Thursday 5 March 2020

Thought Picnic: A present absence in an absent presence

Swirls of turbulence abound
One thing I have attempted to keep away from is the torrent of cable television news and the opinions that feed the news cycle engendering anxiety, turbulence, and stress.
Obviously, one cannot completely be oblivious of current affairs, my Twitter feed can be a Roman candle of excitability that you have to filter, one way or the other.
Some interesting things you might retweet, others will elicit comments that could end up a thread and some could induce an utterly infuriating feeling that you best exercise restraint than exercise yourself.
Having a choice
Now, what cannot be ignored is the madness of Brexit that I have decidedly limited my blogging about, though I await the opportunity to cast my vote for the leadership of the Labour Party that I joined in January. It is unfortunate that the wisdom of previous Prime Ministers was ignored in favour of ideological mendaciousness, the result is a hurtling down a political ravine to a precipitous cliff edge. Where nationalism and patriotism have been conflated into an agenda of denial, obfuscation and absence of accountability predicated on a contrived ‘will of the people’.
We need an effective opposition that I fear has failed to exist in the last few years, for as principled as the Leader of the Opposition might be, it takes a lot more to win elections, the Labour Party needs to chart another course back to winning ways, the examples are many and having lost 4 elections in the row, continuity is not the desired future, no matter how Utopian it seems.
Of viral impact
The other issue is the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a certain type of pneumonia of unknown provenance, highly infectious with a moderate mortality rate that appeared to originate in Wuhan, China in December and is spreading around the world with unintended consequences of socio-political and economic import.
Invisible, yet deadly, it might presage a global recession especially where the health emergency is becoming a victim of the propaganda machinery of governments of all colours, revealing to damning effect incompetence and ineptitude except in the uniquely quasi-democratic city-state of Singapore of all places. I had my concerns when I visited the hospital on Monday for an ultrasound scan of kidneys, but I did not allow it to upset me.
That apart of the misinformation and the postulations of people with opinions given greater platforms than people with expertise, we are caught in a dystopian vortex of easy fables over facts, talking rather than listening, a departure from learning and a rewriting of history for the convenience of expediency. [Keeping with the Coronavirus - WHO]
A crippled democracy
Our itching ears seek the comfort from being afflicted with the truth and there is where the dishonest, the unprincipled, the unscrupulous, the politicians, and those without integrity have found an audience that Voltaire did say would believe absurdities and go on to commit atrocities.
I hate to say that the exercise of democracy and universal suffrage in recent times has become seething atrocity because I am left askance at what absurdities have persuaded the people to vote the way they have in some countries and certain elections.
This made me conclude in a tweet yesterday that, “Democracy is a herd for which a wily politician can cause a stampede of votes in their direction where reason demands an orderly procession in any other direction but that.” How our basest instincts and our irrational fears have been exploited to such political advantage to our detriment that people who should never be in public office rise to heights of leadership out of leading us to believe the absurd.

I sit in my apartment learning innovative technologies, absenting myself from these things, whilst wondering about a future where my heart and mind is at one in purpose and companionship, very far from here. It is possible, for that is where there is renewal and newness of life. For me and for him.

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