annanotbob2's Diaryland Diary


Day 83

Jesus. what a fucking day. Someone said somewhere today that we're living through a global pandemic and a race war - a potential revolution - so not to be surprised if our mental health is a bit shaky. They weren't wrong. 

I have seen so many terrible things today. I am scared for the protesters in the US but also can't help hoping that they carry on, that they see this through to the bitter end, because if not, then what?  And him, Trump, toxic masculinity and entitlement all wrapped up in one ugly package, with thousands of armed thugs at his command. But we see you, we see you all over the world. An Australian TV cameraman was punched in the face by police while filming what had been peaceful protest, live on air. We see you, fucker. 

Over here, in England's green and pleasant land (hollow laugh), we discover that when yesterday the corona death count was given as 111, they really meant 556, which they did actually sneak in, but managed to get it past the hawk-eyed, whose gaze has been fixed elsewhere. There was also a report due to be published into why black and Asian people are dying of covid at a rate that far exceeds white people, but the govt thought it better not to publish it while feelings about race were running so high. You see, this is how we do institutional racism here, sneaky, but just as shit, just as fucking shit, because here too, people are dying who didn't have to die, and more of them are black than would have been if it was random. 

On a personal level, Facebook memories told me what I already knew, that four years ago today we moved Sam down to live in the care home nearby. That three years ago she was discharged from the hospice for not dying fast enough, and that today her son, my grandson turned 21 and she's not here to see what a really decent, sound young man he's growing into. And Shirley got her haircut and doesn't look like my little dog any more. 

So all in all. I didn't know what to cry about first, but it was hard to stop for long. I did go and visit GS - the birthday present I ordered for him hasn't arrived yet, but I went to see him anyway and stood on the path chatting shit with him for half an hour, before he went off to meet his girlfriend in the park,

I got into another Twitter muddle, which I don't know if I can explain succinctly but I'm going to try because it felt significant. I haven't been able to stay off twitter for long today - I follow mainly authors and journalists and use it for news I wouldn't otherwise see so today there were loads of video clips of protests and policing. I was under no illusion -this is a big deal. Meanwhile on Instagram everyone, me included posted a black square to show support - #blackouttuesday . On twitter I came across a young black man in the US furious about these black squares, what fucking good do they do? Make you feel better but no help at all to him and his brothers and sisters. I replied to him "I’m in Europe and can’t actually do anything but want to say I see what’s going on and I’m standing with you. My insta feed is usually paintings and beach cleaning - today it’s all black - the world is with you" and to someone else I posted "It is really powerful, scrolling down insta and only seeing black squares. Some of us are far away (in Europe) but we stand with you".

Then I went back to the main page and there was a feed, named Black Lives Matter and I looked and the tweet said "Assistance, please! I made a pasta sauce of OnionsGarlicPeppersTomatoesLemonJuice and thought I had turnt the oven off BUT I fecken didn't and now its horribly acidic. Any way I could save it? (I have no baking soda and cant go to the shop because I'm lockdown institutionalised)" 

Well. This seemed fucking insulting to me - to name yourself that, presumably in support of BLM but then to witter on about your dinner while people are having the shit beaten out of them. And I said this and went off for a snooze or something, can't remember, but when I came back I had 19 notifications - unheard of for my little account - all muddled up because some of them were from or about real black people in the US in response to the tweet about that and others were from white people in the UK about the other one - all mixed up because they all referred to Black Lives Matter - some were liking what I'd said, some were 'who the fuck did I think I was?' In the end I discovered that very few of the white folk could see anything wrong with a person calling her account Black Lives Matter and then blethering on about a pasta sauce and I thought there we go - that's it, isn't it. I had a couple of likes, and a bunch of shut ups, the author got 153 likes, 120 helpful suggestions about how to save her pasta sauce and two other suggestions about changing the account back to her real name if she wants to chat about her dinner.

So my conclusion is either I'm wrong, and it was fine to do that, not disrespectful at all, or white people in big numbers don't get it. Or don't care. And I feel sad about that. Although I did post a black square then later a pic of grandson for his birthday, so I broke the 'agreement' too - to not post anything else all day - but he's my grandson and he's lost his mum and that's real too. 

1:08 a.m. - 03.06.20


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