You have to laugh! Yesterday, I wrote a post about Donald Trump. I sent it, as I always do, out into the world – in so far as I, an unknown writer at the bottom of the world’s bookshelf, can do.
Now, don’t get me wrong: It has received twenty-one likes and several insightful comments…
But, I have been completely trumped by the known, the celebrity, those on the top shelf (whether they can write coherent prose or not!).
Miley Cyrus and Angela Merkel’s respective emotive response/commentary upon Trump’s election success garnered ‘hits’ in the hundreds of thousands: 220 and 260 thousand, I believe.
My post has been read forty-five times!
This, of course, is a snapshot view of why I have not been more widely read as a novelist – and why both of the above ladies would undoubtedly be assured of success were they to scribe a book.
But, more seriously – and relating to the sense of powerlessness so many of us are suffering from Post USA election – it encapsulates the experience of Everyman and Everywoman: The normal people, who are not big names, who do not control a large slice of the world’s wealth or top positions or stately mansions; people, in a word, whose passions are just as wild, whose humanity is just as varied, whose voices are just as clear and intelligent and thoughtful – and yet who are NOT heard or talked about on the social sites because they are the faceless pawns in life’s endless games of Power-mad Chess.
But my other point is this: Celebrity/Big Name status is no guarantee of compassion, intelligence, care for the wider world or sense. We, as a race, have a long history of both bowing down to, and resenting, the graven images, the golden idols hewn out of power, dominance, the loudest voice and the ability to smite with nature’s most grievous weapons.
We make gods and devils out of mortal men and women. We raise them up, place them in, as Terry Pratchett so wonderfully had it, Dunmanifestin, and then spend the rest of our lives praying to them, cursing them and trying to dodge their spiteful thunderbolts!
At that level of power, the difference between a god and a devil is in the detail only! And we, silly credulous humans – we who have been given free will, opposable thumbs, love and intelligence – continue to genuflect, in awe, before the mighty while ignoring the spark of divinity within our own spirits.
We have not, it seems, learned the lesson of the gods! How ironic given that so many of us still allow our lives to revolve around versions of Heaven and Hell. How ironic that so many of us would rather believe in, and possibly bring about, the fictional Armageddon than change the script, question the myths and legends, see that there is no inevitable endgame – other, that is, than our own, individual deaths.
How ironic that we would rather believe in four bloody great Horsemen thundering across the sky/land/through Tesco’s than the power we have, as normal human beings, to pull together, use mortal common sense and create a world which works for everyone.
As Above, so Below…