When The Guardian breaks from its usual sedate and hipster fare to inform us the government is considering calling in the Ministry of Defence to transport food and that the bosses of big business are predicting “civil unrest,” I think we should wake up. Suddenly the world of the ordinary and everyday is behaving like the worlds of familiar disaster fantasy, and – what’s more – we know where it all ends. We’ve read this book and watched this film a thousand times before. We know the rules.
With both a pro-independence majority in Edinburgh and an SNP majority in London, we have come to see that British democracy is calibrated in such a way as to stifle the democratic will of Scotland. The same is true for Wales and Northern Ireland. In fact, the constitution of the United Kingdom – while unwritten – makes it impossible for us to assert our will without the fundamentally undemocratic permission of the English state-dominated British government.
Looking in the mirror no longer shows me an image of how I think I look. Now it asks me questions about the future and reminds me that I am no longer the fairest in the land. My young maths students crack the odd joke about me developing bald spot and I find myself envying their youth and stupidity.
That’s fighting talk, that is. Growing up where I did I’ve heard this language a lot. It’s the battle cry of housing estate vigilante justice, “You just tell me where he lives, and I’ll march right round there and see what he has to say for himself. By God, he’ll listen to what I have to say.”
Truth cannot be calculated by the application of formulae. People’s accounts of events; the presentation of their truths, be that in books, the newspaper, or their spoken words, stake a claim on truth which cannot be factuality because it speaks to a distinct category of knowledge.
Our innate religious imagination is one of the many psychological bi-products of our human intelligence which assists us as we try to make sense of our reality. In this respect it has much in common with language.
As Ireland turns once more out of summer and into autumn the nights are creeping forward, and so tonight it is only fitting that my pick of the week should be on the theme of night.
Almost like mathematics anyone can begin composing haikus, but only either natural genius or dedication to the craft will result in brilliant and memorable masterpieces. Over the past week I have picked out just three haikus which have in some way touched me as both brilliant and memorable.