Tuesday, 07 June 2016

Dialogue with god Hi, how ya doin? Not so bad thanks, same as always I guess. As I’m eternal, it’s not all relative. And obviously as I’m omniscient I already know how you’re doing, so it would be insincere of me to ask. I say, this instant messaging is pretty cool. How can I help? It’s this European referendum business… Ah yes, I noticed unusual levels of antagonism. What some of the young angels call ‘bad vibes’. Well as you know I don’t believe in you - it's nothing personal - so this may come across as a little cheeky... we all have our weaknesses… Is that so? …but I was wondering, with all that bountiful munificence and stuff… Yes …whether it could be, er, arranged, so to speak… Yes … in the interests of the future of humanity… if that is something you’d like to see, well, furthered, so to speak… ? … would it be possible Yes … er, arranged I mean, for Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, after 23 June, to be sent permanently into that Wilderness place we heard about - or sooner if it suits you..? I see what you’re getting at. That’s the problem with omniscience, I can’t not see what you’re getting at. … there to perish in excruciating, never-ending, multiplied-medieval sandpaper-under-the-foreskin agony which could be publicly viewed universally in high definition, freely available on all channels anywhere in the galaxy at any point in history? It’s not too much to ask is it? I’m afraid it is. Well, not afraid exactly, I don’t qualify for fear, that’s a figure of speech. You made an assumption about my interest in the future of humanity. (Damn!) I’m god, I created the world, I can’t have this species crawling all over it messing things up for many more millennia. I suppose you think Johnson and Gove are the beginning of the end do you? Well, you’re right. And I’ve still got Trump up my sleeve. Ha. OMG. So there’s nothing to be done? No. God help us. No.
Get out of that without moving Thoughts on individual action and collective interests On no, what have we done? We were so angry, we just… We did what?? You mean, we fecked up the future of our country for our kids and their kids?? Just like that? How the heck did we do that? We didn’t realise, I mean… And messed things up for the rest of Europe too? Ooh. Ooh dear. Just wanted to have a go at those Westminster types, that’s all. There seems to be some substance in the analysis that concludes that many voters felt disenfranchised and chose ‘Leave’ to express their sense of disconnection from the establishment. (I don’t know if it is true, as suggested in various places, that these were predominantly older people in middle and low income areas. Do I hear the sound of Zimmer-frames, incontinence pads and false teeth being thrown out of prams?) They have at the same time, whoops, voted for a dire future for themselves. This is not just collective self-harm on a spectacular scale, it also perversely and unjustly condemns young people and subsequent generations. It’s ‘profoundly irresponsible’ as one young man said among several other insightful remarks on The World This Weekend today (from about 48 mins). The force of a protest vote can look rather unfortunate when the issue is your country’s future. It leaves a lot of residual anger towards the people who distorted the reality of issues for their own interest in power, essentially in pursuit of some laughably quaint notion of ‘sovereignty’; and for the leading politicians over a couple of decades who allowed this situation to arise. So we are left with the hard-to-deny accusation that we are a nation dominated by racists, who by definition are stupid (that seems to have been one of the most widely-used words in commentary since Friday morning). As for democracy, well it’s been pulled and pushed around a bit lately. The extraordinary scenes of the sit-in at the US Congress have provided a focal point for the tensions between individual interests (the right to carry a gun) and collective interests (er, what about random massacres?) giving rise to the apparent need to try and twist the rules for the latter views to be heard. Here in the UK there are also attempts to twist the rules – or rather, in this case, agree them post hoc. Many voices have lamented the poverty of the referendum process: what a way to demonstrate that turning from representative to plebiscite democracy maybe doesn’t work on such a scale or with such a historically resonating issue. Or was it such a big issue? I certainly thought so; but the turnout was only 72 per cent, so more than a quarter of Brits either couldn’t be bothered or didn’t think it affected them. Christ what a country. The principle that people vote in their own economic interest seems to have been trumped (I shudder to use that word) by fear of the Other. But the...

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