coughing and coughing and coughing

I’ve been sick since June; recurring fevers and sore throats with occasionally sores but staving off the bad symptoms with daily anti-virals and lysine with megavitamins.  Been taking glucosamine and fish oil since October; which is about when I started having a cold.  Colds are a horrible thing as they take down the last vestige of immunity I have left and then every virus I’ve ever had rears its ugly head in succession if not in mini groups.  I’ve been dizzy, out of focus, vomiting, with diarrhoea, unable to breath when I lie down and coughing coughing coughing nonstop for about two weeks now.

Why would anyone ever read such a pathetic post on any blog?  Let alone one no one reads ever anyway?  Ah the freedom to whine when no one listens…

without walls

I know I am of an older generation because I do not feel comfortable expressing every last thought in a public forum for all to pick through.  Lesser minds believe I say what comes to mind; however, that is usually more indicative of their slow mental processing than of lack of forethought in what I express.  I rarely if ever say a single thing I haven’t thought through – problem is most people around me don’t think much due to their constantly babbling about inconsequential nonsense or any item that will kill silence.  The idea that any person on earth should have easy access to my personal history and experience is repulsive.  I value my privacy in a manner that apparently few under 30 do today.

I learned never to express anything important or significant about my feelings or thoughts when I was four.  I had recently learned to write and under the pretence of offering an outlet to practice my father gave me a «diary» to keep under my pillow.  There was no lock on it but; being typically naive as a four year old can be and thinking the safety of my bedroom inviolate, I did take to scribbling in the notebook for about a week.  At the end of that week I woke up being dragged out of bed by my hair with an irate 38 year old doctor smacking me open handed hard enough to floor me and when I tried to get upright using my own arms smacking me down to the floor then kicking me.  How dare I write anything about him in a negative light?  What an ungrateful worthless piece of trash I was.  Ingénue that I was I told him I had thought the diary was private.  Of course nothing was private.  I should have known better than to write down something I didn’t want another person to read.

I couldn’t sit up straight for over a week after that.  I  did not write about how I felt about anything again.  Not even in letters I knew he wouldn’t have access to read because I was beaten more than once for letters written to me by others about what they thought and felt. For over twenty years I never once had a free conversation on the phone because when I didn’t see him standing there listening I still knew he was – or recording it – or my mother would provide a report.  I moved a third of the way around the globe thinking this would be far enough to finally gain some freedom to express myself but no, I was followed and all my conversation was again cut off.

Now I find myself surrounded by people that don’t understand what boundaries are; don’t keep work separate from private; revel in posting disgraceful pictures of themselves; blather on in tweats to anyone that can access it; and I feel sorry for them because I know whether they realise it or not people are out there who will make them pay for it sooner or later.

European Results

1 in 4 UK voters; or some 4,3 million people, feel strongly that I should not be allowed to live and/or work in their country. They would get out of Europe and back to their empire days if they could. Close the borders. On question time last week several of the guests went on about how in the UK they tend to get it right on immigration and “do better” than most of Europe but I don’t see that. I see a nation of people that don’t speak their minds honestly because in private they vote for the borders to be closed and a return to the relative isolationism they had in the seventies. Today I see the UK on the news in roundups with countries overtaken by right wing nationalists. Perhaps we Europeans aren’t the right kind of foreigners for the British to tolerate. They’d simply rather have their grateful former commonwealth people filling the jobs they won’t do in preference over Caucasians with entitlement that sometimes can’t be identified as the underclass until they open their mouths?

But what of the 34,4 million of voting age that couldn’t be arsed to vote at all? Do any of them have homes or holiday in my home country? My country; that due to the international banking crisis created by the CITY’s ways of working and the subsequent bail out insisted upon by BRITAIN, is suffering a meltdown. My country; that now has the right price again with the pound exchange, as all that euro business was making pints on the beach a bit pricy for them. Meant they might have to be sober for a minute or two of their erstwhile uninterrupted debauched spectacle of a holiday.
Of course, my country is currently being led by a worthless excuse of a self-interested politician; voted into power by the apathy of the majority rather than by any real desire of anyone that he should lead. Excuse me – lead he does not – he persists and refuses to give explanations and does what he’s told by foreign (to my country’s) interests. Even so, I recognise that my country would be a thousand times worse off without the positive influence of the EU on its laws, consumer protection, freedom of movement, civil rights, women’s rights …

I am a staunch believer in the EU; that enabled me to come to the UK when my own country did not offer me any prospects for work, enabling me to fend for myself. Fend for myself because I did not receive a single hand out or council or government assistance. Fend for myself because I am in a place by myself that is completely foreign and unlike any of the marketing the BBC exports and takes quite a lot of getting used to.
So after seven years of permanent residence and watching governments say “British jobs for British people” & millions marching in London, the impatient voters of Britain have moved on to a party that overtly supports the isolationism idea and has proven it will not shy from obstructing Europe. So now I wonder what can a person like do? Where can a person like me go? Home to be unemployed until I starve under the right wing? To France? To Denmark?

* (estimate based on the 2011 census and last reported turnout stats)

Harrow vs. Yorkshire

If Harrow is the ultimate expression of British education; then what country is Yorkshire in? The students of these ongoing documentaries certainly seem to speak different languages.

They exhibit drastically disparate cultural attributes and the disciplinary methods are night and day. Is it appropriate that only those whose parents can afford to spend a UK males average salary on them (remember it is about £7K more per year than that of a woman) should be provided a proper grounding for life? Or is it really just about buying a place on the team? Or being written off as minimum wage class before a child is old enough to understand they’ve been written off; and thereby withholding the education that would assist them in figuring it out?

Maybe it was a toss-up between the channels or maybe only people that can afford Sky give a toss about Harrrow. Meanwhile lowest common denominator shall always be interested in watching ill spoken shiftless and hopeless youth failing to care that they are nailing the lids on their futures before the camera. Problem is it simply depressed me to watch the yorkies, but I know that the posh boys are only genuinely half British as most brits can’t afford that school.

So the dichotomy in programming – to me – seems to actually be metaphorical of the malaise that drags Britain down every day. They think they are something they stopped being a century ago; but actually deep down because north was lost soooo long ago they are an unintelligible and unfixable mess.

operacion manzanares

In Copenhagen today: World Series of Cliff Diving;

in Eton (round the corner from where I live): Rowing World Cup;

back home in Madrid: 181 people arrested for fraud against the social security system (estimated sum of  6,5 million Euro).

*sigh*

Look at it another way and at least some progress is being made back home, whereas; in the UK bankers are still rewarded for ongoing and persistent incompetence and there are honestly no benefits left that might tempt any however lowly scum to try and defraud the system.

Of course, some might say I ought to be careful of what I type given my parents of are disparate nationalities; I grew up abroad and live in an entirely different country altogether.  IE: I am a suspect half-breed with connections in a variety of countries and left leaning political alliances.  No longer can anyone indicate this sort of a statement is paranoid if PRISM has been (statistically deduced) recording or scanning one of every four internet statements I’ve made over the last two decades. 

Yes, that’s right.   TWO DECADES of internet as I was one of the privileged UofI students who began using it in 1990 (albeit only to exchange emails and chat with my Russian friend living in Japan…  Think perhaps my communications have ALWAYS been monitored just for that??  Could be)  That would explain why whenever I travel border security get messages indicating they need to check all my details with a fine comb and search me thourougly.

Hurrah for Snowden avoiding capture and getting to Ecuador.  Hurrah for Ecuador protecting him and his ilk -> here’s hoping they are not held continuously in confinement in an Embassy much longer.  And Hurrah for Bradley Manning.  While he may not be freed frrom the oppressive manipulative state that holds him he will surely not be forgotten for doing what he knew was right to expose vile and inhumane acts and methods.

Would there were more stong individuals in the right places to defend the value of dignity and freedom.  We should all be able to guiltlessly enjoy something so gratuitously fluffily superfluous as a cliff diving competition in a country with no natural cliffs from which to dive. 

Unfortunately; a lot of us cannot so long as we keep turning on the news to see how our countrymen do everything possible to harm the common good and slowly drag the world back to feudalism via sustained contraction of social services and buying power in rich countries, that necessarily means poverty and conflict in poorer ones.

late Metro home

Walking home late from a day of unappreciated overwork; having skipped lunch for the nth time and unable to remember if I’d fed the cat before running out that morning… bursting cumbersome heavy bag falling from my shoulder and as I pulled it up over my dropping jacket I slipped on the stairs two flights straight down to the desolate metro station, landing in such a way that my shins banged against the marble as my shoe flew in an arc over my back past my head and into the wall opposite. I lifted myself, gathered the array of bits that had spewed forth from my bag (some of which required remounting the stairs – going back down – realising something was just a bit further up – going back up and then back down again) and stuffed them back in my #g*d^m%f! bag then hobbled over to regain my shoe.

Disconcerted and pissed off I pushed through the doors to the entrance area where the dirty turnstyles failed to glint under flickering fluorescents far in the distance behind a bank of dispensing machines and a photo booth. Photo booth from behind which jumped out two crunchy smelling of sweat bony teenage girls dressed in charity shop clothing. The one with a box cutter in her hand was agitated and bouncy like a fighter; the one with dirt in her hair stood back and watched like she was grading theatre exercise.

(screaming like a hearing impaired crack addict): GIVE ME YOUR BAG OR I’LL CUT YOU (independently animate arm waving a cutter in front of the scrappy body in syncopated rhythm to the bouncing feet)

Get out of my way; I’m in a hurry.

(missed a beat – thoughts trying to formulate behind vitric eyes – quick glance back to the observer then glass balls front) GIIVE MMEE YOUR BAAG OR I’LL CUT YOU (jabs into the air with the cutter but feet slowing down)

FUCKING GET THE HELL OUT OF MY WAY. I don’t have time for this shit I’m in a hurry.

(lack of comprehension – looking back) she doesn’t believe me Don’t You Believe Me? (focusing front while pulling back her arm) DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND I’M GOING TO CUT YOU

DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND? I’M TELLING YOU TO GET OUT OF MY WAY. (barrelling through to the turnstyle – ticket in hand after having collected bag items post fall)

I don’t get it, she didn’t believe me, why didn’t she believe me? (the offshoot faction regrouping against the photo booth – muttering and shoulders hung)
Shuffling down two more flights of stairs I got to the platform just as the train arrived; ankle and arm throbbing. Saw the time, all the shops would be closed by the time I got out so tang and tuna. Woo hoo.

UKIP & NIC’s

So the anti-Europe party won 25% of the raw votes; but is only expected to win between 1 and 5 seats in the next general election? Testament either to just how entrenched in its right wing myopia the Telegraph is; or just their assuredness that the electoral law will never be amended to be fair?

At least it isn’t the BNP one might think, but too soon as the Conservatives rush to reinforce their own anti-foreigner image by avowing none should be entitled to retirement pensions… If nothing else such rosy welcoming auguries should certainly reduce the influx of overqualified (& relatively cheap) professional workers from countries where bailout and austerity has led to massive unemployment. The bailout and austerity driven by the British way of managing bank activity; their insistence they knew what they were doing when they clearly didn’t…

Could be living in a land of ever increasing xenophobia is still preferable to living on the street back home. Or maybe not.

Sam Bacile is a loser

Watching the news today I learned for the first time that the movie causing violent protest and deaths throughout the Muslim world is available to view on youtube.  Always preferring to decide for myself what I think rather than let a slanted press try to tell me what I should be thinking; almost immediately I went to find it.  It took a couple of searches but there is an edited version of «highlights» that has 305K views but only 517 likes.

I have to admit, I started off thinking if christians had reacted similarly to the Life of Brian I would not be here today.  I like that I live in an open-minded society where my choices and opinions are respected.  People may dispute that but lets face it, in the western world ever since Lenny Bruce picked up a mic we can pretty much say what we want so long as we aren’t threatening national security or inciting a crime.  It does seem to me the pendulum has been swinging the wrong way since Europeans were forced to bail out a bunch of gambling addict bankers that don’t care they may have set societal evolution back a century; but basically if we have the guts we can express ourselves and this is a good thing.  It is a protected right because only through intelligent dialogue and exchange of ideas can a society advance. 

However, this movie is not in any way a satire or educated look at church or religion.  It is in fact a pointed, close minded and mean spirited effort to ridicule a religious figure.  If it were Christ I would not give a toss because I had roman catholicism forced down my throat growing up in private religious schools as well as via the Opus Dei.  Thus I feel perfectly within my right to satirise, ridicule or light heartedly pick at beliefs that come from within my culture as a member of that society.  Sam Bacile is wrong; in my opinion, to try and do that to a story that belongs to a different society and that he cannot in any way claim to be part of his own culture.  For him to make this film is akin to white people using the «N» word > you just can’t and if you don’t get why you can’t you aren’t intelligent enough to make a movie for global distribution unless you are limiting yourself to something within your intellectual reach (try a reality or game show). 

I just hope a twat who was probably only trying to make a name for himself is able to learn the difference between satire and humour on the one side, and simply insulting or offensive behaviour on the other.  Maybe he should give Russel Brand and Jonathan Ross a call to learn how not to make an apology before he shows his face in public again.

17th anniversary

17 years ago today, age 24, I landed in Barajas a size 10 with 18% body fat and in good enough shape to go up 20 flights of stairs without having to pause or alter my breathing.  I had to endure a long hard fight until I was able to stay in my home city permanently, but it was a fantastic feeling to finally be home.  I had wanted to make it before I turned 25 and I did.  Shame I didn’t know what would come next.

Looking forward to life in a place where the sun shone through the leaves of acacias onto cobblestone walks between fountains, where the food was brilliant even when it wasn’t very good, where people talked about all manner of things without embarrassment, where people were valued for who they were rather than what they owned and the belief in a right to a minimum wellbeing existed.  I saw things through a rosy veil that persisted through hunger, despite humiliation, derision, marginalisation and envy.

Since then I’ve had a long list of jobs I hated with passion, a couple that were fun but didn’t pay enough to get by, and periods of unemployment that forced me to leave my precious Madrid for 4,5 years to the day.  While exiled in the UK I worked so hard, so many hours, for so long, that today I don’t recognise myself and some days I can barely walk to the corner without nearly passing out from lack of breath.  I was genuinely very lucky to get a job that allowed me to come back home, but as they say you can never go home.

Our society has evolved: to the point now the haves pretend the have-nots don’t have any right to have, where arguments have become so polarised that we might as well have gone back in time a century as moved forward at all, where social support is being eroded in an overt attempt to protect the wealth of a removed group of individuals, and people live in tents in the parks waiting for the masses of drunks to meander home so they can manage to sleep.

Apparently the only thing that keeps our society together anymore is sport, given the vast majority of citizens feel wholly disenfranchised.  Of course, they don’t seem to take an interest in events until it’s too late and they certainly aren’t voting – so not sure how they don’t curl up in shame rather than complain…

Me, I’m lucky.  I strolled with the dog, had lunch by the lake, watched tv and did the laundry.  Who knows what may happen next but as anniversaries go this was certainly not the worst.