Stop. Look. And. Listen.

Good God.

Have you seen the state of the world today?


macaulay

Exactly, Macaulay, exactly.

What in good grief is going on? Let us take a good few moments here to:

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and

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so…

It is simply too easy to ignore absolutely everything that is going on around you. Please don’t bury your head in the digital sand.

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We are living in a wonderful time of shared media and culture. Never before have we had so much in common with each other, but shouldn’t we be taking advantage of these newfound similarities and taking action, rather than discussing the last big Netflix series?

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I guess it might be a little hard to force every single person out of there little bubbles. Humans are, after all, wonderfully crude creatures of habit. All our lives are split up into blocks of repeated actions that rarely feel novel or different.

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We sit and watch the screens. The lovely screens that can help us peer into a universe of limitless possibilities. The black mirrors we all hold in our pockets, hang on our walls like art and praise above all else. Our children use them to bully, flirt and buy drugs. We use them to share other people’s opinions and look at holiday photos.

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Mothballing The World? Or Just Destroying It?

DEFINITION of ‘Mothballing’
The preservation of a production facility without using it to produce. Machinery in a mothballed facility is kept in working order so that production may be restored quickly if needed

Iron and steelmaking at SSI’s Redcar plant in the north-east of England is to be mothballed, with the loss of 1,700 jobs.

The company “paused” production on 18 September citing poor trading conditions and a drop in world steel prices.

SSI UK business director Cornelius Louwrens said the plant could be mothballed for up to five years.

Redcar MP Anna Turley described it as “devastating news”.

BBC News, ‘SSI Redcar steel plant mothballed, with the loss of 1,700 jobs

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“More than 1,000 jobs are to go at Tata Steel plants, mostly in south Wales. Tata said 750 jobs would go in Port Talbot, while 200 support staff elsewhere would be axed. Other job losses would include 15 at Trostre, Llanelli along with jobs going at Hartlepool in north east England and at Corby, Northamptonshire. It said “tough actions are critical in the face of extremely difficult market conditions”

BBC News, ‘Tata steel: Port Talbot faces bulk of 1,050 job losses’

The last vestiges of industrial Britain are dying around us. These are factories which used to supply steel to all types of bushinesses. They supplied businesses where there were ships and planes designed and built. They supplied businesses where there were Industrial Fans made and sold. They where part of a body of connecting work forces that is dead. Not Mothballed. Dead.

Building

“As the shared world we have falls and brakes, as we have less to share in, we all want to build our own little world where we can curate something that brings us joy. This is a privilege that the privileged indulge in. For those who can’t build a mansion or a paradise, they escape into phones and television and drink and desperation. The gifts that capitalism gives out get smaller, the little worlds it gives us to exist in shrinking both in their scale and actual pleasure, but expanding in their ability to manipulate and stimulate. So we keep building, building these little worlds, being little kings and queens of our little dominions. And allowing others too tear apart that which we should have owned all along.”

Martina Bon Dolenca

So many of us build. We buy our stuff. We buy the hot new things. If it is some Xbox games console that’ll make the nights your buddies come round even better, if it is some Finsa DIY kitchen that will make all your dinner parties fly of with more glamour than ever before. But don’t. It’s your responsibility not to divest from the bigger world, stay present, stay participating, because some people cannot escape it, and they need your help.

The Impossibility of Movement

‘Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains’

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

An oft misunderstood line, the chains are not the chains of an oppressive fascistic force of government that should be destroyed, but simply the limitations placed upon our freedom of action by the existence of other people. The human situation is on of shared social existence. When we exist amongst others we must take those other into account when we act. We must take them into account, morally, but also simply cannot avoid having our actions limited and formed by their existence, practically. There are more people on this earth now than there has ever been, this all came crashing home to me when rolling around trying to find some car parking at the airport in Liverpool. It was very difficult to park at the airport, just as it was very difficult to walk around at the airport, just as it was very difficult to get on the plane at the airport, because of all the people at the airport. These crowds, and the difficulty they bring us, are Rousseau’s chains. Each and everyone of them. These chains are a fact of life, or at least they should be. The hight in privilege now is an escape from these fair chains. For a price, you can upgrade to 1st class. For a price, you can get in the fast track queue. For a price, you can shed the chains of your fellow humans. It has forever been the dream of the ruling classes. It is desperate and wrong.