We’ve been having nonstop 80-100 kph winds in Aquitaine for the last 36 hours. This meant that for electricity, internet and phone (the last two these days are fed umbilically by the first, wasn’t that a great idea?) I’ve living in Cognito – a quiet resort at this time of year. But had it gone on much longer – and it’s still at best intermittent – a move to Aquandary would be necessary, if only to hitch my fridge/freezer up to a generator.
That, however, is only the start of how everything and anything can be upfecked by severe weather. The terrain chez moi is covered in plastic bottles (stored as sapling protection against deer) fallen branches, and outdoor chairs, all of the latter two scattered as if they might be the aftermath of a plane crash-landing on the outdoor seating audiorium for a seminar on tree species.
You could argue that this is fine weather for writing novels, and it would be true up to but not including the writing bit, because my main computer just ran out of battery power, and this one only has 30% left. I’m in the middle of a flashback sequence at the moment, and without Google to jog the fading memory of life fifty years ago, it’d be somewhat amateur night….or three months of research in a country where the awareness of life in 1960s England is, to say the least, hazy.
Furthermore, since the age of 12, I have only ever written anything for publication on a typewriter. But I don’t have a typewriter. Does anyone any more?
Think about it: when’s the last time you wrote anything beyond a shopping list, a Christmas card or your signature in longhand? In a dramatically short time (using the daily timeline west of St Petersburg and north of Mauretania) we’ve become a species geared for keyboard tapping, and not much else. The next evolutionary step may be towards eight fingers on each hand, none of which are prehensile, and no thumbs to hold the bottle opener. With a brain streamlined to be on receive 95% of the time.
Two weeks ago, I was diagnosed with Raynaud’s Phenomenon. Before anyone panics yes, it is progressive, but one is more likely to die with it than of it. It presents as having white, painful fingers at any ambient temperature below 12°C. It has no certain cause, and no cure: however, the one very frequently observed element among contemporary sufferers is excessive use of a keyboard. This strikes me as convincing evidence that – as with sucking smoke into your lungs via the facial orifice, or fermented grape juice into your stomach via the liver – human beings were not meant to tap things 200,000 times a day. Call me wacky if you want, but that’s my thesis and I invite allcomers to challenge it.
One of the many things that bind neocons and Leftlibs together like dysfunctionally Siamese twins is the inability to analyse empirical data, and then apply the findings to their own policies and beliefs. We’ve been here before a hundred times or more, but I have to believe that those frontal lobe centres designed to assess consequences are atrophying as a result of misuse and, quite often, zero engagement.
This is not bad science: scans of the brains of those deceased after the age of 75 show acute atrophy in those cerebral regions required to interreact as opposed to merely passively accept. The sole factor thus far fingered in this investigation is high daily hours of TV viewing. It is no longer possible to suggest that even ‘micro’ evolution takes hundreds of thousands of years to get wired in: on the contrary, South African Okapi lose the ability to smell lion as ‘dangerous’ in just three generations….or roughly thirty years maximum.
But nobody reads or observes any of this stuff any more, and here’s why:
It’s not on the syllabus
It’s like so borin’, roit?
It conflicts with their 18th/19th/ – or in some cases 11th – century belief systems.
At the end of a day in which it seemed at times like the day would never end, what did I take out of it to suggest that the Buddhist mantra about good coming from bad can function perfectly well without electricity? Here’s another mercifully brief list:
A good way to make the electricity come back on is to go out, find a shop with electricity, and buy stuff that doesn’t need cooking. When you get back home – trust me on this one – the lights will be on and all those little blinking things will be blinking Green for Go.
A day like this will remind you just how little thought all those Metro-Labour mobile Android freaks ever give – as they call for yet more ineffective offshore propellor dicks – to how much the world’s energy problems are exacerbated by the internet with which they are so irreversibly fixated.
Your electricity bill will be zero, and you may be entitled to sue EDF.
There’s a good chance you’ll hunt for a book and read it.
You won’t have a clue what’s “happened” in the “news”, and thus your BP will have dropped 20 points at least.
The experience might make you think a little about the relativities of good and bad involved here.
I think the last point there is by far the most important. Losing communications access to loved ones is a bad thing. But depending on one power form – itself dependent on at most two energy forms – is potty beyond belief.
So here’s my Thought for the Day at the End of a Day that was very nearly the Day from Hell: Islamists, neocons and Liblefts have not the remotest interest in making us safe from spied-upon media, moving us beyond prehistoric energy forms, thinking before they act, spending our money more wisely, offering a better more questioning educational model, or promoting anything beyond themselves and their various religions.
The reason why is very simple: they sign up to all of the above status quo, because it maximises their power, and minimises the likelihood of our resistance.