Merry Christmas and that kind of thing. I hate the end of every year. The falsified happiness, the expectation that we celebrate the fact that we are all one year closer to death. It is collective insanity. A gazelle never turns around to a chasing tiger and offers it a drink so why should we?
The worst thing about Christmas is the music. The same songs in every shopping centre, supermarket, taxi, television advert and radio station. The same sentiments, the same words, the same ideas, the same tunes. Nothing ever changes at Christmas. It is a tinselled up groundhog day of misery, eating bad food, showing gratitude for things we do not want and being forced to interact with people we do not actually like.
Therefore I would like to propose to you not to partake in the annual misery competition. Instead, read something awesome. The kind folks at Amazon are giving away Mourning Morning eBooks from the 25th of December to the 29th. Set yourself a reminder. Get yourself a copy.
Thus all that is left for me to say is Jingle Balls and may the Jesus be with you all.
P.S. There is one Christmas song that is worth listening to. You can find it below.
It was the year 2345. #Brexit still has not been agreed. In the Peoples Democratic Republic of #Corbyn the people are starving and wandering the streets aimlessly, wondering if we are racist, xenophobic or anti-semitic?
The national GDP has shrunk to size 8 trousers. Medication no longer exists. The path to Dover is littered with the cobwebbed corpses of HGVs, their drivers’ mere skeletons. All food apart from the humble lettuce has disappeared from supermarket aisles.
We are both in and out and in and out of the #EU which now encompasses three-fifths of the Earth. The #EU parliament is now located in 365 cities. Relocating every day. Straight bananas are now legal. Bent bananas are now contraband.
The ghostly corpse of Boris Johnson haunts the corridors of Westminster, howling I told you so. The NHS no longer operational, now treats every disease with a cup of tea, made from the skin of untreated eczema patients.
Super Gonorrhoea has trebled in strength. It is now Spectacular Gonorrhoea. The constant stream of immigrants long dried up as poverty takes hold across the land. The legal tender, Adidas clothing, replaced the crippled pound over two hundred years prior.
Nigel Farage is alive and well and spends each day in speakers corner, gibbering about foreigners and dribbling on his own shoes.
As we face the end of what we once knew it suddenly dawns on all of us. They were all right. We are richer and poorer. Sicker and healthier. We are in and out. We are #Brexit, we chant in unison, as we follow the guidance of our leaders and begin eating each other’s brains.
Two days ago the British government announced a strategy to stop people feeling lonely. In a time when public services are being cut down like enemy soldiers in Rambo III, it seems utterly preposterous that the government now intends on spending money in an effort to identify precisely why people are feeling lonely. It does not require twenty million pounds to realise that human contact is the cure for loneliness.
When I first read an article about the strategy for loneliness prevention I thought it was a joke. In one article it made reference to the minister for loneliness I could not help but laugh. It could not be true, so I thought. A few minutes later google confirmed that the UK does indeed have a minister for a basic human emotion. It troubled me on many levels. First and foremost was the name. If the minister for health was responsible for making us more healthy, and the minister for trade for making more trade, surely the minister for loneliness was meant to make us more lonely. Would she travel the country executing our spouses and telling our friends that we secretly hate them? The second and most troubling thought was the fact that the government are looking to minister our emotions.
Loneliness has not been the only somewhat peculiar topic on the agenda. In the same week the government has announced a minister for suicide prevention. Granted it is a significantly more appropriate name, and yet it also left me with a sense of disquiet. When the two new ministers are considered together it becomes apparent that the government has become acutely aware of a mental health crisis across the UK. The pertinent question is whether there is a genuine crisis or is this a case of a government encroaching on Big Brother territory.
In 2017 there were 5,821 suicides in the UK. In a country of over 65 million people it sounds like a drop in the ocean. When you look across Europe you find that although it is the fourth highest total in Europe, it is also the fourth lowest suicide rate in Europe. Therefore, it seems strange that the government has chosen to pursue these two policies in a time of austerity, whilst slashing so many other services.
It is evident that across the country the budgetary cuts have played merry hell with mental health services. It perhaps would be wiser to give the services that are in dire need of more funding the money earmarked for figuring out why people are lonely. The fact is a lack of access to therapists and counselling, as a direct result of a lack of funding causes loneliness. Overstretched mental health departments having to prioritise people’s problems causes loneliness. Stupidly long waiting times for people suffering anxiety and distress cause loneliness. Worst of all is that all of these problems, if fixed, would likely contribute to a lowering of the suicide rate and save actual lives. It is not rocket science, it is basic human empathy.
If you like me are feeling exceptionally lonely, feeling isolated by a government that throws money at identifying the problem with people, rather than the problems caused by the system, feel free to contact our minister for loneliness. I’m sure she will do her best to help…
It’s about here I need some heralds to blow some trumpets or some bells to sound or some drunken cherubs to fall from the sky, swigging whisky and vomiting ‘he’s done it’ in formation. Seeing as I do not have any of those all I can do is announce that the first draft of book number three is complete. Of course this is where the hard work begins.
The truth is that people often imagine writing to be a sexy, exciting pursuit. The fact is that it is often like having a prolonged period of constipation, finally emptying your bowels, only to be told that you have to take your newborn turd and polish it into a diamond.
It’s is a peculiar feeling. On one hand there is a sense of achievement. On the other a funereal sense of sadness as in some respects you have to begin preparing yourself to say goodbye to the assortment of characters that have preoccupied your mind. Such is the nature of life that the moment you finish something you already have to start preparing for the next step. In this respect writing models life; it’s cyclical, a project is born, breathes, and its death is found in its completion. And there’s the truth. Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.