|"end of the world, end of time, climax of history"|
Back to the point.
All around me I see disintegration. I see change, and I see a sort of revolution. I felt strongly enough about it to scribble a few words. It doesn't feel like Armageddon, it doesn't look like the end of the world, or the end of time, but it has all the hallmarks of a historical climax.
Please don't groan, but something Bob Geldof once said has stuck with me for years. He was in (what once was) the Belgian Congo and he was doing a documentary on the civil war which was raging at the time. It was close to its zenith and Unkie Bob said "When 25% or more of a population have good communications, independent newspapers, radio, the internet, or just good cellphone coverage, the days of the tyrant are numbered". I happen to agree. Not just because I have been involved in telecommunications for 30 years, but because I have seen it with my own eyes. I have been on rigs, platforms, base camps and vessels where there was nothing (other than basic HF radio) before I arrived and when I left they had telephones, internet and television. From the moment I handed over the newly commissioned system the mood of the 80-200 souls on site changed dramatically. They could finally get their work done more efficiently, and from a welfare stand-point, they could call home. They could catch up with any news, gossip, talk to their partners and their kids, and they could help to solve any problems that their people were facing at home. I freely admit that this was the most satisfying part of my job. My main point being that I understand the value of good communications.
Then, along comes the internet, which, despite the fact that I had been enabling these services around the world, I took no active part in, nor did I make much use of it. Some years later, following its natural evolution, it was everywhere. Or so it seemed. Blogs sprang up, which I largely ignored, mostly because I wasn't interested in the (daily) thoughts of some bloke in Manhattan, or some ex-pat in Nairobi. Then all of a sudden (for me, at least), they started to become attractive. They were doing the job I imagined good reporters should be doing. Sure, some were sweary, but so what? Profanity, when used well, enhances, rather than detracts from a good piece. It gives it life, and, that all important personal touch we would never see in a daily paper. They dared where angels feared to tread. Modern newspapers are out of my life. I know, from the smoking ban and almost everything written about second hand smoke, that they question nothing. They cut, and they paste. Every study is like the Tablets in the Moses myth. They are the word of God. Their God being, as it happens, the advertisers. They never examine the figures, they never even peek at the science. They daren't. Because it is bullshit. They say to themselves, "The ends justify the means", they toddle off at 5pm for a swift G&T and they go home and kid themselves that they had a good day. Newspapers are dying. They have a terminal disease. They can be cured, of course they can, but they are suicidal, and their end is nigh. A dwindling number of people buy into their crap, and I pray daily for their demise.
Online is where the real stuff is. Online is where the truth resides. In varying amounts, to be sure, and one has to be careful at believing all one reads. There's a lot of Fools Gold out there and I usually start by tracing the money. Finding out who is sponsoring a particular thing leads me to the "truth" of the claim that has been made. If there is no money, I look for a conspiracy. If there is one, or if the claim is made by someone clearly unhinged, I tend to close the tab and move on. Time is precious, and I don't want to waste mine knitting together convoluted ravings.
I write, as often as I can, about my unadulterated joy whenever I read that the EU, or the Euro, is failing. As I have written before, I am no nationalist. I am no racist. I like multi-culturalism, but there have to be boundaries. There have to be some rules in place for it to work. I welcome anyone to these shores, and if they are coming to stay, I merely ask that they leave their home country behind. I ask that because I ask it of myself when I travel. When I arrive anywhere, the first thing I remind myself is that I am a visitor. My job is to fit in, to blend in. If I do that I will have an uneventful, and ultimately, successful trip. Our little island nation is creaking under the pressure, not so much from the foreigners, but from those within. Those with a desperate urge to create the same conditions that the emigrants left behind. Their language, their religions, and, in some cases, their law. And that, is going too far. No country I have ever visited took the trouble to change their laws for me. Not many would allow me to practise my religion, if I was of that bent. None of them ensure that every sign I read, or every form I fill in is in English.
I hear and read a great deal of chatter about World War Three. Most seem to suggest that it will be be caused by, initiated by, or will certainly involve, Iran. That it will be in the Middle East is stated with some confidence. All we can do is watch and wait. Then react accordingly. My own thoughts are that we are way too early. We have at least another 30-50 years of oil left, and I think the temperature will rise as we get nearer to the end of that particular commodity. By then, one would hope, we would have found some sustainable alternative. Actually, I think it already exists, but big business needs to be protected, as do the needs of millions of people employed in the industry, both upstream and downstream. The same goes for Big Pharma, if you must know. We already have cures for the most terrible maladies that mankind suffers from but it is absolutely not in their interests for these cures to be found in every corner store. I know for a fact that Big Pharma finds "cures" then develops an ailment. After that, it is a marketing exercise. How many parents have you heard discussing those very recent, and very artificial complaints for which their kids now need to swallow 10 tablets a day to "cure"? Money. It's all about money. That is changing too, as we learn more about those insidious tricks the drugs manufacturers employ to get us on their bandwagon.
In summary then, if eschaton is coming it heralds one thing and one thing alone: the end of bullshit. The end of lies. The end of spin. And a gradual, but much needed awakening.
However painful it is for you, however much your partner, or your neighbours, or your colleagues at work may stare and point, stick to your guns, and be ready for the end. Educate and enlighten yourself. Take a second look at outlandish claims and satisfy yourself that they either have some merit, or are outright bullshit.
Whatever else you do, be prepared. Big changes are coming and you owe it to yourself to know about them beforehand. It will be huge.
It will be a climax you will never forget.