Sunday, 24 October 2010

Modern Epilogue - The Descriminating Individual


There is something in physics called the Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics. Consider three objects, A, B and C. If objects A and B are at the same temperature, and objects B and C are at the same temperature, objects A and C must also be at the same temperature. This is such a simple piece of logic that it didn’t warrant a regular ordinal number, despite being coined after the three standard thermodynamic laws. However it is useful to specifically state the Zeroth Law, as it has some important consequences.

What we need is a Zeroth Law of Consciousness, a baseline against which sentience can be judged. I propose the following:

Zeroth Law of Consciousness: All sentient beings are unique

If we keep this simple premise embedded in our sub-conscious then we’ll go a long way towards identifying with individuals that we have something actual in common with, rather than following strictly arbitrary lines. I call it the Zeroth Law of Consciousness because it is also a statement so blindingly obvious that those existing below its line must be considered as obeying animal instinct rather than exercising reasoned argument or free will. That sounds elitist I know, but like the poverty line or the illiteracy rate it is the responsibility of those of us in privileged social positions to raise the standard across the nation and across the globe. That’s how a functioning democracy is supposed to work.

“Art,” wrote Bertolt Brecht, “is not a mirror to reflect reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.” With Modern Fable, I took the hammer to the mirror. I originally wrote the story to deal with the issues I had with a town I lived and worked in for many years; a town where I considered it a good day if I didn’t hear the word, Paki, at any point. Good days were few and far between and most everything in Modern Fable is a caricature of something I heard or saw. However, following the election of two BNP candidates to the European Parliament we need to recognise that fascism is an issue and take a little time to ensure it crawls no further into the political arena. The naive think the answer is to ban or otherwise ignore them. I wonder if they would say the same were they told they had cancer. “It’s alright doctor, I’ll ignore it and it’ll probably go away.” No, as Nietzsche reminds us, fascism is no way to deal with fascism, and if blanket bans were the limit of our imagination we really would be screwed. Like the so-called ‘War on Terror’, if we are to resort to our enemies methodology, why not just hand power over to them and save ourselves the hassle?

With the possible exception of those residing on Planet Fox News, there is no group as deluded as the far right. They are about as far from reality as it’s possible to be without actually phasing out of existence. The Phased Right we should call them (spelt Fazed Right to annoy them). Don’t turn up at Fazed Right rallies and boo them. That’s what they want, to think that they're feared and reviled. Booing gives them permission to feel powerful. As with all Orwellian language, ‘white supremacy’ conveniently informs the reader of the two things that it proponents definitely are not. Remember this and respond accordingly. I have prepared a list of do’s and don'ts for when dealing with the Fazed Right:
  • DON'T boo or make any other gestures which may allow them an inflated sense of self importance;
  • DO point and laugh. Go Laughing Policeman on their asses;
  • DO punctuate your laughter with references to their manifesto, allowing this to set you off into fresh bouts of hilarity;
  • DON'T throw eggs. Throw bananas instead (underarm only please, even fascists have the right to protest in a safe environment).
  • DO tickle your armpits and pull monkey faces at them;
  • DO refer to fascists as an inferior species, but reassure them that Britain is a nation of animal lovers (we could even petition for a royal charter and set up the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Fascists);
  • DO chant lines from the Germans episode of Fawlty Towers, given that they probably don't realise it’s satire on racism;
  • DO make noises of pitiful sympathy towards them, as if it’s not their fault they were born lower down the food chain (“Sometimes they almost look almost human.”);
  • DO flashmob their parliamentary offices and all demand repatriation back to the Great Rift Valley;
  • Finally, DO engage them in debate and highlight the obvious flaws in their myopic worldview.
There is a certain nobility one feels in being regarded as a radical. There is no pride in being seen as a national joke. If you are proud of anything in this country, be proud of its collective sense of humour. We have a fine tradition of satire, from Hogarth, Swift and Sir Thomas Moore, to Punch, Private Eye and Spitting Image, to Mark Thomas, Chris Morris and Armando Iannucci. It is our gift for puncturing the egos of the pompous and bloated that will see us through these strange days.

Besides, I could never live in an Aryan world: I'm just not that in to blondes!

But it's no use, says he. Force, hatred, history, all that. That's not a life for men and women, insult and hatred. And everybody knows that it's the very opposite of that that is really life.

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