“Do you believe?” – Cher
Hi there girls and boys, I hope you’re well.
This one could get dark…
At the beginning of last year, I discovered that there were people that believe the earth is flat. I can recall dad1 telling me about the Flat Earth Society as a story, but finding out it was a real thing was amazing. Actual living people that think the earth isn’t a globe, and that the United Nations have ships that patrol the ice wall that surrounds the edge of the disc. Tell me more! I’m sad to say that some of the biggest names in this movement are British, the weird Mark Seargent and the equally stupid Nathan Oakley. They should be tied down and talked to by Prof. Brian Cox for an hour.
Perhaps my favourite one has to be that the sun is much smaller than we think, and is in an orbit around the flat plane of the earth. What we think is the sun going down below the horizon is in fact the sun just moving away from us. If this is the case, how then do you explain the underside of clouds being illuminated by the sun, late in the day? Thick as mince. We “Globetards” eh?
A flattards view of the earth. And WE are the idiots?
Youtube is awash with these numpties, however we do have people that stand up for science. The excellent SciManDan, Creaky Blinder, and Conspiracy Catz, as well as others, make me feel better about the human race.
You wonder what these flatearth folk would say if put in one of Mr Musk’s rockets and fired into space..”Nah, it’s all CGI.” Conspiracy theorists tend to embrace most out-there ideas, whether it’s aliens living in a massive cavern under the earth, to chem-trails, (you can get rid of them by spraying vinegar into the air from your door!), 9/11 wasn’t caused by a plane but a projected image and all the people killed are living in Peru, alien abduction, cattle mutilation…endless endless crap. And some of them are married..how on earth do you put up with that? At the very least the in-laws would have something to say about it. “Yes I’m sure he IS a good man, yes, he has a good job, yes I’m sure he makes you happy, but he thinks the Queen is a lizard!” I’m happy to report that none of my circle of friends think this way, at least if they do then they keep it to themselves. It hasn’t come up during conversation, or canoodling time. “Nibble my ear, I looove that…. and did you know that the dome over the earth is only a couple of miles away…. mm just there…. and the sun is so much smaller than we think… lick lower baby… but we’ve not been to the moon”. There would be a sharp exit.
I don’t think I could cope with a friend who believed in this sort of thing, I mean yes, for five minutes I would laugh my arse off, but then what afterwards? You’d be out for a meal, (remember when we could do that?), when up they’d pipe, telling us all about the latest experiment that proves the earth is flat, conducted by using a camera to watch a ship going over what appears to be the horizon, but REALLY it’s just too far away for us to see, and if we had a more powerful lens we would be able to pull it back into focus… “Can I have the bill, please?”
Have you not travelled by plane then? Even at that height you can see the curve of the earth..oh right, thats caused by the plane window. They have an answer for everything, and seemingly don’t have the common sense to understand that they sound both incorrect and stupid. I’m sure that on some topics that’s how I sound, but at least you’ll never hear me say that Princess Di was killed on the orders of Prince Phillip. Can you imagine that phone call.. “You want us to do what? She’s the single most popular person your family has! We’re the SAS, not hire-a-hitman…yes…yes..ok, but if it goes wrong, oh I don’t know, like the car crashes into a post or anything, we’ll blame it on the flashguns from the paps…oh, you’ve already planned that then?”
Measles is on the rise again here in the UK, and in the US so I’m told. That’s from a reliable source, as in medical science, and this is what the “antivaxx” lobby cant grasp. They tell us to do our research. The source is all-important. For example. If all you watch is FOX News, (other closed-view news sources are available, just ask Number 45 for a list), then your world view is going to be a) extremely narrow, as in, “What, there are other countries apart from us? Dang!” and b) ideologically unsound. BUT you can’t be blamed as that’s all you know, as you’ve only one source of information you take in. So “do your research” becomes redundant when my intake comes from a wider spectrum that yours. That of course doesn’t mean my information is correct, but the mathematical probability of one source being correct over multiple sources is small indeed.
Let’s say then, you are an anti-vaxxer. You don’t want you child to be vaccinated when they are young. That’s your choice. I defend your right to have a choice. When your little one goes to school and mixes with a wider pool of people, (or cohort, this being the modern buzzword), then they will pick up as well as distribute infections. Now you can’t have it both ways, your child isn’t immune from something due to your stupidity or fears or knowledge, but they are also not immune from passing on that same something. So while you might think it’s perfectly ok to allow your child to catch measles, isn’t it also the fact that you are then ok with your child spreading it? Or because it is being spread to the children of other anti-vaxxers, that’s ok?
With the current COVID restrictions affecting the opening of pools, we don’t have swimming teaching going on at the moment but in normal times the classes of little ones we teach always contain at least one with the sniffles, and try as we might to keep ourselves free of them, these germs are spread to us. I suspect the chlorine keep some away, mind. When your wee one comes in from school with the measles, what are you going to do? Pray for him to be cured, because that always works… Call your other anti-vaxx friends, because they have aaaall the scientific answers. Or maybe homeopathy… No, what you’ll do it take him to the nearest version of your healthcare practitioner, and have a jab. We have a saying in the UK, all mouth and no trousers, meaning all talk and no action. It describes the anti-vaccine folk to a tee. You will, naturally, (and I’m aware that natural is what you think you need), want your child to recover, so you’ll tell your friends that prayer/love/pseudo-science worked, but in reality you can’t tell them he had a jab.
However, this all pales when you consider the latest theories. 5G, you know 5G, that latest and greatest iteration of telephonic communication? Or is it a plot to enable Bill Gates to implant, via the COVID vaccine, a tracking chip? Bill is always wanting to know where Julie from Swindon is going. “Yes boss, she’s just told facebook, on her phone, that she’s off to the bingo”. Not only have you informed Bill of where you’re going, now Mark is involved as well as Jeff, as that Amazon package ordered online arrived today. Why do you think you are so important that people want to track you? If you’ve committed a crime then you may not want a tracker, but otherwise? Your hand-rectangle, by it’s very nature and co-incidentally how it operates, is in constant communication with phone masts. The GPS on it knows where you are to the metre. What could a microchip do better? “More data coming in Bill….she’s having a microwaved mac and cheese…are we sure we need to track this particular one??”
The anti-maskers we have at the moment..fine, don’t wear one, it’s not a political statement, but can you go to the back of the queue when the rest of us are having the needle? I’ve a few masks, from the understated pure white, (you could say virginal, don’t laugh), to a rainbow flag, to the sparkly one, a Durham Uni one, to the black for church.
Even your spelling of vaccine goes awry. How do you get vaxx from vaccine? I suspect the same folk that can’t spell anti-fascist came up with that.
“Whats wrong honey, stomping about the trailer, you”ll go through the floor!” “Well ah’m bein asked for a shorter word than anti vaccine and since ah come up with “antifa”, them boys in the Klan thought they would ask me. Dang it ah jus cant come up with a spellin for vaccine…..shoot, ah’ll just put v a x x. Anti-vaxx, kinda rolls of the tongue, dont it? Ah’m off out to hunt somethin for us supper. An make sure you got that sexy negleejay on when ah get back, or there’ll be a whuppin.”
Then there are the true tossers, with ideas that from which there is no way back.
My best friend Abby’s family on her grandad’s side are Jewish, although she doesn’t profess herself to be and has never been near a synagogue. She was raised a Catholic, as were her mother and father. Her grandad was taken to Auschwitz by the nazis three months after he was married, and was never seen again, although he did manage to get one letter out of the camp. His wife, a Polish Catholic, escaped to the UK, pregnant with Abby’s mum.
I had wanted to go to one of the ex- concentration camps for a while, so we planned the trip and off we went. To this day I don’t know why I needed to go, and wish I hadn’t. There is all you ever wanted to know about the places out there on the internet, documentaries, books.. However, my curiosity got the better of me, perhaps to understand why one set of people would want to subjugate and exterminate another. No such understanding occurred. There was also the need to dispel the things I’d heard one or two people saying, that the stories described were fake. “Yes there were workcamps but no mass murders took place”. Dad2 had urged me not to go, having visited himself as part of his own dad’s experience while liberating the camps. He had visited with some Russian friends and also visited Belsen and Dachau. One of those Russian friends, an ex-prisoner, shot himself upon returning home, unable to cope with the memories.
But I was 21, thought I knew the world, that I was mentally prepared.
I knew fuck all.
The countryside around the area of Auschwitz is lovely, but all the while, you know where you are headed. This was definitely one of those occasions where the journey and the destination were not even remotely fun. As we were flying to Krakow in Poland, the usual joking between us had lessened, and by the time we arrived we were sombre.
Our hotel couldn’t lift the mood, despite discovering that it would be in my top five places to sleep. I’ll return there in the future, but just for the city.
The experience was tearful, even though you expect it to be so. You are given a headset and a recorded voice talks you around the site. The first five minutes are ok, but then not. There is a pile of children’s shoes, a sight I don’t want to remember. Excuse me for a minute.
We found the area where Abby’s grandad’s hut had been, and laid a few stones for him in the Jewish style. We stumbled our way through the English version of the Kaddish, the prayer for the dead. I’ve mentioned I feel no fear when travelling alone, but the sadness in that place was scary. Not from the victims you understand, maybe they are in a better place according to their faith, and I felt sadness for them, but fear of what can be done to somebody that you are told is different to you, so must be killed. The audio continued.. “Homosexuals and others who were viewed as sexually deviant, the physically and mentally handicapped; and anyone else considered to be racially or physically impure.”
One thing that enraged me perhaps more than the sorrow there were the people taking selfies and SMILING! Whats the matter with you absolute cretins? I had to be held by the arms by Abby and a French couple as I was shaking with rage as time after time, people like this cunt in the image below disrespected the site.
As we cuddled in bed later that night, we were very quiet. The next three or four days were the same. I called dad2 and told him about it, and got a maybe deserved, “I did warn you, poppet” for my trouble. I got chatting to one of the hotel staff and they commented on just how many times they hear crying from the rooms as people have returned from a trip to Auschwitz.
I raise this topic as earlier this week I bumped into an ex- work colleague. We went for a coffee and were chatting about the usual stuff, when he came out with how he thought Trump was akin to Hitler. I wouldn’t go that far, I dislike him but he’s no Hitler. His next line was that he admired Hitler for the work he put in to uniting Germanic peoples, the annexation of Austria. “But the “holocaust”, how can people believe that happened?” I wasn’t in the mood for an argument, so I made my excuses and left. You have to know, in your heart, that this happened. You can tell your nazi worshipping fuckwit friends that you know it didn’t, but deep down you know it did. The conspiracies to keep everyone silent about atrocities never work, because there far more good people than evil. The only conspiracies are the ones in your tiny minds.
Abby returned slightly shaken and even ten years on we don’t talk about Poland, or mention travelling there. She’s a barrister now. The last time she said anything about it was to tell me about a case of hers in which she found herself being pulled towards being angry and feeling superior to someone, but then thought back to that visit, and that forced her back to being the tolerant and kind person she is. She lost the case, but felt the right verdict had been made.
You can’t blame one set of idiots for a country’s history.
Sorry to be downbeat.
I’m going to church. I might even pray.
As ever, thanks for reading.