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Revels and Rebels XIV

Dear Santa,

It's Epiphany. Twelfth Night. You're about to hang up your Christmas sack for the festive season and here I am writing to you with my last-minute request. I know, I'm as irritating as a Christmas Pudding that refuses to light no matter how much warm brandy you pour on it. 

Soggy Christmas Pudding aside, there is a reason why this letter is late. I've been ruminating over what to wish for. And the thing is this - I still don't know what to wish for. My current plan, or hope, is that in writing to you I might write myself into my wish.

The thing is this, since the pandemic began, I'm having trouble finding a way to live in the world. Working out what I must suffer, what I can change. How to navigate sorrow and joy. And how to live with the conflicts within whilst the noise of division and marginalisation rage all around. Sometimes, they become one of the same.

Sounds confusing, right? And fuelling this confusion is the general level of fear we have to overcome. In the far reaches of my imagination, media houses gather for their 9:00am circle up in the Board Room. Before their espresso, they all stand, place a hand on their heart and sing their pledge of allegiance to their Government - a rousing chorus of a Wet Wet Wet anthem that haunted us in 1994, with altered lyrics. Altogether now, 5, 6, 7, 8:
I feel it in my fingers.
I feel it in my toes.
Fear is all around us.
And so the feeling grows.
It's written on the wind.
It's everywhere they go.
So if they really fear me.
Come on and let it show.
It's a catchy tune, isn't it Santa - and it's working. They rather seem to have made fear as cosy and addictive as a sugar-coated doughnut. In fact, one bite of those unicorn sprinkles and fiction becomes reality. Truth and compassion recalibrate to serve the latest profit margin. And by the time you're picking up the last sprinkles that have fallen onto your plate, Story weeps in the corner for humanity and our civilisation.
Santa, I can feel the raise of your eyebrows from here. "Story weeping - what melodramatic nonsense!" you mutter into your mug of hot chocolate. I'll explain a bit more. Think back to those images of Justice weeping in the presence of injustice. Well, Story weeps in just the same way when lies and logic gaps litter her story arcs.  And the thing is this - all I can see at the minute from mainstream media are monumental logic gaps and as soon as you spot one, down the rabbit hole you go. When you do manage to pull yourself back up through the sticky treacle of propaganda, the world spins again because as you were scrambling out of the rabbit hole, any industry or concept that has the word 'big' or 'great' in front of it has re-classified everything. 
Between Big Pharma, Big Tech and the Great Re-set, there's so much re-classification happening that not even Aristotle, the original classifier, can keep up. Google is a Censor, Public Health is Private Profit, and Freedom is Control. Sorry Santa, you'll be hard pushed to find a 'Ho Ho Ho' in this letter. It feels like we are sleep walking in an Orwellian dystopia where tyranny slinks towards democracy feeding on fear and slobbering on profit.
I've had a Yates poem running through my mind this year. It's perpetually played against the backdrop of children not being safeguarded, culture starved and critical thinkers rebranded as far right activists. If you're looking for Innocence, it walked out Santa, somewhere between vaccine mandates and fake data:
"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere  
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst  
Are full of passionate intensity."
The Second Coming - WB Yates

I ask myself where I am in all of this. Am I full of passionate intensity, or lacking all conviction? Perhaps the reason why I don't know - and what wish to ask for - is because I don't understand what this pandemic is really about. Amidst all the loss, heartbreak, tough decisions and fear, why does the pandemic feel like a wolf in sheep's clothing? It shouldn't. The loss is palpable. And yet - if I listen to my belly button, the pandemic story feels - off.  And that's what confuses me. Are we really saving people or pursuing something else? Something much darker like a one world power, world population decrease, or the ultimate power - immortality? And honestly, is our humanness really so difficult to live with that governments must strip away our human rights, privacy and individuality?
Yes, I know, I ask a lot of questions. Your head must be spinning, right? I know my mine is. And you just want to know what I want for Christmas - okay, I get it. But first, as it's popped into my mind, I want to talk more about human rights. The thing is this, human rights are not on a scale. They are a fixed mark. When everything is falling in, falling down and blowing up, this is what we hold above our heads. Our shelter from the storm. An act of fierce survival and love. So when government leaders tell us that the times we are living through mean that our human rights have to slide, it is not okay. It's the oldest trick in the control book - to make suffering meaningful and a popular story arc whilst someone else profits from the control.
Perhaps my cynicism is leading you towards putting me on the naughty list. But do give me a chance, there's a deep down reason I'm saying this - because it all feels too familiar. For centuries, biology and body control have been used as significant tools of oppression for marginalised groups.  So today, when Tech, Pharma, Media and Governments collaborate to reduce our potential to the limits of our biology, and herd us towards untested vaccines through behavioural nudges, propaganda and treatment control -  I profoundly feel gaslighted. The freedom to own our body and exercise the right to body autonomy remains central to emancipation.  In the words of Simone de Beauvoir in The Second Sex:
"The body is not a thing, it is a situation, our grasp on the world..."
Think back to what Coca Cola did to you years ago, changing you from green to red, making you a little rounder, with redder cheeks and a bigger beard. All this in the name of profit. And I bet they didn't consult you. Well all the gas lighting from the pandemic feels a little bit like that.
And speaking of Christmas, let's get back to this Christmas. "Thank goodness!" I hear your cry. Well. it hasn't started so well with the alienation of the unvaccinated. Meanwhile, the bell tolls for the experts who bravely speak out - it rather seems that our reputation is now in the hands of Tech-Pharma.  Reputation control is another tool of oppression, so watch out Santa, they'll come for you next... I can see the headlines now: Children, if you don't wear your mask, you'll go on Santa's naughty list...
So for this Christmas, what can I ask for?
And not the freedom promised by the Great Reset, where we don't own anything and rent from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Or where the fix for equality is gifted to us via an Amazon coupon sponsored by our One World Government.
No thanks, I want hard won freedom.
With love,
Persona non grata.
Reflections on the year that was 2021.
Blog post header image: Sparkler 1 by Wout Vanacker - Unsplash. 

Since 2007, Revels and Rebels has been reflecting, provoking and getting passionate about how our society, humanity and civilisation evolves over the course of a year. Part-monologue, part-missive, it takes the form of a Dear Santa letter and makes a wish for the year to come.


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