Thursday, 10 November 2016

On a String

We all wish for success, happiness and good fortune don't we? Or at least one of the three if scoring a hat-trick is out, and if not for ourselves then for others, offspring, friends, cousins. Some of us are gracious enough to wish it for the whole of humanity. I'm not that gracious or ambitious as little old me (how much difference can one person make?) believes the world's violent pulsations will never be stilled. There will always be a battle of wills between peoples – those with power and those without – and that tide cannot, I think, be completely silenced or comforted. We've come too far, we're going too fast, like a full moon seeming to keep pace with a moving car. How could it possibly? And yet it's there, alongside you, like a balloon being pulled on a string.
Everything becomes a movement; everything is in motion. There's always now two camps, and a few divided stragglers in-between. Take a view that's not of the majority or that goes against an opposing faction and you'll be shouted down, and that's when you're allowed to voice it for if you are you'll be booed, jeered, and quite possibly directly insulted. What is seen on screens is taken as the general consensus or gradually becomes such as more are programmed to its stance, so that those who think otherwise, who think for themselves, are ostracised. A small pocket whose views are not considered and do not in the long-term matter, and who are themselves considered strange. And this is the freedom we all speak of? How is this learning from History? History with a capital 'H' that tells of a world with dictators. Now, there's not just one, but a unified front: Believe in Fear.
The world spins....and we spin with it as it continues to speed up. Walls come down as they did in Berlin and new ones get built up. Transparency, for these walls we cannot see, being as they are like sheets of non-reflective glass, and yet if we looked we'd see it's all a mirror. A great, huge mirror where we react as other countries react in the exact same manner. The landmarks are lit, the flowers are laid, the messages are written and there's an outpouring of emotion which is portrayed as the national feeling. Perhaps it is or it isn't. Yet this Mexican wave, this fever that spreads, rapidly, through communities is virulent and homogenising. When did capturing something become the prevailing thought? An event, a mood, a person. What is this sweeping grief, and retaliatory or congratulatory behaviour? We, a global WE, stand as one.
Do we? Really? Because less publicly most communities, primarily developed ones, are narcissistic. The individuals comprising them inward looking as in 'Look what I did!' or 'Look at us coming together!'
Aren't we just doing what's required of us and duping ourselves? Behaving as we think we ought, showing the emotions we think we should show. To be in, rather than out. Part of the far left gang and not the right. A decent human being with pro tendencies because, of course, it wouldn't be proper to demonstrate your disaffectedness even if that's how you felt. Not alone. Others of this vein might follow suit or withdraw, and like you refuse to bow to the pressure of societal commercialism.
In reverse (that of provocation) the same is also true: people so inclined go with the mass view, get whipped up into verbal assaults or physical statements, or whatever the then conduct is. The moment unfolds and they don't think twice before exercising their mouths or using their fists.
And this is what we call Democracy.
What would I wish for? Not success or happiness or even good fortune, just the right to think and live as I choose, whether that's quietly and disengaged, or lively and involved. But what I'd really like is for the world to slow down its running, to bob sedately along, instead of being pulled.