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I can do anything

If you look at me and see only what I cannot do,

You see nothing. My char isn't me,

It's only how I get around.

My talker isn't me, it's only how I speak.

With them I can walk and talk

And dance and sing,

And blog and graduate and explore this vast world

The same as anyone else.

If you look at me and see only what I cannot do

Then you see nothing. For I can do anything at all.

Caving

Something happened this afternoon which I doubt I could ever possibly forget. I ,better not go into too much detail or my mum will have kittens and never allow me to go abroad again, but, believe it or not, this afternoon lyn and I went caving. We were taken there by a very cool local friend of johns. It was well maintained and adapted for tourists, but even so we were not sure if it would be possible for us to go in. We decided to give it a try, so, leaving our wheelchairs at the surface, L on John's back, we followed the path down into the ground.

It wasn't too difficult at first, but as the stairs steepened and the ceiling dropped lower and lower, I began to realise that, under any other circumstances and with any other people, it simply would not have happened. And yet, it did: at one point we had to crawl on all fours the passage was so tiny, but somehow lyn and I, with the help of three incredible people, made it through the cave system.

And by god it was worth it. The rock formations and stalactites in there were awe inspiring. I could not help but be reminded of the Mines of Moria, or something from an Indiana jones film. The place was carved out by an ancient lava flow, so in places the walls looked as if they were melting. I have rarely experienced anything so beautiful, yet which I had to strive so hard to see. The sense of accomplishment I felt as I again saw daylight was comparable only to finishing my masters, and after today I will never see anything as impossible again. If lyn and I can go caving, then surely we are capable of absolutely anything.

Lanzerote day one

I'm sitting by the sea watching the sun set in a clear blue sky. Were my memories of Australia not still so strong, I would find it hard to believe that it is still only January. We got here late last night, and only had time for a quick bit of dinner before crawling into bed. However, a new day has brought with it a chance to assess my surroundings, and I must say I'm quite taken with what I've seen of Lanzerote so far. Admittedly, this is not much more than the inside of a hotel full of my fellow Brits, but nonetheless the signs are very encouraging. For one thing, we have already managed to get hold of a charger for Lyn's powerchair. Mid flight yesterday she suddenly realised she had forgotten to pack it.

Now, chair all charged and back online, I'm eager to get going. We want to explore the whole island, and see the mountains of the north. I've read about an observatory up there I really want to go see. All being well, we should have an awesome few days ahead of us. Expect more reports to come.

Heading for some fun

Sitting in a departure lounge, heading for some sun.

Life in London was getting dull,it was time for some fun.

A few days before Christmas, Lyn proposed the idea:

I'm bored, she said, let's get outta here.

Before I knew it, everything was all booked.

I didn't help much, but instead just looked.

And now I find myself about to board a plane

Soon to find myself amid the islands of Spain.

God, democracy and Trump

To the Jacobeans, a monarch was appointed by, and thus got their power directly from, God. A king's authority derived directly from religion; to the Jacobean mind, a king sat directly below God. Yet the idea of a leader being elected by the people negates any need for god. Democracy is therefore atheistic: a leader gets power from the people, not god. Why is America so religious, then? And why is the role of president apparently becoming more and more kingly? The american revolutionaries thought that a country should be ruled for the people, by the people; yet the president seems to currently be worshipped like a monarch, by some at least. Trump especially seems to think he has been created king, regularly refers to God in his speeches, and seems to think he should be venerated.

It strikes me as odd that a country which was apparently created to escape the rule of a monarch should now effectively have created it's own. And a country which has religious freedom written into it's constitution should now be so insanely christian that some of it's citizens have began to dispute the fact that the world is spherical. Americans prise their democracy, yet the notion of democracy is fundamentally atheistic. Would that not contradict America's increasing - and increasingly worrying - religiosity? To me, this seems a fundamental paradox at the heart of the modern american state: it seems to yearn for a king, a central autocrat in charge of everything and capable of putting everything right.

Of course, this only applies to certain americans. Others see trump for the joke he is. Reading Michael Wolff's book it is becoming clear just how fucked up the situation is over there: the nation is being lead by a man who is essentially a child, capable of only the most simplistic thought processes and driven by basic gut reactions. Most educated americans, including many Republicans, realise how farcical the situation is; yet Trump is being presented to working class americans as a kind of everyman ruler - someone outside of the university-educated bourgeois currently branded as a type of elite. Thus Trump is simultaneously a king and an everyman, an once an 'ordinary Joe' and an all powerful executive, citing God and deriving power from him. Through this charade he is becoming increasingly worshipped by ultra-conservative fundamentalists, whose numbers and influence are rising. It has reached the point where Trump supporters believe his word over any other source of information, even when faced with undeniable evidence. Anyone who criticises Trump is automatically viewed as an enemy; the president's word taken by his supporters as sacrosanct. Mainstream Media is thus 'fake news', unfairly criticising a great president.

What worries me is where all this is headed. Others have noted the increasing parallels between trump and the European fascist movements of the thirties. There too we saw men purporting to represent ordinary, working class people gradually taking more and more power until they became dictators. While I doubt Trump personally has the intellect to achieve such a status, as I wrote yesterday, there are powers behind his throne whom I suspect would love to get their hands on such an all-powerful puppet. Reactionary conservatism combined with religious fanaticism is a heady mix which leaves the door open to strong authoritarian figures, eager to grab - or be used to grab - more and more power until, before you know it, it's too late. Either way, I very much doubt this was what the American founding fathers had in mind.


[Edited 19/01/2018 at 15:41:00 - Added a bit ]
[Edited 19/01/2018 at 19:13:24 - added a bit]