"I'm just going to write because I can't help it."- Charlotte Brontë

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Setting the Tone for Things to Come

So I made it through the end of the year energy management of the Arvo Job rush, and the attendant hurly-burly of officey festivities and various personal crises around me as people contemplated a brand new year coming up fast whilst wondering where the heck 2013 had gone (where all time goes - into the past), to reach the (cross fingers) peace and  stillness of my Xmas Holidays.

Two. Weeks. Off.


I'm all set for a fortnight of resting, catching up on stuff and people, writing, nursing ideas, reading, walking, horse riding, and bike riding. I'm meticulously easing into the right mood. Yesterday, after a nice sleep in, we saw American Hustle (lots of fun, though we had a chat about it with the theatre attendant afterwards because she'd heard it was good, but had also seen a lot of people walk out on it. We decided they'd thought they were going to see something along the lines of Anchorman 2) and did a bit of Xmas shopping. Today, having had another nice sleep in, I shall, in a short while, retire to a comfy chair and spend the afternoon nose deep in Mockingjay.

I have permission to read until I drop. So far, Suzanne Collins has pulled me right into her wonderfully politically aware world, so I might as well schedule time off for a long, unbroken read. I might even finish it - ah, the indulgence of reading from cover to cover in a single day. I saw Catching Fire a few weeks ago, and liked it better than the Hunger Games, which seemed to be a bit coy about committing to the political aspect of the books. Obviously reassured by HG's box-office success, Catching Fire dove right in. I particularly enjoyed the devious part de deux played by stalwarts Donald Sutherland and  Philip Seymour Hoffman. Anyway, I thought it was about time I finished the trilogy, hence today's indulgence.

And for anyone who thinks that Orwell was a tad oversensitive about the evils of mass surveillance and that YA dystopia novels are unnecessarily bleak and unrealistic about the future with their negative 'what ifs', I give you the ridiculousness of this amazingly appropriate tie-in link about two protesters who were prosecuted as terrorists - ah, how insecure authorities looooove to overuse the 'T' word to get their own way:


When they got to jail, they found out they were being charged with a "terrorism hoax," a state felony punishable by up to ten years in prison.

Their attorney, Doug Parr, has been involved in dozens of protest cases like this one in Oklahoma and Texas. In other arrests, protesters have faced trumped-up charges, but this is a radical escalation. "I've been practicing law since the 1970s. Quite frankly, I've been expecting this," Parr said. "Based upon the historical work I've been involved in, I know that when popular movements that confront the power structure start gaining traction, the government ups the tactics they employ in order to disrupt and take down those movements."

The abuses of power that abound these days by authorities caught with their pants down by various demonised whistle-blowers just goes to show how quickly societies can career down the infamous slippery slope. The righteous and proliferate lack of shame by the doers of outrageously dodgy acts is what astounds me the most. That, and their fragmented logic. We, it seems, should accept surveillance by corporations and governments with a smile because if we're not up to no good, we common folk going about our everyday lives have nothing to fear, yet they feverishly legislate against the release of any information that reveals deplorable abuses perpetrated by the Powers That Be. Surely, if organisations are likewise all decency and good intentions, they too have nothing to fear from transparency. But no, they want a one-way mirror.

Ah well, hopefully history will sort itself out, and hopefully in our favour. For now, I'm off to the Capitol to cheer on Katniss.


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