It’s a little over a year since I put finger to keyboard, and I suddenly feel inspired. I was thinking about how much things have changed in the past couple of months and wondering what our young people are going to do with this world we have rendered so completely FUBAR. How did we let it get so bad? What were we thinking and what are we going to do about it?
Cute kittens bring in more readers.
Not so long ago, I looked on aghast as almost half the American population voted for their current president. To me, that means over 160 million people felt their interests were best represented by a semi-literate, lying, misogynistic, bullying, paranoid windbag any normal person wouldn’t cross the road to piss on if he were on fire. Well, fair enough – it’s their country, after all. But it’s a hell of country when the other 160 million arguably right-thinking Americans can’t get their act together sufficiently to get the idiot and all his completely useless, unqualified, sycophantic hangers-on back on the streets where they surely bigly belong.I was sure he would not last five minutes, but I was wrong. Then, to make matters worse, I had to watch as the great British public elected their own version of the American
Cute puppies too.
president. So there’s another 30 million people who want to be represented by a blustering, cringe-worthy, upper-class twit with the brains of a stuffed panda. And this, after they voted to leave the only political union that might give Britain a chance of playing a significant role in the future of the planet – now doomed, alas, to become the oft-quoted ‘small island off the north coast of France’.Then again, living in Brazil (as I did until recently), I had to watch the whole spectacle repeated by the Brazilian public, who were/are quite unable to see through the blustering nonsense the current Brazilian president has been spouting for the past year or more. There’s another 100 million intellectually-challenged voters for you.
If you add to this the 100 million or so Russians who look at their leader and fail spectacularly to see what an unfortunate specimen he his, and the people of Venezuela and Bolivia who just love having their faces trodden in the mud – never mind the countless other millions around the planet who choose or are forced to accept utter, utter wankers as leaders, well, do the maths yourself – there must be a good number of us who are just a bunch of tossers. In fact, China starts to look like a jolly nice place to be, if you ask me.
Seriously, where does it all end? It’s obvious the vast majority of us are simply useless, good-for-nothing cannon fodder. So much has been clear from the dawn of time. We have always stood by and watched as dynasties come and go and treated us more or less as sheep – or at best slave labour to fill the coffers and the coffins. The British Royal family, bless it, is only there because it has lied and stolen and cheated and killed and murdered over the centuries (although we should perhaps be grateful we are no longer required to believe they are direct representatives of (one of) our god(s).
Not sure about cute fascist sociopaths.
Totting it all up, we can see that we’re up to an easy billion people who exist only to line the pockets of rich sociopaths who would sooner see the people they supposedly represent die than speak a single honest word. But what about the rest of the people? Well, this brings us neatly to the organised religions of the world, to which many of the worst among the great and powerful pretend to subscribe in one form or other (please, please don’t tell me you think they actually believe in any of it – that sort of thing is only for us plebs). Now let’s face it, with 4,300 religions in the world, one would think that people might occasionally be able to see the futility – not to say the absurdity – of feeling that somehow their own version of religion simply must be the one true faith. But apparently not – it seems there are an estimated 6,500,000,000 people wandering around our planet apparently wholly convinced that their own 1-in-4300 specific brand of religion is the only one that can possibly be right – and who are often prepared to slaughter those of any other religion who happen to (mistakenly) believe that it is their 1-in-4300 religion that is the one true faith. It would be the biggest joke in the universe, if it weren’t so pathetically tragic.
Or cute religious extremists.
I know we are a tribal breed, hauling ourselves up by being the fittest to survive and adapt and all that (well, unless you believe… oh never mind), and I realise this means we feel the need to band into groups, and ultimately to assert ourselves in the tussle with other banding groups – whether that be in connection with territory, money, religion, drugs, or marbles, or anything else. Something else, for example, like football. Something very much like football actually, when you think that our societies trip over themselves to throw a hundred thousand dollars a week at members of the ball-kicking community, but can only manage a 100 dollars a week for people who care for the sick or educate their children. Something not quite right there, perhaps – but maybe that’s another story…
The point is, that nothing much has really changed since feudal times – or since before the wheel. Sure, we know a bit more about stuff (although, as Donald Rumsfeld reminded us, there are still plenty of unknown unknowns), but still the vast majority of humans plod gracelessly through life at best adding another another human or two to the burgeoning population, while living under the yoke of a tiny minority of horrible people – to be precise, political and religious leaders whose delusions are directly or indirectly responsible for most of the suffering in this world. Those who profess happiness might be said to be more witless than wise, while those who struggle to change things, generally do so in spite of rather than because of their peers and leaders, and often suffer in the process.
Will the Coronavirus change things? By the looks of it, not much. It is nice to think that we might wake up and realise that most of our leaders have, as it were, no clothes. That we don’t want to be represented by people who have not a baldy notion what life is like. People like American evangelist politicians who can see Russia from their back gardens or British politicians who name their children in Greek and are still arrogant enough to claim they represent their constituents, or Brazilian politicians who are caught re-handed siphoning eye-watering quantities of public money to private Swiss bank accounts and blatantly deny it. Or perhaps pompous pric- er, priests, who believe Monty Python is the work of the devil, or…or… well, I’m sure you can think of plenty more examples, from Arafat to Zahedi. People who would lead us over the cliff by our collective nose if we allow it.
So what do we tell our children now? “Yeah, sure, go ahead – believe in a god, don’t ask too many questions, doff your cap to the toffs, take everything that comes on the nose, have a few kids and die.” Or how about “get out there, take nothing for granted, question everything, believe blindly in no-one, learn as much as you can, struggle to be good and great… and die.” Or perhaps, “forget about knowledge and just screw everyone before they screw you – lie, steal, cheat, deny, bully – do anything it takes to be rich and powerful, because nothing else matters – go ahead – ask Donald Trump.” Tough choice, huh?