Goodbye Jo

Ciao. Just had the most wonderful weekend in Venice with Kate, what a place. Over 2 days without seeing or hearing a car, beautiful buildings, fantastic food (even though Venice is supposed to have a poor reputation for food), wonderful wines and spritz drinks, moody atmosphere. It is increasingly at risk from flooding what with rising sea levels and all. It’s a little ironic that it’s main industry by far is tourism and for this to happen lots of people like us fly in with our great big carbon footprints (mine’s gone up a lot this year).

We went out for an outrageous meal on Saturday, just before we left Kate heard that her sister in law Jo (married to her brother Ian) had just died from cancer. I met her this time last year, she was in remission and I was fast approaching peak unwellness from treatment. She was a lovely bubbly person and Ian and their son Raven have to keep on keeping on in deep sadness and other death related emotions. As almost always happens on these occasions Ian and Jo’s families will be briefly brought together.

I was listening to a radio programme last week about how we deal with the practicalities of death. A mother’s son sadly died, it happened on a Friday and there was a hurried meeting with a funeral director type. The mother found this meeting very difficult, not just for the obvious reasons but that also amidst her grief she realised he was doing a big sell for his company’s services. Not liking this at all she made the decision to keep her son at home and not go through the usual routine, this allowed the family to grieve and also think about what they wanted to do with their son’s body. I’ve long thought we’re crap at dealing with death and that this is a very unhealthy state of affairs, it’s as if by keeping it ‘hidden’ and managed by others it’s somehow ‘better’ for us. It isn’t, it’s unhealthy and keeps us infantilised (much like capitalism does).

Up Mr Jeremy after Thursday’s by-election. It is so good to witness the new labour tossers and media wankers still struggle to put anti-Jeremy spin on this. Whilst listening to the toady show last Friday I became incensed with them giving the grinning gargoyle airtime to spread his excrement about the voting process in Oldham. One because I can’t abide the racist grinning populist and two because the BBC were promulgating this shit and doing their bit to continue the denigration of Mr Jeremy. Everyone start calling the cretinous presenter john harrumphries from now on.

Still really liking Mr Zizek’s book, even though some of it is hard work to try and understand. He really gives a good analysis of the dreary capitalism “always serving up more of the same in the guise of constant change”. And in Robert Harris’s book ‘Lustrum’ when discussing Julius Caesar’s scheming for world domination Cicero says to Balbus: “Our annual elections would become meaningless. The consuls would be puppets, the senate might as well not exist. This inner group would control the allocation of all land and taxes-”

“It would bring stability-”

“It would be a kleptocracy!”

Plus ca change eh?

And as the poor folk of Cumbria have their lives devastated by extreme flooding what does our elected kleptocracy do? Gets rid of all investment and subsidies for ‘green energies’, promotes and supports fracking, reduces already hard pressed council funding so that councils are less able to deal with current and future emergencies, pours even more money into armed conflict which will probably help increase terrorist atrocities whilst doing next to nothing about the war on climate change. They are merely part of the grander capitalist plan to use all such ‘disasters’ to further entrench capitalism. And people vote for this?

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan

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