I wanted to write after Brexit became a reality in June but I didn’t get it done before a madman in a truck destroyed the lives of countless people in July on la Promenade des Anglais in Nice. I started to write about that but got distracted by the polemic around women’s beach attire. I entertained myself during the summer writing witty lines about bikinis, burkinis and imagining legislation against women wearing froginis (frog suits and flippers) on the beach. I didn’t finish, side tracked again but this time by the Clinton / Trump debacle.
Conclusion: the world moves much faster than my fingers so I might as well forget about being in sync with it. If I write about the movements of the soul there is at least a vague possibility that words tossed upon a page may survive the hurried hand. I wouldn’t want to trust an opinion poll on that though.
So here we are, despite opinion polls, in Brexit Trump Land with Le Pen just around the corner. My mind wishes to flee what my soul knows it cannot. My heart bleats its helplessness as the forces of revenge go from strength to strength. And still I wish to continue enjoying the privileges of my white middle class, educated, self employed albeit over taxed, home owner, healthy well fed existence. Yes I have moments of blind rage over the barbaric treatment of women in vast areas of the planet. I have moments, too, of deep gratitude towards the historical sisterhood whose courage has secured my own political, psychological and financial freedom. And yes, I have taken it all for granted. Freedom is not my right; it is my privilege! How I must be envied and hated for my self satisfaction and unavowed superiority. Perhaps not “I” specifically (that’s a comfort) but what I represent. Despite my gender I do belong to that minority that has flaunted and flouted its testosterone driven power in the world for decades (errrrr, make that read, forever). That privileged minority is under attack from the outside and slowly going pear shaped from the inside. Boris played power poker with David when he blithely lied to Britain about the benefits of exiting the European Union. He is now Secretary of State for foreign affairs for that same country and David whistled a happy tune as he left Downing Street. Donald has just demonstrated that money equals power and you can say whatever you like and still win an election. Vladimir, having demonstrated how far he could piss, has found his way back to the table with the big boys (and girls) after feeling shunned and humiliated by the previous administration and its European cronies.
HUBRIS! And for this arrogance before the gods, Nemesis is likely to have the final word.
And “lest we forget”, the red poppies that American and British TV anchors have been seen touting in their lapels or on their dresses over the past two weeks are a call to remember, not only those millions whose blood flowed amongst the poppies and their redness on the killing fields of Europe during the First World War, but also that when Hubris rules, Nemesis punishes. And SHE spares no one!
All this being said I still have to say that I am glad to belong to this club despite the fact that I am ashamed of the disgraceful behavior of its ruling elite. I am conscious that I want to safeguard all my privileges without suffering any of the disadvantages associated with my membership. This may mean I am aiding and abetting Hubris. I have taken democracy for granted and now find myself disenchanted with it. And yet it is so very precious. I cannot imagine anything else. I feel sad right now, to be here, watching and waiting to see what happens next.
Meanwhile people here in Paris returned to the Bataclan concert hall last night for the first time since hundreds were slaughtered mercilessly on its dance floor and in surrounding cafes a year ago. They went to remember. They went in defiance. They went to just be there together. And Sting opened with “How fragile we are….”.
Regards to all