It has been a mental year. The Brexit merry-go-round continues with predictably awful consequences. Over a million people have died from Covid and infection rates rise/fall/rise. Police keep killing unarmed black civilians. There have been riots. Protests. Strikes. Another global recession and U.S. election is upon us. As well as floods. Forest fires. Swarms of locusts devouring crops. Refugees washed up on the coast. War. Famine. Disaster after disaster.
Given the state of the planet, there have been times when blogging seemed utterly futile and equally, monumentally self-indulgent. What words could I find to set against all this? How could I even capture the sheer scale and pain of it all? My poetic muse has, in these grim circumstances, often deserted me. She, who saved me more than once in the first year of this blog was frequently, silenced. Or if not quite silenced, then reduced to haiku’s and banal observations about trees beyond my window. Her capacity for bawdy humour in bleak moments, overwhelmed by lockdown and the sheer, gross incompetence of the knobheads running this country.
In consultation with me, my muse and I, I had even reached the point where I was one click away from ending this blog entirely. Better to write quietly and privately, as and when the muse graced me I thought, than forcing myself to post for the sake of posting. But here I am, nearly two years of blogging-old and writing to you, my faithful readers. So what changed?
I started thinking about resistance. Everyday resistance to the toxic shit that is being perpetuated in the world and more importantly, what I could do about it. Truthfully, not a whole lot about Brexit, or police brutality, or even the melting ice sheets in the Arctic. But I am a sociologist for fucks sake, and we know that the big macro things are always located in the micro everyday struggles of ordinary citizens (and vice versa). So how about I exercised a bit of my fucking agency as a privileged, white, middle class, heterosexual academic? How about I stopped being so fucking paralysed and whiny and just well, fucking did something? (Writing/screaming the word fuck many times is extremely cathartic and empowering – I invite you all to do this when you are overwhelmed by life).
I decided not to end the blog but to change direction. Change direction in the kinds of things I wrote about and what I shared. Rather than hiding behind lyrical musings and fluffy attempts at poetry, I decided it was past time to be more sociological. Explicitly. Directly. Unashamedly sociological.
Having said that, I am not entirely sure what the fuck that means. Probably more writing about abortion, war and the shite nature of working in higher education in the UK and less on cats, pasta and tulips. Either way, these changes will mean two things: firstly, I will post as and when I think I have something to say. This could mean every week, month, or who knows when. Secondly, these posts might piss some of you off. Sociologists tend to irritate the fuck out of many people. I put it down to our tendency to point the finger of blame at those in power, and less at the fragile, excluded and dispossessed of the earth. I apologise in advance if you do get annoyed, but the way I see it, the world is a fucking shit-storm of awfulness and hiding away from it, and those who are culpable, does me (and those I love) no good whatsoever. I don’t think for one second that writing this blog is a massive panacea for change, but as they say (whoever they is) ‘if at first you don’t succeed try, try, try again.’ Which is actually really fucking irritating but here I go, trying …
Onwards and upwards then my fine peeps – fingers crossed the blog continues and the writing is not total wank.
Finally, thanks for reading and commenting and liking this past year. I hope you are all as well and safe and happy as this world allows you to be. Take care of yourselves bitches.