Alexander Gordon Jahans
Decades of financialization and state bailout of corporate fuckups has made our governments and economies weak as we face the convergence of multiple storm fronts. Climate Change is going to deliver external shock after external shock. Technological unemployment is going to remove more and more jobs while ageing demographics leave those few workers with a lot more social security to pay for. Then the booming populations of poverty stricken countries will invariably descend upon us out of desperation.
England looks set to see its great United Kingdom disintegrate and I wonder how long it will be before there is threat of violent revolution. When inequality gets severe demagogues exploit the situation to gain power. If you think Trump is as bad as it gets you are sorely naive. He’s the Kim Jong Un of dictators. We have more to fear from the Erdogan model. Someone smart enough to be likable and almost neoliberal. There is a reason there’s a trope called Vetinari Job Security. Just look at what happened when Castro died lefties all over the world mourned the passing of a military dictator because “He was our sort.”
I have written against Revolution because I pleaded for sense among our political leaders. At the moment our best in England is less a tactician savaging the enemy and more an asset his supporters are trying to protect. As much as I loathe the men Tony Blair and Nigel Farage may well be the best and brightest England has produced on the political leadership front. So the chances of revolution look pretty darned good all told.
So we’re fucked and I feel fucked myself. There is nothing really uniquer about how I am fucked. A chronic condition, a family that can’t really support me and a state that is about as comforting for support as Hannibal Lecter. Except just at the moment I think I’d appreciate being outright murdered than I would the likely withholding of help at a critical time.
I am tired. Tired of the fighting. Tired of the bullshit. Tired of dealing with every fresh case of drama when my mum comes home having had an idea, or the trolls sally forth or somehow I fuck things up yet again. How long can I keep doing this? I have plans this summer and I tell myself I’ll keep going until my mum is set up in her new house but I have no clue. Not really. GHD makes my bones ache and leaves me dependent on mints and diet coke to function. I just want to give up yet I know I can’t depend upon anyone else and my sense of paranoia is getting justified time and again now.
I am however reading Getting Things Done by David Allen and it is inspiring me. Even if it also acknowledges how much more different and stressful work has become in the 21st century. It is helping me ration and use what energy and mental juice I have effectively. Already things which seemed unhelpably screwed are getting dealt with. One of the things he talks about is called Natural Planning. It’s a way of outlining and drawing up plans that seems to work intuitively with the brain.
What he makes clear is that you need to let your brain be creative first then make judgement calls once the ideas are out in the open. He also lists as one of the first steps something called Outcome Visioning. The idea being that you need to see what you want to achieve in your mind’s eye so you can focus upon it and try to achieve it.
For me mere survival at this point isn’t enough. I’m ready to die and actually kind of long for it. I’m just aware that it’s a choice you can only make once. If reincarnation were possible. If suspended animation until a specified date were possible. If I knew for certain I could cease to exist and come back later there would be no question or discussion. As it is I’m pootling around while there’s still money to be around, trying to help my family, in the hope that maybe I can come up with an answer. This technique may help me find that answer. Though I am more than a little terrified that it won’t and in exercising this possible salvation I may be burning up my last best hope. Still here goes...
There’s a house. I don’t care if I own it. Don’t care if I live on my own or with other people. What matter is that I am safe and I have one room that is mine. In that room I have my computer. Only its better. I’m able to play Skyrim without ever dipping below 60 frames per second.
I run a letsplay channel where I have a complete play through of Skyrim including all major questlines, daedric artifacts and all skill trees to level 100. Another channel does scripted reviews of the Virgin New Adventures of Doctor Who while a third contains audiobook adaptations of my fiction. There are sufficient procedures in place to ensure trolls never bother me.
I have watched the entirety of Star Trek Voyager and Deep Space Nine. I keep meaning to get around to the Big Finish audios I keep accruing but can newver quite seem to find the time as there are enough podcasts and audiobook series I love so much more to fill my time.
I have a pet hamster. A Syrian who is spoiled with treats, toys and cage extensions. I have at one point owned a rat or two and cared for them well.
The love life doesn’t really matter but it would be nice if I could find someone to nerd out with.
I go for walks every few days while listening to podcasts and admiring the sights. I found a coffee mix that does not taste like dirt and stop there to keep my buzz going.
Every week I volunteer at a place helping them with their databases and IT stuff. I’m learning about history and politics as I teach myself latin and some practical coding. I am a white male English nerd and proud without being a dick about it.
My life is not radically different but I am on solid ground with the time ability to use what energy I have on the things I care about not other people’s bullshit. Capitalism is still dying in the background and my facebook is filled with news of this or that disaster but it doesn’t affect me. I am off the system in a world where I can focus on managing my condition and making what little I can for the internet.
I have a group I meet up with to play RPGs with and regularly attend conventions.
The malaise of tiredness which has affected me no longer applies quite so badly because my energy is spent on things which matter to me per day and once that is done I can coast on low energy tasks until I can chill later.
I am able to go on holiday without going mad from boredom.