Sock Puppets

If we were plugged into The Matrix they’d make it better than this. I have never been on holiday for as long as this pandemic has kept us indoors. This feels like a holiday gone very wrong.

For many, it’s “The Pensioner Experience!” A brand new style of theme park! Delve deep into the world of being old! Go from room to room and forget why you did it! Live off handouts! Feel confused and trapped all the time! Drink too much and watch too much TV! Slowly forget how to do basic things! Be completely cut off from your usual social circle! Worry about your health! Fall out of the coping structure you built over years! Realise how everything is built on shaky assumptions! Start to distrust everything! Eat bad food because it’s cheap!

For all of us, we are gonna have to work hard to do the things we did easily. Social interaction will be rusty as hell. We’ll probably all just shout at each other for a while. At some point we will all stagger blinking into the sun, likely buoyed by some jaunty saccharine slogan: “Go Out to grow Out!” Loads of people will probably get run over crossing roads. Pubs will start to fill, while others will watch from their windows predicting doom. People will keep dropping pints. Passive aggression will be scattergunned by the self appointed adjudicators both of going out and of staying in. It’s gonna be weird and there’ll be lots of judgement. Because this situation has been politicised, like everything these days. While we’ve been home, the internet has become a closer friend than before to most of us. All the biggest hairiest trolls have shiny little sock puppets and lots of us are listening to them talk without seeing what the puppet is attached to, or noticing the tentacles sliding towards our sphincters as we listen. It’s an army of little Murdochs from all sides of the political spectrum, they’re all shitting in our brains for profit.

Why is it that everybody tangles up politics and morality? They are two separate things. But it often feels that everything is bundled together. You vote one way, and therefore you have to believe many things that notionally come in the same package. People seem to just buy the package and homogenise their views on everything and there’s nothing I hate more than fundamentalism and blind conformity. I don’t care what you think, just so long as you’ve arrived there yourself through reasoning and that you never lose sight of the fact that you might have got it wrong. If you’re just following some spokesperson or movement, and if you won’t entertain that you might not have everything bang on, then I’m bored of you. It’s so easy to kneejerk and oversimplify in order to belong. It’s as easy to be manipulated as it is to manipulate, but right now people are wide open, and it takes a certain personality type to seek to manipulate. Most of us just absorb.

As a result, lots of us have somebody’s hand up our arse right now. Those hands are moving our mouths for us…

I’ve got friends who seem to be constantly shouting other people’s words. I don’t like it. Shout, yes – by all means. But work out what your own words are and shout them. Your words are the best ones, even if they’re confused and contradictory and passionate and ultimately meaningless like this blog.

Anyway. Yeah I’m not sure where I’m going with all that. Just asking you to be aware when you jump on bandwagons. If you know you’re doing it and you know why then go for it. Just keep an eye on the edges. The flock can be guided from within. But you need to know yourself first or the noise will overwhelm you, and that naughty hand will gently slide up your bum when you’re distracted.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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