I must ask you to forgive me for this post as it may turn into nothing more than a stream of consciousness howl against the world. The truth is that I am sick of the way things are, and find myself inching towards a position where I wish that humanity would do something stupid and fatal, just to give the rest of the planet a break from our stupidity. Whether it's the news that the new iPhone 7 has been brought to the market by child slavery while Apple continues to make huge profits and to avoid tax wherever it can, or that the elephants' population has crashed by 60% in five years, it feels as if we are just dragging our lives out into a new age of barbarism, stupidity, and selfishness. Add in the vagaries of Brexit, which continues to be a thorn in the side of the British public (as I said in my last blog piece, I'm just bracing myself for the food and fuel crises that will hit once we actually leave the EU and prices spike) and the fact that we now see a campaign to ensure that the deal that's worked out is for a 'hard' Brexit (this is not a porn euphemism), where immigration concerns are placed ahead of economic ones. One notes that the chief fans of this situation, outside of Demented Little Dupes, tend to have enough money that they won't be affected too greatly if trade dries up. And bearing in mind that we won't be able to sort out trade deals before leaving the EU, it stands to reason that there will be a period of time when becoming Airstrip One will seem like an attractive alternative to going it alone.
The problem is, of course, that in just over a month we're going to find out if America commits the same sort of short sighted lurch into stupidity by electing Donald Trump to the White House. I fear they might, if only because the downside of the modern age is that a group of people has had their livelihoods snatched away thanks to economic pressures, and at the same time are being told that they are privileged and should stop whining. It's a difficult circle to square and I'm not actually sure it's possible. Kate Barnstein talks about 'the Golden Gender' in her work 'My Gender Workbook', which generally means white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant, Straight, Cis-gendered, and so on. The Golden Gender is also not pierced or tattooed and 'fits in' to the system that... the Golden Gender has created to perpetuate its own power. Falling outside its parameters in any way bumps you further down the pyramid and until finally you reach the great unwashed at the bottom. Assuming that this is true, we have a situation where a bunch of people who would think themselves part of this possibly mythical group who have seen their jobs and benefits evaporate and go to other people, who they have been taught to 'other', to look down upon and not take seriously. To make things worse the reasons for this seem to be largely economic and nothing to do with groups or belongings. So, they cling together and seek authenticity and 'purity'. This is what happened in the UK, it was as much a vote to turn back the clock to a time when it was easy to define what being British or English was, and a move to defend what are seen as the de facto rights and special status of being 'indigenous'. The same may prove true i America, especially as Clinton is such a divisive figure, rightly or wrongly. The issue here is that while Clinton is part of the same Golden Gender that has been affected by these changes,she is also female, and even though (or possibly because of) the fact that she is a continuity candidate - her programme may be more socially aware but it her years of service in the Obama cabinet mean that she's less likely to launch out into the great unknown than Trump is - her sex may repel a lot of voters. And that's before we even get into the Benghazi stuff, and all the other scandals that tag along behind her like a little dog.
I hope she does win (though as a Brit my opinion carries almost no weight at all, and rightly so), if only because Trump does seem like a loose cannon who will do a lot of very silly things in office. He strikes me as being very similar to the Pro-Brexit groups here, very keen to get hold of power with no idea what to do with it when he's elected (beyond build a huge wall and cut taxes - because those are both stategies that have worked so well, aren't they?) I certainly expect him to follow Mrs May's lead in dropping the priority of fighting climate change, because clean air is probably something we should pay for, and who cares if you pollute the natural world with all sorts of crap? Its only the system that sustains life on Earth - let's face it money is so much more important (and almost a religion in some places).
All in all, this is all making me want to retreat to my dream home in the country, and try to practice self sufficiency.