I am listening to my own voice while writing this. My good friend David Mann kindly asked me to do a punk radio show with him, and I’m listening to the final version of it. I thought he might edit it down quite a lot, but we’ve got over 2 hours of music and me talking. Go and have a listen if you’ve never heard me talk about Dead Men before. I never used to like the sound of my own voice, and I still don’t really love it, but I no longer experience that feeling of disgust I used to have when hearing it. The truth is that writers do need to know how to speak in public, not only if they’re performance poets. And I am certainly not a performance poet. And even on this show, my mind runs off in several directions. Mr B on the BBC and his then producer T christened me the King Of Tangents. That’s another book title to note down.
I’m not sure there is any point in me even tackling politics this morning except to say that the British government which has been so so slow to issue visas to mainly white Ukrainians is now proposing to deport any immigrants they deem illegal to Rwanda, currently run by the man who initiated the genocide of the recent past. How can we endure this fascism any longer? As long as people believe the lies the government tells, is the answer, as long as the British remain xenophobes, as long as we have a corrupt and manipulable voting system in place. The attack on living standards, the need to focus on survival, means that most people don’t have the time or energy to think about politics or to rebel openly in the streets. So I talked about politics. Forgive me.
It is Good Friday. Regardless of your faith, this time should be a time of renewal, a time of reflection. If you’re going to make any resolutions, this is really the time to make them, not New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. Actually, we need to make resolutions, otherwise known as decisions, every day. M is having to work today (in the office in town!) and on Easter Monday. This is where “progress” has brought us. Yes, it’s not the slavery of the Industrial Revolution, nor the slavery of those dragged off on British ships and put to work in plantations, but it’s modern slavery of a particularly insidious kind. I have railed against this before, and it’s not because the one person I love above all others and want to spend time with has to go to work, it’s because we have made so much technological progress that was meant to bring us more freedom and leisure time and yet people’s time is more enslaved than ever. Progress is not progress unless it makes everyone’s lives better and easier.
It is grey. Another day. We have handed power to those who should not hold it. Perhaps this year we will be able to take it back.
AGGIE’S ART OF HAPPINESS – CHAPTER 62