It’s been quiet on here. I say that a lot these days. Sometimes I don’t really have much to say; sometimes it’s better not to say anything at all. And sometimes I just want to pull the covers over my head and disappear for a few weeks. You know the feeling.
So while my country is torn apart by self-serving, mendacious public-school leeches who pretend to have some sort of mandate (they don’t, not from me), and some bastard gurning toad raises pint after pint of tepid lager to his yellowed teeth and claims to have “won a war without firing a shot” after stirring up enough hate to cause the murder of a serving MP, and money is carved in thick slices from the education and health services, and from arts and police budgets, in the sainted name of austerity, and the Daily Mail and the Sun blame it all on immigrants, it’s hard not to feel angry, powerless, disappointed and scared all at the same time. And that’s just this small, pointless, grey island. Let’s not talk about ‘Murica, about the ingrained stupidity and self-inflicted terrorism of the GOP and the appalling bigotry on that side of the pond, or the self-righteous, anti-cultural destruction in the name of “god” done by twats who have completely misunderstood the meaning of Islam. When the real world is this shitty, you wonder why I’d rather read and write about other worlds?
It was already difficult to stay positive in the first half of this year, and that was without the discovery, late last year, that my father had an incurable brain tumour. If you saw me at the last SFSF Social in February, you may have noticed that I was quite manic. I wasn’t enjoying myself; I needed anti-depressants. I still do. The entire family has struggled through 2016 to this point, hanging on in quiet desperation as the song goes. It’s been impossible to plan, to commit, to do anything much other than wait. It’s not easy to deal with this level of emotional intensity, to find a safe outlet for it all.
It won’t be easy going forward either. Not personally, nor on the wider front. One thing’s for certain: I have no patience with anybody who believes that the NHS, the education system, our libraries, our futures are safe in the hands of the Conservative Party. The Nasty Party. Nor with the voices that tell us to stop complaining, stop wasting our time, put up with things, celebrate our xenophobia and shortsightedness, blame all the problems on that nebulous “other”. I’m glad that the NHS was there, that it allowed us as much time with Dad as we did have. I saw the cracks, the strains, the pressure on the system – you can’t tell me that five years down the line, the Tories will have put more money into the NHS. They’ll have dismantled it, closed buildings and wards, given more money to private business, priced patients out of their beds.
What can I do? No idea, not yet. But I won’t be shutting up and putting up with things. Fuck that for a game of darts.