Frustration Leading into the General Election

Passing opinion is incredibly dangerous.  You could be ill-informed, inexperienced and ignorant.  I’m all of those things, and so giving my opinion is like stabbing myself in the eye.  Or the brain.  Political opinion is even tougher, because it requires context and history, something that is hard to gauge at a first glance.   When the snap General Election was announced, I wrote this short story thing.  The point of it was basically an attempt to stay away from caring about the vote, and to refrain from passing comment on it.  Yet here I am, with that post deleted, writing about how I am already frustrated by it all.  I think I get more on edge about these things than most people, and scrolling through twitter for most of my day doesn’t help.  Every tweet about the upcoming election makes me want to run head first at a wall.

Politics as a trend is something that you see all over twitter. It is cool to be on the left and have somewhat socialist values.  This is because on the surface, those values seem the most genuine and caring.  It also has something to do with virtue signalling, as coming across as compassionate certainly leads to slightly more popularity.  Twitter is a game of circles and to be a part of your desired circles, you have to lean to the right (not right) side politically.  This is all very boring, and seriously annoying.  I see countless tweets every day that are immensely pro-labour and anti Tory.  Hating tories as a joke is funny and it’s a joke I make fifty times a day, but some of the outlandish things written about them via ‘cool’ or dare I say it ‘indie’ twitter is sickening.  How can anything be achieved, how can any of the corrupt political system be broken down when a whole side of people blankets the Conservatives as ‘poor people haters’.

The Fox hunting debate could be the most bizarre argument of it all.  It is literally a conflict between an elite group who want to barbarically hunt an animal, and everyone else who for some strange reason don’t like it.  The tories sit in-between desperate for funding from those elites and to be able to keep whispering in their ears.  It’s strange that people are so adamantly against it (I mean the general public, not actual animal rights campaigners), because it’s such blatant fake morality.  Fox hunting is no more evil than buying a Coca Cola product or using an Apple phone, yet where’s the tweets about them. The left sits in this position of being as hopelessly dumb as the right, because of whining about a minority hobby that comparatively is just as evil as everything else in the world. Ignorance is a given in all of culture and politically I’m pretty sure it has always been a trend amongst my demographic.  I just don’t want people going into a blind vote, whoever they are voting for.  The cynical side of me wants those clueless votes going into Labour, and in time I hope that the party don’t let us down.  At this point, I can’t see them winning, they’re being far too nice for that.  All the party needs a little but of ruthlessness to get into power, and then mould the socialist values around them once they’re in.

On the 8th of June, I will be voting Labour for mostly logistical reasons.  Logistical in a sense that right now a majority Conservative government means no leeway with policy. Even if Labour don’t win, we need more seats in there so that we can balance the delegation of power.  With Labour, we will hopefully have more security with Europe, and a possible super soft Brexit.  It also means a change in leadership, and a massive one.  For the first time, possibly ever, we will have someone in charge who actually cares.  Jeremy Corbyn, a man there for all the right reasons.  I can never get my head around the dislike towards him because sure he’s a plonker, but a plonker who is naturally geared towards helping people.  You can’t say the same about Theresa May, who is the epitome of the walking-talking panderer.

To explore this deeper, there must be a look at the rise of this weird Marxist regime from American university campus’.  The idea of communism and far left rituals being useful is certainly in the zeitgeist.  What I obtain from it, is the impending doom of mankind, and a definite feeling that civilisation won’t last another century.  I mean this is a big step from being frustrated by UK election twitter, but it always sidelines my thoughts on anything. It gives me this ‘whats the point’ overview.  It’s why I get angry at people getting angry, or agitated by those passing judgement whilst being intolerant themselves, because it all doesn’t matter.

Side-note: This is partly inspired by twitter and partly inspired by the Joe Rogan Experience.  I think I’m probably going to delete this post soon because I can’tquite articulate what I’m trying to say.  Perhaps I should go back to being mute and focus on more important things, like watching Alien 3 in the middle of the day.

He Will Not Divide . Us

Tell me Shia LaBeouf isn’t crazy.  Tell me we aren’t looking at the slow breakdown of a celebrity.  Over the last couple of years or so him and his performance artist team (LaBeouf, Ronkko & Turner) have certainly suggested that.  From the outside it has been a viewing of an existential crisis as well as watching a man reflect on his own weird individual life.  However his latest project is his most impersonal, and a chance to see that him and his partners are attempting to make a movement for good.

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The whole thing is really simple: outside the Museum of The Moving Image in New York they have set up a camera & mic that is being broadcast live on the internet, and they have invited anyone to say ‘He Will Not Divide Us’ in front of it.  It’s effectively an attempt to bring America together post the appointment of the highly polarising Donald Trump, though the actual website gives a list of convoluted reasons for the project.  In short, and after 3 days of the 24hr stream, it’s brilliant.  Every time I go to the website something profound is happening and I’ll definitely be spending a lot of time there over the next four years (or however long Trump lasts).

It has done that awful thing to me where I have a sudden faith in humanity and it has shifted by political views back towards the left.  This is because I have been glued to the people who have shown up to say the words, or protest against them.  Take the guy who took a 12 hour bus from Toronto for example and has been rapping an inch from the camera with Shia today.  Or Ally and Maximilian, who for a while formed a community around the camera, a group of friends.  The words are now rarely said in repetition, like they were initially by oddity Jaden Smith, and have become more organic.  It took less than a day for people to start mixing up the phrase, or singing it.  I love these people and every second I watch the stream, I want to be there more and more.

Last night and this morning it really peaked for me.  Around UK midnight time a man appeared with a ‘Make America Great Again’ cap on, yet there was no real tension.  He stood there with his thick moustache, Harley Davidson t-shirt and tracksuit bottom as he rallied the crowd.  At first he was questioning the whole thing, and was crudely whispering to the camera, but after a while he blended in with the scene.  It was like he had been converted, or better yet become an example of the project being successful.  Everyone around welcomed him in and thus his reactions to it all was fascinating.  His aggression was humorous and his warmth likeable, showing no divide between a Trump supporter and non-Trump supporter.  Then there this morning when I woke up, the master of fun was there alone.  A guy carrying a tent dressed fully in pink, professing his own internet art.  He passed on messages of challenging yourself and forcing failure so that you can improve, while of course sometimes throwing in the divide mantra.  And this actually inspired me.  For whatever reason a random guy hundreds of miles away made me think about my own life, which is a bizarre feeling.

Every so often Shia pops in, to pump up the group.  He bounces around saying hello’s and love yous to everyone and these are probably the best moments.  It’s when the energy is lifted and the repetition comes.  Though it also brings conflict, because understandably people are sceptical of the man.  A video that will no doubt go viral and become a staple of the livestream is a few seconds where he screams at a young guy who is against the project.  And obviously this defeats the purpose of the coming together and respecting different views idea, but it also shows the passion of it all.  I’m a passionate person and I have felt a great deal of it watching this stream.  The spirit and joy that these people are in  is really admirable.  I see only positives, and when something bad happens I’ll look silly, but I cannot get over how cool it is.

I have utterly fallen in love with the stream and it’s literally made me emotional.  It shows the power of kindness and from this has swayed me back towards the left side of politics. I’ve found that you have to look past some of stupidity that appears within people and realise that we are all the same.  We are all imperfect and shameful, but have the ability at times to show a bit of unity.  This stream mostly just makes me laugh, yet still I feel changed by it, and I think that is the ultimate goal of art.

Watch it here and you will understand exactly what I am saying: http://hewillnotdivide.us/

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Side-note:  This is a form of art explaining another form of art again, so i apologise.  I have been moved by all sorts of stuff recently, not just this daft pretentious performance. Mostly by the debut album of Spring King, which is called Tell Me If You Like To, and is absolutely brilliant. I’ve already started assigning people in my life to songs on it when I hear them, which is a sign of something I adore.  Listen if you like indie/punk or if you’re a fan of not being depressed.

Arrival & Donald Trump

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The prospect of listening to anything an 18 year old social sciences student has to say about global politics isn’t great.  But then, what’s the point of all this?  My opinion is as invalid as the rest of anyone else’s, and I’m pretty influenced by what I read or watch and what I’m surrounded by.  So take everything I write in that context, from the view of a frustrated student living in the north of England.

‘Arrival’ was fantastic.  Like ‘Nocturnal Animals’, that I saw last week, it emotionally moved me.  For the last 20 minutes or so I was breathless, and mesmerised.  Dennis Villeneuve adds to his already great filmography with what I consider a great piece of cinema.  Original, yet wonderfully faithful to similar Sci-Fi of the past, and grounded in it’s characters.  Amy Adams continues to be one of the top actors of her generation with her both complicated and calming performance in the lead, with her character being incredibly well crafted and justified in every scene.  The film is stunning on visual level and I can’t think of a fault in the 116 minutes. Though it’s the themes of the films that stuck with me, and made me think of the world that I’m living in.

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The world did not end when Donald Trump became the president elect, nor did it even die a little.  Those around us who are caring, open-minded and willing to make change still exist.  He is not the evil of the world, he is a fool.  A fool who has effectively grabbed the US by the throat and allowed it to breath.  Fed up by the establishment, the angry have voted, the forgotten have voted.  Something different has sparked from the depths of US democracy.  And it’s not just those ‘horrid, southern American racists’.  Trump won the female vote, beating the first female candidate.  The US is so vast you cannot comprehend the electoral map.  Each state is it’s own community, it can’t be bottled down into categories.  Not all misogynists voted for Trump, it wasn’t a win for hate.  It was more a loss for the left, the ignorant and blinded left.  A left who fell behind Hilary Clinton, the epitome of political ugliness if there ever was one.  A terrible candidate, one who connected with little more than entitled students.  Entitled students who are now protesting in states where the democrats won, and are finding themselves trying to wake up a dead body, preaching to the converted.  What about middle America, what about real people, with different problems to the alt left.  The saddest part of it all being that Bernie Sanders would have won.  An honest socialist candidate, a compassionate man who would have put the world a step forward, put to the side for the ‘safe option’.  I’m upset as a lefty, and quickly discovering our side is as bad as the right.

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So forget the sides, forget the rallying calls to defeat the so called dark right of politics. And use the film ‘Arrival’ to bring people closer together.  The film pushes values of collaboration and openness to one another.  A sense that we all face the same problems and are all human. All after the same goals.  Donald Trump is an abomination, a voice that needs quieting, but don’t shout over him.  Shout with him, open your eyes and realise he is lying to your face. Open your eyes to real threat which is his vice Mike Pence.  Listen to the good of Barack Obama, of Jeremy Corbyn, but don’t stand behind them like soldiers.  Go to the cinema to see great works of art like Arrival, allow yourself to be educated and changed.  Otherwise we’re all the same, selfish beings after a win rather than progress. We have to remember why we do all of this.  I believe in socialist attitudes not because I’m ‘culturally better’, or more intelligent, it’s because the world could be so much better than it is today.  Better in so many ways, all achievable by just opening our minds.

 

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This video is 1000 times more structure than what I’ve just rambled about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLG9g7BcjKs   (Jonathan Pie Vid (legend) PLEASE WATCH)

 

Sidenote:  I got a bit over-excited with this, so I wouldn’t take it all literally.

Reflecting Exam Results with a Syrian Disaster.

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Original piece: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/08/17/this-picture-of-a-wounded-syrian-boy-captures-just-a-fragment-of/

Above is a picture that I became familiar with the night before A-Level results day.  This was a big day for me, because I needed to get certain grades to get into university.  Except seeing this picture and seeing the story behind it, made me put things into perspective. I’m well aware of how lucky I am to be born into the western world but I’ve always liked the notion that you put your problems into perspective.  The stresses of the western life should not be compared with those in the East who are in turmoil.  Though that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be thought of, or create worry. Since the major Israel/Palestine conflict, and the vote to bomb Syria, I have become slight numb to the issues in the Middle East right now.  Or I’ve become fed up of being a minority in my sadness.  I don’t particularly want to get into the story or begin a geopolitical debate with myself, so I’ll just leave this unfinished.  However leaving it on a note that my results are important to me but that this story shattered me gives me no peace of mind.  Though I guess that’s the point.

 

In all honesty I had real trouble writing this, and it possibly took me about 4 hours to write just that small paragraph.  I realise how vague it all is, and the stress of results day and sorting out university has actually got to me, which I guess is ironic looking back at this. The main goal was to write a full thing on this, though I think laziness and a rise of other controversial pieces coming from the ‘boy in the ambulance story’ has halted me.  This is all very much like talking to myself very slowly.