Lisan al Gaib: Heart to HeartNovember 9, 2011
(The following was submitted to the Occupied Times some three weeks ago! Alas they have much better things to print than my humble offering. So here it is!)
Prologue: The natural omens were looking good as I set off from the wilds of suburbia for a particularly English “urbi et orbi” [to the city and to the world] to which I might add “et deos!” The technoMagic was working a treat: I had forgotton to reset the clock! So was early for a change.
Cockfosters provided a free parking space as near as you can get and I had a delighful chat with the Station Master: excluded from the ticket office so that he could help with the automated ticket machines. And there you have it! In a nutshell: technoFail. But more was to come!
Ascending the escalators at St Paul’s this cyber correspondent was assaulted with a hellish racket: a fire? A Bomb? The Ticket machines had exploded like something out of ET. Exposing their inner workings for all to see. Red lights blinking gates agape and in total failure mode to prevent a fare dodger.
On enquiring: the poor harrassed Station Master revealed it was a computer failure. Something to do with the clocks going back and an ‘improvement’ in the software. Twelve stations and a thirteenth: St Paul’s? Also experiencing ‘technical difficulties.’ The TechnoOmens were looking good too. Result!
Going up to the Cathedral was a bit of a surprise because to be honest it was the first time I had ever felt the urge to actually see it close up. There was a half remembered drunken incident in and around November 1974. I think we called it the “Great City of London Bomb Blast Pub Crawl” But everything was a bit of a blur and when you gotta…
Navigating your way through the souless streets. With glass to the left and shiny steel to the right. Suddenly you turn a corner. And it looks like a bit of the Cathedral has broken off! As if some passing giant has has taken a fancy to a chunk, snapped it off and then discarded it like an empty ice cream cone made out of Portland stone.
Further on, past some very useful impromptu weapons or the makings of a very good bonfire. [Old habits die hard.] Your “Voice from the Outer World” rounded the corner into an expectant crowd and, unsurprisingly, the expectant energy was palpable.
But to Business! I was on a mission to see a man. Who it was is unimportant. However there was a nice Anonymous butler who was able to direct me to where The Man might be found. “Not in!” “Busy last night.” “He may have crashed.” Having helped run a few S.F. Conventions in my time: I was not too surprised. Indeed the dedication and purposeful activity of a thoroughly Occupied Hotel was very much in evidence. Even though it was in a Churchyard.
Distributing some real hugs and prezzies to make up for all the virtual ones over the last two weeks. And it had been just two weeks. So it was back to: “Whose Space? Our Space!” Where I bumped into a very engaging woman who turned out to be The Man’s PA! The conversation ranged from The Prisoner to Paganism with a little Politics thrown in.
Well you ‘ave to…
Monologue: On to the other Business of the day. Which started superbly and ended in a bit of a mess. It has been reported accurately elsewhere, even in some outlets of the mainstream media. But I must bear witness that although “good” = “god + o”; god + £ = gold! Putting aside such word play: I think that The Bishop actually does have a heart of gold and ultimately will be the solution to the little crisis of faith that the C of E is experiencing at the moment. Remember they have to reach Consensus too. Perhaps we can give then some training in our ways that might Facilitate the process.
Alas The Dean is less malleable. Possibly some of that discarded Portland stone. But to be charitable in a “caritatis” sort of way: he is inbetween a rock and a hard place. And possibly blaming the protestors for being put on the spot. Well we are putting him on the spot. But through no fault of our own!
“Answer the question” Dean. “Answer the Question.” No. Don’t ask your Head. Ask your Heart instead and answer: The Question.
Ultimately for this witness it comes down to whether the modern Church renounces violence. Or acting in such a way so as to cause violence. That is a conundrum for the Church to resolve. And for the Occupiers to prepare for.
Dialogue: Visiting a Process meeting, happened almost by accident but I had overheard; wandered by and got sucked in. Participatory democracy is like that: anyone of us has a problem (or two) but everyone can come up with a solution. It’s a new way of doing things and I must admit totally different from my days in Trade Unionism where you simply did not have the time to come to a Consensus. Alas it was always: Compromise. Compromise. Compromise. and we are were we are! However, because of where I was, at that particular moment in Time and Space: I was able to sign a nice card that the Occupation had bought for the ex Cannon [sic] Giles.
After that it was a quick trip into Starbucks to see what the HIGNFY fuss was all about! Interesting. It gave me ideas… Waiting Is!
Consensus is not an easy process and coming to a collective decision, especially over complex issues may take some time. But it seems to be working. Naturally as a Left brained Scientist it can be made more efficient. But my Right brained Artist suggests that this system should be allowed to evolve organically. Indeed it behoves us, as a nation, as a species: to create the space and spaces for this movement to grow. I think that it is the genesis of a new political system. Direct Democracy. Consensus Politics. There will be a lot of labels as useless as “Anti-Capitalists.” Or from my student days: “Mooching Scum!”
I can’t speak for them (Us:) We’re are not allowed to! But it is my humble opinion it is time to end this global corporatist neo-feudal state. And I have met a huge crowd of fellow travellers. The Movement building out from all the Occupations worldwide might just do that and that is why the onepercenters and their shills are so afraid.
The evening ended with a totally unexpected heart to heart chat with one of the Occupiers with too many problems and too little time. Go down there. Join in and give them a hand.
You’ll be a changed person for it. I was.
Epilogue: Back to reality street. The bits of ice cream stone seemed to have melted in the night. And the St Paul’s ticket machines were ticketing as usual. Apparently they had been down for about three hours.
A sign from God? Or Loki just for the lulz…
“Waiting Is” Martian concept of contemplative waiting from R.A. Heinlein’s “Stranger in a Strange Land”