Part 2 of The Tibestian Book of the Undead(read part 1 first ...)
Why am I writing this? Because I kept a diary, every day after I finally acquired paper, but after a century or so of diligently making notes and musings, someone stole it. I'd like to think it will turn up one day, but judging by my location at that time, it was probably used to light a fire or wipe someone's backside.
At first I tried to remember it, day by day, but the mind revolts against such a repetitive and uncreative task. At least, mine did. So this is my alternative. I reckon a thousand people's diaries could be preserved nowadays on one usb stick costing a few pounds! By the time I've written this it will more likely be ten thousand, or something totally new will have replaced usb sticks.
What is the biggest dilemma facing a vampire? If you drink some human blood, visit the blood bank or bite a semi-conscious small mammal, then you have more power to do good. And more temptation to be selfish. This used to trouble me, nowadays it interests me. At 360 years young am I wise enough to become rich? I doubt it.
When you've been around for several centuries you have to laugh at some of the things people believe:
The earth is the centre of the universe!
The sun is the centre of the universe!
The pope is the centre of the universe!
I am the centre of the universe!
This is THE universe!
Anything to preserve the current doctrine. Accepting that previous generations were understandably naive, and then failing to realise that we are.
Declaring war on those that have different illusions between the ears. Sorry, I mean different stories. The red mist was rising …
Particularly upsetting, for me, was the millions of horses 'enlisted' in the first world war. The horses didn't have any enemies, so far as I could tell. They seem to have more uncommon sense.
Having witnessed every conceivable belief, what I believe is facts.
An example: The fact that I dreamed of a friend's dog coming to say goodbye to me, and learning, months later, that the dog died the same morning. You have to be careful who you tell of such things or you'll drown under the deluge of oh so predictable preconceptions. Reductionist materialism, if they did but know.
The most insoluble conflict, for me, has been power. Power certainly fills the vacuum when consideration for others is lacking, but an absence of power, weakness, seems rather ineffective in a society that has so many problems.
I've never really seen anyone significantly changed by what they are told. Which means when anyone does change for the better it is very likely due to their experience of good examples. Someone they can look up to in their peer group, neighbourhood, workplace, whatever. Inspiring examples that are around for decades. This is what I really remember, and I'm not alone.
What have I learned?
Since land was owned by the few and the many became serfs, there has been neither democracy nor freedom.
Since property and productivity became controlled by capital the many have been enslaved by a carefully engineered lifelong debt, advertising and corporate media.
What can an individual do to liberate people? Nothing. The many are suspicious of anything outside the bondage they are familiar with, and would find very embarrassing the fact that their life to date has been a trap engineered by people and institutions they've never met. Psychological denial is a defence mechanism because the frail ego needs it. The good news is that escaping the corporate/banking/media trap is a contagious cure for the corporate/banking/media illness that has swept the western world.
Even at 360 years I still find myself wandering blindly into a mindless escape, often a video, reasoning that I need a rest. I do need a rest! But watching someone else's “story” really doesn't work unless I've chosen the film/documentary consciously.
Political policy seems to be based on greed and power (the right) and helping the majority tainted with fantasy (the left). Policy based on understanding the human condition, human psychology, the social/economic/political reality feels unlikely to gain many votes.
What have I done? Sought as much independence from the system as possible, and voted tactically (for damage limitation) in so called democratic elections, and voted every day with my (very tiny) wallet to encourage good business, good trade, good services and most importantly GOOD FOOD.
After centuries of serfdom, orchestrated by the wealthiest 1%, or increasingly by the tiniest fraction of 1%, a left wing government created the welfare state. A perfect solution for a perfect species in a perfect world.
Sadly the most witless x% (1%? 5%?) soon learned to booze all their income, phone mother (the council) every time their rent rebated house wasn't perfect, and develop a total absence of consideration for others and self reliance. It is politically incorrect to say so. And it's true.
The ultra rich use these bad examples to justify increasing misery for the majority. The powerless social workers are lumbered with the task of solving these problems - and can't. The armed forces, who could, are deployed in violence abroad instead. Even the well protected ultra rich seem unable to face the reality of dire problems at home. It is more comfortable to focus on the sins of others. This often leads to war.
The majority spend their whole life in debt, pay inflated prices for house purchase (if they are lucky) or rent (if they aren't) and are too exhausted to devise alternatives.
Things are a lot clearer when you stand back and observe …
With modern day technology the manufacture of basic needs such as housing, food, electricity, water, heating, telecomms is so easy that everyone ought to be developing many creative hobbies, artforms, voluntary work and such in order to avoid boredom. In practice society has degenerated into a frantic race with no sensible destination, possibly because the lubricant of money is oiling an engine that has a permanent and unfixable leak: namely the interest that is continually syphoned off into the bank accounts of the trillionaires.
Happiest memories … are surprising:
A romance: that never really happened (not quite) and we ended up knowing each other far better than most couples do.
Poverty: Only once was it really dire, when I was very young and also in debt. Never again, I vowed. And the lesson has stuck in my tiny mind.
When I was poor and living In a tiny, damp cottage. I had to find firewood every day, and became fitter than at any time before or since.
The joy of growing nearly everything I ate (because I had to); of baking my own bread.
The joy of growing food for my hens and goat.
The joy of bargain hunting; and sharing the bargains with others. Sharing know-how with friends and neighbours.
The satisfaction of making practically everything we needed.
I don't saw and carry my own firewood nowadays. Modern insulation has rendered space heating a minor concern in such a mild climate. Besides, I've discovered so many interests that I want more time to indulge. Technology has opened even more doors, though I still prefer daubing paint with a very large brush to digital art. Mind you, yesterday I came across the word mathemusician. I'd never heard the word before, but the possibilities appeal.
I think I was a youth of about 40 years when I realised the huge role power plays in bad relationships. Isn't that a huge topic!? More anon.
P.S. part 1
Tibestian Book of the Undead
banking, democracy, denial, fiction, freedom, mathemusician, power, satire, TibestianUndead, vampires