Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Hmm, what a busy week in politics. Who would have thought a year or so back that Donald Trump would be the next elected president "no surely not, you're joking" but he surely is now. And it's a bit of a "woah, what the f***" amongst most of my friends, especially my american friends. The thing that is odd about politics when it goes way off where you would like it to be, is that because we are still nominally divided up into nationalities there is a huge sense of shame when your "nation" does something that feels rubbish. There's an immediate identity crisis (I remember this from the uk's recent Brexit vote) and then a realisation that the place you know and love is not the same place for so and so who lives close by. Or maybe in the case of the u.s not  necessarily very close by but apparently joined by the flag. 
So anyway, it made me think about masks and the masks we all wear when we're meeting new people, or people we are unsure of or want to impress, and how some people's mask covers most of their face, and some people are not so masked ... I'm trying to say that we are not always who we seem to be and maybe it's only those who are close to us who see the truth. I suppose I'm thinking that nations wear masks too, politically, socially, but in the end each nation is really just a patch of land. Lines on maps designate no more than where once upon a time someone said 'this is mine". 
In my last blog post I mentioned Standing Rock, I maintain this is a very important battlefield. For me, being British (whatever that means) is about knowing how the light falls and changes through the seasons - at the moment it is getting dark at around about 4 o'clock, it's about the flowers and trees, and birdsong, the animals and insects, it's about arts and culture, those are the things that interest me, for others it might be a football team, or a kind of cake, or some thing else, those something elses are too numerable to note each one. What I am pretty sure most of can agree upon is that being British is not about notional British Values" set by a government body being taught in schools because value systems are organic growing things that adapt to meet the needs of the community.  
Thinking again about masks. For a long time countries like Britain and the u.s.a have endeavoured to put themselves in the role of hero, all the time being big benefactors of the arms trade and fossil fuel industries so really they are more like the villains. They play the "good guys", that is their mask, but maybe they aren't who they think they are. Maybe sometimes we become so attached to our masks we forget to see who we truly are. 
So maybe the hero mask has been stripped off the u.s.a (the u.k too). The election of Trump clearly shows that a large proportion of the u.s electorate think it is ok to be racist, misogynistic, unkind, dishonourable, ack you name it, Trump has pretty much every human flaw going Can the u.s really claim that it holds the moral high ground now ? But here is a thread of light that might be worth noting, I cannot really say that I think Trump being president is a good thing, but I do wonder if his presidency will be the beginning of the end of u.s global dominance in the face of what seems like rank stupidity. Powerful nations are being seen for who they really are. With someone so obviously peculiar as leader is the u.s.a really going to going to be given the same license to police and control the world. I have a small hope that Trump may be the first domino in the decline of a culture that is dependent on greed and vanity. This is long overdue I think.
What I think - and there is no reason why anyone should care what a nobody in a back water county in Little Britain thinks - is that people are more than the nationality stamped on their passport, they are flesh and blood creatures with lives connected by real things to real things. Real things are the land we live on, our children, the things that make us embrace life.
I think it is interesting, thinking about real things, that money, which isn't really physically any use to anyone is terribly important when political change takes place, the pound goes up, or down, the dollar goes up or down. It's as if money and the value of the money in our pockets set against the money in the pockets of someone in a another country makes us more or less. Why is that ? Maybe it's time to let go of that. Maybe it's time to honour value in a way that is less about money and more about earth and real worth. 
Please excuse me thinking out loud.  

Saturday, 5 November 2016

We are living through an interesting time in history it seems, maybe it always seems like that, but the battle at Standing Rock by the native americans and the backing those people have all across the world from other indigenous tribes and those who feel that the worship of money and false status, as represented by the awful spectre of Trump as a quite possible next president of the u.s.a,  has gone way too far seems to be pivotal. 
It is hard for the oppressed to stand up to the oppressors and too often, if we ourselves are not uncomfortable within the status quo we remain silent or even back the oppressor so as to maintain our own ease or out of fear that our card will be marked and we too will become the victim. We all know when we do this, consciously or unconsciously. We all know when we take too great a slice of the cake to the detriment of another. The phrase "who ate all the pies ?" is common tongue but who did eat all the pies Georgy Porgy - Osborne, and his family, when he was in government, and no doubt despite the debacle of the eu referendum he is still eating. I name him but it could be David Cameron, Richard Branson, Rupert Murdoch, Tony Blair, and those are just a few local to England parasites. 
All over, on a great and small scale greed and over-reaching ambition have been lauded, to be rich is to be successful, no matter if you are a bastard who exploits and manipulates, lies and cheats to be that person, it guarantees your safety so long as you can maintain the pillar that holds greed as a great value. And over-reaching ambition, ambition per say is not a bad thing, but when it over-reaches the abilities and others pay for that ambition, are trampled, down trodden, starved of resources, then that ambition has over-reached itself, and is gross vanity. 
So now, perhaps, as individuals, it is time for us all to choose where we stand, what is our standing rock, how do we protect our source of clean water. Sometimes it is necessary to stand up to the oppressors, to say "no, that is not good enough". For some that stand will be camping on land due for fracking or oil pipelines, I know some amazing people who campaign and work for the rights of land and people. For others it may be a meeker battle, a small personal stand against those who oppress them personally. For the right to be free needs must belong to each one of us and the need to respect the right of all to be free is a mark of good society.

Perhaps as an afterthought I should add that in many ways the greatest battle we may ever undertake is the battle within ourselves for the better parts of ourselves to emerge. Our own erring towards the light or dark side undoubtedly ripples out into the environment and those whose lives we touch, and no one person has the monopoly on being right, so the choices we make personally are not really clear cut. It begins maybe with owning our choices and knowing that the footprints we leave behind us are ours alone and therefore to take care to tread lightly. This is easier said than done.