This post was written early yesterday afternoon. I didn’t post it yesterday as when I returned home I had yet another rejection waiting for me which has since changed my thinking slightly. I shall explain everything in my next post.
It gives me great pleasure to announce that I am now officially a literary failure. This morning I received my first rejection on the grounds that my material wasn’t suitable for the agency in question.
Since I first submitted my manuscript I have been filled with apprehension regarding how exactly I would feel upon receiving my first rejection. Honestly its a peculiar mixture. On one hand I appreciate the fact that someone somewhere read my submission despite the fact they clearly didn’t like it. The other part of me is disappointed and being somewhat of a drama queen by telling me that I am wasting my time and that I should try my hand at something achievable like alcoholism.
The fact is that it is at least forcing me to contemplate my next step. Right now I don’t know whether to push on with my original plan, rewrite or burn my manuscript and resolve myself to join the faceless brigade of those who are merely waiting to die. At least in the short-term my commitment to NaNoWriMo means that my hands are tied until the end of the month.
A man’s true character can be recognised when you observe him in the face of rejection, when no hope of salvation or redemption is in plain sight. Those who flee we deem cowards, those who remain steadfast in their convictions, we brand crazy. I suspect I am a little of both.
By now anyone and everyone has heard about the bouts of civic disorder which have struck all over England in recent times. There has been a rash of commentaries on all forms of social media ranging from messages of support to messages declaring the rioters as the rotten dregs of our society. What has been lacking in all of these critiques is basic impartiality. What used to be one of the cornerstones of good journalism is now often replaced with fiery rhetoric. Despite all the media’s claims of a broken divided society what are they doing to help mend it? Rather than trying to bridge gaps they are trying to widen the cracks even further. And that doesn’t help anyone.
The spark which fueled the flames was the death of an alleged drug dealer in Tottenham. The initial protest was an example of people exercising their democratic rights. For whatever reasons the protest turned violent and the rest they say is history. The most important fact to remember is that at the beginning it was not a crime wave. It was not droves of young gangs on a robbery rampage. It was a perfectly legal protest which somehow went wrong.
Over the course of a few days the trouble spread to Ponders End, Hackney,Enfield, Croydon and many other areas of London. It also spread to Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and Leeds. The likelihood that Mark Duggan was held in such high esteem in so many of these cities is massively unlikely. It is more likely that the initial protests were either hijacked or acted as an inspiration to youths up and down the country. I have a hard time believing that there was a Faganesque character running up and down the country ordering his new aged Oliver Twists to go and steal him twenty-six new pairs of hush puppies from Top Man. In all honesty it sounds absolutely preposterous. Fucking ridiculous even.
If there wasn’t a conductor. If these riots weren’t hijacked. Then what could be the cause? The first thing to consider is whether there are any common denominators between these people. If you look at the news footage it looks as if every rioter was a teenager. However how easy is it to identify someones age when they are wearing a cap, with a hoodie and a scarf covering the bottom half of their faces. Do only young people wear sports clothes? Of course not. The rioters are of mixed age, of mixed races, of mixed intelligence. They are a sample of us. They are representative of our society. They are what we have created.
The common factors between these places are absolutely clear. They all contain exceptionally more neighborhood’s where prospects are bleak. Where there isn’t an abundance of work but there is a high rate of crime. Most people in this areas will never have the opportunity to go to university. Many of their parents living in a credit hole in a mere effort to survive. Many of them will end up in prison. Or dead. And all the while they never see the significance of their choices. We are one of the only nations in the world where unemployed people stroll around with iPhones and Nike trainers. We give precedence to helping people from other nations before our own. We sponsor people to have babies and not work when our island is overcrowded as it is. We have a generation who have grown up knowing that they do not need to work to gain. And this is where our society fails.
Our country has failed several generations and we are now witnessing its legacy. The scenes we are witnessing should serve as a wake up call. I am not supporting the rioters. Nor am I trying to make excuses. The destruction caused by these mindless groups is an absolute abomination. All I am trying to do is highlight the fact that our liberalism is our downfall. When the flames go out and only the ashes remain, be mindful of the fact that the ashes will always remain as a reminder of what once was.