Today’s conversation in the lobby whilst getting my coffee and catching up on the world (it’s the only place where the wifi works) was an enlightening one I guess, into the ways you’re perceived when you’re out of context to your every day real life.
I was approached by a Yorkshire man with a very broad accent who’d spied me in my secret garden yesterday and asked if I wasn’t a bit afraid of all the creepy crawlies to which I’d replied not really, there’s hardly any here anyway, just a couple of ants. He’s noticed my daughter injecting her insulin and had asked about how often she has to do it, so I’d explained her regime and that it’s sometimes tough but she copes really well for her young age.
The guy was well meaning but perhaps not school clever, probably practical clever perhaps. So he started asking about work, what do I do? He’d asked if I was some sort of beauty therapist. This set me laughing in my head because it was so far from the truth it was unreal! So I gave him my actual job title, he looked very puzzled, a data architect? What is that buildings? And so I explained not, it’s IT design around Data, gave him a brief blurb about the kind of stuff I do, keeping to laymans terms. All he really understood was that I make the internet. Not quite but easier to let him believe that than argue. He suggested the internet was taking the need for paper rounds for his boy away and perhaps it wasn’t such a good thing. I humoured him a little and suggested his boy might learn code. He said it all sounded a little bit too clever for his boy, his boy would be joining him in manual labour when he hit 16, if it hadn’t been for the closure of the steelworks he’d be joining him there. I kind of understood his anguish, it was similar to that of the Minors’ perhaps in the 80’s still hanging on decades later, the small knit communities where progress meant poverty because the way of life they had, was all they knew, would disappear. I believe that actually we have a need for all sorts of roles to make our society flourish, and actually a job for everyone should exist. We forget that not everyone is ‘school clever’ and that there is absolutely no shame in that.
If we were all the same level of intelligence we’d have no thinkers, no writers, no builders, no designers, no makers, we would all be fighting over the jobs we want and avoiding those we don’t. Actually that’s sort of started. The job that isn’t for you is the next guy’s dream and so on. Perhaps the biggest challenge we face is adapatability of our society to go along with the rapid progress we make so that nobody is left behind because it’s when the few are left behind that the resentment towards the progress begins.
The conservative’s love to preach that we’re all in it together except, it’s evident that we’re not. We’re all working our butts off for the few at the top to scrape of the proceeds and keep it for their own means. Clever perhaps but immoral, interestingly a direct mirror of the behaviour of the Roman Catholic Church. Keep the masses distracted so that we can have all the fun.
This is partly why I don’t get angry at BNP voters, Brexiters, and the like because they’re just disolutioned people looking for direction who have been sold a new false tale of hope and are running with it. They deserve pity perhaps because when the blinkers come off or worse still they get what they asked for they’ll realise exactly what pile of shit they’ve landed society in.
So back to the guy who thought I was a beauty therapist, okay so I look after my appearance, I can see where he might get that impression. Perhaps it’s more a reflection of Mrs May’s rhetoric around boy’s jobs and girl’s jobs. It for me presented more of a notion of class or perhaps education divide. You see working class values are still here and something to be proud of to some extent, you grow up, you get a job, you work your arse off and you’re honest. But there’s the blinkered view of you will not pass outside those boundaries, you will not leave the heirachy we have worked so hard to build that keeps you in your rightful place. Your future is decided and therefore hoping and dreaming is not for you my child. To some extent you gender role is also very rigidly defined, men are men and women are women and anything that blurs the lines of definition is to be frowned upon and potentially feared.
I was sad for this guy a little, he would not perhaps get to see the beauty of others points of views and life experiences, he would work until retirement with that millstone round his neck with the average wage, the average holidays, cars, people, fun, family all predetermined and defined by the rules of his background. But perhaps I was sadder for his son, there was the next generation of predetermined destiny, with a path well trodden laid out before him. Read the sun, vote for UKIP, get married have 2 children, teach them school is pointless, that girls and boys have certain roles, that the town you live is the centre of the universe and leaving would be a disservice to your family. I can see how this happens. I can even understand why, it’s not stupidity as such because I don’t believe IQ has anything to do with it. It’s the fear of the unknown, that straying from the path leads to dangers more so than rewards. But it is a dangerous attitude that breeds hate regardless of your perspective on those who are different. The Goth girl “Sophitia Lancaster”, the small child killed on his estate for being a Muslim, the girl in India who reports her rape and is stoned to death for standing up against authority. And it is these attitudes of tradition that we have to work to break. So that that kid can study computer science if he so wishes, that girl in the beauty parlour who reads secretly can go be a forensic psychologist, the bullingdon club initiates become less special, less revered, less in control of keeping the rest of the country at heel when they grow older and assume their destined roles as did father and grandfather before him.
When we realise there really isn’t a destined path at all, that they lied to keep us under control is when we are free to find our destiny…