I took a vacation from twitter a fortnight ago and today I dipped my toe in only to be sucked into the void that's known as reality these days.
I sincerely doubt I'll forget this time but I wanted to write all the same.
A quick precursor: this post includes bad language and serious topics, so, my kids in particular, please don't read this, come talk to us.
A quick look around and this is where we're at:
- We have a conservative government that's blindly lead us out of the EU (which we don't want)
- A government led by a person who skipped out on meetings to prepare us for a potential pandemic
- A pandemic
- A fucking pandemic, like, in those computer games where the world goes to shit and people start eating each other, but in reality and people aren't eating each other, but instead they're dying
- In the UK we've been under lockdown for the last 11 weeks
- I'm getting tubby (again), it's my forking DNA, it loves preserving fat cell in case global warming dumps us in a deeply cold climate (which frankly is entirely possible)
- I've put my shoes on twice in 11 weeks
- US Police brutality against black and people of colour has triggered nationwide (and actually worldwide) unrest and protest - in fact, "Police brutality" is just a clever avoidance of the fact that the police are murdering black folk. It's disgusting. It's unforgivable. It's deep, deep, racism that's ever present and… and… I've no fucking words…
- Women are treated like shit, still, decades after the women right's movements (that said, we still have huge problems with racism so it's hardly surprising)
- I don't know how adults aren't incredibly sad or incredibly angry all the fucking time - I know that if I scratch under the rather thin surface that's what's sitting there for me.
I've seen a few posts of "what a week", but this isn't just one week. "This week" is the culmination of decades and decades and centuries of persecution. Persecution towards anyone who didn't look, let's be honest, like a white man.
I wouldn't ever call myself racist, but I know, when I examine closely that I've been racist. I wouldn't call myself sexist, but, again, I know I have been. I have been because it never occurred to me, because I've never been in that situation. That in itself is mind bogglingly fucked up. I get a free pass in life by total fluke.
I'm a white guy, born in britain, middle-class enough, working in tech, with privilege left right and centre. I am the problem, it's on us (not the pandemic, but frankly it seems like the pandemic is just the planet's way of telling us something's a little more than fucked).
I do have personal and professional ways that I can help make positive change, but good lord it feels like a piddle in the ocean.
So, this week, people protest on the streets for equality, to be treated fairly and not in fear - because…human rights, right? This week we sit in our homes, not visiting friends, not getting hair cuts, not doing anything unless vital and we wait to hear that the pandemic is on the decline.
More importantly, to me, this week, we talked (again) to our (white) kids to about racism, about sexism, about hate and fear. That, so far this week, is the best I've managed.
I hope this time ends. I hope we return to a new normality. One where racism and sexism is thrown out in the open and ridiculed for the shameful attitude that it is. I hope those people in power suddenly wake up better people, not driven by their own selfish money and power hungry needs.
You might also find my ethos collection page useful or interesting.