Today I feel angry.
For some time, I have felt unable to write. I’ve read articles and had thoughts, half-written tweets or considered joining in conversations but whenever I go to do so, my mind has become like lead and I can’t bring myself to bother. In the last few weeks I have put this down to simply not caring. I have wondered when I stopped caring, and why, and reflected on whether I ever really used to care. This is followed by confusion on what it is I do or don’t or did or didn’t care about. Essentially, what has changed? Why can’t I write?
I suppose creatives call it ‘writers block’.
I call it ‘society is one big depressing joke’ block.
It is the circus of society and the suffocating entrapment of it that are wrapping themselves around me like weeds, reminding me that we grow where we’re planted; if you are not planted in the area with good light, spacing, water and maybe a scarecrow to keep the predators at bay, then your growth is on a timer. There’s a metaphor for life in there somewhere.
We live in a society where ‘the poor’ are becoming more and more mentioned. We live in a society where likenesses to the Victorian era are being drawn. UK poverty has been mentioned more and more frequently in the last few years. Yet when ‘the rich’ (we can even refer to sectors of people with such contrasting divides again now) are found to have off-shore accounts, avoid taxes and generally exercise the reach of their thriving plant in comparison to the feeble, malnourished, struggling plant in the darkness, there is no outcry. There is no outcry, I fear, because like me, people have stopped caring - truly caring. Like me, every irritation and droplet of anger within is extinguished by the spectre of ‘this is how it is’ or ‘there’s nothing I can do’. It is those phrases that simultaneously silence me and vex; they are the phrases that uphold the situations we find ourselves in. They are the phrases that ensure the socially disadvantaged do not stray too far from their row. These phrases are so ingrained on public psyche that they ensure there will be no revolution, no moral uprising, no reclamation of (or even reflection on) life; no passion. They ensure a change won’t come. That’s depressing, isn’t it?
We live in a society that can see global events mirroring Hitler’s rise in 20/30’s Germany. I know I’m not the only one to draw the parallel. We watch the news of Trump and his comments (even the name sounds satirical, yet the joke is this is reality!) from armchairs and handhelds and discuss his strategy. We joke about America’s intelligence resting on this, as if using humour to detract from the point that the fact he has votes denotes a real conflict in Western society at large. I say Western because racial tension has been developing steadily over the last few years particularly across Europe and America - discrimination has always been there, on a continuum, but if history is cyclical we are approaching the extremes of that continuum again. But nobody is scared, or cares, because nobody really believes it will happen, or is that nobody cares? Are we that passive? I have seen social media memes and graphics mock Trump - I’m sure his ego will feel very bruised should he make it to the Whitehouse. If that happens, I wonder if we, as a society, will look back and think ‘there was nothing I could do’. Sometimes I think media comments and graphics are the way society clears its collective conscience, making it seem engaged in real life issues but only from a safe, non-threatening distance. Nobody wants to risk losing the light, spacing and water that they’ve got.
When I manage to find some order to the things which annoy me I don’t feel surprised that I would rather be writing fiction currently. What’s the point in writing about society anymore? My pen is bored of weeping.