Even as I write it, I hear a soft trans Atlantic voice talking about connectivity. Forget it.
What do you think of when I say bridge – Sydney Harbour ? a game of cards ? dental work ? I think of Devil’s Bridge, a beauty spot local to where I grew up. I think of being driven at 19 into New York City for the first time over the George Washington Bridge. And I think of all sorts of connections I have made throughout my life with a few words, maybe a gesture and a grin. I thought the other day that if I had a gravestone, I’d like it to read The Last Bridge.
We live in a world of mixed messages.
When I was young, I started out thinking about enduring emotional edifices and wound up knowing that emotional connection is something much closer to the gestures of the big cats I love. It’s valid while it happens and it remains valid – unless supplanted by something equally truthful.
We talk about joined up writing
but much more important is joined up thinking. And if thinking is disjointed, some of that may be to do with plain old human muddle or a missed opportunity, and quite a lot of it is to do with reasons for keeping ideas separate, where they are easier politically manipulated or used for commercial opportunity.
I do not listen compulsively to news coverage because I have always read middle of the road reliable national newspapers (under threat), local newspapers (as and when) and responsible journals. My news listening is reduced because I haven’t found a tone I can commit to and that includes sound, coverage and format. So I may have missed something.
But in amongst the ghoulish coverage of the flooding in German, Belgium and the Netherlands, I haven’t heard one connection back to the floods we had last year and before. Although hundreds of thousands of acres is on fire on the west coast of America, I haven’t heard any comment on how that will affect the global atmosphere. If you cast your mind back, we didn’t talk about how the burning off of oil affected the atmosphere during the Gulf Wars.
We don’t routinely bring together these positives and negatives together for fear of panic in the population. Though the population on present showing only panics about getting into a football match. And what was Japan thinking of in going ahead with the Olympics ?
While if those three wealthy tosspots Musk, Branson and Bezos (which sounds like a firm of entertainment industry accountants) want to go to the moon,
then may I hope they do and that they stay there.
On this planet we need trees, to help absorb carbon. We have to get the plastic out of the water systems before we foul the oceans irretrievably. But sooner or later – certainly in the comparatively wealthy west – we are going to think about food. Food distribution in the UK is by truck and we don’t have enough truck drivers. Food growth, its production and harvesting in this country will push up the prices. It’s July. Winter will come. And erratic weather will compromise food wherever it is grown. We have no national plan to encourage people to grow food.
And with regard to the weather, let me tell you that – whether the weather is down to God or man or a lethal mixture – last Saturday is the first time in 77 years
that my skin burned in the UK. And no I wasn’t lying in a park like a worn out sausage, I was walking through it and I only stopped at the bus stop and for once, for less than five minutes. Thank heaven for natural yogurt. Takes the sting out.
“We are all in this together”
is a wonderful idea. It challenges all kinds of ideas but mostly credibility. Because if we haven’t got the information, the joined up writing, the connection – then we are still sectioned off into groups which can be used for various kinds of profit. Actually the human race is both better connected and still widely dissonant – how long, oh Lord, how long ?