The Blog

Solitary, Poor, Nasty, Brutish and Short

Funny thing about grief is it hits you in waves; some days you can be tootling along quite happily then a smell, or a memory hits you, and yes this is quite embarrassing in public when you burst into tears.

I haven't felt like writing for the last few months and I apologise in advance to anyone? Who may have read my blog and was looking forward to my ramblings; she says laughing quite loudly inside.

Obviously blog writers are two a penny it would seem; even though some of us may have dreams of being 'proper' journalists one day. Since my days of reading Dickens I have always wanted to be able to discuss the world as I see it, I find human beings endlessly fascinating. And what a great time to do it, when it seems to me human nature; even though we have gone through the great industrial revolution, sent men to the moon, suffrage, world wars and the X Factor, we are still as Hobbes so succinctly suggested living in a world that has "no arts: no letters: no society: and which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death: and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short".

So we may live longer these days, some may not be living in fear of violent death, others may have reached the pinnacle of success by paying off their mortgage, we have access to art and letters. But, I have over the last few months been following the events out there in mediaville very closely and have noticed so many nasty and brutish contenders for Hobbes' crown. The Hopkins, the Clarkson, the Politicians and the nasty's in everyday life who despise anyone different than themselves.

On a personal basis, I have contended with the nasty's who keep telling me how long I should be grieving for my parents; big organisations that know nothing about me or my relationship with both of them and how big a part they played in my life. Who can quantify grief? Literally, is there some secret person who has sat in some office at Whitehall with some magic formula. Can you imagine Severus Snape bending over his cauldron mixing emotions and coming to some median of how long we should be grieving for?

Funny thing about grief is it hits you in waves; some days you can be tootling along quite happily then a smell, or a memory hits you, and yes this is quite embarrassing in public when you burst into tears. Why is it that a child bursts into tears and there seems to be universal sympathy, but as an adult you may as well have got your tits out or burnt an effigy of Lady Di for all the sympathy you get.

But, and this is where I hope others get some solace from my ramblings; I know these feelings are normal. At the moment, I am slowly simmering in the arena of anger, why did they have to die type stuff. There isn't a magic cure to make me feel better, and I am taking every day as it comes, so if you see me crying in the middle of Tesco because they are playing a song my mum or dad liked please come and give me a hug....

Which takes me back to the vile creatures above; since when did it become acceptable to be as vile and hate filled as possible in order to sell newspaper columns/get votes? When did all of us become judge and jurors over everything from migrants, parenting through to the size of someone's butt? Are we all suffering from such a high level of superiority that kicking those we deem beneath is now a sport?

The Running Man by Stephen King, depicts a 'future' where contestants literally run and fight to the death; we have Big Brother, it could be said one step away, the jungle challenge programmes or the vile (producers find the most overt examples) welfare claimant programmes, designed to get us all angry about the feckless poor. Perhaps Big Brother is wanting us to be in this constant state of anger?

And that's what it seems to be about; schoolyard bullying with the media acting as the weak kids round the side, egging us on. So we pick on welfare claimants, migrants or just anyone we can get away with, it would seem to an alien to paraphrase Hobbes again, that we are all just nasty and brutish.

I am all for free speech, we should all be allowed (like I am) to have our say; but we shouldn't exploit this freedom to the extent that we reveal our deepest nasty thoughts, its seems there is no 'I wonder if I will upset certain already marginalised groups with what I say' button before some press send and their words fly off around the world. Basically when did we become so horrible?

I remember as a kid watching some of the slightly piss taking comedians "take my wife" and thinking what was the point of that, I hate the banter that kids do today - "you're fat/thin/specky, ha ha, but it's only a joke". I'm not a saint, I enjoy comedy, satire but not when it's to the extent that someone else feels like shit.

So Hopkins et al, one day you will be dead, as we all will, we all get pissed off with stuff at times, but particular groups are not universally responsible for that, neither should you feel you can just open your mouth and spout the first thing that comes into your mind. You may have been abused/picked on as a kid or whatever, but doing it back won't make you feel better in the long run. Yes, we have freedom of speech but please try and censor yourself; be nice, you will feel so much better. 'Jokes'.