The itchy and scratchy shower

CAT PEOPLE (PUTTING OUT FIRE)

As Glastonbury revellers leave thousands of plastic bottles despite a ban, there was an itch on my arm I yearned to scratch. Someone had let the cat out…

Cat typing world hunger

Big problems require the finest minds to co-operate.

Grumpy cat donations

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Imagine an age of enlightenment

VIDEO

If only it were real. But it’s by Canny AI, an upstart company in Israel (of all places). My point in posting is that we’re living in an age where the lines between truth and fiction are almost indistinguishable, and where Artificial Intelligence could make it impossible to tell fake news from reality.

It doesn’t have to be like this. If only this divided world’s future leaders could forget their nations’ differences and personal agendas, and unite in a common cause to save our only home, this fantasy might be a lesser stretch of the imagination.

If only it were that simple. All we need to do is keep talking.

The view beyond thunder dome

THE WRITER’S LIFE

My last few non-fiction posts have been about me, which might seem somewhat selfish. But I’m a writer with mental health issues, writing about being a writer with mental health problems. And it’s my blog. But I also write about the things which fuel my personal anguish, in a wider world, where I have less influence or control. Today I looked outside, at all the other people, and everything that will affect them personally today.

human-sufferingPixabay

Today someone will lose a parent, a child, a family member, and a friend. The person they lose will say farewell to them all, and someone will have to deliver the news. Many more will live their final day, in countries fractured by conflict, while at home, relationships will fall apart.

Today someone will find out that their partner, parent or child has cancer, or a degenerative neurological disease. At home, a father no longer remembers his children.

Today someone will visit a food bank, hoping there might be some tinned fruit to put in a child’s Christmas stocking, and a parent will go without food so that their children can eat.

Today forests will be cut down to make way for palm oil, and thousands of animals will be made homeless or killed, to feed human greed, while other humans starve. People will murder their fellow humans, in the name of an unrealistic ideology.

Today we will continue to exploit oil and gas reserves, while our planet becomes more sick from the cancer of humans. We’ll add to our pollution of a planet where every living organism is now part-plastic.

Today friends will fall out over ecological and political issues, as their worlds grow further apart and left and right become polarised. Today someone will be verbally or physically abused, because of their colour, religion, gender, sexuality, or opinion; because they’re human.

All of this will all happen again tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that. The world spins on its axis. One man struggles, while another relaxes.

I’ve had much cruelty inflicted upon me, when I was homeless, and lately by the Department for Work and Pensions, who regard any quality of life as a luxury to be earned, when food and shelter ought to be a human right in a developed nation with one of the richest economies in the world. But I live under a fascist dictatorship, in a country with a colonial, imperial history. I’m ashamed of where I’m from and what I represent.

Mine is a human shame, and although I feel guilt and remorse for things I inflicted on my fellow humanity in the past, the penitent man inside makes living with everything more difficult. That’s what being human feels like.

But my suffering is nothing compared to countless others. So when I look at things like this, outside my own world and into the wider one, which I care about enough to make it personal, I see millions to whom my life would be a luxury.

I realised that however personally devastating my illness can be, made worse by stress and worry about money and my dad, my world is tiny and simple compared to many others out there. We can’t take time back, but we can think forward, where anything could be possible. We’re lucky to be down here, so let’s not waste our time.

We’re all different, but we’re born the same. We are one race, but the human species has a tendency to forget.

Inside angel

The message inside this card reads ‘Only our wings are broken.’

 

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.

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.