Saturday, January 09, 2010

Day 6: Considerations for an (almost) fallen hero

Saturday always gives some space for reflection. In fact, Saturdays are always much better than Sundays, because Sundays are too close to Mondays and usual cycle of life. This is how I think about it: Sundays are industrial, the physical rest a man must be given, sort of a subsistence break. Saturdays are a modern creation, a service economy or network age reality, when people are given a thinking break. Needless to say, I enjoy Saturday, every Saturday, even if it is like today, with heavy snow, 20 mph wind and grey clouds all over.

This is one of the many oddities I have as a person. I may call my blog Sunday Post, but I actually worship Saturday. I want to stay home and be an Indian, but I stay abroad and applying for a British passport. I love to stay with my family and be surrounded with my brothers, sister, wife, son, every one else, but what I end up doing is being a traveller. I am not exactly a Linda Goodman fan, but someone told me that she has a good explanation why I am like this: I am a Gemini, and by definition, two people at the same time.

I quite like the idea of being two people at the same time. I know the experiments of Dr Jekyll did not end well, but what an interesting idea! I recently read a suggestion that one should be allowed to change their name and identity at 21, and found that idea has legs too. But, then, philosophically, I am further down the left of Robert Louis Stevenson; I subscribe to the view that privacy is history and what we should have is transparency, just as Sheldon Teitelbaum argued in the WIRED magazine. No need to have two or more different identities when you are allowed to be yourself, and being honest and transparent isn't held against you. I believe we are moving fast into that age, when I don't have to hide behind Linda Goodman to explain why I like so many contradictory things. It's just me, I can say, yes, a touch mad, but a dreamer and very human.

You can guess why I write this blog. Because I believe in being human, because I believe in a transparent existence, when everyone is a potential friend and no one is an enemy. Where, past, by becoming transparent, becomes irrelevant, and the only thing interesting remains the future. This blog, whatever it feels like, is not about the past. I may stop, reflect and record, but there it lies in irrelevance, so that I can live for future. Again, that's nothing of being a Gemini, and brittle therefore; that's human, that's me.

I also discovered another oddity today. I started liking Gordon Brown, who I previously detested. He is probably the most friendless man in Britain today. He seems like a completely out of date, out of touch sitting duck, in the middle of a deep recession the responsibility for which he has invited upon himself, stuck inside a party of purposeless bureaucrats who can neither revolt nor obey. He is off-colour, says all the wrong things, and looks serious; and he is up against photogenic David Cameron who says just the right things and looks as superficial as girls would like. Even the good thing about him - he has substance - is turning against him, as Labour Party seems to be suffering from collective substance abuse.

But, then, suddenly, when the world has turned against him and his own cabinet and his party have deserted him, I tend to feel an iota of strange respect - for this very lonely person who seems to be from a different decade and a different model of leadership, with values we long deserted and feelings that do not matter anymore. Gordon Brown may be the last person left in Britain who believes in heroism, that concept of doing the right thing, though that has now turned into a television cliche. He is a touch imperial, an oddball, someone who probably takes comfort from the fact that Churchill had finally got his place in British history despite having all those problems. It is no comfort, because Churchill was presented an opportunity to re-live his political life by the strange turns of history, whereas Brown, quixotic in his stance, is leading his charge in a very unheroic age. It is this moment of exposure, when he is stripped of his pomp and posture, endears him to me.

It seems I am destined to become the only person in the British Isles who will vote for the man. But, so be it - I feel so empowered by liking him. May be this vote will be a choice between British grit and American-style telegenic politicking, and I would think my heart is in the right place.

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