I am getting a bit of déjà vu right now. One year on from Christmas being cancelled and we are heading to a very similar place. One year on and all those same plans made, the same budget spent, the same days here and there, with the same them and these and those, everything made and in the same place as last Christmas.
And once again we have the threat of new (old) regulations with the (hinted at) weight of the law hovering above each of us. Except that the warnings are veiled warnings this year. Last year no “veil” was needed. This year the veil is very necessary.
We have the drip-feed media kiss-and-tell stories of government’s rule-breaking last year. The assumed high-moral-ground-moral-authority no longer with them. And our innocence and terror of “Coronavirus” now long-gone.
We have all been taught to risk-assess our personal space no matter the headlines bombarding our newsfeeds. This year we are all covid-warriors who know what is good for us – and what is not. One year on and mask-wars and jab-wars are ever rife and virulent. Masks and jabs both weaponised and politicised as only the human race can do.
And whatever we think and believe – how we behave and live – we are ALL right! Our own followed-sites and feeds tell us that we are right.
I wonder if any anthropologists are studying the human race’s “evolution” these past two years. The evolution from terror to arrogance. The journey from “Tell me what to do” to “You don’t get to tell me what to do”.
All in less than two years.
More and more my Facebook video feed is of individual catfights. A parking space. An airplane seat. An arrest. The list of self-recorded-and-uploaded-minutiae comes pouring out of my screen. It’s like having hot sick projectile-vomited day-after-day. Little gladiatorial voyeurisms of little poisonous disputes. All uploaded and broadcasting our dirty-washing to an avid and eager audience now demanding of its daily sick-bucket of voyeurism.
Maybe it is a consequence of being so inwardly focused these past two years. Maybe a consequence of becoming responsible for personal risk-assessment and decision-making. Maybe a consequence of living more and more through a screen into the world because we weren’t allowed to be of the world (allegedly).
One of the major changes in the evolution of my life has been “social media”. The ability – as here – to upload my words and pictures, my thoughts and reactions, my little universe as I see it, to your world and your little universe. There was no internet for this self-important minutiae when I was young.
My first laptop was for work – only displayed black and white – and connecting to the internet came with that weird whistling sound. There was no “social media” or “newsfeed”. There were newspapers, radio and television. Tittle-tattle didn’t merit any column inches or slots in the running order. Too impolite for national broadcasting. Back then we got togther and called it gossip. Either humorous or malicious.
Our home phone (mobile phones weren’t a thing then) was a shared “party line”. Someone else and their family using the same copper wire as us and our family. If we wanted to make a call and heard their voices on the line we waited. Same for them with us. If we wanted to watch colour tv we went round to a rich-friend’s house. If we had a gripe about something or someone we fixed it with them or lived with it. If we were fed-up with the government we waited until and election and then voted for or against them.
I remember being far more active than I am today. Far less interested in “my neighbours” on the other side of the world than I am now. Influencers were on Top of the Pops. Information was word-of-mouth but restricted to my circle of real-people and/or books and libraries. Pandemics weren’t a thing either. We had no awareness of eating weird-shit or flying our must-have fruit and veg a zillion miles in all seasons of the year. Supermarkets and loyalty cards with their intimate knowledge of our spending habits were yet to be invented. Same with global warming. Same with population explosions. Same with so much we take for granted today. Just as we took so much for granted then that our parents and grandparents had never known.
One week today it is Christmas Day. Unless you are in a country which doesn’t recognise Christmas Day. Then it will be just another day.
But in this country it is a day in which we all have our own traditions and way of doing things. A day we have been taught from birth is a Special Day. Whether that be because of Christ or Santa or food and drink or family and presents – and probably all of that mish-mashed into what has become “our tradition” and “our Christmas”.
We don’t like someone messing with all of that! Especially a government we learn was breaking the same rules they were imposing on us. Even if we were also breaking those same rules (totally different obviously because we weren’t telling anyone else what to do).
And as we are all now so certain of our own beliefs (no matter what those beliefs are) … No one gets to tell me what I can and can’t do – not this Christmas!
Is it any wonder Jesus was nailed to a cross after less than three years of being feted and followed?
We have managed that same mindset in less than two!