Tag Archive | kez

On the news about 35 trees being destroyed in anger by somebody in an area nearby.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-south-yorkshire-26629673

Lots of misplaced rage round these parts. They don’t even know why they’re so fucked off. So they enact it on those who are weaker or whom cannot answer back. Bubbling frustration from a sense of injustice in life. But growing rage that has no object of blame, so it picks the weakest/or that which cannot answer back in a society that exemplifies this everywhere, implicitly .The difference is that some of us, for some reason or another, learn not to take it out on those weaker than us, even if we do not understand what is causing our frustration (my argument is that some people never find an environment in which to think for themselves, and never move beyond the bullying-culture of secondary school). I also find it hard to contain my frustration at times, sometimes inanimate objects are regrettably smashed, but trees bring nothing but benefits to areas, and, even though I don’t do any guerrilla tree planting anymore, I keep eagle eyes on those trees I once planted, eager for them to evade the gaze of misdirected rage.

I don’t think there’s ever been a time when British didn’t have a strong leaning towards taking it out on those weaker; the film Kes, from 1969, (based on the book Kestrel for a Knave) was filmed in the very same parts of Barnsley as this news story – the protagonist, a scrawny young man with unresponsive to his expected lowly role in society, is repeatedly picked on and bullied by those around him who are clearly internally suppressed by these same social roles that have encased them; even in this historical period when Britain was as equal a society as it has so far been (the post war period).

Also, the aspects of our culture that takes things out on those weaker/who can’t answer back seems to increase under a Conservative government. With their ascendancy to power there always returns the nastier elements of society that we thought we’d left behind, in fact any illusions of social progress are instantly forgotten once they return to power – although New Labour’s championing of ‘multiculturalism’ (and other easy targets like in an hierarchical society) was always going to feel like a con whilst they pursued a Thatcherite economic agenda that continued the economic and social conditions that stoke frustrations and their cry for a violent outlet.

It doesn’t surprise me that we see random outbursts of rage; the “fuck it, let’s smash things up for no reason” always has a reason, it’s just that reason is often not known to whoever is doing it. Last week I was basically bullied off the road as I was walking back from work on a country lane. Part of the reason was that I too find myself very frustrated and angry about things at the moment (the state of the world in general, and also a feeling of my sense of self worth being driven over in the mud, as the violence aimed at self worth in a deeply hierarchical society such as Britain is often very hard to rise above), and being somebody who walks a lot in a nation dominated by cars, a frustration does build up against road bullies who marginalise the pedestrian further.

So, when an angry van driver sped past me, throwing verbal abuse at me through his window, seemingly because I was in his way as I walked down the correct side of a country lane, my anger burst out also, and I threw verbal abuse back at him. However, he pulled his van to a halt, and then started reversing towards me. Despite my own outburst of rage, I am not a confrontational person, and there was not one bone inside of me that wished to find out how he was about to react, so I started running. Eventually he stopped reversing and drove off. He “had won”, he had bullied me, and I had run away. Of course it was far wiser for me to run, than to wait for an outcome with somebody in control of a 3 tonne vehicle. But this is exactly the way things work in a society when lots and lots of people are frustrated and don’t why; the weakest are easy targets for bullying. To him, in the mist of his anger, I was a relatively soft-looking man, with glasses on; he wanted an outlet for his rage, and I was a safe bet. Just like those 35 trees at the other side of the borough.

This of course isn’t the whole story for what causes depressing acts of vandalism. And sometimes when I’m so angry about things myself, from within the red haze I wish to advise people to redirect their longing to smash things up closer to sources from where the pain is being dealt out. However, I usually refrain in fear in being arrested for in-sighting riots in an age of information surveillance. Also, as we have seen with those who go smashing up the windows of banks and the stores of tax-avoiding corporations (if not agent provocateurs themselves), it is only used by the right wing media to instill a fear into the rest of us to be ever more obedient to a social organistion that causes such frustration in the first place.

Doing anything to prevent ourselves seeing the true conditions of our existence

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The sky is that kind of colour that seems to saturate everything with lifelessness. The kind of day when moving from one metaphysical bubble to another is very much advisable. Even better if you can drape these bubbles in enough shiny stuff as to make convince others that they are desirable places to inhabit.  I suppose you lose a little dignity when you cannot do this at all; when the only thing that has colour on such days are the billboards/bus-stop-poster adverts that show a glamour that is seemingly always just out of reach.

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Stuck in a room with no reachable community (in areas drained of community), where everything sociable requires purchasing power in order to be reached, in a country of people who have been told time again that the world has ended and that their own lives are now all that matters. So I step outside, with just enough money to catch the only bus out of this village to a nearby gallery – my mind needs it easier today, it’s not a day for staring into the abyss whilst sat in it.

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I glance at the young people of this village, hanging around the top shop. A village that offers them nothing but street corners and empty roads to scoot down. They have reached that age when society slowly begins to humiliate them; slowly begins to wear the hopes and dreams down that it helped manufacture in the mind with orgies of images of glamour, the good life, and excitement. It now leaves them to stagnate in grey, underserviced housing estates. Of course they will look for distractions/sugary bursts that can help humour or keep in limbo those slowly-dissapearing hopes and dreams, and who can blame them when it turns into acts that are deemed as anti-social?

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To suddenly see yourself as you truly are – socially trapped, with few prospects/a person well down the chart on the all-important ‘who’s-who’ list – must be one of the worst assaults possible on that necessary ego one needs, in this ocean of egos. Perhaps, at this point in time, now I find myself unemployed and lumped back in my parents’ house on the outskirts of an already-neglected town (after a failed attempt to move somewhere else), I realise the difficulty in retaining one’s dignity and a sense of self-worth, and not feeling humiliated whenever seeing other human beings who seem to be faring better. An immense amount of energy and mental strenth is required to maintain well-being and ignore the omnipresent signs that tell you you are worthless and a ‘loser’.

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Everything that could have been done to make places more pleasant holes to exist in, everything that could have been done to create an environment that gives meaning and well-being to people has been shit on from a great height by the rights of free enterprise and private property.  You either become somebody who is constantly in need of distraction (who have probably now become Facebook/text message addicts), somebody who has a skin as thick as a crocodile’s, or both. There is no real future that one is able to plan for.

Think of the 1960’s film, and cult-classic Kez (situated within the same borough as the village described, and culturally not as far apart as one would expect due to the amount that has changed since the production of the film). The protagonist, Billy Casper, enters the careers/jobs office at the Comprehensive school he attends. He is a young man who has sought constant distraction from his grim existence, to the extent that he cannot apply himself to anything – well, until he pets the Kestrel he names Kez, which gives him a meaning and freedom to life, only for it to be cruely destroyed by the culture he is trapped in. In the interview he cannot think of one job he would like to do; he obviously doesn’t have the capacity and strength to think this far-ahead. All he has in his mind is a desire to get out of that room as soon as possible, and get on with whatever gets him through each day, one by one.

To realise one’s true conditions of existence is, for many, a moment of sheer humiliation, followed by fear. One instead has to constantly spin the plate/keeping in balance the feeling that you “are the man, I am man”, whilst clearly knowing  that they have been, by and large, sidelined by society. The best description I heard of the effect of the current government slashing of welfare is one of humiliation; as things get worse and worse, more and more will find it harder to maintain their dignity and a sense of self-worth. Within these coming years we are sure to witness extremities of all reactions to such humiliation; more riots, more drink and drug problems, more acts of random violence, more tribalism, more talent shows providing slim chances of success to ever-more desperate people, prepared to be in ever-more humiliating productions just for an end to the long humiliation.

It isn’t possible to look away from this, and these grey days demand of us that we see the world minus the ideological-enhancement-of our real conditions such distractions help maintain.

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