Of late, I’ve been called somewhat indolent. Mostly because I’ve not been in an incandescent rage (enough to put me into spontaneous combustion) over the Olympics and the corporate sponsorship that’s gone with it. But, so what? Its two weeks out of my life, that I can take or leave. There has been no ‘in my face’ corporate logos at any of the sporting events (as opposed say, to football), the Opening Ceremony was a vindication of everything good about GB. I’ve not been to any of it, so the horror of having only Cadbury’s/Coke/McDonald’s food forced down my throat has passed me by and I realise that without any sponsorship the Olympics would have died soon after Montreal.
But over this and other things, according to social media, I should be readying for armed revolution. Problem is, like Khan, it keeps missing the target.
I used to work for a very big company that in the last few months has received a lot of bad press for its recruiting methods. Yet, the people I worked with were all good team-mates who worked hard (especially in the sector we were), for a pretty decent living wage with management who (mostly) knew the value of a good worker – in that they left you alone if you knew what you were doing.
It had it faults sure, like all big companies you lose your way now and then. But the level of insults thrown their way, and the insinuation that because you work in the retail sector you must be thick as pigshit (and when did it become such an insult to work in retail? At one time the shopkeeper was a pillar of the community, now it’s nothing but “a fuckin’ McJob” (and I also know that catering – even in Fast Food places – is bloody hard work)) did not reflect the reality on the ground. But that doesn’t make for clickable (and revenue) headlines.
Look, the Tories are not all in a dungeon somewhere, cackling evilly whilst dismantling the NHS or Welfare State. The modern Labour party will always be more than happy that someone else has to clean up their dirty work. The Lib Dems will always be a “damned if they do, damned if they don’t” party. All party manifestos are nothing but promises and should have a caveat in them saying so. We don’t live in a Big Brother state; newspaper reporters are not all scum; the police are not all useless and murderers; not all bankers are shit-swilling wankers; not everyone unemployed is a workshy scrounger; both extreme left and right-wing are loony-tunes; the Olympics have been great and refuted the gold winning whinging that went before them.
But going around the social media and comment boards you wouldn’t know this. Most people think that the sky is falling and gravitate to places that tell the “right sort of lies” then go no further, happy in their cocooned world.
The sun will rise tomorrow and set, the Earth will still go around it. We think we’re living in the worst of times simply because we are living it now. But I can guarantee that a couple of hundred years ago, someone else thought that times were bad and a couple of hundred years from now someone else will also think the same. That’s because we are human beings and to do so is to be human.
It’s good to get an honest form of anger and try to change things, but what I see now isn’t that. It’s the kind of anger that sees a personal way of life threatened and that, at its root, is nothing more than selfishness.
Do I believe that things like power, water, transport should always be in the purview of government? Yes – but that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten what it was like during the Sixties and Seventies when they were. Too many people have and too many young activists today have heard nothing but second-hand rants and hand-me-down raves about “Thatch” and the evil Tories.
The human race does need to break away from the current form of political, economic and social model it has now. But here’s the kicker for anyone wanting to try and something to always remember – that no matter what you bring forth, someone is going to get hurt. And it’s not necessarily going to be the people you think it should.