I took a break from blogging because work was mounting up, but even now that I have more free time, I find myself struggling to work out what to blog about.
Part of it is, I’m just not too sure what this blog is for. I mean, some politics blogs post news items with commentary; I’ve done that sometimes. Some post exchanges with other bloggers, or strategic evaluation of the state of the unions and so forth; I’ve done that sometimes. Some blogs post pictures of cute animals; I’ve done that sometimes. And some blogs post spontaneous expositions on fairly deep issues that no-one asked about; I do that a lot.
But which is my actual plan? I’m not sure. Perhaps another way to put it is that I’m not sure what balance to strike between being theoretical (which on its own would make this some kind of quasi-academic endeavour), being politically relevant (which on its own would make this a sort of news service), and being personal (which would make this a somewhat one-sided conversation). I’m still trying to find the right recipe with those three ingredients.
Still. It’s Christmas. That should be the spark for any number of posts.
In particular, I was struck by how much there is to be cynical about right now. I say that not only because any Christmastic outpouring of manufactured festivitation is liable to provoke cynicism.
There’s also the predictable events in Copenhagen: a grand gathering of people from across the world, committed to finally tackling global warming, and what happens? The police arrest half of them pre-emptively and trap the others in a freezing cold kettle, so that a bunch of gangsters can sit in rooms and bicker over money.
Not to mention the bizarre sight of ‘universal healthcare’ being stripped naked, tied to the back of a truck, dragged around the US legislature for about a year, so that now a battered corpse on the end of some rope is pulled towards the finish line and the onlookers cheer mightily: “universal healthcare has almost passed! what a glorious spectacle!”
Then there’s the whole anniversary thing. Not of anything to do with Jesus, but rather that the 25th was the day Gorbachev resigned, and the 26th the day the Supreme Soviet announced the final, official, end of the USSR.
(Incidentally, the 25th is also apparently the day that Ceausescu, Stalinist despot of Romania, was unceremoniously shoved out of office and summarily executed)
That anniversary is a cause for cynicism in two ways: the final dissipation of whatever hope had continued to float around the USSR’s claims to represent economic, political, and social democracy, and the rising up of new hopes that capitalism would make the former Soviet republics rich and free – hopes with about the same amount of reality to them.
So yeah. The midwinter solstice, apparently, is a sign of renewal, so perhaps we should see this as an opportunity to celebrate the way that crap, whether in a political system or a healthcare system, can renew itself, casting off the old forms and taking on new ones, just as bad. Like the death and resurrection of the most holy Jebus.
On the other hand, we might also see this as an opportunity to reflect that renewal is not always guaranteed, and that the renewal of life each year operates within parameters. If those parameters are exceeded, the effective renewal of life may be made precarious – certainly the renewal of billions of organisms’ individual lives cannot be counted upon. And so far, there’s little reason to think that’s not going to happen over the next few decades.
But then again, even if that does happen, there will still be life, and I think it’s inevitable that given enough millions of years, some other intelligent animal will set fire to something and learn how to make sharp sticks and robust wheels. So be happy about that! ‘Tis the season to be jolly!