“Utopian” describes a society that’s conceived to be perfect. Dystopian is the exact opposite — it describes an imaginary society that is as dehumanizing and as unpleasant as possible.
I got in my head this week the concept of us living in an age that is the prequel to a film called Logan’s Run made in the 1960’s about a utopian society for young adolescents where no one over the age of 21 exists and those left just have fun. It made me think about where society is at present and where we could be heading to without world beating cure for Covid-19.
It’s all well and good for Trump to be injecting himself with regeneron antibody drug that have been developed with cells derived from an aborted fetus but as for the rest of the world, we will just have to wait in line to see if the global pandemic can come up with a global cure and solution.
Exeter’s student population has rocketed with covid-19 since the new term started, the uni in exeter is in the top 10 places in England with diagnosed rates of covid-19, partly due to mixing, meeting and greating of students. Partly due to how little it impacts on the youth and partly because when people go to university they expect to have fun and mix and how uncool must those that are trying to follow the rules look to those that that don’t give a damn.
Also you kind of wonder with those that don’t care or give a damn about whether they do or don’t spread covid-19 are saying a huge F-You to the world that they are looking to inherit and the people they meet within it. Admittedly many students are trying to social distance themselves and play by whatever rules the government has announced this week.
But for those that choose to disobey the rules while intoxicated well it just goes to show, people loose there inhibitions when they get drunk and Covid-19 loves the loosing of them there inhibitions.
Well as I write this I am still very grateful that I am still here and have not caught Covid-19, or any other major health issue from the hurt locker yet! And as you read this I hope you are well too.
Not left Devon since December 2019 and even when I do make it away I take the ever so little leap to the county next door to visit my mum for her birthday. We make it out to a Farm called Travaskis that serve amazing food which I have not been to before where we treat ourselves to a lovely meal.
There was going to be a new Covid-19 announcement made by Boris when I was in Cornwall and so was not 100% sure how long I would be allowed to stay and wanted to get back to Exeter to have a little break on my own and also catch up with some people and places in Exeter too.
I also had my annual GP appointment where the doctor tells me how much weight I have gained and also whether I have been diagnosed with Diabetes yet. They are doing no diabetes tests this year though and luckily I have only gained about 2 kg so considering all the cakes I have eaten during lock down it’s not too bad. I think the walk to the cake shops helped a little. I also went to Specsavers and picked up my first pair of reading glasses since I was about 5 years old. I had some glasses when I was a child to correct my sight and managed to avoid having another set up until now.
So they have now announced that they are going to shut all pubs at 10pm each night. I must admit some of my favourite joys this year have been catching up with people in some of the local pubs in Exeter although I miss my friends that I used to drink with pre lockdown at the Angel Bar.
Well where to start. Like all cities, towns and places people call home Exeter, Devon in the UK, has taken a bit of a beating this year. Shops shut, people staying at home and all that Jazz. As for me on the other hand I’m now working in the city again that I love to call home, at the heart of the city council in for want of a better word a pandemic planning room.
I work now for the environmental health team answering phone calls and emails for the team directing them to where they need to go to or sometimes I am even able to answer the questions myself.
Business is booming in the office lots of environmentally unhealthy things to deal with, listen to, act on and treat. Though I don’t really want to or cannot go into too much detail because the calls we take emails we get and things we act upon are all really related to people’s lives and are personal to them and strictly confidential!
So during this pandemic when most people are stopping going into the city, I on the other hand turn about face and do the opposite. I sometimes catch a bus to the city centre, sometimes walk (less than I should), sometimes stop in a bar for a beer on the way home (possibly more than I should under a pandemic year but less than I would in a normal year).
I go out to a bar about twice a week and this feels too much like I am taking my life in my own hands with regard to the potential picking up of Covid-19. I am very overweight have a borderline diabeties diagnosis and am nearly mid 40’s so I am not exactly in the young and just passing it on bracket of the pandemic population.
Though I do think that if I get used to not socialising I might permanently not go out. I instead continue to go out and love doing so more for company really than Guinness. I don’t drink at home and still love to meet people and watch punters when sitting in a local bar. My social lockdown beer drinking acquaintances have been one of the joys of this year.
My original group of socialising friends that I used to drink with in a local pub has really gone tits up though. Some are social isolating, some have had mini meltdowns, and others like me are just getting on and making the most of it. Our little group were like ten pin bowls knocked down very quickly by the bowling ball that is Covid-19.
My favourite drinking den and social outlet is still in lockdown as are some of my favourite people. It feels like we might be just about 9 months away still from returning to what I would love to call normal.
A normal Wednesday night for me was when the biggest dilemma might be heading back from the bar after having bought another pint of Guinness, while listening to some tunes from a local musician playing a guitar and waiting to find out whether I had the luxury of sitting in a seat or had to face the slightly more uncomfortable situation of stand up in the outside smoking area. Now I have not had a cigarette for what must be nearly 10 years now and have not missed those pesky nicotine sticks either, but it’s still socially preferential to stand or sit out with the smokers because that’s where all the cool cats hang out in the local pub.
What was once normal I now crave like a nicotine junkie waiting for his next inhalation of a smoke!
So week three into the new job it’s going well lots to learn and lots I still don’t know. I work mostly on the phones and then try to book in what the callers need or take the callers’ information down so that another member of staff can sought out their question for them. A part of me is thinking I am mad to start a new job during covid-19 lockdown wackiness and another part of me knows I would have been even crazier not to.
Back in March I was only sleeping about 2-3 hours a night and I was absolutely wired into finding out all the latest shenanigans in the news, in my head and about life in general were. Working at home at the time was the perfect time to kind of have a blow out and over do things a tad mentally. Now on the other side of that I’m on full battery recharge mode with most evenings and weekends I am snoozing at any given opportunity whilst attempting to top up lost sleep vouchers.
One of the rare gifts of this pandemic has been having the chance to reach out or have people reach out to me from past and present, new and old friends and that has been some of my favourite times.
For those that reached out to me I am very grateful and I hope to those that I have reached out to that they appreciated it too.
Tonight I had a real need to reach out so been phoning some friends and family seeing how they are. Most are doing ok in a lockdown kind of way. But still 9 months or more of this, well thats a might long time in any stretch of the imagination.
The UK Government has a quirky way to not dealing with a pandemic, first telling us to go home and trust the government while bucket loads of UK citizens die and now telling us to come out and spend, spend, spend so we continue to pay for the economy crawling forward on its belly prior to part two of this little smeg show continuing to unfold.
Well I hope you are well wherever you are reading this from and your God or Gods are smiling down on you. I hope we make it to the other side.
So many stupidly horribly wrong things going on in the world at the beating heart of all great powers across the world right now, by allegedly wiser people than us common folk.
Trump in USA is in denial about Covid-19 and still refuses to wear a mask, maybe it will cause his makeup to run. Putin the wannabe Tsar of Russia is busy stitching up, yet more elections for himself, the man is poison. Xi Jinping in China has decided not only is the principle of free speech and democracy no longer relevant to his own citizens in China but it is now decreed that Hong Kong has lost the right to free speech, self determination and other vaules that make us mere mortals feel safe to sleep at night.
I sometimes fear or question Gods sincerity towards us puny humans. Or think that he has a deeply wicked sense of humour with which humanity is either the butt of the joke or the punch line. My point being Putin and Xi ridicule democracy as a failed way of working because the result being you get a Donald Trump in power a TV host who has now gotten so board of the job of President even he has now stopped reading his own tweets due to the piss poor job he is doing.
Putin on the other hand is a state sponsored gangster. He knows he is a hardcore fucknutt who cares about no one but himself and how long he can personally stay in power. His so called democracy is a sham. He knows it, we know it and those that vote for him know in to power know it to. He genuinely gives the impression that he is holding on long enough for the Russian state to invent immortality for their Russian Puttiny Tsar. Once he declares himself immortal he will probably decide that even then Russia no longer needs to believe in democratic rule of law either. There is no line Putin won’t cross no, no deed he won’t do in order to remain in power. The recent reports of the Russian state sanctioning paying of the Taliban in order to kill US soldiers is only one example of the depravity of the man that is Putin.
Xi Jinping has also from today decreed that anyone in Honk Kong wishing to advocate through peaceful process the right to have democracy and free rule from China is now likely to risk being sentenced to life in prison. What an absolute bastard of a man. The amount of so called well educated state apologists actually having the gaul to stand up and defend this nonsense on TV today was astonishing.
So these three super powered stooges are the most powerful humans on earth with a trigger happy finger on a nuclear button. I hold more compassion in my little finger than they have shown to their fellow citizens since the time they came to office. The Self-interest that existed within these three souls on this earth who though marked for greatness in the eyes of our world and for the potential good they could do for all because of the positions of power and responsibility that they find themselves occupying is simply squandered and wasted in their hands and their ancestors must be turning over in their graves. Like I said near the beginning of this little post God must have a wicked sense of humour!
Well as I write this its 18:10 and my brain in the last few days has become more silent. I am not saying that less horrible things are happening in this world or that I could not quickly find something terrible to tell you or terribly good for that matter.
But as for my ability or will to write about them now has diminished (for now). I have been working in my day job since lock down and am due to start my new job on the 13th July.
I have been preparing for this next chapter of my life. By walking into the city, shopping in the city and wearing my mask when I get the bus. But throughout all this preparation my will and ability to express myself on here has decreased.
It would be nice if the job goes well, covid-19 is defeated and politicians do the right thing by the whole of humanity and not just for their own pockets of supporters or potential supporters. I tend to criticise those in power the most because they are ultimately the ones that can actually save lives and make sh*t happen. The ones out of power are just peeing in the wind waiting for their next chance to get into office normally or at least that is how it seems to work in the UK from a shallow perspective.
I hope if you have got this far in reading this that you are well and continue to be well. I really have enjoyed writing every darn word and if you get bored anytime I dare you to look over old posts there is a lot of my heart and soul that has gone into making this thing.
I will try and continue to post on here but like I say my mind has become more silent of late and I don’t yet know what that means but it feels like a positive necessity to heal or recharge my batteries.
My brother had a supernatural gift in that he could see spirits of people and his pet animals that had one time lived on earth. This was fascinating for him and he along with others became a ghost detective with one of the purposes was to film and prove the existence of ghosts and spirits to others.
He had his own spirit guide that was a Native American, who used to guide and assist my brother in life and I hope they are still connected somehow now my brother is dead. I have looked below for some simple perspectives of a spirit guide.
A spirit guide, in western spiritualism, is an entity that remains as a disincarnate spirit to act as a guide or protector to a living incarnated human being.
According to theosophical doctrine, spirit guides are not always of human descent. Some spirit guides live as energy, in the cosmic realm, or as light beings, which are very high level spirit guides. Some spirit guides are persons who have lived many former lifetimes, paid their karmic debts, and advanced beyond a need to reincarnate. Many devotees believe that spirit guides are chosen on “the other side” by human beings who are about to incarnate and wish assistance.
Some early modern Spiritualists did not favor the idea of spirit guides. Spiritualist author and medium E.W. Wallis, writing in A Guide to Mediumship and Psychic Unfoldment, expressed the opinion that the notion of spirit guides is disempowering and disrespectful to both spirits and living people. Although he does not deny that seeking people may be helped by spirits here and there, he decries the idea that said spirits are appointed or assigned to do nothing but help the living. He advises would-be mediums to steer clear of the notion that they are being “guided” unless they have demonstrable proof that such is the case.
My Spirit Guide?
I once had a dream (about 10 years or more ago) which I found awesome. The dream of a giant polar bear and I was staring at it in fascination and it was staring right back at me. I was fascinated and curious about it and it had what I thought were the same feelings about me. We were both looking at each other as if to say “what are you doing here?”
At the time I was particularly interested in spirit guides and had a feeling that it was my spirit guide come to say hello to me. It feels on a basic level kind of right. I am a loner, there are many layers and secrets I keep between me and God and so to see an animal that is in its environment a loner too I real felt a stong connection. With the connection to a changing or dying landscape with my environmental concerns and passions that also felt right.
Omnipresence means all-present. This term means that God is capable of being everywhere at the same time. It means his divine presence encompasses the whole of the universe. There is no location where he does not inhabit.
Therefore there is no lie you can create, no version of events that you can describe that divine truth will not see through.
I struggle to comprehend what makes a righteous religious person justify death, deceit and betrayal. Though in the eyes of the son of god your sins are forgiven as a Christian you still have the chance to choose not to make decision that cause death, deceit and betrayal to others.
We are not bound by the sins of our ancestors and I hope we are given the opportunity within our lives to take responsibility for our own actions and leave this world a better place than the one from once we came.
When we leave our mother’s womb we all enter into this world as refugees to earth. Having never lived here in the time and space in which we find ourselves as refugees to our earthly home we hope to be welcomed and given an opportunity to not just exist but to do so with purpose and meaning.
Trump gives his supporters liberty while Covid-19 gives them death! If you are still alive after this butchers little escapade please don’t vote him back into office (I’m refering to Trump of course as Death has yet to stand as the President of the USA!)
At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, denial was the default response from the political right. Donald Trump derided it as a “hoax”. Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro scorned the “hysteria” over a “little flu”. In Italy, Matteo Salvini urged people to go on holiday, in defiance of social distancing advice from the World Health Organisation.
The denial has often been tacit. While coronavirus spread across India, Narendra Modi was silent for weeks. The British government argued that the risk of the virus to the UK was “low”, and declined to prepare for lockdown or to implement a full programme of testing, tracing and isolation.
Most governments now reject Covid-19 denialism. Nonetheless, it has inspired far-right groups, and sparked protests against lockdowns, from Michigan to Melbourne.
Why was denialism the reflex of the nationalist right? It makes commercial sense for the Koch family – billionaire libertarians threatened by a more regulated capitalism – to be against the suspension of economic life. But it is not the obvious position for authoritarian, anti-immigrant nationalists to take. The pandemic demands unprecedented restrictions, border controls and surveillance. It offers popularity to any government that takes control of the situation.
Indeed, before the pandemic, nationalists thrived on a fantasy of catastrophe: “white genocide”, immigration “invasion”, “communist” takeover. But faced with a real disaster, they have stumbled.
This is not for want of human enemies to scapegoat. Epidemics are fecund ground for conspiracism. In the Middle Ages, disease was blamed on Jews. In the 19th century, it was blamed on elites. In early American outbreaks of Spanish flu in 1918, rumours blamed it on a German plot. Today, it is Chinese people.
But far from cohering against a new enemy, the hard right is incoherent. Trump swerves between disinformation and exhortations to “liberate” states under lockdown. Boris Johnson urges people to return to work – without explaining how this can be done safely – all the while enforcing lockdown and continuing furlough schemes. Even Bolsonaro is sounding more petulant than defiant. Challenged by the media about Brazil’s soaring death rates, he huffs: “So what? What do you want me to do?”
This incoherence is only partly hidden by Covid-19 jingoism – the invocation of warlike nationalism to fight the pandemic.
Denial is often a form of affirmation. Alongside those who belittle the seriousness of the pandemic are those who admit it’s serious, but suggest that we die for the economy anyway. As Bolsonaro put it, “I’m sorry, some people will die, they will die, that’s life. You can’t stop a car factory because of traffic deaths.”
There have been subtler versions of this argument. Johnson never asked us to die for capitalism. But his government did urge the nation to “take [Covid-19] on the chin” while the medical evidence suggested that such insouciance could kill 500,000 people. The government initially refused to shut schools, citing the claim that a four-week closure would cut 3 per cent off GDP growth.
As Bolsonaro’s example suggests, governments routinely trade off lives for economic growth. Why stop now? This contemporary denialism is ideologically similar to the social Darwinism and class contempt that, as the historian Richard J Evans shows in Death in Hamburg, led to 10,000 deaths in 19th-century Hamburg from an outbreak of cholera.
But the desire to end the lockdown for economic reasons does not explain another significant right-wing trend. This is the emergence of the so-called “Branch Covidians” – those cultish figures on the American right risking death for “liberty” – who are protesting lockdowns.
There is a tendency to dismiss anti-lockdown gatherings as campaigns entirely bought and procured by rich businessmen. In the US, this idea has some truth. Denialists, 5G conspiracists, Trump fan-clubs, evangelicals and militias have enjoyed the financial backing of the American Legislative Exchange Council and even elements of the Trump White House.
In some respects, this anti-lockdown coalition resembles the ultra-conservative, anti-establishment Tea Party movement, which also received lobby money. The slogans, equating social distancing with communism, recall the paranoid vigilantism of that earlier movement. The threats to journalists, and calls to “hang” Anthony Fauci (head of the US’s coronavirus task force) recall its violent rhetoric.
However, the lockdown protesters are acting out of their own convictions. As the Harvard-based sociologist Theda Skocpol has argued, the nationalist far right is a grassroots affair. When rich patrons offer financial support, their role is to mobilise existing networks of activists.
But the concerns of lockdown protesters are not the same as their sponsors. They care less about the economy, as the New York Times delicately put it, than about “ideology”: a polite term for the toxic stew of racism and conspiracism underpinning the movement.
The desire to end lockdowns and restart economies has brought the far right and neoliberals together. This intellectual and political alliance is based on a deep suspicion of “society”; or what the political theorist Wendy Brown calls “sociophobia”. It is why, according to the anti-lockdown slogan, “social distancing = communism”, because social distancing represents a form of social solidarity.
The coalition of Covid-19 denial remains limited. Most nationalist voters support lockdown. But that could change. Test results suggest that only a small number of people around the world have been infected by coronavirus. That means more waves of infection are likely, and therefore further lockdowns. Every month of lockdown cuts growth, adds to unemployment and risks industrial scarring.
Many people are struggling, with little support. On the nationalist right, some of the ingredients are already there for back-to-work denialism. Unless a new economic model is found, the risk is that life under the pandemic will supply the rest.
Richard Seymour is a writer, broadcaster and activist. His latest book is The Twittering Machine (Indigo Press)
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So work for this planet like its the only one we have, becasue it is. Every little positive step is a step in the right direction. Think fair, shop fair, act fair. Support the local, act global define what is your normal.
White Buffalo Calf Woman (Lakȟótiyapi: Ptesáŋwiŋ) or White Buffalo Maiden is a sacred woman of supernatural origin, central to the Lakota religion as the primary cultural prophet. Oral traditions relate that she brought the “Seven Sacred Rites” to the Lakota people.
Buffalo are considered sacred to many of the Plains nations, who often consider them linked to creation, medicine and bringers of sacred messages from the ancestors.