Friday, 24 March 2017

Fear sells.

This is sad, again. People have died when they shouldn’t have done, when they didn’t expect it, when they woke up and expected to come home later on. This is sad because it is tragic. But it is not scary or terrifying or worth any more than mourning and grief for innocent death.

Ok, so the public are interested in what’s going on. I get that, I’m interested too. Who was the attacker? Where have they come from? Why were they attacking? I want to know and understand, naturally. I just can’t bear to look at the news or the papers because they keep telling me that I need to be afraid.

How much superficial emotion can they squeeze out of this event? How much can they ramp it up? You really must be SCARED and OUTRAGED and DEFIANT.

BBC News yesterday morning had so little to get from it that they stood in Westminster filming grieving policemen asking useless questions interspersing this with footage of the event repeated over and over again. You know, the unnecessary images of people dying on Westminster bridge. This is what the TERRORIST did.

Sky News is one of the worst culprits. “Terror” this and “terror” that. Be scared be scared be scared. I don’t have anything to be afraid of. What happened was awful but it was not a massive, successful attack and our services responded immediately and effectively. We should be feeling much less afraid if anything. Look how pathetic those attackers are. It is only “terror” when you allow it to be. It is sad and unnerving and for anyone there I don’t doubt for a minute that it was terrifying. But it is not “terror” for anyone else. That’s the point.

Fear sells and that’s how the press keeps going. It gets by when it tells you that you can get cancer from eating carrots. It is absolutely brilliant when something like this happens. The press manipulates how we respond to events like this. How we talk about it, the language we use, the emotions we feel towards it.

Ah so maybe I’m being grim about this. Perhaps I am unfair about journalistic response. Perhaps, even, there is real reason to be afraid!

There are reasonable media sources that I trust simply because of the lack of emotive, titillating language. I don’t need to be told how to feel, I just want to be informed. But so many things keep doing just the former even before I get past the headline. And it takes away from other headlines, and we miss all sorts of news, and we end up just feeling pointlessly afraid.

I wouldn’t mind so much, you know, if feeling pointlessly afraid wasn’t so very dangerous.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

And that is all I know.

In our reaching out to other human beings I think we crave an understanding of ourselves. I know that I do. I want to be understood and to understand myself.

In the poetry I attempt to write, in the blog posts, in the diary entries I find myself searching. Luckily what comes out the end of a pen, or what I type on the screen gives me clues. Isn't it funny what your subconscious can tell you?

Far from knowing the whole of who I am I continue to search. I search in the faces of the people I love. By which I mean I tell them things in my heart so they can reflect them back to me. Often I find it a great compliment to be told that someone "knows me so well" they can identify anonymous writing as my own, or know how I should react to things, or what I will love, who I will love. It is as if they have taken me in, and in turn are showing me things about myself. I am learning from them.

The impossibility of understanding yourself is that you change all the time. I change all the time. I have parts of me I barely recognise, knowing that in the future the way I am now will be a memory rather than a reality. I suppose I add to myself. I add to my understanding as I go along. I feel as if I am literally building myself.

And so a full understanding of who I am is out of the question. I am inter-changeable. The world around me is inconstant and I will adapt to my surroundings. But I try and I connect and in doing so I solidify my being. I am here, my friends are here, and that is all I know.