'...Now She's Angry at the Moon?': A Post-Lockdown Blues
Updated: Jul 31, 2021
The night I learnt of Richard Branson’s safe return following his space flight I stared up at the stars. The galaxies far away shied away from my penetrating gaze, and the cosmos halted in its steady navigation, united in wary shame-facedness under the scrutiny of my hard stare. I was unable to look the moon in the eye. Up there, those twinkly lights gathered around it, unfathomably old, bearing witness to the worlds many rise and falls and taking little notice of each passing era, now only a fading memory of what once burned brightly before it. The night sky was once a miracle for humans. As the sun settled on the horizon, on its heels rose a dream to our kind and a comfort to many, after thousands upon thousands of years. A reminder of time, of the here and now. Children lay in the long grass, counting as many stars as they could, unaware of the dew muddying their once clean clothes, that mother would scrub at with a serenade of complaints. Lovers entwined beneath the silver caress of the gentle moon on the banks of a stream or in a far-off meadow, hoping their parents would not find their beds empty. The old admired with wavering sight, memorising every constellation, further invented by man before who marvelled at the mysteries beheld above us. Those stars were there for everyone.
But not that night. The sky became a billionaire’s playground. Something no longer worthy of the gaze of lowest class. It has been sullied. And the moon readily shines down us, tainted in its summer crimson, furious with us earthlings, for treating such a magnificent, mysterious space as our own playground. No longer a voyage of discovery but a frivolous exploit of the richest fools beneath the lunar rays. ‘How could you?’ it seemed to cry, cheeks red with rage, ‘How could you let them up here?’
In a plea, both sorrowful and outraged, I replied, ‘How could you let them up there? After all you’ve seen how could you let them triumph?’
And the moon grew silent. So did I, no longer able to look up at the night sky.
I can hear it now. To anyone whose made it this far, and possibly know me in person , a collective sigh must be erupting from you, 'Now she's angry at the moon?'
Well... Yes. Yes I am. And the Stars. And the Universe. How could the universe let them up there? Richard Branson went into space with all his billions, his lies, and exploitations. The man who tried to sue the NHS, the man that claimed his company was in financial trouble during the Covid Pandemic as he funded billions into a space race, competing against the other grotesquely rich men, all for commercialism. All of them boasting that they got into space so much faster than the experts had. Jeff Bezos followed in close second… His workers are on minimum wage, working offensive hours in which lavatory breaks are considered a privilege but he jetted off through the stratosphere for no reason but because he could. His billions could make everyone in the UK a millionaire and he would still have billions left. And we were supposed to be impressed by this?
Right there on the TV, they’re trying to distract us from it. Covid is far from over, wiping out millions in lesser-developed countries who must pay extortionate amounts for a vaccine that should be every human beings right in a pandemic. Meanwhile, our proud nation decline the free vaccine, seeming to question our government over its contents, of what’s being pumped into their bodies but not that the same government allow the billionaires to avoid paying their taxes, far too low anyway for the wealth they generate every minute? The same people are willing to consume inorganic crap off the shelves and enable the chains to devour every independent company under the sun from fast-food to clothing lines. They will eat everything processed at hand, as long as it’s reasonably priced. They will take the medicines their doctors prescribe them. They are walking around worrying about themselves and not the vulnerable people unable to take the vaccine or are at a greater risk…
The football reminded me how little we have grown, the hate amongst us all, the racism and intolerance. The ugly ignorance. I feel so ashamed to be a part of it. Whilst we become so enraptured with this sport, with the joke that Brexit has become and the differences between us in a world that should be united in and celebratory of our diversity, there are rich men exploiting us every day. Laughing at us as we become distracted by the minute. Before Covid it was the first-world Political correctness, social justice warrior, cancelling platforms of the last few years there to distract us from the real discrimination taking place right outside our doorstep. And now one of the UK’s richest men, who has weaselled his way into our homes with his Television, broadband and mobile phone services, his record label and travel services, has spent some of the most hideously earned money to jet off into space. And we’re supposed to be amused, says ITV’s This Morning… What does that say about the seemingly Great Britain?
So we're just sitting back. Floods have been killing thousands; the planet has been burning itself up from the inside with record breaking heat waves across the globe. All the while, man is annihilating man in wars that never seem to end with peace and acceptance far from anyone’s understanding. My attempts at recycling, to be responsible with the running of my car, of water of the products I buy, to be environmentally friendly where I can be on such a miniscule budget has gone to waste. My attempt at educating myself, to understand my own privilege and embrace the beautiful cultures and amazing histories of those I share this land with, has only left me feeling more hopeless as I became to understand that man’s cruelty and self-righteousness is the biggest joke of the universe. Intolerance is another way to divide us… but how do we unite when everything we see is hatred and hopelessness?
‘Those whom the gods love die young…’ what a dreadful sentimentality for injustice in this world. Starving children across the globe even Britain is facing its highest poverty in years, with the class divide wider than that in Russia before the revolution of 1917. Yet no one is batting an eyelid. History no longer seems so far away and yet we are so very arrogant to believe that our ancestors did it all wrong and that we are facing the future with optimism and progression.
All the while, the rich are trying to profit on space travel? And they will when the out-of-touch millionaires of the world jump at the chance to look at a dying earth from way up high. No remorse or shame. The media reports on it like it’s some light-hearted fun. Those rockets are burning up a fortunes worth of fuel, spouting even more into the atmosphere, essentially inviting the climate crisis to walk right through the tatters of our ozone layer.
The space race can wait… In fact the Billionaire Space Race should be terminated with every contributor to this lunacy held accountable and forced to restore those wasted funds into good causes. I would care if we were in Space again for something that would benefit the planet we are on, find a resource that could save us. Make people want to save it. But it’s a money-making scheme. And, probably, it’s a conspiracy. Because surely, the rich must know something we don’t if they are hoarding their billions; billions that could remedy world hunger, animal extinction, destruction of the rainforest, poverty, homelessness, education and so much more. Instead they are shooting off into space. Maybe they know there’s no hope. And they’ll sit in their asteroid mansions as earth burns up into the inferno that their carbon footprints have accelerated the process of. Maybe they’ll even see the imprint of some mighty Louboutin sneakers. They'd get a giggle out of that too.
The planet is dying and I thought I’d been doing all I could. Does no one else find it absolutely terrifying? Is this what it felt like, wondering if and when bomb would fall on one’s head, beating any air-raid siren? Since I was child, that’s all I heard about, that we needed to look after our environment. Save the planet. And now I’m older, I’m seeing that no one cares. The money are the ones destroying the planet. Yet here we are being guilted every which way with our own carbon footprint and forced to admire the rich men for all their ridiculous follies. I hate them. Like a child throwing a tantrum, a toy from the pram, fighting off Supernanny and her naughty step, I need to be heard loud and clear and I really hate them. I am so angry. How do people live through these times? How do they endure the choices of a nation made through the narrow, clueless minds of the elite running everything? I don’t understand how the anxiety of the future has not driven humankind to madness or how we have faced each day as it comes with no promise of a future.
Some believe in fate. That karma will come to claim those who tried and tested it for their own gain. We are led to believe from a young age that good things happen to those who wait, to those who are kind, that hope is a beautiful thing. But mankind is incredibly ugly. It is those of this nature who blind us with this trickery of words to distract us with trivialities and shoulder the blame, unaware of the perversity of the rich.
That I have articulated anything here today is something of a blessing. So disgusted have I been by the state of play in the last few weeks, I am amazed that any coherency fell into place. Good thing I am no politician, for were I to voice this I would most definitely break down and cry, so infuriated have I been. I want to be an optimist, a romantic. Without a doubt I am an escapist, seeking refuge in stories with in the binding of my favourite books or the genius minds of my favourite filmmakers. I am both frightened to explore and madly enraptured by this planet, with all its elaborate cultures and civilisations rich with heritage, folklore and history. I am whimsical and contrary, irrational and loud, often incredibly thoughtless with mad passions about inanimate objects and fantasies straight from the minds of great literary figures. Yet I feel a burden upon my living. That with each item I use, plug I switch on, Mishima novel read, I am destroying the planet I love more than I care to admit. Each tree I feel obliged to apologise to, each flower bombarded with praise for how wonderful a job it is doing blooming as the bees buzz efficiently about it (These also receive enthusiastic admiration from myself) as I try to encourage them to grow even as I stamp carelessly through the fields in which I crush unsuspecting insects. My very being is a hindrance to the earth. Yes, politics is certainly not for me.
I cannot lie that I have been unproductive. My mind is flowing, drowning in ideas, and then at the pull of some mood-ignited chain flushed away around and away down some metaphorical u-bend I am only just realising is a sentence away from being described as graphic. That’s how I’m feeling right now. My brain is as much a mess as the foot I’ve mangled whilst walking- because apparently even that activity is now impossible for me to manage. Despite the cause, I’m fed up.
This planet feels so small. A notebook is in front of me right now, and despite a weight of some significant comparison to the world perched obnoxiously on my shoulder, the pages lie blank. If I put it down, it becomes real. But is it authentic? Is my feeling, my experience authentic or a desperate attempt at integration? Am I pretending a life that resembles anything close to the human condition? The beliefs, the reactions, the overreactions. Is it a fault within me or a something others just hide very well? If I believe the latter, I would like to think it would reassure me. But I don’t know the answer.
I feel guilty. I feel burdensome; a responsibility I begin to feel is bore upon the shoulders of so few. My unproductivity, cowardice has blown into something rather unreasonable and I fear I am driving all those closest to me far from me. Perhaps it’s to protect them from the impending detonation that could wipe out all in its path. Something will change soon and I don’t know if I want to know it any longer. Perhaps this purge is what I need… with it I will write again. Finish a project; see the light incinerate the shadows and the sun through the trees as the birds wake up to another glorious morning.
Who knows? Maybe I should just write about it.