It is really difficult for me to hold it all together. This blog is, on the one hand, a random attempt to spew out the disconnected thoughts and feelings that pervade my conscious mind and on the other hand is an attempt to make sense of the chaos and confusion and to bring some coherence to the issues that matter to me. It fails on both accounts.
So first I will report on the disconnected and disturbing thoughts I have been having today. I am exhausted and that makes it difficult and the thoughts cascade sometimes like a torrential white water rapid. This means that to sum it up in a few sentences is all but impossible. I did not get through the day without falling asleep for several hours and this is because my body is behaving like an exhausted body whilst I have 'done' virtually nothing. I put this down to the biochemistry and the balance of all things that effectively simulates the same state of affairs as a body that is exhausted. Well how funny is that if I am not in a life that has had at least the last ten years of disproportionate distress. But I wake up in the morning and believe myself to be on the edge of homeless and with no resources to protect myself from the deprivation that will ensue. The more I have everything stripped away from me including facilities and equipment, time and shelter I become more exhausted, less focused, more shabby, less fit, more dirty, less happy, more anxious, less well and the net result is a hopeless destitute. From that place there is very little hope of recovery. I am frightened and angry. But I still have to struggle along with the bits and pieces of a day in my life. As the day moves on I know that I am actually ill. I know that whatever it is that the medical profession is unable to avoid diagnosing much longer has been alive and well in me for at least ten years. Five years ago I had a number of occasions where I nearly collapsed but no one wanted to take any notice. But my blood is poisonous. I am hoping that if the medical people remove an offending part like my gall bladder that suddenly I will feel ten years younger. That suddenly I will find a 2 mile walk invigorates me instead of wasting me for three days. That when I decide to do three things I just do one after the other instead of collapsing after the first one and having to plan the next task for the next day. Maybe I will be able to sit at the keyboard and type without it being exhausting - I used to do that without thinking in the past. It is this 'hope' that reminds me I am not well. But I also suffer from the view that no one 'out there' can even believe me. I am just criticised for being lazy or squandering time. I am categorised as something less than human that deserves what it gets. I feel the intense prejudice in the culture. I am so distressed that all the 'nice' people I know actually inhibit my ability to say what it is like for me because they don't want to feel guilty. I am ostracised because I am in emotional pain. And I see this as a collapsing culture. I see little or no hope. I see the holocaust happening all over again. It is just that this time they are working hard to hide the mechanisms even from themselves.
And I could go on. But it will have to do to say that I am seriously distressed and it is not without cause.
And then there are wider issues like making Freedom of Information requests in an attempt to assist the 'governing powers' to achieve their objectives of openness and transparency. How is that for a diplomatic approach? The odd paradox is that the corrupt system wants to employ secrecy to maintain power but the unavoidable conclusions are that openness is necessary for good governance. So they are obliged to 'pretend' to want openness whilst every fibre of the institutional body is straining against it. I came across a web site the other day called Alaveteli (http://www.alaveteli.org/) which attempts to coordinate Freedom of Information requests such that the requester has a little more influence and possible success because of the backup of the Alaveteli organisation and community and the information is more readily available to more people because it is coordinated through the website. If you need to know something that you have a right to know from 'our' government this site is worth a visit because it may be a good place to get assistance and leverage.
I was also trawling TED in my despondent mood in the hope of finding something uplifting or inspiring and I came across a talk by one Bryan Stevenson. His talk has had nearly one million views and it is said to be the talk with the longest standing ovation in TED history. Bryan Stevenson is an American lawyer (or would that be an attorney?) and "is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, fighting poverty and challenging racial discrimination in the criminal justice system." His talk was not immediately stunning but it was insightful and substantial. He has the most remarkable way of finding a positive way of talking about some very unpalatable facts. Very often people are polarised to be conformists or opponents of the system. It is often hard to raise the opposing view to the establishment but Bryan Stevenson manages to talk about the injustice in the American justice system in a language which is possibly acceptable to the 'justice' system itself. I always fear a Judas roll when I hear people framing the argument in the paradigms of the oppressor but if it works I guess one has to go along with it at least until it fails. But it did strike me as interesting that 1 in 3 black American males have been incarcerated at some point in their lives. Anyway here is a TED talk worth listening to...