Friday, 20 August 2010

Get out more...

Noticing things are really going quite weird recently. While I am aware of the obvious causes of frustration like a) being owed (lots of) money b) only one member of my family has visited or called me in the last 15 months c) I have to leave the country in order to see my friends and d) I appear to be having about 50% of the menopause symptoms listed on Wikipedia… the net impact of it all passes me by.

However, given the fact that I am owed (lots of) money and needed to generate some urgent cash flow, I agreed to copy edit a book on the perennially sexy subject of global terrorism which seems to provide a rather more circumspect and less political analysis than much of what has gone before. One point reiterated in relation to mindset was that rejectionism during youth is common but is usually followed by a 'mellowing' in subsequent years, particularly as the demands of work and family force individuals to negotiate with and accept their social environments. However, itinerant existences ranging across the Middle East, Asia and Europe not only mitigate against this shift but also erode any true sense of collective identity.


I find it deeply disturbing that an academic paper about terrorism is actually providing me with a useful framework for understanding the current state of my own life. In some cases all I have to do is provide one qualifying insertion and everything makes perfect sense:

"The prison experience [ie. months stuck in house working from home] cemented a worldview which a former leader of Islamic Jihad said, is 'not just politically "unhealthy" but it also distorts reality and leads to hasty and reckless decisions."

Never was there a better reason to get out more… which I duly did. Last night I went to an exhibition opening for the first time in months. It was a show of new work by Iraqi artist Rashad Salim called 'Soundbase'. I felt a bit like I’d been let out on a ‘care in the community’ programme at first but after a nice chat about setting fire to pianos, everything suddenly seemed perfectly normal again.

So the moral of the story is a) if you work at home don’t forget you also need a life other than occasional visits to the supermarket and b) employ terrorist tactics with people who owe you money (This is a joke... I think).