Rubble to Rubble

Rubble to Rubble

Rubble to rubble,

Dust to dust,

Nothing survives,

Especially the just.

When the man decides

To clench his fist

It becomes impossible

To resist.

Rubble and dust

Rubble and dust.

The whole world runs on greed and lust.

A game of power;

Flex of meat;

Callously cruel;

Shrapnel and heat

Putin’s gamble;

Existential threat;

Where’s it going?

Place your bet!!

Rubble and dust

Rubble and dust.

The whole world runs on greed and lust.

Opher 5.3.2022

Power is corruption.

Putin lives in his palace with full control of millions. His generals quake before him. The Czars of the past would have recognised him as one of theirs.

Yet power and greed have no limits.

Paranoia builds.

There is always a threat. Lots of similar psychotic minds want what he has.

Do not fool yourself that it is any different where you live. Trump, Johnson, Modi or Erdogan, Bolsonaro or Macron; they are part of the same elite, tools and puppets with power.

Power corrupts.

They want more!!

Landscape in my Head

Landscape in my Head

There’s a landscape in my head

It comes from the national zeitgeist.

The combined will of everyone

How every last sentiment is priced.

I’d like it to be compassionate,

Outward looking, caring and true.

But Brexit unleashed the nastiness

The racism just grew and grew.

Now we’re isolated on our own

With the ‘Little Englander’ mentality.

Blaming all the foreigners

For the blunder that is our reality.

It empowered all the nationalists

Who crawled out from every crevice.

Snarling their xenophobic slogans

Like bulldogs full of menace.

It’s not just the wealth we’ve squandered,

Greedily snatched by profiteers;

It’s the friendships that we’ve shat on

Built up through many years.

The landscape that I now live in

Is made by ugly bullying pigs.

Created by arrogant Brexiteers

And a bunch of Tory prigs.

The England that I crave

Is tolerant, outward and true.

The one that welcomed the Huguenots,

And stood up for the Jew.

An England worth fighting for

Not narrow-minded arrogance.

I’ll strive for a better vision

Worthy of taking a stance!

Opher – 11.4.2021

For me it isn’t just the money that’s been wasted or the nasty little profiteers who saw an opportunity to make millions. It’s not even the monetary costs that will throw millions into poverty and cause decades of austerity. It’s not the loss of jobs or the firms going bust or fleeing into Europe. It’s not the masses of red tape and the curtailing of my liberties.

No.

For me it is the emotional impact – the change from an outward looking country full of tolerance, cooperation and friendship to an isolated nation viewing the ‘foreigner’ as the enemy. The rise of xenophobia and racism is just the expression of this unpleasant nationalistic fervour. It’s empowered the fascists, racists and scum.

I’m not suggesting that all Brexiteers are racist fascists. But by voting for such a damaging outcome they have unleashed and empowered the worst slimy breed.

It’s going to take decades to undo the harm.

England is so much the less.

What do you think the amount that is being lost to the treasury from fraud actually is??

We see huge headlines in the Tory Press about benefit fraud. All those scroungers who are taking the system for a ride.

It undoubtedly happens. There are some who are scamming the system.

The cost to the treasure of benefit fraud was £6.1 billion!! That’s a lot of money!!

Of course, much of that fraud comes from organised criminals and not hard-up people on benefit!

What the Tory Press do not seem to be concerned about is what is happening at the other end. The wealthy millionaires and billionaires are using tax loopholes and fraud to avoid paying the taxes they should be paying. the cost of this tax avoidance and fraud is an eye-watering £35 Billion!

So the wealthy are scamming the system 6 times more than the poor – but nobody seems to care about that. They’d rather blame the poor. The rich deserve to be rich. For them tax is optional.

If we looked at all the legal loopholes that these people are squirrelling billions away into the cost would be even greater.

We’ve had twelve years of Tory austerity, a huge hit from Brexit, another huge hit from Covid and now the cost of living crisis. Who picks up the bill for all this? We do – the little people! In the course of these twelve years of Tory rule the wealthier have never had it so good. They have gained from austerity, Brexit, Covid and the Cost Of Living Crisis.

The Tory Party was inaugurated to look after the interests of the wealthy. That’s precisely what they have done.

Aren’t you shocked by how these wealthy people have been accumulating vast fortunes while working people can’t earn enough to eat, kids starve and food banks are proliferating?? I am!

Music used to mean something!

Music used to mean something!

I grew up in an age when music was at the forefront of everything. The lyrics and sounds were studied and analysed, expressed deep feelings and were the instigators of social change. Music meant something.

For my friends and me, music was the very centre of our culture. When we met it was what we talked about, discussed and listened to together. Our music was no background sound, no mere beat to dance to; it wasn’t just about love, relationships and bust-ups. It had great depth. There was philosophy, social change, racism, sexism, war, politics and death. Music led the great changes in society as young people embraced a different vision for the future. (Of course, we did love, dance and have fun too!)

The sixties, for my friends and me, was a time of great optimism and change. We were opposed to the establishment with its warmongering inequality, build-in racism and misogyny and its greedy, money-grabbing elite. We wanted something better, something more meaningful, something with greater moral integrity. These were the days of the anti-war movement, civil rights movement, the burgeoning Green movement, women’s lib and the sexual revolution. We thought we were building a new world based on different values; better values. We really thought we could build a society outside of this mainstream conservative hell. We wanted out of the mad race for money and status. We wanted a happier, more fulfilling all-embracing life. Music was integral.

We were wrong. The establishment had all the power and fought back. They bought Rock Music, bought off our heroes, and sanitised it.

My, how I miss those days, sitting around the record player sharing a new disc and a joint, intensely discussing just what the likes of Bob Dylan, Buffy St Marie, Roy Harper, Captain Beefheart and Phil Ochs meant. Fired up on understanding – studying the lyric sheet, reading the cover, while immersed in the sounds.

Music was unifying, a vehicle of change and dissent. Music was central to life. It informed, permeated and reflected. It magnified ideas, emotions and philosophy. Music was our breath. Music nourished the brain.

Are the young people out there doing what we used to do? Are they fired up on idealism? Are there new Roy Harpers, Bob Dylans and Captain Beefhearts producing deep, meaningful music?

Is the establishment in danger?

Poetry – Long Ago

Long Ago

Long ago,

                Man fought man,

                                Face to face

                                                With sword and spear.

Bravery and strength

                Skill and tactics,

                                Were the things

                                                To fear.

Now, a young skinny wimp

                A thousand miles away,

                                Guides a drone,

                                                Presses a button

And you’ve had your day.

Opher – 3.4.2022

Once we had a need for strong, brave, macho men; now they’re an embarrassment, a threat and a nuisance.

Nowadays we need intelligence, not brawn, empathy and compassion not violence.

In a modern world there is no room for the violent. We don’t need them; they’re obsolete!

The Gordian Fetish – A Sci-Fi novel – in the alien zoo with the human specimens!

The Gordian Fetish

 

How important is consciousness?

How rare is it in the universe?

It is incredibly rare but not many people here on Earth seem to care about that …

But the Gordian’s do – they value it – they seek it out and look to protect it. They have an institute funded by their government that is geared to the conservation of endangered alien sentient beings.

Unfortunately a new Gordian leader has come along who believes in austerity. He is threatening to close the institute.

Humans are sentient and have a modicum of intelligence. They can hardly be termed endangered though. There are 4000 billion of them. But they are incredibly interesting. They have sex. They also have politics and religion. They pretend to be clever and civilised but they are nowhere near as clever and civilised as they think they are.

Most Gordian’s are intrigued by humans. They find sex astounding and humans cute. Being cute and having sex might just be their saving graces.

Extract

Chapter 1 – The beginning

For the love of Heaven! Zag shouted, throwing his four manipulators in the air in exasperation. We can put in about the rest of the stuff later on. Of course research and study are important and eventually the rest of the bloody universe. Of course having lots of interesting specimens is important. But right now we have a sodding inspection and the Inspection Committee won’t give a bugger about all of that. They just want to shut us down. Can’t you see that? Only paperwork can save us now!

I suggest we have a tea break, Lat proposed testily. The other two committee members vigorously nodded their cranial carapaces and clapped their manipulators in agreement.

No! Zag said sternly in his most authoritative voice, asserting himself and putting them firmly in their place. The clapping came to an abrupt halt. Not until we have finally agreed on this damn mission statement.

Zag took a big sigh, forced himself to calm down, changed tack and looked round at his three fellow colleagues pleadingly – to no avail. It was evident from their petulant scowls that they could not see anything as simple as that. They were tainted with idealistic fervor. They’d rather sink with their principles intact that swim with them compromised.

He searched around one more time for some simple way of explaining things to make them see the importance of the task in hand. They simply weren’t getting it. But this is our one fundamental purpose – our mission statement. One bloody thing. That is all. One bloody statement – one crucial essence of purpose. Can’t you understand that?

Their blank expressions said it all.

Zag turned blue with pent-up rage, supernumery protuberances began to burst out over his head and body with their characteristic – and embarrassing – popping sound. Zag hoped it wasn’t that noticeable.

His colleagues, in characteristic Gordian politeness, were pretending not to notice, but they all continued to look at Zag with an air of resignation and sour resentment that certainly did not help matters, or do anything for his disposition.

The committee had been in session for three weeks now – a whole, unprecedented three weeks, twenty one flaming days, without so much as a break, not even a lousy toilet break. It was true that a Gordian’s metabolism could put up with such insults but it was far from desirable and did little to ameliorate the disposition of the reluctant participants. But Zag saw it as a necessary evil. There was work to be done. In just under three months’ time they had been promised a full inspection and everyone knew what that meant. President Bog had introduced the new austerity measures and was looking to cut to the bone. He considered arts, science and most other things, including aliens, especially aliens, frivolous and unnecessary. The cards were on the table for the Gordian Institute for Extra-terrestrial Research and Conservation, or GIERC, as it was generally known. Bog was not renowned for his love of anything other than business and the bottom line, and aliens were definitely not profitable enough. Besides, they were ugly and revolting. In his book they were worse than Gordian ballet – and Gordian ballet was renowned for inducing catatonia and suicide. The future for the institute looked dire.

But Zag, the assistant Director, was determined not to go down without a fight. Despite his present fury – directed at Director Zor who, as usual, was nowhere to be seen, because he was off gallivanting around the galaxy as per bloody usual, he remained passionate about the place. Zag cherished the institute with all his heart and truly believed that the work they performed was inspirational and exceedingly important in the confines of such an increasingly uncaring universe. Without the institute’s efforts thousands of alien species would now be extinct. To his great satisfaction they had, against all the odds, successfully reintroduced a great array of alien life back into the wild. Then there were the educational benefits to consider. Generations of young Gordians had their empathic glands fully charged through a single visit to the institute. They learned to value the range of alien life out there and see them as fellow sentient beings, not mere objects to be exploited, or lesser creatures destined to disappear for ever. Aliens were important. They had feelings too. Thanks to the Institute many youngsters took that message on board. There was hope. While the institute existed there was hope.

In Zag’s opinion Bog was a philistine, a monster of the first order. He represented all that was retrograde and soulless. The world he wanted to create was as grey and boring as Briscow’s synthsoup – and Briscow’s synthsoup made distilled water taste positively tangy.

It was true that the planet had a few financial problems but it did not have to be one long decline into economic madness and uncaring exploitation – did it? There were better ways. The Institute for Extra-terrestrial Research and Conservation clearly demonstrated that and was, in Zag’s eyes, the last bastion of civilisation. If it was the last thing he did Zag intended to ensure that their crucial work continued and that the cretinous Bog did not get his way and close it down. Despite his anger at the irresponsibility of Zor, he was resolute to do all in his power to keep the place open. To that end he had brought the committee together to review and update their policy books. Everyone knew that paperwork was the key to success. When the inspection team arrived he meant to present them with a set of documents that were not only first class but would demonstrate quite clearly the essential nature of their work and its value to Gordian society. No self-respecting inspection team could argue with that, could they?

The major obstacle to achieving this laudable aim seemed to be the committee itself. Individually they were all as passionate and committed as Zag. The problem was that none of them agreed on how to go about achieving their aims. Indeed, deciding on the actual aims was nigh on impossible. Every one of them held a different vision that they sought to promote. No two of them shared a view and none of them were prepared to compromise. In that respect it was a fairly typical committee.

Dut and Lat were utterly impossible. Zag could not fault their spirit or intent but they were so irrational that it drove him crazy. They both wanted to take the work of the institute out of the confines of the galaxy to the universe beyond. Their ideas were so far-reaching and grandiose that they did not have an ice-ball in hell’s chance of success. Every time they opened their mouths it was some other ridiculous plan to take their work to some distant far-flung backwater tucked away in the middle of some megallanic cloud that could never, in a billion bloody Sundays, gain funding or achieve anything worthwhile, just because there was a rumour of some weird bunch of aliens who were on the point of dying out. As far as Zag was concerned Dut and Lat were out with the fairies. He was already drawing up plans in his mind to have them elsewhere when the inspection team arrived. If the chief inspector got one whiff of those two then he reasoned that the game was up.

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