I watched something magical happen yesterday - something small, yet truly amazing. In our living room, Lyn has an Ipad set up on the table, not far from the sofa where I laze. She usually does her composing in the conservatory - her studio - but yesterday it took her fancy to create a bit of music in the living room. That, after all, was where her coffee was. From my sofa I watched her, first tapping a simple rhythm into the music app, then slowly building on it; she made it repeat again and again, each time adding a note or two. The overall effect was a piece of music being built up over time. It sounded like a song in itself, and it stuck me that it - the process - was itself beautiful enough to be recorded. The way Lyn made the song emerge piece by piece, adding to the repeating pattern note by note, captivated me. I was quite awed by it's stunning beauty, and wanted that moment recorded forever.
My rages are getting worse. These days, whenever the smug, grinning face of Nigel Farage appears on tv, I fly into the most almighty storm of anger. Last night it was particularly bad: he was on Channel four news debating the current state of the EU with Ken Clarke, and seemed to shrug off any point Clarke put to him with such arrogance that I wanted to kill the scumbag with every fibre of my being. I was shaking with rage; rarely, if ever, have I been so angry. This man has completely fucked the country through his xenophobic views; he wants to do away with equality legislation, our rights and freedoms in order to impose a laizzes-faire economy based on greed on us. He should be in jail as far as I'm concerned, but he seems to regard himself as a hero, a great man who has freed us all from a tyranny.
It seems, however, that I'm not the only one to get so pissed off: such anger is now gripping us all. Whereas cordial, respectful debate used to be the norm, insults are now being hurled left, right and centre. Everyone is getting angrier and angrier, no matter what side of politics you're on. With me it finds voice in my blog entries, but I fear people will soon start venting their rage by other, more physically violent means. While others have speculated that this is a result of the rise of social media, I also think the advent of strong, divisive personalities like farage and trump has played a part. Both men stand for something we should all find totally abhorrent, yet there they are, glorying in success and cheered on by hate-filled racists and ultra conservatives who almost venerate them.
The result is the polarisation of politics where everyone sorts themselves into two camps, each quite literally disposing the other. I find it sickening, and I think others do. I'm sure others feel the rage I do; we're all experiencing such fits of white hot, incontrollable anger on both sides of the debate, torn apart by opposing ideologies. I think this is a very, very dangerous state of affairs. The question is, where will all this anger lead? If history is anything to go by, society is currently heading somewhere truly dark.
[Edited 06/12/2016 at 10:48:20 - minor correction]
[Edited 06/12/2016 at 13:44:52 - Added a bit]
[Edited 06/12/2016 at 17:05:04 - added a bit]
I think it's pretty important that I flag this video from Professor Michael Dougan of the University of Liverpool up. In it, prof dougan spells out what I've suspected all along: the outists lied to win the referendum. Dougan makes no bones about it: people were told deliberate falsehoods to get them to vote for something which is not in their best interests. The out campaign was run by crooks, bent on defrauding the country for ideological purposes. I challenge anyone to watch it and to still think the result should be allowed to stand.
A couple of days ago I came across the PBS Spacetime youtube channel, and I've been watching it's videos ever since. Fascinating stuff, although I can't pretend to understand all the science and maths he comes out with. Today I would like to flag this video up, discussing whether a warp drive is possible. It turns out it is, theoretically at least. There are a lot of hurdles to get over, but in theory mankind could one day fold spacetime to travel faster than light. I think that is awesome. If, like me, you're fascinated by this sort of stuff but don't have the background to understand all the complicated maths, these videos are well worth a look.
Lately I have been pondering whether academia is innately philological. By philology I mean a love of and fascination with words and language. It seems to me that academia, regardless of subject, whether science or art, values language greatly. It places great stock in words and their use: everything must be clearly defined; any academic analysis uses complicated, specialist words. Language is how academia expresses and perpetuates itself - it is it's very currency, underpinning the entire system. Any undergraduate essay or postgrad thesis is a written document; the better it is written, the more eloquently and precisely a candidate can use language, the higher his or her mark. As a discourse it relishes creating new words. To me this makes it a philological exercise. In Lacanian terms, academia is all about the Symbolic; individual success depends on how well one can access it. It all boils down to a deep love and valuing of language. This is a slightly random thing to note for a Sunday morning I know, but it's interesting how one makes these strange connections when you're lying in bed at night, waiting for sleep. One love - the love of language - seems to lie beneath the entire academic discourse, a common feature in any academic field.
[Edited 04/12/2016 at 18:54:36 - added a bit]