Oxygen. Nuts. Sepultura. Arguably three of Brazil’s greatest exports.
Without oxygen produced from the Amazon, we’d be fucked. Without nuts, modern day hunter/gatherers (us paleo types) would be short on protein and energy, and be fucked. Without Sepultura, the NWOTM (New Wave of Thrash Metal) potentially would never have taken off, and be fucked.
I’ve long been a fan of the brothers Cavalera, the raw power of those early Sepultura albums, the side projects of Cavalera Conspiracy and Soulfly, all banging out brutal chords and guitar solos at breakneck speed, all to a thumping beat and considered lyrics.
I’ve always taken a particular interest in their lyrics (key note speeches if you will), with the general theme of anti-establishment coursing through most songs.
Chaos AD is a particular favourite, an album I have been listening to quite a lot of late, with the opening track “Refuse/Resist” striking a real chord with me as the Covid chaos continues to sprawl across these green and pleasant lands at breakneck speed (not too dissimilar to their speed metal classics).
As reported in the last post, the army were drafted in to enhance and set up seventeen test centres in Liverpool, which was quickly followed by an extension to test secondary schools. If the children of this fair city were not scared enough, imagine eleven year old faces when they were confronted by the armed forces in the playground, behind masks and armed with test kits in hand this morning.
As predicted, the scope was further extended today to our side of the river, with similar demands based on Wirraliens (pronounced we’re aliens – which most folks not from these parts would concur), even though the infection rate (according to the available data) has gone down and continues to do so, with no discernible rise in mortality rates.
Then the news broke yesterday that so many have been waiting for, the vaccine is nigh! This is a vaccine that uses brand new technology that has never been tested on humans before, but whilst most rejoiced with a sigh of relief an a hope that things would return to pre-Covid norms some time soon, I sat there head in hands, with the firm belief that my last somber post is becoming even more of a possibility as each day passes.
Tonight I found out that the advent of the Digital ID / Medical Passport may also be upon us. My brother in law works in the event management business and his establishments will now demand that all patrons who enter his arenas will have to have a digital health passport to watch live events. Then within minutes, I hear on Sky Sports that the Premier League plan introduce the exact same measures. Soon all of the fun things to do (concerts, sporting events, theatre, cinema, international travel etc) may likely follow suit.
And finally, the breaking news that all university students (my son included), must take a Covid test before being “allowed” to travel back home for Christmas.
So the question we have to ask ourselves is what value do we put on freedom, what value do we put on free will, do we want to live in a fully inclusive society or are we happy to live in separation and seclusion.
I am all for pro-choice and if folks are happy to be tested for Covid, be vaccinated against Covid, to allow for their DNA strand to be inventoried, to sign up to be tracked and traced, and to have (potentially) biometric chips injected into them to monitor all of the above, then who am I or who is anyone to say otherwise. That is freedom of choice, free will.
If all of this does come in however, then those who do not sign up may find themselves excluded from society. They may find themselves as outsiders, marginalised because of the choices they have made.
Just think about that for a second. We (most of us, not all of us) have worked so hard in the UK to be the most inclusive and progressive generation this island has even seen.
We have progressed across barriers such as race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability and many others to become a nation where the attitudes of our forefathers have become all but a vague and hazy embarrassing memory of bygone times, teaching our children that they have the freedom and the choice to be what they want to be in a society that is wholly inclusive and does not discriminate.
As things stand, we all still have the choice. A choice to sign up for those things listed above, or a choice not to.
Today we stand on the precipice, a tipping point where society may diverge into one that that looks to exclude parts of its population due to the choices they make. That is not a country that I want to live in. That is not a world that I want to live in.
As a species, we have been here before remember, do we not learn from past transgressions?
The definition of society is thus:
1. A large group of people who live together in an organized way, making decisions about how to do things and sharing the work that needs to be done.
2. The state of being together with other people.
3. An organized group of persons associated together for religious, benevolent, cultural, scientific, political, patriotic, or other purposes.
Let’s not forget those definitions any time soon…