The cats’ eye view on geopolitics

WORLD NEWS | POLITICS

It’s becoming clear that Russia and America are using Europe as a chess board, just like in the last Cold War. Away from the main game, Kim Jong-un has realised it’s best to get out of the nuclear arms race and partner with his Southern neighbour: a classic example of previously warring factions uniting against an emerging common foe. It’s in the southern province that “Killer robots” are being developed.

KoreanCountdown

With the warm-up for World War 3 well under way as predicted, the image above came through from Barbarossa on B3ta, so I called on a local cat through the Babel fish, to see what she made of the message.

After being reminded again that humans needed them 3000 years ago, and this is why they have nine lives, the cat set about decoding the meaning behind the text in the image for me.

The Babel fish of my fictional making is more a machine of interpretation of thoughts than conveyance of words, so the following may not be entirely accurate. Reading from left to right, the symbols translate literally thus, if you’re a cat:

Man with bandy legs, wearing funny hat (translation: President Trump and hair)
Hat gone: Wind blew
Angry building: White House
Protective hat on big head: North Korea
Vodka: Kremlin
(Double vodka)
Man with hair back on (Trump)
Protective hat: South Korea
Another angry building: possible killer robots inside

Developing…

My own fictional Babel fish was developed from the invention of Douglas Adams, to whom my (critically-acclaimed) science fiction novel is dedicated.

The planets orbiting my mind

THE WRITER’S LIFE

In the beginning there was the Big Bang, when subatomic particles split in two, and each retains a quantum link to its counterparts spread all around the universe. Each and every thing in the cosmos is linked to every other. It’s a matrix the mere concept of which blows the mind somewhat, but when you can dream lucidly, you’re connected to that network and have the freedom of the universe. It’s pure science, and it’s the stuff which can trouble an enquiring and expanding mind.

mind-universeThe human brain contains a multi-dimensional universe within, according to latest research (Core Spirit)

I don’t think the world has been at a more pivotal point than the one we find ourselves in now. Not far from now are two very different worlds, not unlike our own. They’re worlds I see more clearly after my recent depressive episode, which culminated in a mini breakdown at the weekend. Thankfully my adopted kid sister caught my fall.

In one world, a third global conflict wiped out half the human and animal population, and those who are left face a slow death from radiation poisoning. Future historians may conclude that it was a war founded on lies, like Brexit and the election of President Trump before, which had sewn the seeds of war.

The Russians hacked our democracy and influenced world politics, creating new alliances and divisions which were more suited to the longer-term Kremlin game. It made them the obvious place to point fingers of suspicion, and the ideal stooge to the UK plan.

The Salisbury poisonings were carried out by agents known to the UK security forces, but it was easy to blame Russia. The UK Prime Minister needed a distraction from the mess of Brexit, perhaps hoping that our EU partners would suggest simply reversing the UK’s withdrawal, given the importance of alliances in a world of geopolitical turbulence. Plan B was to hasten partnerships with the USA in a post-Brexit world. The alleged Russian chemical attack in Syria was a gift.

Theresa May’s spouse is a shareholder in BAE, and stands to gain financially from any British involvement in future conflicts. The decision to bomb the alleged chemical weapons facilities in Syria was made unilaterally by the Cabinet, “In the public interest”. Many thought that was why we have a Parliament and a democratic process of electing our representatives. But apparently that’s not the case and the Tories know better: The governing party which refuses to accept unaccompanied child refugees from the war zone, some of whom may have been orphaned by UK military action.

Now I predict further cyber meddling (imagine if internet access were held to ransom), and I wouldn’t rule out a chemical attack on home soil, blamed on Russia, but again, perhaps a smokescreen and a means to a government’s ends (“Conspiracy theorist” is a derogatory term applied to those who think differently).

Whether or not the situation in Syria escalates, Theresa May has what she needs for now: the “Special relationship” with the USA, paving the way for peacetime trade deals, relaxing of regulations, lowering taxes and wages. If Brexit does still go the distance, the UK will be little more than the 52nd US state.

When it comes to the US nuclear option, the commander-in-chief’s state of mind is the unilateral decision-maker, and here’s a contender for the world’s scariest fact: The US nuclear launch protocol lacks any safeguard of allowing another US official to countermand a presidential order.

That potential world not far from now, came about because humans became so inward-looking and insecure. It came from nations putting themselves first and looking backwards. From insecurity comes mistrust and conflict, and we have the weapons to enforce and defend our agenda.

In that world, we gave up. We opened our eyes and looked around us, at all we’d done: Invented AI and machines which could turn against us; polluted every part of the planet and all who live on it with micro-plastics; and developed weapons of mass destruction as deterrents, but which were dangerous in the wrong hands. If we’d invested in exploration instead, the power we harnessed in our bombs could have taken us to the stars, and to colonise other planets, lessening the burden on Earth. But that would have required co-operation and trust, which humanity lacks. We were stuck and it became an entire species’ suicide, and the genocide of all those we share the planet with.

And that’s where I was at, with my personal life. The world around me seemed to be ending, and although I got over the idea of ridding the planet of me, I was on the verge of giving up. I stopped writing and I withdrew, but trapped in my head, with so much going on inside and out, is not a nice place to be alone.

I felt like walking out on life, slamming the door, and muttering those last words: “Fuck you…”. Then I remembered I live alone and would have locked myself out.

There’s another world out there, where we realise there might just be hope and that we may not be too late to save ourselves and the planet. It’s a world where we create self-replicating nano machines to clear the planet of plastic pollution (although scientists have accidentally discovered an enzyme which feeds on plastic), and with our increased awareness of those whose planet we share, we might at least co-operate in a moral duty to clear up our mess. Then perhaps we can continue these alliances and use technology to start leaving the planet and exploring beyond ourselves.

I’ve decided to live in that latter world, where I can imagine hope as well as despair, write utopian as well as dystopian stories, and keep myself busy expelling all the thoughts in my head. It was contact with another human – my kid sister catching my fall – which changed my mind.

I highly recommend breaking the leash and biting into Steve Laker’s Delirium. He keeps producing deeply aware material and philosophical gems. People are often chained dogs sniffing stale ground, but in sobering moments during our bondage state, we can be masters of our own freewill and observers of life.

It takes creative voodoo to sit me down and give me a novel to read. It takes even more dark magic to get me excited about a fictional piece of work. I only respond to mental stimulation that puts me in a story. I want to feel the turmoil and go on the author’s journey; to taste the outcome.

There was something profoundly honest and unhinged in Steve Laker’s blog that pinned my eyes to the screen. The intrigue began in that moment. It’s so rare to find an author who is willing to write in a style that’s so vulnerable in order to give the gift of storytelling to his or her readers. If you like your mind massaged, start reading Steve Laker’s books and short stories. If you like your mind fucked, make sure you keep reading them all the way to the last word.

Goran Zivanovic, author of Acupuncture of the Mind.

When I get reviews like that, it’s worth writing on. One person from each of my real and virtual lives, were what re-connected the matrix of my mind.

Brexit and the Kremlin effect

OPINION | CONSPIRACY THEORY

I have a sneaking conspiracy theory that this whole business with Russia and the UK, could change the path of Brexit. I even think it might have been planned all along, based on no other qualification than a little imagination…

Conspiracy Theorist

It’s been clear for some time, that Theresa May and the UK had no more plans for the realities of Brexit, than a dog has to drive a car it’s chasing. For a while, I’ve thought the PM’s been looking for a way out of the current mire via the whole thing collapsing, and she’s been hoping something out of her hands would scupper it. She’s been alone and trapped. The tension with Russia is a gift.

As in all conflicts (like the internal and cross-party ones in Parliament), the introduction of a third party can often unite previously warring factions against a new, common foe. The Salisbury poisonings and asking questions of Russia are the ideal thing.

The UK government’s tough words (so far) most likely threaten trade sanctions and the expulsion of diplomats, but escalation to a military conflict can’t be ruled out, especially given other developing conflicts worldwide and the Russians’ complacency over this issue. In any case, the UK would be foolish and naïve in the eyes of the world, if it were to act unilaterally. This is the perfect excuse which I suspect Theresa May has been looking for, to accept any assistance offered by our EU partners, or ask for support outright.

The Russia situation, and the pending potential summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un (which could go horribly wrong if one of them leaves feeling beaten, and exercises an itchy finger, which we must hope is used for Twitter and not the nuclear option), make our world a fragile place where no nation should be alone. We need partners, so that we can address the bigger issues together.

We need the European Union as we always will. We need to be a part of it as we always have, so we can live in hope.