The ability to blend does not necessarily requite conformity, any opportunity for individual expression within a larger group gives the chance to be both normal and separate. This second decade of the twenty-first century has seen the regular rules that govern social gatherings, personal interactions, by necessity vastly change, facilitating the medicinal requirements of isolation, quarantines, and public social distancing.
To some degree masking requitements might be seen as utilitarian, being a response to governmental and institutional mandates for general wellbeing. However the requirements are minor in demand, a combination mouth and nose covering fulfilling all requirements, and in the process presenting an opportunity for outlandish decoration or singularity, an expression of individualism for once wholly approved and welcomed by society. Social distancing is equally a two-edged sword, limiting casual intimacy, but reestablishing a habit longtime set aside, simple formalized courtesy.
There are no second chances in life. The whispered myth that a possibility can be reeled in and replayed is just a fantastic fable, one of the true misnomers of existence. Events arrive and disappear according to their own time scale and pattern, always singular, ever transforming, a fast-passing opportunity, just a sniff and nothing more, a fleeting millisecond when all the planets are perfectly aligned for arrive at your desired outcome, never again to be repeated. We all have blinked in the face of opportunity, and regretted our slothfulness in pained leisure, yet still foolishly look for a second or even third chance to play that unbelievably pristine Royal Heart flush, the winning hand.
One stutter and the moment has flitted away, bringing endless irreversible consequences, for time cascades just so easily, tile after tile. An endless collapsing pattern of destruction, still vaguely recognizable, but changed beyond any hope of reclamation. Suddenly life has slipped unceremoniously through you moist fingers, and second hand choices are all that can be celebrated.
My immediate peers and myself represent the last generation to entirely procure our moral and ethical standards without the aid of electronic devices. Our learning stemmed from what we read in hard copy, were taught in schools, was profoundly expounded upon by leaders in faith, politics and sociology, men and women of science and the intellectual elite. Our input was filtered, quite correctly, by common sense, practicality, and most importantly general agreement, recognized and provable truths as opposed to inane rumor and hyperbole. The acceptance of truth requires trust, an agreement that society prefers correct interpretation to casual supposition.
For some reason, quite obviously far beyond my pay grade, the arrival of electronic data collection, annotation, and publication, resulted in a collapse of many an individual’s ability to accept what had previously been generally and consistently agreed. Almost as if the minds in the machines, whom we know quite incontrovertibly are entirely ambivilous towards the concept of right or wrong, as intent on orchestrating present and future patterns of humans thought and any understanding of reality.
Have we in some surreal way seen a renewal of a Luddite type resistance against technology, but one that focuses on fighting against a perceived threat to the individuals right to accept and propagate absurd and illogical beliefs, rather than any menace to employment. No doubt such protestations will eventually falter and fail, for rowing a tiny coracle against the current of public accepted opinion has ever proved an activity bound to founder.
The manipulation of the public is hardly a new concept, that particular axe has been honed over many a century till the edge is extremely sharp and capable of severing all kinds of ideas unwelcome to the ruling elite. The singular defense against such exploitation by the powers that be has always been that truth will eventually out, no matter how deeply it is buried or cunningly concealed. Verity must never be obliterated, it is factuality, and has to be protected against all efforts to dilute or compromise.
The approach of All Hallows Eve is a particular good time to remember one of the most important lessons that originate from scary movies. Monsters, however unpleasant, distasteful, cringeworthy, or repellent, are extremely difficult to eradicate, and will invariably return for a sequel. This rule, of which we can all quote endless examples, applies to life in general as much as to that particular cinematic genre.
People are provably stupid, illogical, forgetful. And given a choice will invariably prefer the return of a previous incarnation, however malignant they may be, to a new unproven incarnation. Better the devil we recognize that the stranger we do not.
History, especially bad history, repeats stunningly regularly. Leaders, particularly despots or those inclined towards tyranny, are reelected with a consistency that belies any understanding of a human brings ability to learn through experience. In matters of choice we are all inclined to make progressively worse decisions when presented with a quandary.
A strange unreality has settled upon the world. An imagining than somehow the last few years have been expunged, obliterated, corrected, that all the faults and errors committed in that time have evaporated, as water within a boiling pan, when in actuality nothing has changed, not one concept or attitude, the horrors remain awaiting the moment to reappear in all their hideous glory, renewed, reinvigorated, ready to swallow all, good and bad, with undiminished gluttony.
Change requires more than hope, more than good will, it requires action, harsh unforgiving activity, squashing what is bad and ugly, squeezing the neck of evildoers till their last breath has been extracted. No understanding for the halfhearted, revolution has no patience with timidity. Press forward together, leaving the unsure to hang eternally upon the barbwire that protects our enemies grinning faces.
Progress is a war of attrition, erasing the outdated, crushing the false and misleading, obliterating any intransigent generation unmercifully.
My obvious ambivalence to many matters scientific and post enlightenment probably deserves a little more than a cursory explanation. I do not find modernity at all appealing, rather wholly disappointing, the reality having in no way fulfilled any of the promise so blatantly proclaimed in the advertising. Most certainly medical practice and knowledge has improved enormously, but with a cost in pain and suffering far beyond acceptable recall. The art of warfare and its ancillary ingenuities has flourished as never before, mankind’s capacity for creating and promoting global death, famine and pestilence has never before been as unbridled and momentarily threatening.
Humanity as a whole is not a careful beast, not thoughtful, caring, even inclusive by nature. Of all the species to gain command of the planer Earth, we are quite probably the least suited, being at heart self-serving and without consideration beyond our own tiny and inconsequential sphere. An individual would be hard pressed to indicate one improvement humanity has made upon natural progression, rather much of out handiwork is fatally detrimental to both earth, sea, and atmosphere. We are as locusts upon the face of the planet, consuming all we confront, without a thought for tomorrow, our fellow species, or the longevity of this small rock we inhabit, that circles the Sunstar quite impervious to all else.
In our belligerent selfishness we threaten to infringe all other worlds, taking out unfortunate inabilities to coexist throughout the known universe, spreading despoilment and destruction as we go. Not satisfied with oppressing a whole planet we look to spread our plague far and wide, without a thought for any other single spark of existence.
Our belief in an omnipotent being only makes our assumption we are vital to their plan, their vision, their creation, complete and unadulterated by any reference to any other possible scenario. The fact that we are evolutionarily but an afterthought, a twig upon a branch upon a tree that roots within universe that is itself but a mere pinprick in that incomprehensible complex cosmos that is infinity.
I have never really understood the science of the lengthening and shortening of the days, so I rely on visual and phycological effects, much as I do with most mattes of a technical nature. Does ever seem to me that the days shorten faster that they lengthen, one moment ‘tis light till ten in the evening and then quite suddenly dusk at six in the late afternoon. I presume that springtime follows a similar pattern, but in reverse, or is it some mysterious effect of ‘daylight saving time’ another national rulings.
Having no particular pattern or purpose in existence does facilitate my confusion, not needing to keep to any stringent understanding of time means it makes no difference should I rise early in the morning, at noon, or indeed in the late afternoon. Naps are always readily available to shorten daylight hours anyhew, and artificial lighting makes a nonsense of day and night quite adequately.
Perhaps I am transmuting into a bear, and have begun to hibernate as needed, or as preferred.
When I cannot walk, or even stumble
I tend to reach out for a tome,
Something familiar, alluring, satisfying,
Suitably comforting when all alone.
Plot lines broad enough for easy tracking
Leaping seamless from word to word,
Charging hard towards a climax,
Highly sensible or quite absurd.
Stress relieved by a simple closing
Moving tension to a better time,
Tomorrow for that final chapter,
Bringing completion, oh so sublime.
The purpose of the anthropomorphic character of the White Rabbit in Alices adventures is never satisfactorily illustrated. His initial appearance at the beginning of the tale, the strange nature of his behaviors and dress, are used as an excuse, the raison d’etre, for our heroines most rash decision to leave the safety of sister and river bank for the unknowns of a waistcoat wearing bunny, the concealed dangers of a dark and mysterious rabbit hole, and eventually the most peculiar happenstances and peoples that likely seem to invest every corner of Wonderland.
Page Rabbit himself is a strange mix of alternates, constantly worrying about punctuality, but insisting on keeping to Oxford time, extremely timid in the company of superiors, but officious when dealing with those he considers his lesser, a spectacular example of all things than might be considered exactly opposing Alice’s inherent natural state. Perhaps a subconscious reflection of all the contradictions she perceives in the adults she is obliged to interact with on a daily basis. Dodgson himself must have appeared most divergent to her, on one hand seeming someone most loving, trustworthy, and open, but unmistakably with an agenda carefully concealed from her view.
No suggestion is made that White Rabbit is sinister in any way, that the reasonings for his sundered actions are in any way conniving or threatening, rather that the circumstance that constantly surround him, the attitudes of the very structured society that is Wonderland, make his divergencies an utter necessity, particularly dealing with an administration that sees decapitation as the singularly solution for deviation in any way, shape, or form. He is an enticer, the hare to Alices greyhound, introducer of all aspects unlikely, illogical, or ridiculous, the provider of the syrup to make us grow, the cake to make us shrink, both the red and the blue pills that intoxicate, confuse, and enlighten simultaneously, a doorway that opens the way direct to dreams and illusions.
The White Rabbit is replaced by a simple looking glass, once imagination reflects quite easily and naturally to sweet Alice.
Both the King and Queen of Hearts are represented in literature as being completely infantile, having no sensible thoughts at all, rather acting with disregard to reason or logic. One might suppose the King is the more governmentally senior of the two, having what would seem the last word in affairs, in the directing of legal matters, the actual fruition of executions, the Queen being inclined to order willy nilly decapitations left and right. the King more often than not quietly countermands the deadly instructions to the executioner, suggesting even in a wholly anarchic realm like Wonderland some form of justice must exist and be marginally reasonably administered.
The King is most certainly indolent, napping quite happily at any given opportunity, a state of affairs that allows the Queen to often run roughshod throughout the land with highly dubious orders and decisions. Thankfully when awakened he quickly corrects her majesty’s over indulgencies, ensuring a somewhat predictably steady hand on the administrative rudder.