Like Mithridates, the ancient Greek King who–legend has it–ingested small amounts of poison to create immunity, it is the art of swallowing what we hate little by little, of being formed by it, developing an immunity to it and even learning to appreciate the rush it gives us so we can make it in this sick world. If it is no longer poisonous to us, it is easier to dish it out as we deny that it’s poison. It’s still poison though.
If people only have a choice between evils–be it republicans or democrats, leave or remain, tories, labour lib-dems etc. –then those who don’t want any of them are coerced into making a choice they don’t want, it violates the principles of consent at a very basic level. Consent must be free of coercion by definition, otherwise it is not consent. And when the costs of not picking a side are too high, the voter relationship with the government becomes non-consensual.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, twelvemonth is an archaic noun meaning “a year”. As any writer or musician will tell you, the relevance of things happening around you increases the further you immerse yourself in your work, until every song you hear or snippet of dialogue appears to have a direct link to your project.
There’s a relief that comes with such a diagnosis. But also a glimpse of the fatality that living in our society provides. It’s a label which means you can be put in the box, ‘no longer of any use to society’. And the purpose of getting well is to be of use to society because the machine, the machine must be fed. That is the way of things in the system we have built.
The powerful emotional link that binds families who grow up together often manifests itself in curious ways when adult adoptees meet their biological families. Yet as common as it is, few want to touch it because–well–incest. But this issue needs more awareness, and not only because according to recent reports it’s on the rise. Also because I believe that it’s a fertile ground for a particular type of abuse.
I don’t hide my white privilege but many of my friends don’t know that my Greek-American father wasn’t considered white as a young man. But they don’t tend to ask because I look utterly white, a caucasian through and through. It’s such a small thing, that it barely scratches the surface of relevance. And yet weirdly enough my realisation of what this means is emblematic of our globally expansive-yet-locally-intolerant times.