It seems the less I write, the more people read. Silent for a few days and I have gained India and Spain! China remains a stalwart, of course – and for that I am very grateful – but, from time to time, I do question the relevance of some of my subject matter in faraway climes. Perhaps Trish-Trash is printed and then used for the equivalent of our chippy newspaper or, more likely, it is sampled in places of academic brilliance … Let’s remember, it was a hit in the Court of Session!
So, apologies for missing Friday. A traumatic day for me, I actually ventured out of the house! No, slight exaggeration aside, I am acutely aware that my territory has been curtailed – surreptitiously. Spontaneity is all but dead – I know, I’m, now, on repeat – and it’s pretty much a case of eat, drink and sleep; same old, same old. Each of us has retreated into his/her own routine without really knowing and, gradually, the withdrawal of freedoms is accepted – or is it?
The importance of travel. Never to be underestimated again. Without it, we are little more than hamsters on wheels or, as Katy Perry so aptly put it, ‘we’re all chained to the rhythm’. Clearly, not just a pretty face. However, missing the stimuli of jumping the fence is only part of it. Yes, the web of fear is omnipresent and complex, breeding not only caution in all things but, moreover, suspicion; a suspicion of one’s fellow man which is damaging in the extreme. Admittedly, the brainwashing is of a more subtle nature now but, believe me, it is sufficient. Just drip feed a little every day; top up; a booster to maintain a level of compliance. No one will notice because the change in one’s routine is gradual; geared to ‘safety’. Help! It has worked on me. We had tickets for Del Amitri, in Perth, last Thursday and I love Del Amitri. We didn’t go. I made all the excuses of being too far, at night, blah, blah, blah but, you know what, we didn’t have our usual aisle seats and I didn’t want to a) have to take a totally unreliable lateral flow test, or b) sit amongst God knows who! I think they’re called ‘people’ … Light bulb moment: Me, myself, I have been sufficiently ‘programmed’ to forego seeing one of my favourite bands ever. How scary is that? I have to say, Justin, I am suitably ashamed.
So, slowly, I am coming to realise a change in myself; in my attitudes and I am not impressed. Shows it works on anybody! Thus, we are off to London for a few nights, this week, and I am notably twitchy. No! I will not live my life in fear. Enough. Get on that train – mine’s a Gin & Tonic – and savour every minute of that Afternoon Tea at the Ritz! Mask-free, the opportunity to step back in time and appreciate all that we have lost. How could we have got is so wrong?
The gradual curtailing of freedoms, however, far exceeds the physical. Only last week, it was reported that The Stones would be ‘retiring’ their greatest hit ever, Brown Sugar, on account of the lyrics referencing slavery and – taken literally – being demeaning to black women. Oh, help! The Tyranny of Tolerance, once more, let loose with its blackboard rubber intent on erasing history, whatever! Written in 1971, it was all about sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll back then and, yes, if one studies the lyrics, now, they are distasteful but, once again, the iconic song is of its time! There is nobody who could agree with the content of that song, then or now, but I, for one, need only hear the opening bars and I am ‘programmed’ to hit that dance floor – along with everybody else! Played for ever at every disco, party, the lot, I guarantee nobody cares – or even knows – the lyrics. It is all about the beat, the music and the Seventies. Why ruin it now? For God’s sake, let’s take a look at the words of that hideous rapper, Dave, or those of Stormzy, for that matter. Surprisingly, neither are on my playlist but I bore witness to the Brit Awards in February 2020 – and the anger. (In fact, I devoted a whole post to it: 19th February, 2020) Used as a political platform to incite – protected by the colour of their skin – the fact that those, two, were given a free rein was both telling and scary. ‘Everyone that’s inside doing their time, hold it down. I love you, guys!’. Thanks, Dave! Your music teacher would be so proud. As for Stormzy, ‘Let them make fool of my enemies’. Not at all threatening. I presume he is referring to white people?
So, that’s allowed? Lyrics about loving those who are in prison regardless of their crimes? Murder? Rape? Lyrics about making fools of one’s enemies? In the words of will.i.am, where is the love? The thing is, it’s all about colour … Everything is about colour or gender these days. Ironically, the greatest sadness lies in defining oneself by either.
Touching on such lovely words about inmates – thanks, Dave – is the perfect Segway into my final subject of the day: the fact that women prisoners who call transgender inmates by the wrong pronoun could face extra time in jail under equality rules. Yes, one read that correctly. Deliberately calling a transgender inmate ‘he’ or ‘him’ could be punished under the rules barring ‘threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour.’ Of course. Now, let’s put that into context: the fact that this summer, the High Court rejected a legal challenge to prevent transgender inmates with convictions for sexual or violent offences against women being imprisoned alongside other women. OMG!! In 2019, there were 11 transgender women who were still, legally, male held at the 12 women’s prisons in England and Wales.
Pause for a minute. Women can have their sentences extended for referring to a fellow transgender inmate as ‘he’ or ‘him’ but that same transgender inmate may be in there having, previously, raped or beaten a woman?? Seriously?! Beam me up, Scotty! Honestly, I’ll, happily, experience weightlessness with William Shatner to rise above this planet and its sub-intelligent, deranged inhabitants. Who is in charge? This is the stuff of horror movies. Oh, ‘To sleep, perchance to dream’.
Make that a large one …
‘No longer shall we seek to place blame for our condition elsewhere or to look to others to take responsibility for our development. We are the masters of our own fate.’
Nelson Mandela (Cape Town, July 2002).
Taken from my post of 19th February, 2020. Who noticed?
This is Trish, signing off.