I'm about to have a mini rant, so be warned. This is my blog, so I think I am entitled to rant (in a mini kind of way) here. After all, if I can't do it here, where else can I let off a puff of steam?
My rant is about the politics of fear. I'm tired of it, I really am. Ever since my childhood, the powers that be have managed to find something to hang over us like the proverbial sword of damocles. When I was between six and ten years old, or thereabouts, I remember the cloud of the whole ban the bomb movement, the cold war, the Christine Keeler affair and the Cuban crisis. Following that came the years of Vietnam and more cold war tension. Then the middle east came in with the oil crisis, followed quickly by scares involving acid rain, holes in the ozone layer and the like. After that there were numerous plagues of this and that: salmonella poisoning and mad cow disease to name but a couple. Of course every few years, there's a new scary virus - we've had swine flu, bird flu, mexican flu (although I think that was swine flu wasn't it?). Added to that there are the tales of chem trails and spraying, toxic waste and radiation, the threat of nuclear disaster always present. If that were not enough, we've had international terrorism, 9/11, 7/7 and the consequent erosion of our freedoms. Then for the last so many years, we've had climate change with various and increasing predictions of catastrophe and disaster for all mankind.
I'm not suggesting that these threats don't exist; I'm just saying - well what? I'm saying I'm tired of the fact that my whole life has been lived with one or other cloud of fear hanging over it.
I grew up in a family where the philosophy was 'waste not want not', 'don't litter', 'if wishes were horses then beggars would ride' so don't expect too much. My parents believed that the quality of life was determined more by what you created rather than what you consumed. We painted, drew, wrote and made stuff. We didn't have a TV, we only got our first watches when we turned eleven and holidays were spent camping in Wales with no mod cons, real camp fires and boxes of paints and hardboard 'canvases' that our dad made for us. We played and made music on cheap guitars, old pianos and bargain violins - we still do. And we were quite content with what we had - and we still are.
But that cloud of fear was there then and it still is.
It often seems to me that consumerism has gone mad these days, and that maybe, just maybe, these threatening clouds are used to remind us of what we should be focusing on. I don't know. I really don't, but as I said, I'm tired of it now. I would dearly like to live the rest of my life in peace and tranquillity without worrying that the end of the world is not just nigh, it might even be, for heaven's sake, next week! I've been feeling like that ever since I was conscious of more than just my toys. Don't I, don't we, deserve a bit of peace now?
Okay, rant over, and I promise I'll be good and cheerful next time....yes I will...