People are dying due to the cuts; day after day I see reports of the suffering the Tories are causing through their ideological war on the welfare state. The UN is coming in to investigate the harm, the breeches of human rights, the cuts are doing, I read. Yet, as if to spit in the face of those he is hurting, I just saw on the news this evening that the son-of-a-p’tahk Osbourne has announced he’s spending half a billion quid on the renewal of trident, a system whose only purpose or use is to kill. How can they be so stupid, so arrogant, so callous to the thousands who are suffering? The tories have sunk to a new low, and words fail me.
I’m pleased to report that I’m having something of a productive bank holiday: I’m at last working on my script again, and have already written about four good pages. However, when it turned four I checked the headlines, and found this story. Kanye West apparently intends to run for president in 2020. Now, while I’m not a big fan of West’s music, I have nothing against him as a person, yet I can’t help finding this idea absurd. Rapping is one thing, running a superpower quite another. What, apart from arrogance and ego, makes West think he’s up to the task? Of course, I could be wrong; after all, if George Dubya Bush can run America, so can anyone, including farmyard animals. Yet part of me is concerned that we might all be confusing celebrity for wisdom, and assuming that because someone is famous and raps about important topics, they would make good leaders. They don’t always go hand-in-hand, and I’m slightly worried that this is a sign of how vacuous and celebrity oriented western society is becoming.
It’s one of those days where you just feel subdued. I just got back from one of my walks, having been invited to a local cricket match. I didn’t stay long there, but went for a short roam round the streets. It’s not raining, but rather grey, giving the place a miserable, lethargic feeling. It’s the type of day where you start to miss summer. But I’ve come back to find Lyn cheerfully looking at pictures of music equipment on Her computer, her chuckles seemingly brightening the room; and it turns out that the sleep problems I was worried about yesterday are no more than a sign I’m getting old. A grey sort of day it may be, and autumn feels like it’s on the way; but coming home to a house full of laughter, far from the darkening urban sprawl outside, one can’t feel too down.
I note Bill O’Really* has been at it again. Last night I came across a video of him trying to pin the recent shootings in the States on the rise on Atheism, claiming that, because people are moving away from religion, society is losing it’s values and moral compass. Of course, Bill, don’t question the easy availability of firearms; try to pin it on your own gripe and use this horrific act to justify your own oppressive dogma. After all, nobody who believed in god ever hurt anyone. Seriously, how this absurd loud-mouth idiot ever got into a position of authority where he can espouse his ridiculous views is beyond me. What I find amusing, though, is that O’Reilly clearly holds himself in such high regard, not realising he is in fact the laughing stock of the entire world.
*Not a typo – a deliberate play on his name.
I did not sleep very well last night. It was weird: at about 4am I woke up (just when Lyn was coming to bed) and from then on, every time I felt myself going into REM I woke myself up. A similar thing happened the night before. I don’t know what, if anything, could have caused it; believe it or not I haven’t had a beer in a couple of weeks, so it can’t be that. It’s probably nothing, and no doubt soon I’ll be back to sleeping like a log; yet the episode about my absences taught me not to ignore such things; they might not be as insignificant as I’d like to assume. If this persists, then, I’ll check it out, probably first by consulting Mum. Yet it probably won’t, and all being well tomorrow I’ll wake up my usual time fresh as a daisy.
There is a strange habit I’ve noticed many people with cerebral palsy have – myself included – which I call ‘squealing’. Whenever I feel particularly excited or happy about something, I let off odd little spasms of glee, strange cries and laughs, They can happen at any time, depending on what I’m thinking about, so it must look strange to someone close by.You think about something you find cool, and something in you wells up and you can’t help letting it out. That’s what I meant here when I wrote that I was looking for something new to squeal about: I need something new to find joy in, to make me smile, to give off odd, random yelps of happiness people without CP probably just suppress.
There’s something strangely interesting about yesterday’s news about someone filming themself shooting someone. It would seem to say something about the society in which we now live. The way in which the killer wanted his horrendous act filmed seems to me to imply that it could only be real if it was recorded. It’s as if, in Lacanian terms, the Real and Symbolic are merging; as if the killer wanted to secure his deed in the collective memory, on the web. We see this in other areas too: more and more, people are uploading anything and everything – videos to Youtube, pictures to facebook – to cement an event online for posterity. It is as if we have all become insecure about the passing of time, and want to make it stop; we seek to cling to the past by rendering it into the online Symbolic, apparently desperate for others to witness it too. Yesterday’s killings were, of course, an extreme example, but it seems indicative of a very modern mindset: the desire to cling to ‘now’, the present, passing moment by rendering the real info the symbolic and making it available for all to see.
I may have been having a bit of a strop last week when I wrote this entry. It is not a sign that one is spoiled to ask for the support you think you need – of course not! In fact, if every disabled person was automatically awarded twenty-four hour support, it would go a long way to solving the country’s unemployment problems. And, to tell the truth, there have been times late at night when I’ve wished there was a PA around. While part of me still worries about the attitude of entitlement some people with disabilities seem to have, I also resolutely support an individual’s right to ask for the support they need to live independent lives. After all, only with the right support can one most efficiently contribute to society.
I just found this short humorous video by Michael Palin on his new Youtube channel. A keen diarist, Palin talks about how he has kept a diary for almost fifty years. What caught my interest is the relationship between that and my own practice of blogging: it’s not too dissimilar from me tapping an entry on here every day or two for the last ten years. Yet there are differences: whereas a diary is a record of personal, day-to-day events, a blog can combine this with reactions to what is going on in the world in general. You can write very personal things in diaries which, in a blog entry, might get you in trouble. Also, whereas Palin says diaries are ‘honest’ because you don’t go back and edit past entries, blog entries can be edited after they are posted. I used to try not to, but I’ve added or deleted stuff from entries I wrote years ago. Does that make my blog dishonest? I don’t think so – one’s feelings about things can change over time, so, because it is public and readable to others, one sometimes feels the need to go back and edit. It’s an interesting dichotomy: I suppose in a way blogging is an evolution of diary-keeping, an it’s interesting to reflect upon the relationship between the two.
These days if ever I feel the need to give myself a quick boost, I just think about all the awesome things that have happened in the last few years. The Olympics, Python, Star Trek, graduation – all these things are so special to me. Yet they were all a while ago, so now I think it’s time for another bit of awesomeness. What this awesomeness will be I don’t know, and of course it’s not as simple as willing one into existence – they are special because they are once in a lifetime experiences, rare by definition. But this is London: a place where incredible things happen. There’s bound to be a concert or gig or event which will again have me squeaking with glee and wondering how I could be so lucky to experience it. That’s part of the magic of the city.