Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Other people writing interesting things

I'm finding it hard to dredge up the energy or enthusiasm to blog about anything very much at the moment. That just means that I'm feeling a bit stale and uninspired. It doesn't mean that I think nothing interesting is happening out there, or that nobody has anything interesting to say about what's happening, as I will go on to prove:

Exhibit A - As Barbra Streisand didn't quite sing, People who hate people / Are the luckiest people in the world. Not only are self-important bigots lucky enough to enjoy the pre-emptive self-censorship of an ever-accommodating  deputy prime minister who'll bend over backwards rather than cause them a moment's discomfort, or the tiniest jot or tittle of offence, but, thanks to the European Convention on Human Rights, they're entitled to their day in court to explain exactly why they think their right to discriminate against other people is more important than other people's right not to be discriminated against.  The best of luck with that one, guys.

Exhibit B - Rather less lucky and well-respected are Britain's poor. You know they've got it bad when even the Daily Mail finds the language routinely being used to scapegoat the powerless 'vile and dehumanising'. Sadly, such compassion cuts little ice with the loose coalition of looters and free market jihadists currently dominating the ideological battlefield, whose only discernible reaction is to indignantly deny the existence of 'real' poverty in Britain. From this basic premise it is very simple to prove that the existence of desperate people relying on Britain's growing food bank sector is merely the product of a deranged imagination.

Exhibit C - Speaking of looters, our glorious new health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has come under the scrutiny of Dr √Čoin Clarke. In case you missed it: Jeremy Hunt lobbied NHS officials to hand 7 hospitals over to Richard Branson, and Jeremy Hunt to force NHS to sell 912 services this year as Virgin's 350 profit clinics stand ready to pounce. This health secretary gig has been a step up for Hunt in more ways than one. Not only does health trump culture in the inter-departmental food chain, but he gets to be seen as the bagman for the fresher, cuddlier face of the predatory plutocracy, rather than gofer for its its wrinklier, rather less appealing face.

Exhibit D - A popular historian takes a look at Islam's founding stories and concludes that the religion's origins were more nuanced, incremental and subject to revision and editing than the heroic foundation myth would suggest. He's a good-natured academic, 'almost painfully concerned to stress his respectful attitude and good intentions' and has debated politely with his critics. Cue the boringly predictable outbreak of frothing and threats from the 'look-at-me-I'm-offended-now' crowd.

All quite interesting, but also rather depressing. It might be this all-enveloping air of doom and gloom that's robbing me of the urge to blog at the moment. Perhaps the answer is to ignore the news for a bit, or to get properly angry about it (the alternative to anger being apathy, depression and disillusion), or to pan for nuggets of good news, or just to direct my attention to life's odd, less travelled byways. Alternatively, I could shut up altogether, although fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your point of view), I've a stubborn streak that disinclines me from depriving the world (or a miniscule portion of the poulation thereof) of the benefit of my opinions.