A Very British Rant

Posted by Amy Elliott


With all the mess and horrors inflicting various parts of the world lately, Planet Waves staff member (and British person) Amy Elliott is…well, a bit cross.

After yet another fatal mass shooting, this time in San Bernardino, California, it’s getting really bloody difficult not to feel weary of one’s existence. Why anyone with half a brain would want to shoot up a facility center for the disabled, somewhere that provides vital public services to the most vulnerable, is beyond me.


Global warming sucks for turtles. Image: Takver/CC

This latest horror follows closely on others, including of course the recent attacks in Paris; the UK Parliament has just voted with the gung-ho contingent, which means another country off to bomb Syria.

Then there’s the ever more pressing issue of global warming, highlighted by COP21; the only head of state not in attendance is the incarcerated former president of the Maldives, who just happens to be an outspoken advocate of strong climate action.

Just so you know, dear reader: if the news of the last few days or weeks has made you apoplectic, then you’re not alone. I’m extremely cross. (That’s British for “apoplectic.”) And yet I also feel curiously tired. I guess outrage fatigue is still a thing.

The major reason for this fury over seemingly unconnected events is because of, well, what connects them. This can be uncovered fairly easily, and it’s called deceit. Or possibly self-deceit, or denial. Whatever it is, the Saturn-Neptune square would seem to be the harbinger of tidings like these.

Consider this: Mother Jones reported last year that mass shootings had tripled since 2011. Yet the NRA would have us believe that the answer to gun crime lies in yet more guns. It’s the most irritatingly stupid fuzzy logic you could possibly imagine, but it continues to be touted. Heaven forbid that gub’mint should dare take away “our” guns, even if it means saving lives. Legislators continue to afford this concept houseroom.

One notch up the rage-o-meter comes the imminent (probably, by now, under way) bombing of Syria: the latest in a catalog of cynical, ill thought out and ultimately pointless interventions by the West in the Middle East. Of course we want to protect innocent people from being harmed. It’s a shame we can’t lead by example and stop bombing the hell out of oil-rich nations.

We enthroned Saddam Hussein; we helped the Taliban grow in Afghanistan; we have now created the Islamic State, and we still think the answer is more war, more bombs, more deaths. Broad hint: petulant, childish revenge tactics founded on emotive, illogical and sometimes outright false arguments do not work. Unless, perhaps, your goal is to destabilise a country in order to grab its resources. But of course that’s just speculation.


A meme I use a lot these days.

Finally, the least desirable qualities of humankind can surely be found in the clusterfuck cesspool of global warming denial.

Now we know Exxon was caught suppressing its own data, which confirmed fossil fuels are heating up the planet, for the sake of its profits.

This has to carry the stupid to another level, a kind of meta-stupid. Even from the most selfish point of view, there is absolutely no bloody point in going all-out to maximise riches if no-one is going to be around to enjoy them.

Then, instead of holding their hands up and admitting this has really got to stop, the G-howevermanyitisnow appear to be carrying right along with negotiations designed to avoid any kind of real action, and to bully the poorer nations into giving up the most, so we don’t have to.

My favorite metaphor of all time for what is happening to our climate is that of the car driving towards the cliff. This is, make no mistake, the situation we’re in; and once we go over, mitigation options will be severely limited. Yet our leaders insist on continuing to argue for the most comfortable seat.

It’s enough to make anyone at least slightly annoyed.

7 thoughts on “A Very British Rant

  1. Just Suzanne

    Oh,Amy, I couldn’t agree with you more, and that makes me so sad. It is a mess, every which way one looks…

    I just ordered “If” on DVD; haven’t seen that movie since I was a teenager in the ’70s, but I remember it so vividly and it feels very apropos…

  2. Pisces SunPisces Sun

    Of course I said “Comfortably Numb,” because people are so numb to it all and yet seem to be so comfortable in running around in circles, which led me to think of this song too by the American Gary Jules:

    “Mad World”

    All around me are familiar faces
    Worn out places, worn out faces
    Bright and early for their daily races
    Going nowhere, going nowhere

    Their tears are filling up their glasses
    No expression, no expression
    Hide my head, I wanna drown my sorrow
    No tomorrow, no tomorrow

    And I find it kinda funny
    I find it kinda sad
    The dreams in which I’m dying
    Are the best I’ve ever had
    I find it hard to tell you
    I find it hard to take
    When people run in circles
    It’s a very, very mad world, mad world

    Children waiting for the day they feel good
    Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday
    And I feel the way that every child should
    Sit and listen, sit and listen

    Went to school and I was very nervous
    No one knew me, no one knew me
    Hello teacher tell me what’s my lesson
    Look right through me, look right through me

    And I find it kinda funny
    I find it kinda sad
    The dreams in which I’m dying
    Are the best I’ve ever had
    I find it hard to tell you
    I find it hard to take
    When people run in circles
    It’s a very, very mad world, mad world

    Enlarging your world
    Mad world

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