XXVII. on coffee and James Joyce — II.

Making my very—very, very—slow way through James Joyce’s Ulysses, & coming to a lot of conclusions (or I suppose they are tentatively putaside questions) about my own writing, & about life in general.

—History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to wake.
From the playfield the boys raised a shout. A whirring whistle: goal. What if that nightmare gave you a back kick?
—The ways of the Creator are not our ways, Mr Deasy said. All human history moves towards one great goal, the manifestation of God.
Stephen jerked his thumb towards the window, saying:
—That is God.
Hooray! Ay! Whrrwhee!
—What? Mr Deasy asked.
—A shout in the street, Stephen answered, shrugging his shoulders.

What is God? If there is no belief in Him—and there is, clearly, worldwide belief in Him, but I mean personally—then what do we strive for? I believe it is a form of human perfection that is only temporary in concept and likely impossible in form and matter, but the concept and the strife and the striving is important. we create ourselves; & in doing so our society, our history, our God. I do not believe in God, but I believe Joyce speaks truth. / I wish I had a greater understanding of this God.

XXVI. on the outcome of the General Election, & my birthday

The General Election came and went, & so did most peoples’ interest in politics as a whole. / As a country we have achieved a majority “conservative” government. It’s mostly to do with our strange—possibly unjust and outdated—FPTP system, but regardless, the voters of our country have found each other agreeing enough to create a majority government; and a majority conservative government at that. / It is a shocker to a lot of Labour voters (and Labour ministers; Red Ed perhaps most of all), & probably a shocker to many Conservative voters as well, who—listening at all to the B.B.C. or most media outlets over the past few months—believed it to swing heavily in Labour‘s favour. I did, for one. In fact I believed that progressivism—read socialism, in most cases—would rule one more, —and we would have a few years of terror and waste and indecency and failure and corruption and extortion—that is, until 2020 when things would even out to a Conservative government again. But no! We the People trusted Cameron enough to give him another shot. / It’s my birthday on Thursday; I’ll be 24. My plans for the Big Day: I think I’m going to go to the cinema and get an early night.

XXV. on the moral obligation of happiness

I am attempting to be authentic. this entails a whole load of things, not least of which that I have to live by the principles that I believe in. / I believe that one has a moral obligation to be happy. I used to believe that one has a moral obligation to show happiness, regardless of your emotions—because showing happiness is only controlling your actions, & that has no borderline-insane ramifications in respect of your mind, or your soul—but this is not authentic; you are lying to others and harming yourself (or worse yet harming yourself!). / as the majority of teens do, I went through a few bad spells which lasted sometimes for just a week, sometimes for whole seasons. I noticed how my mood affects others around me, how it negatively impacts my work, my writing, my socialising, my life, —but more importantly I noticed that it would affect my outlook on life.

granting (as we must) a physiological influence upon the mental, —and of course a mental on the physical, as a circle (or a spiral, depending on one’s mood)—exercising, eating well, excusing yourself from situations—and people—that will send you into depression, finding help in family, friends or professionals when necessary, & keeping up a lifestyle of conscious being, is a way to curb the symptoms of depression. / sometimes, admittedly, this means simply forcing myself to turn the television on during the weekend, or writing a few sentences (rather than staring into space), or forcing myself to eat even when all food tastes like dirt. but sometimes this means leaving the house and seeing a friend on a day where I’d much rather be under a bedcover, folding in on myself.

all those having real trouble,  I know how hard it is, but don’t underestimate the power of really attempting to live how you would want to live. and lastly, maybe don’t go so easy on yourself sometimes; trust me, you’re certainly stronger than you think you are at your lowest.

XXIV. on the Garland shooting

You crazy stupid brave Americans. It’s definitely circumstances and events and outcomes like this that are cementing your place as my favourite country. Two gunmen likely with explosives attacked an American Freedom Defense Initiative and managed to shoot a security guard before police (a S.W.A.T. team?) shot them both dead. / I would victim-blame like some other people on the internet; say that it’s surely because of the Draw the Prophet Muhammad cartoon that they were attacked, & that the gunmen were likely extremists, but that would be a disgusting thing to do.

Freedom cannot be given, it can only be taken.

That’s a paraphrase from Sartre, talking about selfcreation. And with that decision to be free which no one can convince you out of, they can only take from you, you also invite all of the negative aspects of being truly free. In this case, the hatred and the jealousy of those who are not free. The ones who attended this rally, & in a small number of other cases, are people who are exercising their freedom (without harming others) to whatever end, & their right to do this is absolute.

XXIII. on Ed Miliband’s S.N.P. warning

Ed Miliband has warned the Scots not to vote for the S.N.P., because it would be a wasted vote. He cites his belief that progressivism and the leftwing will walk away with a clear victory this election, & so it becomes a question of how the government will be formed. He has ruled out a coalition with the S.N.P., he made his plan known at the challengers’ debate, & has now solidified it. / His thinking is that if half of Scotland votes for the S.N.P., it will make it impossible for Labour to win an outright majority. / But of course, that’s not the be-all, end-all. The Scots voting for the S.N.P. makes their wishes known. Remember that 45% of the country wanted a complete separation from the United Kingdom. Miliband — and I believe all the other parties — have denied the possibility of another referendum any time soon, so of the 45% of the country who hold separation as the most important point in the election, the choice is clear. / Hey, Scots, vote for what’s in your heart! I think the country (and everyone within it) would be much better off avoiding Labour altogether, so my position is obvious and a bit shameless, but that doesn’t change the fact that until by-elections if you vote with your heart you will have voted in S.N.P. members to represent your wishes in government, rather than Labour M.P.s who have nothing to gain by arguing for your separation, or in fact for any point that Ed Miliband disagrees with. . . . / Seems that in his attempt to show that he is “tough enouss”, he has alienated much of his party and flown off the “values” handle. . . .

XXII. on misdirection in the lead up to the general election

I understand the stereotype is there for a reason, but it always surprises me how much politicians halflie and misdirect in their narratives in order to secure votes. If you dislike Labour you will have heard that they have turned their backs on the unions, are nonchalant about issues of debt, & wish to raise taxes instead of cutting even the least effective parts of government. If you dislike the S.N.P. you will have heard how they are nationalistic to the point of ignorance, have barely fleshed out ideals of progressivism, & imagine a future apart from the U.K. but closer to the E.U. If you dislike the Liberal Democrats you will have heard that they are a broken party run by a coward. If you dislike the Greens you will have heard how they cannot run one constituency properly, their fearmongering is patronising, and how their spending plans are almost satirical. If you dislike the Conservatives you will have heard how they wish to defund and privatise the N.H.S., cut frontline services almost for the sake of it, & cater specifically to billionaires. If you dislike U.K.I.P. you will have heard how they are all racists, how their supporters are all B.N.P. offshoots, & how they only have one policy. If you dislike Plaid Cymru you probably just don’t know anything about them. / Now, very little of this is based in any fact at all, & much of it is complete misinformation, & much of this is from the leaders of the opposing parties.