A large bit of this country is getting a good scrubbing later, according to the weather reports. The newspapers have warned against hurricane strength winds, and so we are looking forward to that. Well, ‘looking forward to’ is the wrong word; more like resigned to stay indoors in our rented B&B room, gripping each other for dear life as the forces of nature whip and churn outside the window. How ever will be survive this ordeal?
Actually, we’ve did that for most of yesterday. There are crumbs in the bed, and by all rights I should get up and shake the sheets, but someone is happily snoring away. Getting rid of the crumbs would wake him up. I need him on his best behaviour later. Who knows? I may need a strong arm to rescue me from the weather. Or I may need to rescue him, but since I have stick-arms, he should be at full strength so that he can help himself.
Our only excursion yesterday was to get some hot food out of a KFC near the tube station here, and the experience was desolate and depressing. Two women of our approximate age stood bored and disinterested in our custom. The woman who served us even stood up and sighed, as if we were interrupting her with our bother. Sometimes the state of service in this country is quite lacking.
We stocked up on the crisps that later crumbled into our bed, and other stuff in a small grocery store on the way back to the B&B, and then we just slumped into inactivity for the rest of the day. And now we can stay here in this claustrophobic little room until the danger clears and we can trudge back to the train and to our own life back home.
The theme of our conversation this day has been Russell Brand. He had an interview with Jeremy Paxman on the BBC earlier, and in his inimitable way he called for the start of the Revolution because of “hanging on to outdated imperialist dogma which perpetuates the economic and social differences in our society!” Okay, maybe he didn’t re-enact the constitutional peasant from Monty Python’s Life of Brian, but almost!
What Brand said, in his own way, was that he didn’t vote because voting was about perpetuating a system where his voice was a fiction. His vote would not change anything, and if he voted he would actually give support to something he didn’t believe in.
This has been a debate Mark and I have had before. My first election, the local election, was a miss. I didn’t vote because I won’t ever vote for anyone that I don’t believe in. I won’t participate in a sham tactical vote just to withhold power from someone. If I do, then the one who get my vote will count it as if I fully supported that candidate.
Since a First Past the Post system is inherently undemocratic, all votes that does not go to the winner in that race is a wasted vote. Even if 49 per cent of the constituency votes for one candidate in an election, that portion has no voice through the candidate that gets 51 per cent. While a preferred candidate in our constituency could get my vote, the likelihood of that candidate winning would be infinitesimally small.
My only recourse would be to vote for someone I didn’t want out of a negative reaction to some other candidate. And this was the gist of Brand’s argument, which I fully agree with. This bit about the revolution, and the anarchy, I firmly disagree with.
When we didn’t debate politics, or did other things, I started to organise my new book. I’ve selected about two dozen of the essays on the blog that I will include, and I have subjects for about ten more.
I could give Spinoza or Karl Marx a run for their money as it comes to book length now, and I will have to prune the pile considerably so that I don’t produce the digital version of Encyclopaedia Britannica.
I certainly have my work cut out for me. There’s weeks and months of editing and research to do here. I will enjoy every minute of it, I think. I can’t wait to see the finished product.
Do you ever have a picture in your head of how something will turn out? A clear, shining, radiant, radioactive, and pulsating picture? You know you have to strive for that picture, and reach an as close an approximation as you can before you decide if you’ve won or failed?