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Tuesday, 27 October 2015

blog 160. One Day Opt Out, Sanity Survival Guide.

Following on from the Polylanna blog last week, which was in turn a response to claims of an especially dour run of posts, I am again going to offer perky positives. This week I’ll provide my dear bleaders with a one day emergency guide to surviving reality with your sanity intact.

Turning away from the need and mess is not edifying or moral behaviour. If we can’t help we have a duty to ‘know’. But I’m working on a papal dispensation for what will be just one day of respite where the lucky ones (those not trying to cross the Med in a sieve, survive a corrupt dictatorship, feed a starving family or endure environmental disaster) but wracked with guilt and helplessness, can plug out for 12 hours. So, for example, in this country you may wish to switch off from the Tories' full on attack on the low waged. If you live in America I would say try not to think about just how many people of unstable mind are, right now, armed with sufficient weaponry to give an entire town a really bad day. If you care about the planet try not to focus on the increasing backlash from Nature as we scorch the earth and so on and so forth. And here is a guide on how to spend that day.

Firstly, if you’ve not already given up on the box at least turn it off. There is no point having it on but avoiding the news because the alternatives are morons on game shows, programmes about high maintenance gardens and poor quality freak shows masquerading as reality TV. And in this country, despite it being 2015, black representation in the publically funded broadcast channel has actually significantly decreased rather than increased. So just turn it off.

If you have £2 to spare go to the co-op (or equivalent outside the UK) and buy their own brand cheesecake. It’s not as good as homemade but it’s pretty nice and a real budget treat. And frankly – though the food industry is working so hard to hasten our untimely and unpleasant demise - more than just about any other global force – this aint the time for a tofu salad.

Then get yourself a DVD collection of old Columbo episodes or if you are more modern than me download them. I can highly recommend Candidate for Crime, Prescription for Murder, Suitable for Framing. The importance of this choice is that you can spend a couple of hours fantasising that the application of logic, decency and hard work will always triumph over corruption, egotism, narcissism and criminality. Plus you get GREAT dialogue, fully drawn characters and subtle humour.

Paint the walls of your house orange and brown and wear a flowered kaftan and pretend it’s the 1970s because although it was not a good era for music, fashion, sexism, racism and there were lots of paedophiles operating with impunity in our institutions, at least back then we were still in a position to save the planet.

I wouldn’t recommend trying to become self sufficient in a day or even in a hurry. I started with an apple tree. The pesky squirrels got most of them, the magpies pecked a couple (I didn’t even know magpies ate apples) and the wind just blew the last one down. Although I rescued it from the slugs it wouldn’t keep us fed through the breakdown of law and order, crop failure and Armageddon.

I do suggest that you keep a copy of Anna Karenina to hand and just glance at it during the day off and bear in mind that if martial law is declared and you can’t leave your house, there is a book that can be read and re-read and re-re-read.

And lastly, if you live in the UK, move to Scotland. Oh! I already did that, though it did take longer than a day...

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