And now there is another one gone, George Michael. I was never a fan, although in retrospect A different corner and Last Christmas are surprisingly insightful songs. I’m still reeling from Bowie, personally, but it has seemed like a particularly bad year for talented people popping their cloggs.
What is interesting is what comes next…. All the, “why doesn’t this person die instead of that one?” “Why are Putin, Trump, George Osborne, Iain Duncan Smith still breathing whilst Prince is not?” I’m still heartbroken about the deaths of Terry Pratchett and Iain Banks the year before and Christmas was even more hollow than usual for their latest books not being under the tree. The world though is quite clearly not fair, in fact, if anything, it is geared towards actually being unfair.
I sat in my favourite cafe today, looking out of the window at the beautiful sunshine on a winter’s day. Looking at the calm sea and the cloudless sky, you would be hard pressed to imagine that anything awful could happen anywhere but it does. From the current, dare I say trendy, attrocities in allepo to the sweatshops of China, India and the Asian subcontinent, the persecution in Tibet and the grinding poverty, well….. pretty much everywhere, terrible and unfair things happen all the time through the whole of the world.
It’s no secret that if you have money, you will make money. Poor people are more likely to have their utilities provided using expensive key metres, to forced to use more expenses forms of lending such as credit cards, store cards and payday loans. Even if they get into higher education, they will not then be able to take unpaid internships and get their foot in the door in the more lucrative areas of employment once they have their qualifications. It goes back a lot further than that, from the public school system to the old boys network, through the guilds and back as far as fuedalism, nothing has been fair, ever.
Invariably, whenever anyone tries to make things fairer in any form, it is either met with so much friction that it grinds to a halt or the actions become so diluted as to be of no use whatsoever. Vanity, self interest, egos and narrowness of thought claim most good deeds in the end. Good intentions disappear in the white noise of committee.
Robert Smith of the Cure (56 and not dead) wrote a rather wonderful song on the lesser know Bloodflowers album, before they became trendy again, called Where The Birds Always Sing, it was actually knicked from a book by Iain Banks (still dead although I did try swapping him for Dan effing Brown) called The Business. I can’t actually listen to the song anymore as it is too upsetting. It explains perfectly everything that the world isn’t and to expect precisely nothing from it, a sad but perfect bit of sentiment.
Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not suggesting that anyone gives up, just please be aware if you plan to make anything better, that you will meet opposition and distraction every inch of the way. Because… Nothing is fair. I point out the unfairness of things all the time, not because that is all I see but in the hope that it will stem the tide in some way. It’s important to acknowledge the good things in life but we really don’t need to worry about them. I would like to do more, I would like to list every bully, every hypocrite, every narcissist, in fact every person and thing that makes the world a worse place but if I don’t watch it I would end up becoming the bad guy myself. As is often the way, when you fight monsters you often become one.
So what can we do? I can’t drag Bowie from his grave and throw Tony Blair in instead (and besides he was cremated), I can’t burn down the hall where all the local loud mouths and show offs will be having their New Year’s bash with them inside it, however tempting. I can’t force Donald Trump to work in unregulated Mexican car plant where all the women end up getting birth defects from the plastics used. What I can do is get up and do something nice each day and hope it catches on. You never know it might just work… Maybe a few people might try doing the same, set a trend.