A strange form of intimacy

A strange form of intimacy

An interesting week just gone. Had to have some fairly intensive dental treatment, part of a campaign to sort out things various that have developed over the years. Ah, well, so it goes…

Anyway, imagine if you will, there I am, laid out flat, a team comprising the dental surgeon, his assist and the attendant, gowned up, and doing their thing in a highly professional way. You hear the murmuring of the surgeon as he directs the team, quiet, authoritative, and enabling. Nice word that, enabling. There is trust developed by self-confidence and knowledge that the training and communication are effective. And there I am, gob open, with anaesthetic puncture wounds, unmoving, totally at their command – and conscious. I’m allowing people to control me and come into my space in a way that in other circumstances would be intimate and uncomfortable. That it is why I call it a strange form of intimacy.  Consider heart surgeons for example, that really is quite intimate when you come to think about it.  Let’s just not talk about proctologists, eh?   

Like all writers, I began thinking vague thoughts about where I was, the feelings I was experiencing and what could be used in the book I’m writing, The Kold Kronicles, Book 2:  Defiance. Y’know, the things you do when you’re totally at the mercy of someone else when they’re doing their job. Thinking also passes the time, something we writers do, sometimes for too long. However I digress.  I can’t move until I’m told to turn my head this way or that, directions gently spoken but not to be ignored, he has the needle and / or drill after all…  My respect for the dental surgeon increases as I listen to how he controls the operation, a tad involved and in some areas quite challenging. I think to myself, ‘he’d make a great pilot,’ based on my experience of having flown helicopters on the North Sea for ten years plus. It was the ease of a co-ordinated team, with similar professional belief systems, practised techniques and clear communication that impressed.  At the end of the operation, the stitches were in, my mouth still a tad numb, but the work had been done well.  

So why the heading for this particular blog? Well, for a start I’m feeling somewhat philosophical. I’m also aware that we’re in a world where we have a strange form of intimacy with people in power, be it financial, political or those aiming to achieve power in these areas. It is an intimacy that we have never had in the past to the degree we’re experiencing now. The problem is, I find, that the intimacy we imagine we have may not necessarily be the reality. When one considers where our information is coming from and the vested interests involved, be they traditional or social media, perhaps this intimacy to which we are subjected is merely a chimera. Something drummed up by those who wish us to act in ways that benefit the few to the detriment of the many, i.e. you and me.  

It is a strange form of intimacy in that we think we know the people involved, their ‘crookedness’, their boorish behaviours, but in reality all we’re seeing is a show that people want us to see. It is not intimacy, it is a show and that’s all.  How we see through it, how we act like adults and remain part of humanity, decide whether we allow this strange form of intimacy to cloud our rational thinking.  

The choice is ours.

J J Mitchell

‘Never leave anyone behind…’

Pondering our destiny…

Pondering our destiny…

It’s a quiet day here in Edinburgh, blue sky with some beautiful cirrus meandering its way across the sky presaging a change in the weather in the next twenty four hours.  A bit cooler too.  Seems as though winter is starting to wake up and beckon the next stage of the year as our planet continues its journey around our sun, (one of many, remember, well, billions actually.)

So why the heading for this post? Simple really, it all started with a picture of the earth taken from the moon – yes, that famous one (Earthrise,  photographed by William Anders during the 1968 Apollo 8 mission.)  I was also reminded of our mortality by the news that a very good friend of mine is battling a life-threatening illness.  A decent, caring human being who makes a difference to all those who know him. He’s a former US Marine and brings that ‘can do’ attitude towards fighting this ‘irritation’ as he calls it. He’s blessed with support around him. He has friends who care deeply about him and a family that is as ‘awkward’ as he is regarding any form of illness.  He also has a dreadful sense of humour, (I’m smiling as I write that part.)  His sense of the ridiculous lightens some of those dark moments he has sometimes he tells me.

It’s only when you see pictures like the earth from the moon, (how small we are);  hear of close friends fighting an insidious ‘irritation’, (brings home your own mortality), that one can gain a kind of perspective.  You then think about some of those whose egos and monomania drive them to seek positions of power, be it economic or political.  The blowhards; the liars; the dysfunctional on so many levels; people in positions of authority and power, (not always the same thing), and you think, ‘Why are  you behaving like this?’  ‘Why are you promoting hate in the way that you are?’  ‘Why are you denying our common humanity?’  It’s done for power?  Really?  To repeat myself, really?

In centuries to come people looking back at these dysfunctional individuals might ponder  ‘What on earth were people thinking then?  Why did they fall into the trap of believing all the hate and vitriol that these people spewed into the body politic?’  

There again, if we don’t take control of our own destiny and see such people for who they are, then the next picture of the earth from the moon might well show a wasteland.  

 

J J Mitchell

‘Never leave anyone behind…’

It’s interesting how easy it is to create hate…

It’s interesting how easy it is to create hate…

Hate is an easy emotion to create.  All you have to do is demonise a specific group, for example, another race, another religion, another skin colour…  So easy, so easy.  Then add a media that has little independence, is 24 hours a day, and is owned by those who gain from this demonisation and what do you have???  A movement.  A movement that says it will help ‘Joe’ and ‘Jo-Ann’ deal with the issues that face them on a day to day basis. Issues such as zero hour contracts;  job insecurity;  low pay; a perceived inequity in treatment;  an economic and political elite that appears to ignore those outside their circle.  The movement is based on resentment, in many cases justified, and anger.  Not a good recipe for rational political discourse I would suggest.    

Invariably these movements are led by a demagogue.  These leaders play to the uncertainties and fears of many and say they have all the answers, be that preventing a certain faith-based belief system from entering the country or using force rather than diplomacy to deal with an argument with another country.  (That such a strategy has been used in the past and failed is ignored.)  You have a great mix for chaos.  It’s also a great mix for an author.

As an independent author I can look around the world, (thank you, Google, Wikipedia, Twitter, Facebook, et al), and say to myself, ‘Well, think about that in the next book.‘  The problem is that if I write it as it actually happened, many would say, ‘That’s so far-fetched.’  For example, a blustering demagogue stating that he will build a wall to keep out a race and have that race’s government pay for it.  Really?  And yet it is believed.  

The Sylvern in my books are fighting the Shadow who play to such fears, real and imagined.  Their human allies, whom the Shadow refer to dismissively as ‘Blands’, use all the ‘tools’ of the trade, controlled media, acceptance of so-called truths that bear no close inspection and so on.  So great to write about but not so great when you see where it can lead in real life.  History has many examples.  Unfortunately…

So, as an observer of the human psyche, I find it fascinating that hate is so easy to create.  The problem is, what does that leader do about the disappointment that arises when their followers see them with the feet of clay they surely have?  That’s when the leaders realise they have unleashed a tiger and are unable to let go the tail.  

And that’s how an author can really go to town on a plot.  

JJ Mitchell

‘Never leave anyone behind…’