It's also been a while and so I guess an update is in order.
The world has gone mad, officially. I have been warning in my lessons that the world was heading this way for years and I warned that some things would start to happen as a result. Since making those warnings I have discovered a whole new realm of people that stand to lose a tremendous amount from what I now believe is to come. I may even be part of that group, though my camouflage of privilege may be enough to protect me for the most part. Well, at least until I am inevitably unmasked by the rather terrifying Investigatory Powers Act that was passed into UK law recently that essentially removes even the fig leaf of protection of privacy online. We live in a world where youtube will pull videos with swearing on them, where Facebook will chuck you off for posting breastfeeding pictures but rape videos and trolling videos and info-graphics on how to sexually abuse and assault people are apparently protected under freedom of speech. Where odious men can boast from a gold plated elevator about how they have stood for working men everywhere to take on the establishment and the elites. Where to worry about those different from yourself is to be part of a metropolitan bubble, apparently - I have never been metropolitan.
And I do nothing. Like I have often worried on here, I am a coward. A total coward. Safe enough in my layers and wrappings of privilege to be able to function and carry on as before. I have a job that is moderately protected, my house is unlikely to be removed and my pay is pretty much in place. My family fulfil the norms and expectations of the privileged position that I occupy in society and, for the most part, I am a rule keeper rather than a rule breaker.
My feminine wardrobe remains inaccessible on top of the wardrobe itself, now the only real storage with my stuff in it but the shelves on which my books stand to be judged by visiting intellectuals. Even discoveries of old CDs fits the milieu being those from the days I liked CCM and, to be fair, it is good music with good soul in it. I wear suits, I play the game and know what I am doing. I manipulate and lie to my charges as I do in every walk of life: that their exams mean something, that they need to work harder (or less) to gain results; that results are not them but they are what they are worth and they are what is important. They must learn, they must listen, they must conform and, above all, they must never question the hierarchy of society or their role within it. Because that is what I do. Whilst I can, and do, point out the flaws my position bids me keep things the way they are and I can claim all manner of mitigating factors but I fail to act as Jesus would have acted. That revolutionary who listened and broke bread with those who needed him, not those that wanted his preaching, the one that came to those who would change and who needed sympathy and compassion and charity. Exactly the sort of people that need us, all of us, even more than ever.
But I am a coward and I do nothing.
It has begun. It is all around us. And I, for one, am scared.
There are less political problems. I see tipping points passed and publicised by people who know better than I what the facts and the stats all mean. I see the sea ice retreating in a feedback loop, I see the increased activity of methane fountains and the slapping of carbon taxes on the means by which we tell ourselves we can save the world. I see and hear the debate, for apparently it is one, about the raw facts that tell a compelling and dangerous story. And I see intelligent people, who should know better, arguing that things aren't that bad - not with their word but with their actions and their choices in life. I see my own family expanding as the world grows ever more precarious and dangerous and as the climate rallies round to change the future in ways that were impossible to imagine just five years ago when I started this blog. Here I have no privilege but to live where I do, at the height I do in the country I do. Rising seas will not affect me directly. Most of the food I eat is from sources that will not be affected immediately nor for some time. There is a good possibility that I could live to my 60s and not see the effects of what is already happening affect me directly. Or, at least, until my children leave home. Things are already changing and I am not certain about anything. And I sit and blog. About CDs, about sex.
That's what I was going to talk about. I found the Benjamin Gate CD called Contact and the track Need on there. It was on a tape that I played at Toby's house back in 2005 when I had stopped over in her bed for the night. I had been wearing new pyjamas, it was the first time I had ever stopped over in a girl's room, well, the first time I had stopped over and slept in the same bed at any rate, and we had shared her bed wrapped closely together. The night before we had watched Donnie Darko and I shall confess that I understood not one iota of it. I took it rather too literally, or else got most of the twists and was looking fruitlessly for more as Toby told me how complicated it all was. Even now I'm not certain what she was getting at, most of it seemed pretty clear to me, but then I probably didn't get it. But listening to this track in bed with her, with nothing to do and a free day stretching ahead of us, in one another's arms and just, well, being there. It was wonderful. I remember thinking that if this was the life I would have in marriage then I was ready for that. I assumed that when I was married it would be the sort of thing we would do - sit in bed and listen to music without a word just enjoying each other's company.
Back in those days I had a soundtrack, an ever pulsing soundtrack, that played with everything I did. I had music most of the time and I assumed that most people did. When I met Tilly I remember sharing this but, slowly, this all died. She did not like waking to music, did not like listening to music in the kitchen when making food or doing the pots or eating or when sitting in an evening. She did not want music in the car to interrupt discussion, did not want to talk as she wrote or read in an evening and could not do with music playing either. She wanted to watch TV and then, when we were in bed, wanted to sleep. Mornings were something that happened to other people. A routine to get ready was accomplished in silence and with occasional grunts. The music stopped. I stopped my soundtrack. We never listened to music together, let alone in bed with an empty day ahead.
It never happened. We had a child and there was a pregnancy where no music could be contemplated followed by the months and months of her own fears that meant I was pushed away ever-so-slightly and there was no music lest it disturb her or the baby. We never listened to music when having sex, or after sex, or before. And, now and again, I catch a breeze from the days when everything I did was connected to music and I wonder where it all changed. In the face of the preamble though, this is all small potatoes.
I have friends who are actually depressed and in serious trouble. I have colleagues with real worries and people I know and love face discrimination and a future where it could be officially encouraged. And I post about fucking music.