'Blessed be the fruit'
'May the Lord open'
A greeting by way of the Handmaids Tale because yesterday in Lidl, I thought that was where I had walked into.
Lidl have brought in 'fascists' to police the checkout. (it would be too easy to go the nazi route but if there is a lesson from history here, this is how it starts) These people aren't local and I have no idea who they are or where they came from, maybe they were shipped in from Area 51F! But, they are here now and you better do what they tell you or you could be in trouble!!
I was in Lidl last Monday, I have holidays to use up before the end of the year so, there I was in the queue, talking to the guy in front of me about the 'corona' crisis. No instruction on where to stand, just chatting with a friendly stranger. I was in again on Wednesday and the floor of the checkout was marked out in metres so you had to stand a metre away from the customer in front, but since there was no one there, I was able to go straight to the front, although the 'fascist' started handing out orders to the people coming behind me. I was about to say, I don't mind where they stand but my goods were through so, I thought, 'leave it' and left.
Yesterday, a new fascist was in charge. I was in with number 2 son and number 1 grand-daughter. I was only getting one item and so I was first up to the checkout. The guy in front of me was from one of our local shops where I regularly buy petrol and I have had brief conversations with him in the course of paying for my purchases. I was about to speak to him, just a friendly hello to a familiar face when the voice behind said. 'Would you mind standing back here' So, I replied 'Actually, I would' and turned back around. Then the conversation started,
Fascist - 'The PHA has ordered people to stand 2 metres apart',
Me - 'Well, it was only a metre the other day'.
Fascist - 'The store policy is 2 metres to stop the virus spreading,
Me - 'How many people do you know with the virus' - this threw her for a second.
Fascist - 'There's people dying everywhere',
Me - 'Really? Where? Have you seen them? Do you actually know anyone with the virus?'
Fascist - 'You need to open your eyes and look'
Me - 'Well, you tell me where they are, and I'll look' - she walked off at this point to harass more customers.
So, Lidl just lost one of their best customers for I will not be back.
I am not the least concerned about this virus, if I get it, I get it, if I die, I die. And the reason why I don't really care is because, if this is the world we are going to be living in for the foreseeable future, no theatre, no cinema, no art, no badminton, no public gatherings, no thinking for yourself, no holidays, no freedom of movement, then quite frankly, I'll take my chances with the virus because I would prefer to 'live on my feet than die on my knees'. And if this is the 'end of the world', then I'm not going down without a fight and I am not going to spend, what maybe my last few months on earth, cowering in my house, clutching a jumbo pack of toilet roll and crying into my pot noodle!
The other reason why I am not going to stop talking to people is that I have lived a life in fear, I have lived in states of chronic terror for many years, and then one day I decided, I will not live like this again. That is not to say, I don't feel afraid at times, I do, but I do not let it stop me from living.
Back in the 60's, when I was very, very young, I encountered my first moment of large scale 'terrorise the people'. I was brought up Catholic, so every other week it was 'you'll burn in hell for all eternity, you worthless sinner'. Quickly followed by 'the Russians want to take over the world and turn us all into Atheists' (Yayyy! I thought) Next was, 'the world is heading into another ice age, we won't be able to grow food and millions will starve and your children, if you even survive long enough to have any, will have to go and live in Africa' or at the very least, somewhere warm. Which added another layer of terror, because we knew Africa was in no state to support us as we were sending money out to them every week for the 'black babies'.
Then the real terror started, 'the Troubles', and we were locked down into 30 years of state and community terror. And believe me, the community terror was the really scary one!
After that, we rolled into the 80's and the Russians were back with a vengeance, only this time it was the big one, NUCLEAR WAR!!! Yes, those pesky Russians didn't want to take over the world any more, (apparently, there had been a change of plan by the Politburo) Oh no, now they wanted to annihilate it, well not all of it, just the Western bits where we lived, 'because they were jealous of capitalism and wanted to destroy it!' But, just as we were all about to build a bunker in the back yard, the Berlin wall fell and we all lived happily ever after....sorry...I must have dozed off.
Then there was the virus, the Aids virus and HIV, if you had sex with someone who had it you could die!! And not only that you could have it for 15 years before it even showed itself which meant you could have it already and be passing it around to anyone you slept with and you would all dieeee!! But the numbers didn't quite hit the predictions and let's face it, you're not going to stop people having sex, and it seemed to be confined more to gay men and Africa and if you wore a condom you would be ok and that was the end of that.
So, we hit the 90's and we had nothing to fear, and we were all running about enjoying ourselves, some people were going to raves which almost became a 'national crisis', people were selfish then and having far too much fun, so they had to think of something to terrorise the people with once again to keep them down so that they could be manipulated and controlled...and what better terror than the 'climate', but it couldn't be another ice age because they had tried that in the 60's and it didn't pan out so they would have to try a different tack this time. And they did, 'global warming', yes, that was it, you weren't going to freeze to death this time,(OH NOOO!) this time you were going to roast to death, the sea levels were going to rise by 100metres (later reduced to 20 metres, apparently someone forgot to put in a decimal point or something) and if you didn't drown, then your country would be transformed into a desert and you wouldn't be able to grow food and millions would starve etc (see 1960's) only you couldn't move somewhere cooler because there was nowhere cooler to go!
But those early global warming terrors didn't really have a big impact, people said they would plant more trees and look after the environment better and were happy to pay 4 quid for a light bulb they used to pay 60p for (me) and people started to reminisce about the hippie movement, all that peace, love and harmony and started talking about world peace and why can't we all just get along sort of stuff. So, that was the end of that and a new terror was needed.
As the 20th century drew to a close, with what looked like was going to be the 'party of the century', another new scare arrived. Well, they couldn't allow fun on that sort of scale so next up was the Y2K scare. Apparently, Bill Gates or someone forgot to programme the computers to change at the end of 1999 to 2000, and all sorts of mayhem was going to ensue. Since almost everything had a 'chip' of some kind, everything was going to fail, planes were going to fall from the sky, everything was going to break down and the world was going to be plunged back into the stone age! There was a couple who tried to warn us all, they had built a bunker, moved out of the city and had a larder that would shame today's hoarders! And what happened? Well. nothing actually, the computers just changed to 2000 and everything still worked and everybody had a great night out or in. I heard the couple later divorced, very quietly, without any publicity.
So, with that loss of credibility, people started to enjoy themselves again and that could never be allowed so a new terror was needed. It would have to be something big, something spectacular that hadn't been tried before, at least not in our lifetime, because they had to restore faith in the voices of doom and gloom so George Bush's puppet masters got together with Mossad and the CIA and they came up with the mother of all terrorist attacks -The Twin Towers - and since they controlled most of the media, they were able to control the narrative and a new terror was born, a muslim with a stanley knife! Ta da! Yes, those terrible Arabs (or eh-rabs as they call them in the good old US of A!) had destroyed the Twin Towers because they were jealous of us and our capitalism - see 1980's Russians also, see The Crusades - etc, etc...So, they invaded Iraq, decimated the country and the population with their depleted uranium bombs, all in an effort to bring them peace, freedom and capitalism, and the West took their oil in return. They wrecked Libya too, tried to wreck Afghanistan but the Taliban had already done that so they just fouttered about for a few years and managed to wrest control of some areas from them but it's all still a bit dodgy.
So, as the new century progressed, they managed to fake a few more 'muslim' events and then the Democrats came to power and needed money so Al Gore got out his pencil, 'global warming' became 'climate change' and another new terror was born - well actually it was an old one revamped - and again the sea levels were going to rise, we'd all drown, and generally, we were all doomed...again..and Leonardo DiCaprio stopped shagging 18 year old's on his yacht and bought a Prius...well, no, actually, he just bought a Prius and paraded his green credentials by driving it to the Oscars which distracted from all the young girls partying on his yacht.
And then because none of Al's predictions had come true they needed a new 'messiah' and an uneducated teenager with a learning disability was roped in by her unscrupulous parents to ramp the fear up again and Extinction Rebellion was born too, to harass the poor old working man trying to go about his business. But then because of the internet (THANK GOD!) people were questioning the lies and propaganda, but then Australia had a big fire which helped to ramp up the fear again but then winter arrived, the Aussies had a lot of rain and so, the fear of a 'world on fire' sort of dissipated.
And while all that was going on something else had happened in the world financial trading system in 2019. The US fell out with the Saudi's over the price of oil, they wanted to cut it but more importantly, they do not want to trade in petroldollars any more either. Saddam Hussein and Colonel Gadaffi had proposed this before and we all know what happened to them but the Saudi's are so well armed (ironically by the US and the UK) so although they are a quite authoritarian society, an invasion or war is not a possibility, to bring them capitalism and democracy, at least not at this stage. So, financial trading was going to change from petrodollars to, whoever had a currency, and the wealth to back it, the US has a budget deficit of 1.3 trillion dollars.
In the world's financial systems, oil and commodities are traded in dollars, this has been going on since the 1970's when Nixon defaulted on his loans , the US did not have enough gold to cover the debts, so they stopped trading on the Gold Standard and moved to the petrodollar (the Gold standard is a monetary system where a country's currency or paper money has a value directly linked to gold) This means that in order to buy oil or commodities, you first have to buy dollars and then you can buy your oil or whatever. The US gets a cut from every one of these financial transactions so it's a nice payday for them. However, because they fell out with the Saudi's and because the Saudi's, like the US, has a lot of debt, Russia stepped up (they have no debt, lots of gold, natural resources and oil) world trade was about to be taken over by a new currency. You will notice that the price of petrol has gone down a lot recently, this is all connected to it. So this is where we are - the financial world is heading for a reset and the US doesn't like that they have lost their hegemony.
And who could have challenged the US for a trading currency in today's world apart from Russia, maybe just maybe, the fastest growing economy in the world, China. Well, what a coincidence!!! Just when it looked like they were about to take over the currency for world trading, with possibly the backing of Russia, they are hit with a terrible virus, allegedly started by someone in China eating a bat, that's wasn't fully cooked through.
And coincidentally, Iran, their old enemy goes down a storm with it too. But what about Italy, I hear you say, look how they've been hit! Yes, poor old Italy is supremely f*cked, they have about 4 trillion euros of debt and an aging population but maybe, they got hit by the wrong virus or strain of virus, (see previous posting) or maybe not, who knows?
On a happier note and to give you time to absorb all that, one of my favourite movies is Strictly Ballroom by Baz Luhrmann and coincidentally, I watched it last weekend. It's a great movie, full of that Aussie humour I like so much. One of the themes in the movie is fear and there is a saying in it which is also Baz Luhrmann's personal motto - a life lived in fear is a life half lived. I have also adopted it as mine, I only have one life, I want to live it.
We haven't been fully hit yet with the virus and maybe, we won't. This is all speculation, but at the time of writing, I still don't know anyone with the virus or who has died from the virus, and my sister and her friends in the South of England, 20 minutes from where the first suspected case was, don't know anyone either.
I have lived through a lot of scary times and some other personally horrifying situations and as scary as all of those events were/are, do you know what has terrified me the most about this whole situation, is how easily the population of this country gave up their freedoms and not a word of protest heard.
Nolite te bastardes carborundorum...