Author Archives: colinjkeats

The Stuff of Revolutions?

“If the way to do good to my country were to render myself popular, I could easily do it. But extravagant popularity is not the road to public advantage.” – John Adams, after becoming President by only three votes

***

I admit I have been guilty of somehow having the concept in my mind that people in this century are much more widely read, more enlightened, more intelligent, more educated than in previous centuries.

I am reading the book John Adams, by David McCullough, and am almost struck breathless by the level of courage, honour, work effort and intelligence displayed by this farmer turned founding father of the USA in the mid to late 1700s. The clarity of thought in his correspondence, diary, and legislation is sublime. He was a lawyer, so perhaps this might be considered by some a natural progression or logical outcome; however, his spouse Abigail was also matchless in her intelligence and expression thereof in her correspondence, a fact which both the author and Adams himself credit as instrumental in his rise. 

After reading this book, I find myself wishing that, at least (and no doubt only) in the political and public discourse arena, we could return to those earlier days.

I’m glad there are still clever intelligent, and articulate prominent people in the world. Educators, authors and playwrights, professionals, scientists, some comedians, a very few celebrities, and sadly even fewer politicians displaying (outwardly at least) erudite qualities I admire. 

But frequently now there seems to be a backlash towards the intelligencia; the highly educated, general intellectuals or those in scientific communities are often maligned, usually by those who feel somehow ‘less than’ or looked down upon. Sometimes they are derided and scorned by those who feel disenfranchised, unempowered, or unable to garner further education, wealth or simply to hone those same traits themselves.

And unfortunately, the majority of todays’ politicians have accurately sensed that trend and are capitalizing on it to win votes and get elected/re-elected.

The Great Orange Hope Trump did not start this, but he certainly doubled down to the point that it shook the rest of the right wing to the core once they realized they could actually get away with bald-faced lies, misinformation and false accusations that in previous decades would have garnered lawsuits and criminal charges.

And of course, the left wing is also following suit.

This has happened before, during the precursors to revolutions (the French Revolution, the Bolshevik revolution, The Cultural Revolution in China, and so on); granted, they were mostly much more about poverty vs wealth, power and religion, but also included fomenting the anti-intellectual sentiments that the ‘masses’ felt.

Might this be where we are at right now?

Currently,  everywhere in the world it seems,  we also have high/increasing taxes, inflation, a supply-chain crippling war and epidemic, governments deaf to the masses, extremism, middle class erosion, rich getting richer again, and backlash towards those who appear to be above the rest, including the intelligencia previously mentioned. It is all the stuff of revolutions; unfortunately, I don’t know that we have people the calibre of John Adams and others to lead us safely (if you can call a bloody war such) through and out of one into a better day.

A Full Moon in My Eyes

Diary April 25, 2051

Well, I was lying in a bombed-out basement

With the full moon in my eyes….

The lyrics from the old Neil Young song sprung to my mind for some reason as I began to write this journal entry, long after Mr. Young is no more.

Odd, and yet, not odd.

Odd, because (of course) I am not in a bombed-out basement, but in an apartment in a very high apartment building. It is a bright sunny day outside—coincidentally with a full moon hanging up there as well; the sky is clear blue. No bombs in evidence.

And not odd, because I do have an apocalyptic feeling today. Truth be told, I’ve had it for weeks and months now.

Years, maybe.

The city outside my building is silent. Hell, the whole floor of the building is silent.

Anyway, I am writing this down—I guess—for the sake of people who were born within the last ten years or so, to give them perspective. Because this is not the historical norm, the way we live now.

People in the past often talked about ‘the Perfect Storm’. A 1997 book and a 2000 movie adaptation popularized the well documented meteorological event, and it became used to describe financial downturns, world crises, and even day-to-day situations where more than one problem comes together to produce a possibly catastrophic outcome.

An example could have been made of the fact that Donald Trump and Boris Johnston were the US President and UK Prime Minister, respectively, when COVID-19 virus hit the west.

But I believe perfect storms are meant to describe quick and rare events. What the world did not know was the aforementioned virus was going to prove to be neither quick nor rare.

I remember back in 2021 when the so-called third wave of the COVID-19 virus began hitting us. The first and second world peoples were angry at the governments for the up-and-down restrictions and lockdowns in response to the surges and easing of the virus; also, many were angry that the restrictions were not tough enough. It didn’t matter, in the end.

The third world people could do nothing unless and until the first and second were prepared to help them. Business as usual for them, sadly.

Way too many people began believing insane presidents like Trump and Bolsonaro and the ever-present fact-deniers and conspiracy theorists. Oh, and the social media propagated it all gleefully with click-bait and ads attached, so they made more money than ever.

It was just a distraction.

I am smiling as I write about it, because if there really was a government conspiracy, way more people would have died early on, or way more governments would have force-vaccinated their people. Here, I must explain to anyone not around at that time, that the vaccinations, according to many of the nut-jobs, were contaminated or contained implants so Bill Gates and/or the One World Government conspirators could track the remaining population.

Many of the naysayers and semi-scientific pundit thinkers of the day rationalized that this virus was just like the flu; the percentage of deaths was in reality extremely low. For example, on April 22, 2021—exactly 30 years ago, I just noticed—the statistics were these: The word population was approximately 7.8 billion, the number of (known) world cases was 144,801,247, the number of (known) deaths was 3,046,380.00. I say ‘known’ because of course the third world and a few of the first and second world governments were either skewing their figures or just not able to keep track and report them properly.

Leaving that aside, percentage speaking, the ‘official’ ratio of cases to total population was 1.86%, the ratio of deaths to cases was 2.1% and the ratio of deaths to world population was a mere .04%. Virtually nil.

So, many of those semi-scientific pundits were advocating to just ‘let it go’, allow the virus to run its course, like we did the annual flu. Herd immunity would be achieved and all would be flowers and unicorns. At the cost of a few more million lives, sure but…oh well.

If I were to argue that point (and I did), I might say that a great percentage of the world’s population was already vaccinated for the flu on an ongoing basis, and thus the deaths resulted typically at a low percentage. Plus, the COVID-19 virus percentages were possibly pretty low precisely because of what restrictions had been imposed, and that if the cases became more like 100 % without vaccinations, we could/should/would see a lot more deaths (not that they cared, apparently).

Plus, they weren’t really thinking about the mutations. Truthfully, neither was I.

Viruses are survival-oriented. They mutate quickly, which is why at the time, annual flu vaccinations were advisable, because every year those viruses mutated slightly and we had to adjust. Some years we got it wrong, and a lot more people died from the flu than was ‘the norm’, in those years. The SARS pandemic petered out pretty quick because it was too deadly, too quickly. It killed its host before it had time to really get out into the world. Sort of like the young kids who get killed in a car crash the year of their graduation.

This virus, however, was (and is) more mature, it was (and is) street-smart and extremely survival oriented.

So, I am smiling as I write because they—the pundits—missed the real conspiracy.

No, the virus was not manufactured by humans. No, it was not governments trying to control us.

It was Nature.

Mother Earth was out to get us.

(Even from here I can hear the Greens and environmentalists cheering).

Yeah, back then—hard to believe, I know—we were also worried about climate change, with growing concern, as unprecedented weather events began affecting everything, everywhere. There were target goals for reduction of carbon, emissions and so on. It could have been called a perfect storm.

But hey—hurray for us!—those targets are now very well met.

Though not from anything we did.

So here is what happened: The virus mutated, just fast enough to stay ahead of the vaccines, becoming vaccine-resistant at a faster rate than any other virus before. The world could not keep up. So, naturally, it was simply a matter of time before every person living became affected. Plus, the rate of deaths per cases automatically became the rate of deaths per population (that 2.10% I mentioned before).

But the final blow was the rate of deaths.

The virus became just deadly enough to kill its host in about a week, enough time to be passed on to others.  The death rate doubled to 4%, which seemed to satisfy the virus (so far), still staying ahead of any vaccines, and not really respecting the ‘herd immunity’ theory.

Telling truth again, I don’t think we actually now have enough population of medical or scientific communities anymore to produce a vaccine that works.

So, as I write this, the population of the earth is about 2.5 billion. Which I think is pretty much where the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement wanted us to be. So, all the methods that were being proposed in 2021 and onwards to save the planet were really not needed.

A little virus did it for them.

Yep, it is a bright sunny day outside, with a full moon in my eyes; the sky is clear blue. No bombs in evidence. Finding food and necessities is a little tough, but I will get by…we will all get by.

Until the virus doesn’t need us anymore.

Afterlife

 

Is it a blessing or benefit to have consciousness and memory,

Or a curse?

We live our lives in the moment but always know

it gets worse.

We face impending death and invent a hopeful afterlife

Or oblivion;

only take comfort that in the memory and consciousness of others

We carry on

A Note Before I go

note1

A note before I go

To the ones I leave behind

Not in the event that I choose to remove myself

But in the event that I am removed

 

Most important, top of the charts

Is my bride, long-suffering my foibles and frailty, stubbornness and stupidity.

What love! What Beauty! What strength!

What more can be said …

 

My oldest, most cared for

And thus most damaged by my ignorance, my helicoptering gaze

Yet managing to rise above, to learn and grow

Most brilliant, most kind, most evolved …

 

My middle, following (surprisingly) in my footsteps

Sure and confident, clear and composed

Nothing for granted, everything possible

A truer star does not shine …

 

My youngest, surpassing all expectations

In music, in thought, in love, in action

Potential unlimited, accomplishments many

The universe opens its arms…

 

To all I give my love and hope

There is more

There is so much more

I pray you experience everything … accept everything

With open arms

With open heart

And open mind

 

Remember me truthfully

Do not embellish

For all that I am

I am …

By choice

By design

And by all those who came before,

Whom I loved and who loved me

As I love you

The Green and The Blue

 

waterfalls-forest-lake

To live among the green and the blue

Far from the maddening hue

Of neon and incandescence

 

To abide within the hum of life

Not the discordant strife

Of Television nonsense

 

What dream of flowing stream

Would drive one to scream?

What vision of wind swept trees

Would cause one disease?

 

To fall and sleep under pristine sky

Hear the song of the wild

In ringing harmony

 

I feel the winds of fate blowing strong

I know it won’t be long

Ere I finally see