a period of therapy before a re-referral will be considered so we will therefore not be processing your referral further at this time. If however, Mr Spruce continues to experience difficulties we would be happy to accept a referral back to us after a period of 6 months.
Well that struck me as bureaucratically pretentious and a pile of hogwash so I replied...
Thank you for your effulgent response to Dr Narrowstrath
Your pericombobulatory literary peregrinations were exegetically hermeneutic. I was flabbergasted by the euphuistic rhetoric and astonished by the euphemistic obfuscation of your elucidation.
I pondered the humorously sanctimonious prejudice in your authoritarian procrastinations and concluded that R D Laing's comment that insanity is a perfectly rational adjustment to an insane world may be an eloquent exposition of this situation.
Your bureaucratic collusions inherently preclude the efficacy of your therapeutic proclamations. Therefore I have no choice but to take a 'therapeutic break' to reflect and consolidate the principles clearly not learned at the hands of one very nice Seaman Staines.
Hurrah and great cheer to you all.
Well what else can one say to brain dead automatons?
The Mormons are building a database of all the people who have ever lived. It seems like an attempt at the beginnings of the physical manifestation of the spiritual world as described by the Abrahamic religions. It is building a simulacra of the perceived reality within the physical universe such that the spiritual world takes on a temporal existence.
Did I hear someone at the back there ask "What is all that about?"
Sometimes I wish I could write the book. The thing is that we live with the imagined belief that all of history has gone before. There in the annals of time existed every physical molecule. But think of this for a moment; Given the cause effect paradigm and the concept of determinism the entirety of everything is already written in this moment. If you take a snooker table and freeze it in time as if taking a slice, a single moment, of reality in order to examine it. In this mind experiment imagine that the actual speed and direction of each ball is somehow part of that ball. Like little bits of information contained within the ball. Like a ball has written information pertaining to its speed and direction printed on it. So there is this moment of reality freeze framed. From that moment it can be determined what the previous moment was like and so on all the way back to the beginning. Similarly every future event can be predicted. So, given the actual way things ARE now, they contain all of the past and all of the future. But we are sitting here thinking the past and the future are some distance (temporally - and yes, that is the second meaning of that word used in this diatribe) away. But in some real sense they are all in existence in the here and now. But the Mormons seem to think that the past is possibly lost but since it existed it should be recorded in a database. The fact that it is recorded in reality seems beyond them. What they are really doing is creating a recursive feedback loop in the spacetime continuum which will eventually suck us all into the black hole that is hell.
But I digress. Back to Iain Duncan Smith. In the great book of life or St Peter's little book at the gates of heaven (or did he just retire?) Iain Duncan Smith is duly recorded. In the wholeness, that is his life, is recorded all the cause and effect relationships, the deterministic consequences and the manifestation of the reality he represents. It turns out it is a peculiarly shaped piece of faecal detritus. The man is a grotesque and convulsing piece of conceptual diarrhoea. He is cruel, arrogant, repulsive, judgemental, irrational, divisive, belligerent and stupid. Or should I say 'in my opinion he seems'? Because then I can't be sued for slander or defamation of character. Not to be mistaken for deformation of character because his character is already well and truly deformed.
A young female, Cait Reilly, is being illegally abused. She is young enough, fit enough and educated enough to take the case to court. The learned judges with their funny wigs hum and haa and conclude that the specimen is indeed being illegally abused. Instead of stopping the abuse the moronic Mr Oooh aren't I so important Iain haven't I got a lot of names Duncan pity about the common bit Smith simply escalates the abuse by playing to the gallery and attempting to incite a lynch mob against the abused by suggesting she has a problem thinking she is too important. CLANG! Smith - Yes I am talking to you! You - the boy with the bald head. YES YOU BOY - the one with the smirk on his face. Get yourself potty trained you are leaving a mess on the furniture!
So I asked my daughter "Who needs bald black homosexual Jews?" She wittily replied "Ginger women." If you don't get the joke get back in the kitchen.
But on a serious note laaaaaaaa.
No seriously... Iain Duncan Smith and the rest of the conservative party are nothing short of cruel oppressors who are into politics because they want power over other people. They are the foulest of human beings to occupy space on this planet. They won't be ashamed of themselves because they lost that ability when they sold their souls to the devil. All I can say is Christ knew what was best for people like them and he (is purported to have) made it explicit; Millstone - neck - river!
So what exactly is going on and why are most of the populations of the world positively supporting the abuse and destruction of liberty, freedom, creativity and prosperity? How can it be that so many people sentimentalise sympathy for the abused and down-trodden but support and uphold the oppressors and their mode of action.
Does the phrase 'the benign oppressor' mean anything to the people who are reading this blog or the wider public? It is, by definition, an oxymoron. You simply cannot be benign and an oppressor. And yet it is a paradox that fits, apparently perfectly happily, in the conscious mind of most humans. He is the bully so you do what he says so that you don't get hurt. And it gets so embedded and severe that you have to actually convince yourself of his goodness in order to avoid slipping up. You have to decide that it is a good thing to worship him because he is clearly good because when you are on his side things are better.
It seems to be a logical step of deduction that the simplest of minds can make. Don't criticise the teacher because that makes you a dissenter and a person who objects to all that makes life good and are, therefore, on the dark side. You are, by that simple deductive reasoning, a bad person. It doesn't take much of a leap to conclude that it therefore makes sense to limit your freedom and censure your opinion. But it is 'simple' to the point of being wrong. That logic conveniently ignores the environment in which it is set. The definition of 'good' in this simple thinking is that of not incurring the bullies wrath. It is cowardice in the rawest form. It is sycophantic and hypocritical. It is contradictory and paradoxical. It is, in fact, collusion with the corruption and therefore quite sinister in its own right. But the majority of the population seem perfectly content to look after their own limited comfort and to resist rocking the boat.
And then comes the bit that I hate the most. Those very same people sit in front of their televisions and shed a tear at the dreadful case of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl shot in the head by the Taliban for promoting education for girls. Those same people join the hue and cry against the corpse of Jimmy Savile claiming that it is 'shocking' that such things can go on. But they are part of the problem. They are supporting the 'benign' oppressors by allowing the persecution of the likes of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks who has put his life on the line to expose the most heinous crimes committed in 'our' name by 'our' governments. Where is the public outcry? Where is the profound anger and objection to this inhumanity, this foul abuse? Where are the protesters?
If you don't like girls being shot in the head you must go and take a look at the Collateral Murder video and ask yourself "What is the difference between that and the Taliban shooting Malala?" If you object to people imposing their will on other people with ruthless murder then do something about it. You don't have to get up and destroy your life and impose your will on other people but you do have to face the problem and stop willingly supporting the oppressors. Your simple awareness would be enough if most people did that. Public opinion really does have an effect. Stop being politically correct and diplomatic and state your view. Don't allow the politicians and the press to get away with representing the view that murdering Arabs is legitimate because they are all Islamic Fundamentalists (now, it seems, Islamists is the word to use) and believe in the worst of Sharia law. Don't continue to use your Credit Cards without at least being aware of the credit card companies disgustingly illegal behaviour in suppressing decent against the 'benign oppressors' by blocking any financial revenue to WikiLeaks.
We allow and encourage these crimes because we are afraid. We remain silent because we don't want to get hurt. But the pain is increasing and your freedom and choices are being rapidly eroded. It is a profound tragedy that large populations like the USA and the UK can conceptualise themselves as 'law abiding' and 'Christian' societies whilst paradoxically accepting, nay - agreeing with and supporting, the most blatant un-Christian actions and the most overt illegal activity to support this ideal.
The banks are acting illegally and somehow society is satisfied with, for example, a £400 million pound fine for RBS and their investment chief, John Hourican, simply resigning. That is like the police finding an opulent art thief in his mansion surrounded by a littler of stolen art and saying "You're nicked mate..." and to go on to fine him one first class stamp and to tell him to retire. They don't confiscate the art works they simply tell him to retire from stealing. He agrees. And who would believe that he will stop anyway. He is a compulsive thief and a liar. Of course he agrees. But the British public seem satisfied by this unbelievable pretence at 'justice'.
Don't worry it's only horse meat. Don't worry Chris Huhne only tried it on. Don't worry - it won't happen to you... yet!
So what if I tried to explain what it was like being this miserable? I wouldn't know where to start. As I sit here trying to conjure up some overview, some perspective, some relevant, meaningful, significant aspect of what it is like being me I keep hitting one brick wall after another. There is, of course, one very pertinent fact; It is designed this way - that is why it is so paradoxical.
I came across a new word to me the other day; misanthropy. It means a hatred of all people as opposed to the 'half as bad' misogyny or misandry; both of which are at least only half the human race. I listen to Radio 4 regularly and I listen to any number of people commenting on all sorts of subjects. There are two main types of people. Well to be more accurate there are two main attitudes exhibited by the interviewers and interviewees. There are people who seem to have a positive attitude and those who don't. But it is not as simple as it seems. You may think, reading this, that I have a negative attitude but I don't. I have a positive attitude insofar as I have positive values and am dismayed at the inhumanity and apparent self imposed ignorance out there. In other words it is precisely because my genuine expectation of humanity is good that I am so shocked. I don't expect ants to be good so when they eat each other I see it simply as what they do. It is often the case that an apparent negative attitude is actually spawned from a positive one. And then there is the worst case of the sanctimonious 'do-gooder' who sounds so thoughtful and considerate but their true negativity can almost be felt emanating from the radio.
We have serious problems in our culture and I don't know if I can either come to terms with them or understand them well enough to illustrate them but a major issue for me at the moment is the 'abuse' issue.
There are thousands of examples but the Jimmy Savile affair is a good illustration of abuse and societies reaction to it. Then there is the recent issue with Gerald Scarfe and his cartoon in the Sunday Times depicting Benjamin Netanyahu building a wall with the blood and body parts of Palestinians. The outrage expressed by the Jewish community was so disturbing to the establishment that the renown rogue Rupert Murdoch actually apologised! What for?
I really don't feel like writing reams to explain this. I am left almost speechless with the feeling that if people need this explaining then they won't understand because they don't want to. But to put it simply you cannot, on the one hand, be surprised that Jimmy Savile got away with multiple cases of abuse because no one would listen to the victims complaints and then try to silence a perfectly reasonable observation of the abuse of the Palestinians. Do 'these people' really not understand the connection.
This would require a serious tome to explicitly illustrate all the various complications and paradoxical issues but I am not doing that now. There is, however, a clear correlation between the two issues. On the one hand Jimmy Savile was abusing young people and, although they complained on numerous occasions, they were not taken seriously and Jimmy Savile not only got away with it but ironically was given more and more privilege enabling more and more abuse. I have grown up in this culture and I am not going to feign surprise at how 'we were all fooled by him'. It seems obvious to me. If you criticise someone in a position of power (and fame, money and public image, are all power) the knee jerk reaction by the majority is to shut you up. "You can't say that sort of thing" and before you know it all the wonderful things the person does come out as if to nullify any bad thing they may be accused of. It may be a slightly over used analogy but even Adolf Hitler was nice to his dog. That is no reason not to listen to complaints about a few Jews being gassed. Netanyahu himself only announced in December last year that Israel plans to break international law by building more settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. Apart from the fact that this is blatantly illegal there is the controversial issue of Israelis blockading of the Palestinians and making it all but impossible for them to survive. Whether or not the Israelis have good reason for what they are doing they are still doing something that from a broader perspective looks very much like the isolation of Jews in ghettos prior to and during the Second World War. It is perfectly legitimate to question the humanity of Israel's behaviour. How much objection was there to Scarfe's depiction of Margaret Thatcher biting off John Major's head? No, the objection is more similar to the Islamic fundamentalists issuing fatwa's against cartoonists depicting Mohamed in a less than complimentary manor.
We all understand that criticism against people causes upset. But the serious problem we are facing is that we (as a society) are objecting to criticism of the bully precisely BECAUSE they are a bully. We are less vocal when the consensus is that the people being criticised are less influential or powerful. But if we are afraid then we mustn't criticise. The reason this characteristic exists in our culture is because it is exactly how we bring up our children. By telling them that they MUST respect authority and do as they are told or suffer the consequences we are creating an abusive culture. We are actually teaching them that bullying and covert abuse are the tools of survival. Ironically they are not but the greater consensus appears to be that "That's life". "It's a cruel world". "Survival of the fittest!"
We are living in a fundamentally abusive culture and it is all but impossible for abusers to "see" the abuse. Teachers believe that if they didn't maintain discipline the children would run riot. It is only true BECAUSE they are oppressing them. It doesn't matter how many scapegoats like Jimmy Savile we lynch in retrospect the only real consequence is that we kid ourselves even more that we are nicer than we actually are. If the expressed shock and disgust at the revelations about Jimmy Savile were genuine then we would not tolerate the claims of anti-Semitism against Gerald Scarfe. There is nothing remotely anti-Semitic in his cartoon. But if you get anywhere near criticising Israel you will soon find yourself being demonised as a Nazi, Jew Killer, Jew Hater, Anti-Semitic or any other similar false claim. This, of course, gives Israel a special license to get away with murder... or do I mean killing bad people which we don't call murder.
In Britain today we are becoming even more right wing and inhumane. We keep wondering how the Germans ever did it and so, whilst 'blaming' someone else, we are insanely dancing to the same tune to the same destination.
The reason I am so furious is because my life, and worse still, my daughter's life have both been ruined because the 'responsible' authorities did not step up to the proverbial mark when it was their responsibility to do so. It was far worse because there was an effective conspiracy of sorts to keep us down. As individual members of society we are not supposed to take the law into our own hands and so we are not supposed to bash the bully back. We are 'blamed' if we do. What we are supposed to do is report the offence and the authority will act responsibly and maintain at least a semblance of justice. But NO; That is not what happens. What our culture protects is money and possession. We have been railroaded and persecuted until from a perfectly reasonable life we are refugees in our own country living in someone else's attic and a future that is likely only to get worse. But does anyone care. NO. They pretend to care but they kid themselves that "No one starves in Britain today". They kid themselves that we are a caring society. They think every one of the cascade of examples of deception and abuse are 'exceptions'. And they NEVER stand up for justice or against injustice. Why not? Because they are afraid they might get picked on. It might cost them something. They might lose a bit of their precious privilege afforded them by the bullies. Our culture is a culture of cowardly bullies and it disgusts me. What disgusts me profoundly is that it pretends to be a Christian culture. OH POOR LITTLE BABY JESUS GOT NAILED TO A CROSS. We just love humanity so much that that sort of thing is not acceptable. Not acceptable to the point of elevating the poor chap to the status of a GOD for God's sake. But do they give a monkeys backside about the BILLIONS of children being abused, raped, tortured and starved - NO. They carry on with their own little lives alleviating their pathetic egos by donating to charity and weeping at scenes of devastation and cruelty piped into their living room for their own entertainment and ego-massage.
Who? Me angry? No - surely not. If you are not outraged you are not paying attention!
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote "We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe."
Woke up not feeling too bad. Finished writing a bit of software to calculate and check the payments to my daughter of her survival allowance from the tax payers and discovered that she has not been paid for the first three days of her claim. I then went searching for the letter that said she would get her ESA, how much she would get and when the payments would start. One thing after another and I end up at the end of the day finally finding the letter and I discover they state "We cannot pay Employment and Support Allowance for the first three days of your claim. Ask us if you want to know more about this." So now I am going to have to spend time and money asking them about it. It seems counter intuitive to say the least. Would that mean that one has to apply for sick benefit three days before you get sick?
But in my rummaging through all the previous correspondence I came across this little gem.
This was part of the paperwork inviting (let's call my daughter Helen - I get offended by referring to 'daughter' all the time) Helen to the highly controversial and inhumane medical assessment by Atos. I do understand that these people are pretending to be trying to be helpful. What amazes me is that there are real people (well, zombies by some folks definition) who are paid salaries - enough to live comfortably with a house and occasional birthday cake and holiday and car and pension and more - to 'work' for the government, albeit indirectly through quangos and profiteering enterprises, and this is the best they can do. Dump a printout from a crappy website, regardless of what it says, and never think about the consequences, meaning or significance of the resultant ink patterns plonked on the dead tree pulp. Why would it be useful to anyone to be told to walk from SE81, departing at 01:13 p.m. to SE81 3EJ to arrive somewhere not specified with instructions to 'Walk to SE81 3EJ' and to be told the 'duration' is 12 minutes. No - it is disgusting. It is funny but only because the society is in such a disgusting shape. It is like laughing at Hitler. And I also note that at the bottom of the otherwise blank page it says "Atos Healthcare is a trading name of Atos IT Services UK Limited" Raises some questions in my mind. Obviously these mercenaries simply had a company called Atos IT and saw an opportunity to stand in as the 'medical examiners' choosing who should go to the labour camp and who should go for further experimentation. Well I suppose they are following the general consensus and they did 'get a job'.
In a past life I used to write software and have been a bit artistic in various ways. The symbiosis of these two activities has led me to write software to produce graphic images. The mandala at the top of this post is one for your consumption and delectation.
It was not only Helens birthday on 31 January but my mother's too. I thought I should do something for my mother (having sorted Helens stuff) and decided that to produce a little card with a pretty picture (the one at the top of this post) would lift her spirits and let her know that I was thinking of her. I went to print this image on a piece of paper to produce the card. But alas I have a Hewlett Packard HP Photosmart B110. This printer is a technological wonder and screws up regularly in order to afford it the opportunity to offer lots of alternative expensive solutions. They are such ridiculous human beings/zombies who produce this junk. But it wouldn't print the colours properly. The following several hours were bad for my health. I think many people have had the experience of printers screwing up and spending hours and hours dealing with other people's failures just to print out one little item. The feeling is that it was easier before they ever invented the damn things. But in the course of cleaning the heads and being told my cartridges were counterfeit numerous times I printed out a 'test page' and the little colour chart looked dreadful. But I liked the repeated squares and decided to play with them. I produced a nice set of canvases that would look very good in the Tate or some other 'modern' art gallery.
If you would like to purchase this set I can get them printed on canvas through DeviantArt for you and you could have the full set for a pittance at £500.00. Just let me know by emailing me from the Contact page.
We then went round to B&C's for dinner with lots of chocolate trifle and chocolate cake thrown in because it was Helen's birthday (I wrote this late on Thu 31 Jan which was so late it was actually Fri 1 Feb but her birthday was 31 Jan), and B's yesterday (30 Jan), too. What a lot of birthdays.
Incidentally and also two extraordinarily nice people who shall remain codified and other wise anonymous as WK and SB contacted me on the back of reading my blog to enquire about my health and to say nice supportive things. So blogging does have some purpose after all. Thank you so much to both of them - it really does make a difference - and thank you to all those thousands of other people who, through reading my blog, wish me well but are either too busy or too bashful to express their concern and good wishes.
Thank you all of you - you know who you are - and good night.
I'm tired and have to see the doctor in the morning!