My grandmother died in her eighties. It always amazed me that when she was born, Queen Victoria was on the throne. While she was still small the motor-car was a rich man’s ridiculous indulgence, only able to travel at walking pace. Indoor toilets? Dieu, there’s unhygienic, isn’t it? She had her first indoor bathroom installed when I was a child, and finally threw out the old tin bath my grandfather used to sit in to wash off the coal dust. She never experienced life in a centrally heated house. Never wanted to. She wouldn’t even have a phone, there was one at the end of the street if she felt like talking to anyone other than the Old Lady Network.
It wasn’t unusual to pass a ringing phone box, answer it, and be asked to fetch Mrs Grimshaw from Number Seven. Why have a phone? The streets always had kids in them and if there was threepence to be had from the deal, any of us would be glad to help. Incidentally, we didn’t smash up phoneboxes, because we could profit from them. It wasn’t altruism, it was business. That changed when home phones became the norm.
My grandmother was too young to remember the New Year of 1900 but she was there. Survived two World Wars by living in a part of Wales where there really wasn’t much to bomb. Merthyr Tydfil, as it happened. Both grandfathers were in those wars. I still have the watch chain bearing coins of all the countries one of them visited, marvelled at the sights, and shot people. It is Sterling silver, hallmarked on every link, and at my deepest levels of skintitude it was never for sale and will never be. One grandfather died of war wounds, the other survived unscathed until the mines got him.
This was stuff I was supposed to learn in history class and I had grandparents who were actually there. No wonder I didn’t listen. The Labour party? I had family who remembered when it started. There was no need for those lessons. My history interests are now confined to books because all grandparents are dead, and because I go much further back these days. Well, that’s what happens. We get old, we die, and we make room for the new ones. What they do with the world is up to them. We won’t be around to see it. In the old days we trusted the next generation to deal with things.
My grandmother was around for the mass-production of pocket calculators but never saw a home computer. If she was alive now she would not be on the internet and would still regard calculators as ‘bloody things that will rot your mind’. I have to admit she had a point there. In school, I learned how to work out square roots on paper. The early calculators took away all memory of that because it was one of the first ‘real’ functions aside from basic arithmetic. I learned a great deal of pen-and-paper statistics at university but now I have the basic stuff on a calculator and programs on the main computer for the harder stuff. I don’t remember much of the pen-and-paper methods. Even so, it comes as a shock every time a younger person tells me they don’t understand how I can do long division in my head. That’s simple stuff.
She died in 1989. She didn’t have to suffer the Tiny Blur, the Brown Gorgon, the Coagulation, the wars on Lard, Smoking, Drinking, Salt, Burgers and anyone breathing. It’s just as well because if she was alive now she would certainly be in prison.
When my brother and I came in filthy (almost daily, sometimes even after Sunday school), she would snarl ‘mochyn ddu’ and point to the big tin tub – later, to the big green bath with taps that had actual hot water. Mochyn ddu. Black pigs. Two words that, uttered within earshot of any of the feeble and the weak of today would certainly cause offence-by-proxy. It covers, in its nine letters uttered in one second, every single Righteous pet group available with the exception of the gays.
She had that covered too.
I still vividly recall one Christmas where we watched Elton John perform. My grandmother’s face bore, as always, a suitably Welsh dour expression throughout until she broke the silence with her assessment of the man on the screen. “He’s a bumboy, he is.” This was some years before Elton officially ‘came out’ so we tried to reassure her that he was as straight as a die but she would have none of it. How she knew, it’s too late to ask, but she did.
In these enlightened times, that remark would have seen her in court before her best bloomers were dry. No matter that it turned out to be true. It wasn’t put in a politically correct manner and that is all that counts these days.
The world changes. Fast. I used to have no trouble at all getting a beer in a pub at the age of 14. As long as we didn’t get plastered and caused no trouble in there, nobody cared. The local shop had a cigarette machine outside it all night, selling packs of ten, and no nonsmoker or even antismoker objected. They just didn’t buy stuff they didn’t want to buy. In those days, it wasn’t difficult to resist the lure of the shiny-shiny.
In my just-over-fifty years I have seen cars fitted with all kinds of new safety gadgets and seen deaths from car crashes rocket. I have seen the attitudes to cigarettes change from shops happy to let little kids buy them for their parents to now, when grown adults are made to feel like shit for asking for the mystery pack from behind the doors.
Money changed from that pounds-shillings-pence into the new ‘decimal’ system that is now clearly a proto-Euro system. I used to like getting half-crowns and ten-shilling notes at birthdays. Oh, okay, as a ten-year-old this new money was a damn sight easier to learn and calculate than the old twelve-pennies-to-a-shilling and twenty-shillings-to-a-pound but it atrophies the mind to always take the easy route. Perhaps that was the idea. It certainly seems to have been the result.
Houses with ice on the inside of the windows in winter. It wasn’t ‘hardship’, it was normal. We used to marvel at the patterns Jack Frost drew in the days when the house had to wait until the fire was laid and lit. Now we set the heating to come on half an hour before we wake and double glazing has banished Jack Frost to oblivion in the minds of youth. I’ll bet few people under thirty have heard of him.
Everything was cooked in lard. Nobody gave a damn about saturated and non-saturated fats, they had a big pan full of lard that they heated to boiling point, then plunged a metal basket of sliced potatoes in there and fried them until they were perfect.
Then we ladled salt over them. We’re still alive.
That same boiling fat cooked doughnuts, which were then dunked in sugar and best consumed while still warm. Fried bread just does not work in vegetable oil.
Fat, salt, sugar, drink, smoke, are all regulated and controlled now. Houses are built insulated and without chimneys, designed to provide hermetically sealed and regulated environments that pay no attention to the real world outside. I don’t know about the young, they grew up with it so maybe they are used to it, but I hate it. And I’m only fifty. I have to live through a lot more of this yet.
In the past I have stated that I will no longer consider being an organ donor because I get quite enough abuse as a live smoker and will not tolerate its continuation after death. My lungs are in fine shape. My liver is probably buggered but most other bits work and you can’t have them. I am not looking up from the afterlife and seeing some git whose life has been saved by my well-exercised kidneys moaning about how they came from a smoker. Sod you. I don’t want you people to live so I will not help.
That always elicits the response ‘I bet you wouldn’t refuse a donated organ if you were dying’. Yes. I would. In half a century, this world has changed from one worth fighting for to one not even worth fighting to stay alive in. I don’t want your donated organs. I don’t want to live beyond whatever time I have. My lifestyle is not likely to make me a centenarian and I don’t want to be one. Old, frail, unable to look after myself, a target for the increasingly feral youth and taxed into hypothermia by the government that pretends to care? Why would I fight for that?
I refer back to Elton John, and a song from the ‘Captain Fantastic’ album which I still think is his best. ‘Better off dead’, which, if you listen to it, is strangely prophetic. In this world, my grandmother is certainly better off dead.
In a few more years, I will be.
There is no way I will ever kill myself. As Arnie put it, I cannot self-terminate. However, put me in a home with modern don’t-carers and I will soon drive at least one of them to do it for me. I might be on a final journey but one of those bastards, at least, is going to have cause to remember me. The ‘home’ would be intolerable to me. The very concept of ‘being in care’ is intolerable. I, too, can be intolerable and when I put my mind to it I can make Voldemort look like something the kitten coughed up. I will not kill me, youngsters. You will, and my ghost will be laughing behind the judge in court.
Now, despite all these warnings that everything you eat, drink, inhale, touch, smell or look at will kill you, we are told that the Ferals who are born now will live to be a hundred. Hey, Ferals, you are going to be even older than the people you torment now. Looking forward to that? Imagine what future generations of you will be like and imagine yourself helpless. Then wonder why I’m delighted that I’ll be dead before you get there.
This is clear doublethink but the drones will accept it. They will not see the discrepancy in the reasoning.
1) Children born now might (or might not) have a 33% chance of living to 100.
2) Therefore we have to raise the pension age now, for those born 59 or less years ago, who have little to no chance of reaching 100.
As the saying goes, follow the money, and the money is right there in the article.
Pensions Minister Steve Webb said: ‘These figures really bring home how important it is to plan for later life and how we can’t go on paying the state pension at an age set early in the last century.
‘That’s why we have increased the state pension age, plan to bring in a single tier state pension and Automatic Enrolment will help put an end to the decline in pension saving and set millions on course for a more prosperous retirement.’
I have no further interest in the State pension. It is going to move away faster than I can age. I will never get it. Neither will anyone younger than me. This Madoff-style Ponzi scheme has failed and I can only take some relief in the knowledge that my parents have passed the threshold some time ago and all my grandparents are dead. None of you out there now who are younger than me will ever draw a State pension. It is gone.
The Ponzi scheme has collapsed and there is no more money. Unlike the Madoff case, nobody will be blamed and nobody will go to prison and also unlike that case, you will pay your national insurance tax into the dead scheme for as long as you live. You will pay under threat of force and you will get nothing back and this is not applicable to smokers or fatties or drinkers. It applies to everyone and you drones voted for it.
It is now most undesirable to live for a hundred years and next year it will be even less appealing. In a hundred years from now, at this trend, children will be begging for euthanasia in kindergarten. Don’t worry, they won’t get it. Like school results, the average age of death will rise year on year no matter how much fiddling it takes. When they reach Panoptica, there will officially be no death except for the non-people. Not far now.
It’s doublethink. You will die of everything unless you follow orders but you will live for a century and that means we have to put up your retirement age. Can you believe that? Many are stupid enough to soak up every word. Some are dim enough to demand it is put into law. The dimmer they are, the more forceful they are and if it is called ‘progressive’ they are in, because they care nothing for the direction of this progression.
So who did this? Who put up the retirement age and who wants it pushed up to the age of 80?
Look in the mirror. Who did you vote for?
Those who voted for any of the main parties did this. The antismoker, antidrinker, ant-fatty, anti-salt, anti-allsorts did this. They perpetuated the nonsense that these controls and bans work and they allowed acceptance of this entirely fabricated research based on those lies that justifies pushing up retirement age for people whose great-grandchildren might (or might not) live for a century.
The drones will never see this. Don’t try to explain it to them. They cannot add two numbers without a calculator and they will never see the reality of what they have done.
I can’t blame them. They want an easy life and in this modern world, this world which came into existence during my short span, the easy life has arrived. No more scraping windows to see outside. No more getting up in the bitter cold to light a fire. They even have heated windscreens on cars now so you don’t have to chip away at those either. The house is warm when you wake and you can cook food in minutes in a little box and you don’t have to entertain the kids, another little box does that and there’s a further box you can put your X into to make sure it all stays the same and your life is never affected.
But there is that growing unease, isn’t there? That nagging thought that won’t go away. The tiny voice that says ‘It wasn’t like this before’. I’m not talking to the fully indoctrinated, forget them, they are of no further relevance. No, there are many out there who aren’t fully into doublethink but who have no time or inclination to rock the boat.
The indoctrinated believe, simultaneously, that we will all die young and all live forever. So we must be taxed for our naughty things and we must work longer to pay for our extreme old age. They believe it. They are unreachable. They have left reality far behind and cannot be redeemed. Forget them.
However, they are few. Many, many more are simply not that bothered. Something pings at their thoughts when they are not mesmerised by BBC propaganda. Something twitches a nerve when they are faced with obviously conflicting information but then there is a distraction. A rise in the price of stamps, another little liberty dented, a bit of handy racism or homophobia, something to get all exercised about so they can banish those twitchy, unformed thoughts that pull at their axons and punch their synapses. They are not as good at it as the Socialists who have completely embraced doublethink, nor as they as expert as the Coagulation who absolutely believe the lies they pay others to tell them. There is an imperfection in their world, they just can’t quite see it.
For many of them, when they see it they won’t believe it.
All we can do is show them. What they do with it is their choice.
It’s not for me. It’s for them. I’m already doomed. For them, it’ll be too late when they are being abused in an NHS bed somewhere…
For me, it’s about being as much of an irritant as possible until they find me in the woods one day.