There’s an old Chinese curse that, roughly translated, reads “May you live in interesting times.”
Well of course the meaning is generally held to signify that boring times are peaceful, a period when life goes on largely undisturbed except for the usual minor trials and tribulations of domestic and working life. In the past it was certainly the case that it was often possible for most people to live a ‘quiet life’ and just get on with things the same old way they had always done, for decades if not a lifetime. Not very “interesting”, perhaps, but safe and untroubled for the most part.
Of course in “interesting times”, as far as the aforementioned Chinese curse is concerned, you might expect to be visited by war, famine, pestilence, poverty, robbery, violence, all those things that make life “interesting”. It’s true enough that we have seen no shortage of these things around the world in recent years.
What’s currently making life more and more “interesting” for those of us in the western world, however, is the economical collapse caused by rampant and unchecked globalised capitalism, greedy bankers and corporations, and a corrupt press and government. We’ve even seen many decades of neglect, lack of care and buck-passing by government result in the development of a largely ignored ‘underclass’ that recently took to the streets and left them burning – in ‘Great’ Britain, of all places!
It’s beginning to look as if there’s no end in sight to the doom and gloom, and many of us are being shaken out of our cosy little ruts by the fallout.
Here in Great Britain, the current government is doing its best to destroy our infrastructure, local government and armed forces in a crazy bout of ‘slash and burn’ cost-cutting that will see millions unemployed sooner rather than later, and they have already made this once-great nation a laughing stock around the globe. Having worked in local government for most of my working life, this now leaves me in a tricky situation, scrabbling to stay in employment in not very promising and very uncertain circumstances.
But maybe something good will come out of this period of economic and governmental insanity, at least I have to hope so. I’ve always wanted to be a full-time writer, and in a year or so it may be my only alternative to the dole queue – so the current situation has to be one of the best possible incentives for me to actually get moving and get on with it. The buck stops here – and the book starts here.
Interesting times indeed.