Just The One Reason

The febrile US Election atmosphere that has become my, and many others, Facebook feed and lurches between interesting, erudite and alarming to watch. It is akin to watching the leader of the free world (America) as the central character in a disaster film. Except this film has two villains and no good guys.

One villain is a deranged and unstable egotist and the other a smooth criminal. I have decided that getting straight reporting is nigh impossible and my overall emotion has become, “gah.” The furious parade of facts and figures to support the alleged criminal (historical allegations going as far back as Whitewater and not just a, “whoops, was that the wrong email server?”) which are being wheeled out to discredit the deranged egotist have reached a fever pitch.

I do, however, have one over-arching concern and that is rooted in self and group preservation; Trump will have authority to use nuclear weapons. He has hinted that he isn’t averse to doing whatever it takes to make America great again, whatever that means. Though the implication is that shows of force are his idea of demonstrating power and ergo greatness. With his record of not listening to wiser heads – he believes that he knows more than the Top Brass – that is a terrifying proposition. After all, a  nuke is likely to be his idea of an international grab of the pussy.

Clinton, on the other hand, for all her alleged faults has never ever acted in a way that causes a rational person to think she views nuclear weapons as anything other than a deterrent. There seems to be no stated need to go around flexing for the benefit of those that don’t consider the US as great as many Americans feel it is.

Additionally, it is becoming an ever more credible theory that the Russian support for Trump is rooted in Putin’s desire to undermine NATO. It is my junior international relations understanding that the unified block that is NATO is a very useful deterrent against nuclear war.

I want to die very quickly: if Trump wins and decides that the way to bring an unspecified ‘dang foreigner’ into line is just a small nuke we are all, in the vernacular, fucked. Someone else with a nuke will use the attack as an excuse to launch a weapon in support of the victim. Hey presto, a small portion of the globe is eradicated and the fallout, literally, will come to us. My understanding of radiation poisoning is that it is not a great way to die and doesn’t fulfil my criteria of quickly.

So, a vote for Clinton Mark II is really the only logical choice. The least worst option scenario. She may screw up a lot in four years but she is unlikely to get us all fried. “The Donald” otoh…

Why Trump Will Win

The words ‘President Trump’ are some of the most repulsive and terrifying ones imaginable. Nonetheless, I think it will happen. If you haughtily cock your head and allow the merest hint of a Billy Idol sneer then you are one of the reasons why.

In my earliest days of selling I remember the old adage that you never called someone else’s baby ugly. It can have a face that looks  like it has been chasing parked cars, but it is still beautiful to its mother.

Trump appeals to the masses. That mass of people that we, in our intellectual bubble (that is you, you can read, you’re reading this ergo you are intellectual to them, plus you know what ergo means) simply don’t understand.

These people  lack identity and Trump’s message resonates with them. He knows this and he assures them that they can identify as American again and that he will make America great again. They will be great. Many have never been great, feel overlooked, neglected, passed over, victims. Well, no more. With ‘The Donald’ at the helm America will be great and they will be great once more.

Whether that can be intellectualised away means nothing to them. Donald has told them what the problem is and has promised to fix it. A nice and clean message from a guy that talks their language.

The intellectuals think that this is stupid. I agree. There is no sense in the demented ramblings of this egotistical sociopath. However, what I think Does. Not. Matter. Whatsmore, I and my ilk are not the gun-totin’, immigrant blamin’, downtrodden minority . This not so small minority votes too and they are voting Trump.

Hilary isn’t peddling a heady cocktail of freedom, identity, God and whiteness. Oh no, she is a criminal elite that sucked the fine United States into this mess. Her and that pseudo Kenyan guy that made it into the White House. They are the people to blame according to Trump.

If there are more who swallow the rousing ‘yee-hah’ chorus of identity, greatness and blame, than us thoughtful folks then tough shit, common sense loses. In the meantime we can wrap ourselves in our intellect, make snide remarks about egomaniacal racists etc and write articles in magazines that the Trump voters never read, and cometh the day we’ll all be wringing our hands and setting the Internet on fire asking how it could have all gone so wrong.

The answer is you. You sneered at ‘those people’ who couldn’t think like you can. You called the dang baby ugly. It is more than scary: it is quite possible. Brexit anyone?

 

Not Much Then

My ambition is to win a funded PhD. Simple, low-level, not much. Just the hardest thing I have ever done.

It is easy to say it and sometimes hearing myself commit is an appropriate spur to action. I have now publicly nailed my colours to the proverbial mast. To this end I was going back and forth with a soon to be tutor and they kindly produced this simple guide for me:

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A PhD proposal should look along the lines of:

Rationale

• What’s the problem

• Why is it problematic

• What, therefore, is your Central Research Question

Aims and Objectives

• How will you answer this question 

• What are your sub-research questions

• What is your interesting angle

Research Context

• What is currently said in the literature?

• Where is the hole?

• How will you fill it

Methodology

• What methodological strategy will you employ?

• Why is that the most appropriate way of conducting this type of research

• What is it you will get out of doing this and why is this the most appropriate way to answer this question?

• How will you limit risk?

Personal Impetus (optional)

• Why this project?

• How will your UG diss and MA build into this project?

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So, nothing much really. And I need to have this all nailed by Christmas. Which is why I intend to move to Sheffield in a rented room and become slightly monkish.

Up All Night

I can’t be the only one that snaps awake in the middle of the night and then can’t get back to sleep for worrying? It never seems as bad in the morning, which begs the question why it feels so worrying at 0200h? It is sometimes hard to tell if it is just bad dreams or actually lying awake. Am I being glibly dismissive now when I ought to be worrying more?

I got bad news yesterday regarding a scholarship I had applied for. I am not bitter, it was hard fought and I didn’t get it. Move on. Still, I can’t help but think what 10k would have meant to me. I wonder if that was what pinged me awake. I can’t remember.

Why, after the obligatory visit to the loo (Over 40 so it is always a good tactical move) I expect to lie down and just zonk out. That is how it used to happen. Someone has changed the script; I didn’t get the memo.

Dom

PS: I love nature. But birds, 0314h to start chirping? Wtf? Part of my irrational thoughts were devoted to devising a silent  toxic mist making machine to gas you little fuckers. Just saying.

PPS: If a prospective employer comes digging about, and surely they will, then this is how I roll.

No Plan?

The narrative all morning has been about the somewhat surprising news that there is no plan. None, Nada, Nil, Nyet, Non, Nein, Nope etc .

The self-centred arrogant idiots that led us  into the biggest crisis of economics and sovereignty faced by the UK since WW2 are all merrily fronting up to the major news outlets and cheerfully proclaiming that they don’t have a post-Brexit plan, never had one and, oh, by the way, the assurances about extra money and a reduction in the tide, nay hordes, of job-stealing and benefit grubbing immigrants  are hollow.

As a friend observed and history has shown to be true: When a revolution happens, the revolutionaries are united by a single aim. Afterwards they tend to descend into disunity and chaos.

Oh, hooray. It is just the most breathtaking arrogance to engender this massive trauma and then stand around vacant-faced with shock when regular voters expect you to have, you know, considered a few post-vote scenarios.

You know it is bad and there has been a huge paradigm shift when George Osbourne becomes the voice of reason, common sense and stability.

 

Decoupling Eugenics From Race Class And Gender: Can It Be Done?

Is this even possible? I believe that with the advances in genetic (I use the term broadly) science the human race has gained a credible means of insight into the how and why of many inherited diseases. If eugenic practice was a voluntary undertaking where, regardless of one’s race, class or gender, the state offered equal access to all to discover more about their genetic predisposition, so that they can choose if they want to breed, that would be a good thing to eliminate some diseases.

There are many  many issues with this utopian view of choice being in the hands of the people. There are many issues and to touch on a few: Firstly, wealth is an issue. National wealth in the form of countries means that this would only be possible in some parts of the world. In others the richest could do this and the poorest could not even dream of it. Secondly, education is key. What is the point of clutching test results that you are unable to contextualise, analyse and render you liable to irrational influencers such as theists or racists? Thirdly, unless there exists (and there still doesn’t) an equality of the sexes then the more powerful, – usually us men – could exert a greater than 50% influence of a decision making process. Finally, until we look at ourselves as one human race then it is unlikely that eugenics will lose its Nazi/Racist/Sexist/Classist taint.

Eugenics is a fine theory for improving the health of the population but it is fraught with impossibilities that we, the people trying to improve ourselves, bring to it. Introduce me to someone who isn’t prejudiced. We are all prejudiced to a greater or lesser extent, so we are condemned to try and learn to be satisfied with who we are. Warts and all.

 

 

What next?

I have ignored this space for a while. Life gets in the way, to be sure. Then, it is up to me to make the time.

I have given up my iPad for hiding. It is such a useful device and yet it has this insidious ability to snatch all your spare time away if you let it. And I did. Mea culpa.

All of a sudden the future feels scarily immediate. My degree finishes this semester. No pressure but moving universities for my final year means that my entire degree mark will be predicated on my results this academic year. To compound the fun I wasn’t v well advised by the so called “student advisor” and had one class last semester and three this semester. All this and the dissertation to hand ! Still, I am relishing the challenge. I am loving it at my new academic home.

The real concern is what I do next. Watch this space and if it is Top Secret government work then obviously there will be nothing.