Social Apocalypse

I feel like all I write about are fucking paedophiles and shootings. Does this not just reiterate the fact that something radical- revolutionary- needs to be done to rectify these social problems? Society is decrepit, with hateful acts rotting away at it’s score, seeping hate, disillusionment and resent. The stench is impenetrable. The cause lost. Where does family, friends, love and happiness stand in a society that secretes paedophiles and murderers?

Society is perverse. There is no saving what we have become. Bring me social apocalypse because that sounds like fucking salvation from where I’m standing. I’m sick of languishing in a society of hate and greed where innocent people’s lives are corrupted by the immorality of other’s. It’s not fair that one person has the power to inflict torturous, unforgettable pain on someone else. There is no justice. No punishment could ever rectify the abhorrent memories stored in one’s mind, those memories that resurface like clockwork- daily. As much as I think rot in hell to those paedophiles and murderers and rapists and all those other immoral cunts out there their acts can never be rectified.

There’s no fucking point in anything. There’s no rosy, hazy future of rainbows and sunshine just the grim reality that we are falling deeper into this abyss of immorality where nothing can save us.

I am fucking angry- we should all be fucking angry.

C of (In)Equality

A resounding knock-back to women’s rights occurred this week. Yes women’s rights- we’re still fighting for those. It might seem like something you’d read in a history textbook or on a museum display. Women’s rights, mis-representatively so, evokes images of suffragettes marching in green, white and purple; a time of political protest, a time of inequality. We look back and think ‘well thank you for that ladies, procuring us the vote and all that’, but do we not realise that this struggle is not over? That feminism should still play a role in every woman- every girl’s life?

‘I hate feminists’ some women say. For some reason this term draws up an image of a hairy arm-pitted lesbian. But why? A feminist is defined as ‘an advocate or supporter of the rights and equality of women’ (Oxford English Dictionary 2012) this should be every woman, every female should be a supporter of her own rights- at least. Why would any woman want to limit her own rights; prevent equality in the workplace, equal representation and an equal right to education? They don’t. Many women feel, as we are taught in history, that our battle for equality is over, it was procured in the past; however the evidence from the last week or so suggests otherwise.

One establishment that one would expect to support equality to the highest level is the Church. Everyone’s heard the phrases ‘love thy neighbour’ and ‘treat other’s as you would like to be treated’ which are apparently fundamental principles of the Church of England, after all it was Jesus that said them. One would assume that equal rights for men and women would be right up the Church’s street. Evidently this is not so. For some reason ‘neighbour’ and ‘other’ are only applicable to men; white heterosexual men for that matter and us women are left outcast amongst other’s who are deemed ‘undesirable’ by the Church. Targeting the Church of England directly, how can the state headed Church claim to be ‘of England’ when it is more unrepresentative of our country than any other establishment?

The guardian newspaper has argued that the Church, by voting against the ordination of female bishops, has committed it’s own suicide speeding up the previously gradual death of the Church’s importance in society. But rather than this has the pledge for women’s equal rights been murdered?

Parliament has suggested that the Church be forced on this issue: but applying force does not equal change. To some extent it’s not worth it- female bishops permitted for the wrong reasons, and realistically not many women will step up knowing the hostility they will receive from male bishops. But parliament has a point, for one, the House of Lords holds 26 Lords Spiritual, all male, impacting the degree in which the House of Lords represents the people and also holding significant influence over the passing of measures through the House. In terms of the law, religious institutions fare immunity from such equality legislation such as the Equality Act 2010, however the EU could challenge the immunity of the Church of England with the equality of women being one of the foundations of the ‘Treaty on the Functioning of the EU’ regarding occupation and employment. Again, the Church may be forced into allowing women the same opportunities as men. Force is not the answer, by using force we are only having favours granted for us by men, this doesn’t change the attitudes to women within the Church, nothing can do that, our own salvation lays within our own persuasion but as women seem disinterested by this gender battle our hopes are pretty low…

As the Church’s stature dwindles due to this issue we might wonder why people are making the effort to change the attitudes of an already dying institution. One simple reason:

this isn’t religion anymore it’s politics.

The Green Light

“He stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and, far as I was from him, I could have sworn he was trembling. Involuntarily I glanced seaward—and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away” (The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald)

The American Dream; an ideal that was, and still is, inexplicably unreachable.  However, was this ideal in danger of being on an even more unreachable precipice in the last week? As with Gatsby, there’s always that object, the dark water, blocking our ability to fulfil our dreams, be that the restrictions of society, our own fears or the actions of others; it is arguable that this dark water, this object preventing us from reaching our dreams and fulfilling our desires was going to have a face: Mitt Romney’s.

Romney’s political stance, the political stance of GOP in it’s entirety, jeopardises any hope that the American Dream still exists. Like Gatsby’s world, the proposed policies of Romney involved money, and money alone; reminiscent of the laissez faire-minimal government-maximise profits ideology of the 1920’s, with one difference: economic state. The idea to maximise profits and minimise government policy seems justifiable in a society where social issues are non-existent, however, this utopia is purely fictional. Similarly to the 1920’s, 2012 America has many social issues; issues of welfare, rights and still, race. Romney condemned Obama’s social policies as ‘extraordinary financial gifts’, citing free health care and contraceptive medications in particular, things that we, in Britain, perhaps take advantage of. Nonetheless, doesn’t the fact that we take advantage of these things, show how essential they are to our welfare?

Romney claims that the ‘big issues for the whole country’ are: military strategy, foreign policy and a strong economy. But what about freedom, education and healthcare? Surely these are greater, and more widely applicable issues for the population of America. The foundation of every society should be personal liberties: freedom of speech, press, the right to vote and so on. But, even in America, these liberties are still not established. Romney’s stance on social issues projects anti-abortion and anti-gay rights and therefore anti-freedom, setting back the progress of the last 60 years. Is this really in the best interests of the American population: imposing on, rather than granting further rights?

The loss of, or lack of such rights seriously imposes on any ideal of the ‘American Dream’, an ideal dependent on the ability to choose, and hence the availability of freedom. The loss of our, the common people’s ability to achieve their ‘American Dream’ allow people, like Mitt Romney, to achieve theirs. This is unethical, at least, according to Kantian Ethics: an act that uses others as a means to an end is wrong. The eyes of a Dr T.J Eckleburg looks over us judging our morality, or lack of, placing our dreams on a precipice.

And so, the dark water ebbs onwards between us and our dreams, until disillusion forms and we are left with nothing, hardly a glimmer of hope.

All in the name of political ideology.

 

Jim’ll Fix It

Doesn’t this sound profusely grotesque now?

Ignorance is bliss, or so they say, but not at the sacrifice of 200 victims of Jimmy Savile and the BBC’s ‘paedophile ring’. Six decades worth of ignorance has come to the forefront of society in just over 3 weeks.  How can something so prolific, so blood-curdlingly disturbing, be kept for so long?

For those who have watched the Panorama special on Jimmy Savile, Karen Ward’s case will be familiar. Ward, interviewed by Newsnight last year, described the sexual abuse that she endured at the hands of Savile, as well as witnessing renowned paedophile, Gary Glitter, partaking in similar acts with other girls. Ward, a student at Duncroft Approved School for Girls encountered Savile at her school, whereby she states that he took girls out of the school and abused them in his car. Ward herself was abused by Savile, he offered her the opportunity to be on his TV show in return for oral sex and molested her. In the BBC itself Ward visited Savile’s dressing room, teeming with teenage girls, and witnessed Gary Glitter having sex with one of them.

Savile’s exploits however were not merely confined to young females, he also used his status to molest young boys. An interviewee described how he, at the age of 9, was included on one of Savile’s shows with his fellow boy scouts whereby Savile presented the scouts with a shared badge for their efforts. However, after the show, Savile approached the 9 year old boy and asked him if he would like a badge of his own. Savile took the young boy into a small dressing room and began touching him, with the boys own hands forced onto Savile’s groin.

As seen in the media, the BBC is not the only institution coming under fire for permitting Savile to navigate so easily around young people. The NHS is also under fire. Broadmoor Hospital, a high security psychiatric hospital, also gave Savile access to the young and vulnerable. One female patient described how Savile put his hands between her legs, without looking at her or acknowledging her, as if this was an expected and usual occurrence.

From looking at these three cases alone out of a possible 200 arising throughout six decades of abuse; it is evident that Savile was a manipulative, repugnant and malicious paedophile. The way in which he navigated the BBC studios, Duncroft school and Broadmoor Hospital exemplifies the fact that not only do he victimise the young, but also the vulnerable- being those described as ’emotionally disturbed’ and mentally unstable. What is even more copiously infuriating is the way in which Savile portrayed his own antics to his colleague’s and other celebrities including the ‘Have I Got News For You’ panellists.

In the video above Savile replies to Ian Hislop’s question “What did you do in the caravan?” with “Anyone I can lay my hands on”. In hindsight this reply is incredibly poignant, Savile’s dismissive and instinctive reply seems obvious looking back. The roars of laughter from the audience are an echoing emblem of the ignorance in which we were once bathed in regarding Savile’s paedophilic nature, which shows a striking contrast with the most recent series of ‘Have I Got News For You’ where Savile’s picture incited unease amongst the audience. This purely highlights what a revelation this has been to the public, but in some respects how ignorant people were beforehand, and how easily victims of Savile had previously been dismissed because of Saville’s ‘celebrity status’.

What we need to prevent is the glorification of celebrities, or anyone, to god-like proportions, whereby the testimony of other’s is disregarded. Although this has been revealed now, the damages to these victims lives is unrepairable, not only have they been abused and manipulated by Savile, but they have also been failed by society and made to feel that no one would believe their word against Savile’s. It is evident that many victims attempted to report Savile but no further action was taken.  Society should support and encourage victims of any form of abuse to speak out, if not for their own well-being but to prevent the further harm of others, and in Savile’s case to gain justice before it is too late. Coinciding this, authoritative institutions should also act effectively in response to any such claim in this case the BBC, the NHS and the Crown Prosecution Service.

We need to fix this.

To Sever for Years

Allegedly there is a severance between people and politics in this country: but is there really?

Perhaps politics has become disengaged from us? Admittedly we as a nation have changed significantly since the 1950s when political engagement was at a high, however, has politics itself evolved alongside us? I don’t think so.

In an article written by the Chairman of the U.K Youth Citizenship Commission, Jon Tonge, he attempts to claim that youth disengagement is due to a lack of understanding of the term ‘good citizen’ leading to a separation of the ‘good civic participant’ and the ‘active political contributor’.  Maybe that is because these ideal do not exist? Surely creating a generation of ‘good citizens’ would derail the need for different political parties altogether, as by being a ‘good citizen’ everyone would have the same ideals?

These terms mean nothing to me. A ‘good civic participant’ arouses an image of homo-idyllic-duplicates, in which becoming an ‘active political contributor’ merely gives politics more power. If everyone adhered to these ideals, then there would be no disengagement from politics, but a lack of individualism and priority only to the masses; with everyone voting and participating politically this gives those at the top more power, removing the need for parties as surely the ‘good citizens’ would all advocate the same policies.

But realistically this is not ideal for ‘us’. Who wants to become a homo-idyllic-duplicate? Not me. What must be strived for within politics is the enhancement of individualism: making politics important for the individual, making it personal rather than addressing people as a ‘target group’.

But do all politicians want the masses to engage?

In some respects this could have a negative influence on party popularity, for instance, many of those labelled as ‘disengaged’ from politics are also ‘disadvantaged’ and therefore are hardly likely to vote Conservative and become increasingly deprived. Therefore, why is it such a surprise that political disengagement is at an all-time high when the party in power does not desire increased participation?

Rather than focusing on ‘disengagement’ solely, firstly all the ‘dis-‘ needs to removed from society; ‘DISadvantaged’ should not be a term used to describe anyone living within the U.K, a first world country. At the very least people should not be DIScriminated for being DISadvantaged. How can the ‘disadvantaged’ be criticised for ‘disengagement’ when they have no trust, and no reason to trust the political sphere?

Clearly disengagement with politics is ripe, however this is not wholly due to the current idea that ‘people don’t care any more’  or that ‘people don’t understand’ it’s because politics no longer understands the people.  Arguably, the right to vote also entails the right not to vote and the right not to politically participate and therefore political disengagement, rather than being inactive, may be an active stance against the current political climate.

If this continues to derail then politics and the people may sever for years to come.

Apparently the Drugs Do Work

This retaliation to my previous post ‘The Drugs Don’t Work’ has stuck at the forefront of my mind for weeks now. So many questions with no answers: what do you mean they work? how do they work? what are they working for? what is their purpose?

It’s incredulous when people casually mention drugs, in such an off hand manner: ‘Oh hey, I take drugs’ they might as well be saying. What’s even worse is that this type of conversation doesn’t shock the majority of people any more. In a group of 8 people who hadn’t previously met beforehand (it was at a group interview) when one mentioned getting high and how he was looking forward to getting high again all but two of us joined in this conversation. Urging him onwards he also divulged an occasion when he went to work “off his head on ‘e'” only two of us were shocked by this. How do I know that? We were the only ones not to divulge any of our own experiences with drugs (I’ve never had any). That’s 75% of the group openly admitting to taking drugs, why is this so common and so acceptable?

It appears that acceptability is derived from numbers. Drug use has a domino effect, someone you know suddenly starts taking them, all of a sudden people even closer to you are falling under the pressure or sense of experimentation, one waver and you’re taken under by the drugs- some stand resolutely against this force, but the numbers are dwindling after every conquest. It’s not all down to pressure, there are many reasons why people start taking drugs and continue to: the most irritating of all is the ‘you’re-just-a-posh-cunt-and-think-you’re-cool’ situation. By doing drugs you’re basically saying that being yourself isn’t good enough, your life isn’t good enough, you use drugs as a means of escape: but no one wants to admit that. People look down upon self harming because it’s viewed as depressive, whereas drug abuse is associated with ‘having a good time’ and partying, I know that people would be more shocked if I self harmed than if I started popping pills: but they’re both as equally destructive.

The point of this is not to make people listen, I already know they aren’t. Apparently ‘the drugs do work’, or so I’ve been told.

The Greed Society

Nothing is sincere anymore. Everyone and everything has an ulterior motive. Even something that’s meant to be sincere, selfless and giving is motivated by greed.

Fundraising is something that comes under this umbrella of  goodness, selflessness and sincerity, but unfortunately this umbrella is permeated by droplets of human greed, saturating it’s surface until something, even as good as charity, becomes a point of selfishness. Everything is subdued by want of profit or some other form of self attainment and I ask myself ‘does selflessness even exist?’ Is every action derived from human greed? Surely if we analyse every action or decision we have made every single one adheres to an aspect of greed and self attainment.

What becomes even more apparent is the correlation between concepts that are generally conceived as selfless and those that are acknowledged as selfish, for example; fundraising and banking. Through personal experience it is evident that paid fundraisers have just as many, if not more, pound signs in their eyes than bankers. To some extent the methods of paid fundraisers are incredibly more concerning than those of bankers. A whole business hiding behind the charade of being for charity: employees breaking laws to try and get more donations to aid their bonus, forcing elderly people to stand at their doorsteps when it is obvious that they are physically unable to, and exploiting the generosity of the vulnerable- it all seems pretty unethical to me.

Fundraising should be about encouraging people to give, not forcing them. It should not be about greed and trying to exceed your targets to procure YOUR bonus, it should be about that feeling you get when you realise how many people’s lives you are aiding by procuring donations.

That feeling of overwhelming happiness that you get when you know you’ve done something ‘right’ should always be enough to do anything- but is even this just another form of self attainment?

And we come back to the same debate, is anything selfless? Can we ever escape the binding characteristics of our human nature and demonstrate true selflessness?

The University of Reality

It seems that every expectation becomes diluted when reality reaps its poison onto it, rotting all your dreams, all your hopes and all your wishes into an abyss of decay.  The dream of University has entered this abyss, it has been tainted by reality, and what a revelation! University is just another part of that corporate journey, leading you onto the 9-5 which in fact actually “doesn’t exist any more, you’ll find you spend all day and night at your job, so enjoy your spare time now”(says my lecturer Stephen Morton, wouldn’t want to plagiarise now would we?)- and that’s what we have to look forward to after the 3 year struggle we have ahead to procure either a 1:1 or 2:1 (which I’ve been advised we must get otherwise we WILL be unemployed). And I question myself again, is that it? Is that all I have to look forward to?

Foolishly, perhaps, I thought University would be something different- an eye-opening experience, and it has been, it has revealed all the grim realities about life that I hoped were not true: we are born, we are raised, we make money, we contribute to ‘society’, we die. But I still hope for more, I scramble around in the darkness looking for some form of hope… some may say this is childish but I refuse to believe that this is all I have to live for.

I wanted to meet people with passion who cared about something, people like me. But all I am is isolated, questioning how people can settle for this, can think that this is good enough. I don’t want to be trained to be the perfect citizen, with transferable skills, lack of opinion and a willingness to do anything, charitable to some extent so that it looks good, but predominantly selfish: the idyllic robot of the corporate machine. I want to break free of this restraints and find myself not turn into another replica of the ideal.  I don’t want to be a base creature, living off pathetic pleasures, I want to be more than that.”It is better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied” after all. I’ll remain unsatisfied if that’s the cost- I just thought this would be different.

Nothing changes.

Being induced into University was more than reminiscent of the induction into A Level studies, and the induction into GCSEs before that and the induction into secondary school that preceded that. It’s getting a bit fucking repetitive, don’t you think?

I feel pretty sedated by it all right now.

Teleological

Is everything just a means to an end?

Is life merely a succession of milestones that we pass and then die?

We all seem to be heading the same way. We start off with dreams and hopes and an idea that there’s something out there worth living for. Then we go to school, we’re fed ideas that we can be whatever we want to be: but can we? Can the 4 year old little girl who’s already had a difficult start in life really become prime minister? The reality is that she can’t and it doesn’t take long for even her to realise that.

We follow the current and find ourselves at university, studying a degree that someone else has told us will be useful, meeting someone else’s expectations but not our own. We graduate, resigned to the fact that our dreams have turned to ashes, with no flickering embers of hope left that we will somehow achieve greatness and we wonder ‘now what?’ We find someone, fall in love if we’re lucky or just settle. The resounding ticking noise in your head gets louder telling us it’s time to get married and start a family, or is that just the familiar noise of society pressuring us to follow the norm?

You plough on, you’re not an individual any more you’re a family, part of a unit. You’ve settled, ‘this will do’ says the voice in the back of your head whilst the 4 year old version of yourself screams that this is not enough.

Is that really it?

Money Never Sleeps

How much money something produces isn’t a measure of worth or success: it’s an indication of greed and consumerism, something that that shouldn’t be cared for, let alone respected. Talk of balanced budgets, deficits and recessions would be devoid without the concept of money.  Money is something that humanity has inflicted upon itself; it tortures, it kills, it destroys. Everything we do involves money, whether it is spending it, receiving it, waiting for it, counting it and always worrying about it. The obsession with balancing the budget, decreasing the deficit, working even at a surplus is ridiculous: this sacrifices our own happiness. Money is still used to enslave the lower classes (yes, I’m going to refer to classes, no use in pretending that they no longer exist), it’s used as bait to reel us all in and keep us in tow. The importance of money is fed to us throughout childhood so that by the time we reach adolescence we have that want, that desire for money.

What even is money in the first place? Is it just a piece of paper? A coin? It represents something but what exactly: oppression?

The idea that money is the ultimate goal is ingrained within our genome, childhood dreams obliterated and replaced with the image of riches, wealth and the power that this so unethically entails. But money isn’t real it’s nothing but an idea. This is illustrated by Gilbert Ryle’s theory of a ‘category mistake’, a mistake in the use of language, which is highlighted by the scenario in which someone requests ‘can you show me the money?’  and is inevitably presented with coins or notes, the statement ‘can you show me the money?’ is a category mistake as there’s no such thing as money, it’s just a representation of an idea, in a similar way to Russell’s example of a student visiting a university; looking around the buildings such as the halls of residence, lecture halls and library but then asking ‘but where’s the university?’ as if it is a separate entity, it clearly isn’t: the ‘university’ as an entity does not exist and neither does the ‘money’.

Economically, how does having a balanced budget, or functioning in a deficit impact the average person? Although it may be assumed that working in a deficit instantaneously entails cuts to healthcare, education and the like, contrastingly working in a deficit can permit increased expenditure on public works, health care and education: the main sectors that affect OUR lives, rather than cutting them to create balance and a neat little figure on a spreadsheet.

Who actually gives a fuck? Being in debt is shameful? As is taxing the old, leaving people homeless and denying people happiness.Get a fucking grip and live a little, don’t waste time worrying about how facts and figures measure up on a spreadsheet and care about what’s real.