Well, it is a crazy world we live in isn't it?. We like to think we are free people, but it should be obvious to most people that we are not free at all. We are free to be subservient to the state and the mechanics of the world, we are free in the way of a sense of proportion to more brutal regimes around the world, we are of course free in comparison to prisoners.
However, thanks to the mad-house of nation destroying "progressive" politics, thanks to the daily grind of life, taxes, obligations, responsibilities, it can at times feel like we are bonded into a form of slavery until the day we die. Cattle being milked until we are past producing age, then discarded or carried off to the slaughterhouse. Number 078945865457, your time is up.
Looking around at random news articles, it feels like things are only going to get worse too.
Maybe it is just me and just a part of getting older, but the good times seems to have gone. I have it easy in this life, I know this and I even feel quite guilty over it at times (even though I have worked hard all of my life so far) - however, I think that there are many people like myself who are not really living at all, just existing, even though we may have some money to fall back on and relatively salubrious immediate surroundings.
It is more an emptiness and beleaguered existence which I am describing, where there is a part of the soul missing, where society no longer reflects any resemblance to what you recognise, where nothing much seems to matter any more because things have just "changed" - the ground beneath the whole country has literally moved, the things around you take on a different meaning, it feels different, it sounds different, the people have changed, attitudes have changed - and all the things which are still recognisable suddenly take on the guise of a poorly made stage set backdrop upon closer inspection.
The real deal (to me) seems to have been sold off and discarded - the fake front has taken over to give the impression that there is still a show to be had. Those of us in the know realise that it is all a charade and a pantomime now - but others around us just like the show anyway, don't really see what has changed in real terms and do not care whether the metaphorical trees are real or just painted onto canvas. It looks like it's real, it serves a purpose for the duration of the show, 'so what on Earth is the problem?', they say?
Do we simply join in and take part in the spectacle shouting "He's behind you!" and feign having a good time because that's what having a good time is now all about? - or do we sit there with our arms folded saying it is all complete nonsense and wondering what the hell is wrong with everybody?.
In addition to this charade side of life, I think we have a creeping totalitarianism to enforce uniformity on us all. It is all done with the "best intentions" of course, with what seem to be "reasoned" necessities which are hard for most to argue against.
Life feels to be ever more "packaged up" from birth to death, decisions made for us, thoughts made for us, actions decided for us, laws to govern compliance so that we may as well be being turned out by the score from a factory and shrink wrapped on delivery. We may be churned out as individual products, but we are packaged all into the same kind of boxes. It is seemingly the same in all developed nations today.
Such is the chaos being sown in our once relatively organised countries, there is ever more need to "comply" to something or other that is alien to our traditional sense of self in order to keep the peace.
Living cheek by jowl with so many separate identifiable groups has given birth to a self imposed and state enforced soft totalitarianism of the body and mind. Piece by piece we are chipped away into having to go along with things, or face the consequences - whether that be guilt, ostracism or even arrest for having a thought or emotion!
We all have to do things from time to time which we are uncomfortable with, but we do not say anything because we have to be seen to be "adult" and "above all that nonsense". The polite face has to go on, the situation has to be dealt with. Surely I am not alone in this.
We are now in the predicument of having to "go along with it" because there is no other choice available. But does that make the situation comfortable and natural? - not really. Not in my personal experience anyway. What we do on the face of it, and how we feel about things inside can be very different. Does this explain a certain chasm between what people say and what people really think about what is happening to the country as a whole? Is politeness literally killing us?
For a society which we are told is "welcoming", "happy" and "vibrantly diverse" - where "everyone gets along with other aside from the fascists and racists" - there isn't half a lot of new legislation and totalitarianism emerging and an endless "drive" to stamp out this or that way of thinking to keep a lid on the pressure cooker.
That's what I believe we are in, a pressure cooker. Different ingredients have all been thrown into the same pan with the desire of making a tasty stew - but elements are volatile to each other and at the end of the day (if it does not explode) when it is served on the plate it will all taste the same no matter which part of it you eat. It would be much tastier to have the ingredients separately steamed so that the full flavour of life can be tasted at various places of the plate.
In the meantime though, the heat is on, and the pressure cooker lid is being locked down tight to simmer on a slow boil.
To follow from the earlier analogy, anyone who dare point out that the trees are painted on and that the ugly looking woman is actually a man in a costume - thus spoiling the show for the rest of the audience (who kind of know this already, but choose to ignore it) - are to be ejected from the civic hall of life..."The show must go on, daaarlings!".
The last battleground of liberty and freedom of thought - the internet - is probably going to be the next target on the conformity list. It will probably not come all at once, but will slide in piece by piece.
The follow up to this article will deal with some of my (albeit paranoid) issues on this specific aspect of the internet.
Are we at risk of being ejected from this virtual civic hall too? Perhaps it will come, perhaps it won't, but are we watching out for it?