Bored of Islamic terror? – You’re not the only one

Ah, remember when Islamic terror used to have a sort of long drawn out tiresome spunky excitement to it – the bromide hash tags and slogans; the pathetic shows of unity; the facebooks and the tricolor; the self flagellation; the candle lit vigils; the celebrities; the Beatles songs and the pianos; the Katie Hopkins rants; we’re all in it together, this is a difficult time and so on.

Remember the predictable sequence of events and denials of reality in the aftermath:

First, you see bodies littered over some street or other, usually in France – no mention of the I word or the M word just yet: after all it could’ve been a pissed off Anglican priest or a crazy Buddhist off his meds. Then everyone takes to Facebook and social media to promote whatever silly slogan or avatar the moronic inferno has decided to adopt as its sentimental rallying cry. By now the politicians are out of bed and condemning the attack as ‘shocking and appalling’.

Then, no longer able to conceal the truth from the public despite their best efforts, the BBC et al. confirm the perpetrator was indeed a bloke called Mohammed. No use of the I word or M word yet. Next, more gory details start to filter through. Eyewitness accounts. Then ISIS claims the attack as a victory – good for Hollande so he now can say: “We’re going to hit ISIS where it hurts” – anything to sell the atrocity as a foreign rather than a domestic issue. Other world leaders condemn the attack.

Then we move to Act 2. Yes the psycho was indeed a Mohammed, as usual, but this doesn’t mean a jot. Because the BBC have found someone – possibly a cousin or some other acquaintance who tells them that he ate pork pies and never even went to church, sorry the Mosque. His family know fuck all as do the local community who say he was a quiet loner addicted to sex with himself. No mention of the I or M word yet. Breaking News: Mohammed had accomplices – probably also called Mohammed but possibly even Ahmed or Iqual (in any case immigrant names). No mention of the I or M word yet.

Next, the really boring bit Act 3 – the nothing to do with Islam phase. By now it is no longer possible to conceal the words Islam and Muslim from the public (at least when debating it – C4 News and the BBC will try to avoid it at all costs in headlines). Everyone will debate radicalisation as though you just somehow catch it like gonorrhoea – and will offer no clear answers. Vacuous news presenters ask ‘experts’ why it keeps happening in France – no clear answers, but foreign policy will raise its head and possibly Israel and Palestine. No one remembers the dead victims anymore. Politicians inform us that this has nothing to do with you know what and they don’t represent you know what. Mass marches through the streets about peace, love, unity, open borders and all the rest of it. A massive prick sings a song.

Finally, act 4 – Islamophobia. Having now established that none of this has anything to do with you know what – focus will now be turned on the real problem facing us all: racism. Politicians may even apologise on behalf of the Muslim community for how they must feel; news footage shows an angry mob of EDL supporters; the rise of the far right is discussed; concern about Islamophobic attacks: a women in a headscarf was called a bimbo or whatever; ‘you ain’t no Muslim bruv’ or ‘Islam is peace’ or something similar trending on twitter.

Well, those were the good old days (a few months ago) when we at least made an effort, there used to be a formula, a method to the madness. After the Nice attack we hopped, skipped and jumped through each act in a matter of hours rather than days. As Douglas Murray writes, ‘everything barely worth saying will be said endlessly. And the only things worth saying won’t be said.’ Let’s hope the Islamists take our lead and succumb to ennui – I doubt it though.


The Real, The Virtual and The Ugly

I’ve never pretended to be a massive gamer. I spend a few nights a week cruising Los Santos, frequenting strip clubs and mowing down unsuspecting members of the public, but let’s admit it, who hasn’t fantasied about doing at least one of the above, especially the latter? But a ten-year stretch in real jail because of some repressed disinclination toward the general public probably isn’t worth it.

There’s a lot of media hype about whether or not video games, like the one mentioned above, which virtually glamorise violence, actually inspire real hatred to one’s fellow man. The argument follows that violent games and movies inspire young people to go out and commit similar acts in the real world, just as they would in its virtual counterpart. True, the characters in GTA V are a bunch of psychopathic, fouled mouthed, sons-of-bitches, but that’s part of the attraction, especially in this age of unrelenting political correctness which saturates all other forms of the entertainment culture from TV to Hollywood, which the games industry seems to have escaped unscathed from.

Anyway, isn’t the whole point of gaming is to escape reality, not mirror it? It wouldn’t do, if a new release were entitled: The Convert: follow the trials and tribulations of Mohammed Whodehella (formally John Smith), radicalised over the Internet by boy band ISA (formally Individual Savings Account). From his suburban dwelling in Blackburn, we follow the ‘I can’t believe he could do it’ grade-A student on a soul-searching journey across the Turkish border to Syria, from the slaughterhouse blues of cavernous dwellings to the refugee camps of Christian minorities – an odyssey of pure discovery. Or what about Depression Quest: an interactive game where you play someone living with depression, tackling a series of everyday events such as the precariousness of your mental illness, relationships, jobs and possible treatments. (Actually I tell a lie, the latter is a real game not a virtual construct of this writer’s warped imagination).

Moving on, the point of games is to escape reality not to inhabit a surrogate virtual reality. It’s a generational thing, this obsession with micro-managing every minuscule aspect of our lives: from calorie intake to Facebook friends to our Curriculum Vitae, we have our ‘life paths’ charted and graded from birth to death, and this culture even transmutes into the virtual realm. Ask your self how many hours of your ‘precious life’ you’ve spent cooking or organising your ‘home’ in Skyrim? Or what about The Sims, which is practically an alternative life – with all the really boring bits – for those sad enough to play it. Even Football Manager feels like a full time job, with the charts, meetings, sackings and financial budgets; don’t we have enough of that prosaic banality in our real lives? Perhaps not, especially if you’re an obsessive compulsive, desperate for more.

So what is it that attracts people to living these bizarre and often tedious virtual realities? Who knows, maybe life really is that dull; but if it is, it’s only because we choose it to be. Are we all slowly being mutated into automatons; calculated droids unable to pass even a few minutes staring into space without catching a quick glimpse of twitter or some other alienating social networking machination, when even our leisure time (a supposed hiatus from all the life-tedium) is spent charting, organising, and budgeting – in the virtual? Think about all those hundreds of management-game Apps, played by millions of commuters on the way home from an ugly 8-hour stretch at the office.

So where does all this leave us? The late veteran gamer Robin Williams said that: “Reality is just a crutch for people who can’t handle drugs.” Quite, but for a lot of us the new drug is the virtual realm, whether it be our phones, tablets, consoles, dating sites or internet pornography; and no doubt in the near future we’ll be strapping some sort of contraption across our faces, sticking microchips in our brains, accessing the internet through our cerebral cortex or whatever it’s called, living in virtual ignorant bliss. But until then, I’ve got the real laundry to do, got to pay my real bills and really wake up to go to work; oh and need to arrange my virtual library in Skyrim. Where do I find the time?

Japan’s road to extinction

The novelist PD James died a few months ago; known mainly as a writer of detective fiction, not much coverage was given to her brilliant 1992 non-detective novel, The Children of Men that imagines a dystopian United Kingdom in 2021. In the novel the country is steadily ageing and depopulating the last human to be born was in 1995, but has been killed in a pub brawl in Buenos Aires. As a result of sperm counts dropping to zero mankind faces extinction and novel takes us on a journey through the horrifying consequences. The sexual act has become so unappealing and devoid of all meaning that the state sponsors pornography centres to encourage the flagging libido, just in case a baby might be born. Dolls are dressed up as babies. Puppies and kittens are doted on and treated as infants, pushed around in prams and dressed up in children’s clothing and even christened in religious like ceremonies. Society has lost all interest in politics and is now governed by a despot named the Warden of England.

Due to a depleting population, foreign workers are imported into the country to be exploited from poorer countries. These are called the sojourners, who once they reach the age of 60 are sent back home – to be less of a burden on the welfare system. Native citizens are not allowed to emigrate to prevent further loss of labour. There are too many old people and they have become a burden on society being unproductive and a cost to the state. There are few nursing homes and the rest are forced into committing suicide by taking part in the Quietus – state sponsored mass drowning. The youngest generation – The Omegas are spoilt rotten, violent and unpredictable, regarding their elders with little more than contempt.

If there is any society that resembles The Children of Men it’s Japan. Let’s take a look at Japan’s fertility figures. In 2012 the fertility rate was 1.4 live births per couple. Japan along with, Spain (1.3), Italy (1.4), and Greece (1.3) has one of the lowest fertility rates in the world. The replacement rate needed for a healthy society is 2.1. The population under 15 years old is 16.6 million (13.2 per cent of the total population) while the numbers for the over 65s is over 23%. The percentage of the population aged 65 or over is now the highest in the world, followed by Germany and Italy both standing at 20.4%. At this rate Japan will have no children left by 3011. It is reckoned that in 50 years the population of Japan will shrink to about 87 million people. Lots of old people and very few young ones. Experts say that Japans population will decrease by one million every year in the coming decades. The sale of adult nappies in Japan has recently surpassed that of children.

Japan faces another problem – who’s going to pay for all the pensioners? In Children of Men it’s the sojourners. In Europe it is covered by Muslim immigration, but Japan doesn’t particularly like immigrations and has no interest in importing any. Foreigners account for just 1.1% of the workforce, by comparison official figures for Germany is 9.4% and UK 7.7%. So all this obviously causes a mounting pensions crisis. Who’s going to staff the hospitals, man the factories, build the roads, do the jobs nobody else wants to do? Maybe get robots to do it.

If that wasn’t bad enough, Japan seems to be suffering from “celibacy syndrome”. The under 40s have appeared to have lost interest in normal relationships. Dating, kissing, having sex all that stuff to do with human contact – they just can’t be bothered with. A survey found that 61% of unmarried men and 49% of unmarried women aged 18-34 were in no kind of sexual relationship. Another study found that a third of people under 30 had never even dated. Japan’s Family Planning Association found that 45% of women between 16-24 despised and had no interest in sexual contact as did over 25% of men. And let’s not even get into Tokyo’s Cat cafes, where for a cover fee you can spend a lazy afternoon stroking and petting feline baby substitute. Like Children of men, pornography or virtual sex has replaced the real thing, with most people preferring to be sexted rather than doing the real thing. PD James writes, “Women complain increasingly of what they describe as painful orgasms: the spasm achieved but not the pleasure. Pages are devoted to this common phenomenon in the women’s magazines”.

As PD James knew, a society, which is totally atomised and lives in the present (Ipad YouTube), resents the past and believes in nothing will slowly give up having children. A society, which stops having children, is literally a dead society.