Thursday, 3 January 2019


Yet again I find myself resorting to the defence that I should write a book.  I say 'defence' because I have a tirade of thoughts cascading through my mind which feel overwhelming and impossible to write down.  In spite of my attempts to extricate myself from the poisonous culture even the reduced exposure is proving to be increasingly toxic.

Evolution, complex systems, western philosophy, notions of God, emotional development, fascism, neoliberalism, communication, death camps, genocide, capitalism, consumerism ... and so it goes on.  I would willingly submit to a gentle euthanasia.  If they wanted to anaesthetise me in a quiet room with a nurse muttering soothing platitudes, with wall to wall projections of beautiful landscapes, and with Brian Eno & J. Peter Schwalm's "Drawn from Life" filling the room with undulating ambient sound textures, I would be perfectly happy to fade gently from this vile and disturbing existence.

I have other reasons to want to live though.  I find it interesting that my conscious interpretation of my desire to live is less about my personal hedonistic pleasure or material comfort and more about my pathological sense of opposition to the injustices perpetrated against others.  I have my daughter to think about.  Like a bright light she dominates my vision but were it not for her I am still furious about the harm being done to humanity by humanity.  But in the moment I feel both angry and impotent.

I had cause to phone BT this evening to tell them that the engineer I had waited for all afternoon never showed.  I don't have the energy to attempt to report the conversation verbatim.  The phone call lasted for 1 hour and 13 minutes and I would love to read a transcript.  I was profoundly shocked at how the infection of neoliberalism has become so ingrained and pervasive in such a short time.  And the spread of the infection seems to be continually accelerating.

The BT telephonist's first response was not "Sorry" but rather "He did call and we have photographic evidence."  I pointed out the pre-emptive and prejudicial nature of that response at which point I found myself engaged in an argument about the meaning and relevance of evidence.  But I got out of that one and before I knew it she was turning the interpretation of the conversation around to me personally targeting her aggressively.  This was, in part, because I had made the point that my complaint was not about her as an individual but about BT and their way of dealing with customers.  She clearly saw this as an attack on her personally.  She explained this interpretation by way of stating that I was the one that had denied it by saying it was not personal.

I am stunned by the rapid transmigration of this authoritarian, oppressive, neoliberal world view from the cesspits of the likes of Atos, the DWP, and the Tory Councils to the corporate overlords who were originally the free-market suppliers of a service to the public.

I managed to muster even more diplomacy and when she suggested I might like to talk to her manager I said I thought that was a good idea and thanked her.  The manger was clearly from a similar school.  I suggested that it might have been considerate, if the engineer had knocked and got no answer, to have popped a note through the door saying he had been and possibly suggesting I phone them to arrange another time.  He said "They are not allowed to put anything through the door because of UK marketing laws."  I said I could hardly believe I had just heard him say that, but he went on to explain by quoting various rules and regulations.  Apparently it comes under the heading of unsolicited advertising.

BT have recently separated the telephone system's hardware infrastructure from the telephone service provided.  Openreach, which was once a subsection of BT, is now a separate entity developing and maintaining the physical infrastructure.  BT apparently subcontracts or outsources the supply of the infrastructure to them, it is no longer BT's responsibility.  I pointed out to the manager that I purchase the service from BT, BT charge me for the service, I pay the money to BT.  It is reasonable that BT take responsibility for that service.  It should not be up to me to go to a company that BT uses and to complain to them.  His response?  Can you imagine what this fungus infected ant brain said to me?

"That's the harsh reality."

I couldn't help but recall May's intentional "harsh environment" and did make this observation.  I could almost detect his subtle smirk through the telephone wires.  At this point I decided this evening was not the time to waste my mental or emotional energy on an infected ant and said that neither he nor I was interested in a philosophical discussion about the collapse of Western culture so I would leave it there.

The upshot is that I have to set aside another 5 hours of my time to accommodate their 'servicing' of me as their slightly undesirable but financially advantageous commodity.  I feel a bit like an abused battery chicken.

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