I think I shall choose the ability to heal. Mostly myself, sure, but there’s no point in living forever, constantly healing yourself, if you can’t bore someone along the way. I assume that’s how the injections work, anyway . . . just thinking really hard about what your superpower is going to be. I had the second jab a few days ago, so any day now . . . I’ll be a healing monster!
So, pending my immortality, I’ve been reading, but out loud. Seriously, how sodding hard is that?! I remember doing this easily in school. Sure, I’d fumble my way through tough words, and if the chance arose, pronounce sex imitating Sean Connery just for fun. But reading aloud wassshh sssshiimple. At present, I’m trying to narrate my first audiobook for my uncle – being blind, he’s spared reading my usual rubbish, so am going tactical! I can’t go through a paragraph though without screwing it up, letting forth vile tirades of expletives. I shock myself. The difficulty is pausing on the breath, making sure the audio doesn’t sound like I’m in a phone booth with my pants warming my ankles.
Reading aloud isn’t the only reference to a bygone era. I have the upcoming week off, and considering it’s been 6 months since I had a break, it feels like the lead up to summer holidays. This is more keenly felt with my northern hemisphere chums relishing their summer solstice shenanigans! And here we are, in winter, passing our shortest day of the year. The future though, is bright!! Unless the COVID Gods are hard of hearing and I turn into a gila-monster. Just my luck!
During the month of mostly lockdown, I’ve noticed I’ve become a little more socially distant so will need to change that. During my introversion though I’ve churned through some tomes: In Praise of Idleness & Other Essays by Bertrand Russell; The Naked CEO by Alex Malley and the surprisingly excellent Thanks for the Feedback by Douglas Stone & Sheila Heen. I hadn’t expected much from the latter, but I learnt a lot, and if you’ve ever needed to provide or receive feedback this book helps – in work, life, relationships . . . basically anytime, anywhere, where there is an interaction with a human. If you were talking to a chicken or a cupboard, this would be next to useless. Do not buy this book! Perhaps go and seek some professional help though. You know, a gila-ing hand.
Inalienable life certainties – death, taxes and England being piss poor in football. With morally bankrupt billionaires avoiding dues, they have plenty of cash to jettison themselves into space, living forever in a cryochamber circling Mars. That’s two down. Maybe they’ll regenerate in the year 3041, about tea time, just as Lichtenstein non-binary Brownies thwack six past the super-bots of England.
Population growth was a certainty, now I’m a little unsure. The average household in the UK used to be 2.4 children, meaning every adult couple had two heirs and a bit. Basically, a growing population. Now the UK fertility rate is 1.7. Europe is at 1.5. Japan is even lower still. By reducing poverty, increasing education, giving women autonomy over their own bodies and throwing a few billionaires at the sun, the planet’s population will naturally reduce. Sounds like a lot of thirsty work though, ammarite? Well, we’re running out of water too.
Only 2.5% of the water on the planet is freshwater - stuff we can drink or use to cook, clean, feed animals, grow crops i.e. live with. Johannesburg ran out of water in 2020. California is running out too, which is impacts everyone as they’re the sixth largest contributor to GDP in the world. Britain certainly has famous amounts of rain, but isn’t exempt either: 3 weeks of sunshine and hose-pipe bans begin. There is though good news! Ish. Good news ish.
99% of the planet’s freshwater is locked in glaciers and snowfields. So, with a warming climate, we’ll have more available. Huzzahh!! Most of that though will flow directly into the sea. Boo! Islands are already disappearing in the Pacific. The answer may be renewables powering desalination plants. More water means more growth, means more trees, means more oxygen. We breathe oxygen. See? Good news!
Australia, always a fierce advocate of doing fu** all, has already set its stall out. We can survive quite well as long as 90% of us die: with its current desalination plants, we can water perhaps 10-11% of the population including some pigs, cattle, sheep etc. So, if England bored everyone to death every week, we are covered. Happy Sunday!
Lots of love for the week, Richie xx
P.S. Gorau Chwarae Cyd Chwarae, Cymru am byth . . . C'mon, Wales!!
Australia Desalination water full-capacity: 20% of Adelaide is roughly 0.34m, 33% of Melbourne’s 4.8m (0.96m), ~ 40% of Perth at 0.85m, 27% of South East Queensland (1.026m), Sydney 19% of roughly 5m (0.95m). Not so good for Cairns, Darwin or Alice Springs eh?
Lockdown Volume 4: More Moribund. This time the villainous COVID escaped quarantine, jumped state-lines and in tasting freedom, went mental. A side-effect of contracting the virus must be becoming hyper-social, like some kind of catholic cocaine rabbit. ‘Hosts’ always seem to have spurious jobs like licking cutlery clean at eleventy-seven restaurants a day and providing low-cost heating solutions by breathing directly onto as many faces as possible. And so here we are again, week 3. Then today, just as it was getting boring, people in head-to-toe Hazmat suits arrived and entered a building a few doors down on my street, like something from Outbreak or ET. Awesome. Number of active cases in Melbourne? 64.
Still, lockdown has its advantages (he says, trying to be optimistic). In Bertrand Russell’s In Praise of Idleness, he hypothesises dropping the common man’s working day down to four hours – huzzaaahhh!!! Let’s get pissed!! - leaving the rest of the day for education – whaaaaaaa?! Russell believed that by gaining intelligence, the commoner not only advances themselves but the community around them, the rising tide of educated people lifting all boats in the country. And, you know, licking less cutlery. Alternatively, we could opt to retain the eight to ten hour working day, and just shut down all other distractions and activities. To that end: I’ve consumed Brene Brown’s excellent Dare to Lead; the not bad Naked CEO by Alex Malley; entrepreneurship stories from Guy Raz in How I built this; Phil Town’s Rule #1 concerning stock market investment; and the overrated Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. I may end up in the loony bin yet.
The unfortunate truth in Russell’s ninety-year-old text, is that the ruling rich have implemented high costs for education, thus reducing its accessibility. For those that have the daring to better themselves, they are saddled in debt. The plutocracy has the gall to award their own family government contracts worth millions whilst espousing that manual labour is noble, praising the valour of salt-of-the-earth types, whilst robbing them blind. And no, you can’t take a toilet break, pee in a bottle like a man. In contrast, the story of the fortnight is that the top 25 wealthiest Americans collective coin surged $401 billion between 2014-2018. They paid an effective 3.6% tax rate. Jeff Besos of Amazon fame is now worth $200b. Does anyone else feel that Besos, Musk et al aren’t so much heading to space for the adventure, but because they know at some point the 98% are going to fucking lose their collective shit? Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to wear all my gear, sit on my motorbike and make engine noises. Brrrrrmm-brrrmmmmm!!
Writing and writing...