13th January 2021

Like probably most of the worlds population I have an ongoing love hate relationship with the media, an unrepentant appetite for constant observations and updates upon the self-destructive behaviors so beloved by society as a whole as both performer and audience. Like you I too am thoroughly ashamed of my fascination, that one single day cannot pass without an overriding need for my so beloved fix. Information, gossip, tittle tattle has that effect, the more that becomes available the more is needed, the deeper, the more invasive the coverage, the more attentive the beholders eye.

Was a time living vicariously through another’s actions was thought a way of expanding experience, ‘tis now my considered opinion that it is in actuality a way of escaping responsibility and involvement, a sort of disinfected, partially removed, manner of existence, capturing perhaps the flavor, the scent, even something of the satisfaction, but none of the work, risk, danger, emotional turmoil, actual attachment might embroil.

Science fiction has long demonized robotics, computerization, artificial intelligence as the feared consequence of expanding mechanization and leisure. A nightmarish scenario where humanity is reduced to but static onlookers of all things productive or athletic, slowly devolving from robust beast to some form of doddering and impotent bystander. Such a surrogate existence do seem somewhat pointless, an unacceptable waste of usage for a creature tens of millennium in the making, who to date still probably retains unfathomed untapped abilities awaiting future discovery and development.

As an aside, but not in a wholly unrelated way, I have the ability to juggle. Not anything amazing you understand, not using axes or blazing torches, just simply with plain old spherical objects. You note I state I can juggle, although I have not displayed the ability for probably fifteen years, but if I close my eyes I can imagine the mechanics of the process with exactitude and am sure I could translate that into actuality within but a short space of time. The skill was learned with some difficulty over quite length of time, by much tedious and annoying practice. Equally I was at one time a more than reasonable darts player, not champion material, but good enough to make the average pub team. Throwing competitive darts is another skill learned through repetition, patience, and bloody mindedness, and with the addition of the rather complex mental arithmetic the game often involves not a little cerebral. Point being both are entirely physical abilities that require a remarkable degree of perseverance, precision, and mental acumen. They are entirely human skill sets, requiring our species exact specifications, down to our singularly odd reversable thumbs.

The very last thing anyone could accuse me of is being a revolutionary, in thought possibly, in attitude perhaps, but physically not in the slightest. To be a true revolutionary one must have nothing left to lose, giving a freedom of direction and conscience otherwise sadly lacking in the human psyche. Much is written and spoke about the American revolution, which was of course from a purely motivational perspective more a rather undisciplined localized trade dispute that eventually boiled over into open rebellion, than a unilateral uprising by oppressed and impoverished individuals with no other  respite but armed insurrection. Revolutions tend towards messy affairs, small often unrelated bonfires that suddenly manage quite surreptitiously to join together in an overwhelming conflagration.  A perfect example would be the Cuban revolution, which from inception had no real chance of success, was met with overwhelming military opposition, but through a leaderships bloody mindedness overcame and conquered, eventually winning support from the majority of what was a truly oppressed and beleaguered people. I find it intriguing that Castro’s success is quite such an anathema to American sensibilities, perhaps it is the placing of an enforced social equality over commercial imperatives that displaces the eagles nose quite so violently.

The media, the published word, has long been the life blood of insurrection, driving an already fixated population to any length to facilitate their end. Words prosper revolt, but not revolution, for hopelessness is not a regular asset of either the intelligentsia or the average Joe or Jolene on the street.

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