The Irresistible Breaking of Silence
Donkeys and Hyenas
It’s Monday morning, May 18 2015. It’s raining, windy and chilly, and Wilkinsons, the household and hardware store, have just thrust a colourful ‘summery’ booklet through our letter box advertising barbecue equipment and garden furniture. Being the burned out, cynical old bastard that I am I can’t help but find this annual mantra of ‘Summer’, emanating from the vacuous marketing minds of ad agencies, utterly laughable. Yet another plastic corporate façade, erected between reality and capital’s colourful imagination. But there’s more to my cantankerous grumpiness this wet May morning than anachronistic parasols and damp bags of charcoal.
Even writing this I am breaking my own pledge to cease all comment on the parlous state of my country, the so-called ‘United Kingdom’. Yet unfortunately, like an addict, I need this semantic purgative to be able to keep a grip. Without this unburdening in a form of words, I feel as if my head, or even more melodramatically, my soul, will continue to fill with rage, expanding to the point of paroxysm. I have no idea if anyone reads this. I’m past caring. Who the hell do I think I am anyway? Some obscure, fat old scribe in his 70s who writes for a living. Neither rich nor with any scintilla of that which the young world craves, ‘fame’, I none the less continue to project my bile into the ether, my words echoing in an empty chamber like an old, cracked shellac gramophone record.
|That's it, lads, build it and he will come. And we'll all go.|
Some writers, and I like to think of myself in this way, are like bricklayers. The walls we leave behind contain the chipped bricks of our trade. I often look at the exterior walls of this house, built in 1906.
Whose trowel laid that
mortar? In which part of some ‘foreign
field that is forever England’ do his bones lie? How much was he paid to lay
these sturdy, endurable walls? Did he have children? Was he a trade unionist?
Did he volunteer to give his life for that same thoughtless imperialist, capitalist mind-set
which demands of its underlings that they should die for the land of their
birth even though, unlike their masters, they own not a square foot of soil?
Well, my imaginary bricklayer probably owns six feet of soil now, albeit French
|How much did they pay you? Was it in bullets?|
And here we are, over a century later, no longer lions led by donkeys, but donkeys led by hyenas. All the philosophy of progress, all the noble hope of communal mutual respect reduced to a few glib soundbites like ‘Big Society’ and ‘In it together’. Indeed, Trotsky’s ‘dustbin of history’ is full to overflowing. The cunning misanthropic minds of a self-serving international cartel, obsessed with only two dogmas, profit and increasing wealth, have scattered the carcinogenic spores of their vile inhumanity through the ranks of what was once called ‘the People’ with huge success. All talk of equality, fairness and social cohesion is off limits. The bamboozled British have succumbed to the shimmering glitter of greed, goaded like sheep into capital’s abattoir by the threatening, sharpened bayonets of nationalistic fear. Yet although this evil is all around us, in our news media, on the radio, in countless duplicitous TV adverts for health insurance, funeral insurance and pay day loans, the blinkers attached to the nation’s frozen eyes have become immovable.
I refuse to wear them. Thus I row my leaky moral boat with its rotting paddle on a dark landless sea of excreta, a peg on my nose, scanning the bleak horizon searching for like minds. I seem to have spent my life waiting for something which isn’t going to happen. I’ll not say what that is, because it would seem like an alien concept in a new world of selfishness. So perhaps it’s true; the rest of my country is sane and I’ve gone mad. Maybe, after all, I must accept that following your heart can mean losing your mind.