This is a guest post by Hangemall. Too long for the comment box so I said I'd put it up here.
This was originally going to be a reply to one of Leg-Iron's commenters on his post "Smoky drinky, non-anecdotal for the CAMRA linker." 8 March 2010 00:23.
The original was too large for the reply system and Leg-Iron said I could submit it to him and he would put it up as a post. I am giving him permission to cut/edit/ignore it as he wishes. But you won't notice if he ignores it. Here goes............
"....Think about it – when was the last time you last struck up, and got involved in, a world-righting conversation with someone you hadn’t arrived with, in a restaurant or in Starbucks? Exactly....."
....but be careful whom you talk to in these restaurants etc. Especially strangers. I will tell you a little story.
About five years ago I began to search the internet for something other than porn and other "obvious" stuff. I wanted to know what was going on around the world. I wasn't particularly particularly politically "savvy" until about that time.
Of course, there are plenty of obvious sites/blogs in the USA and I read a few of these and discarded most of those as uninteresting/illiterate/mad etc, as one does.
One of the few that caught my eye was one that was dealing with 9/11 at that time, by a chap called winterpatriot. I liked his style of writing and thought that he might get in touch with another US blog I was following at the time.
Later, WP wanted to start a campaign involving leaflets in supermarkets/shops etc. for people to pick up and read (still concerning 9/11 as I remember.) I emailed him several times advising him on such things as how a file would print out/look if you simply click "print page" in Internet Explorer and such things.
So far, so naive.
It was probably just after this that I was propping up the bar in my local one night when some red-haired bloke , lets call him Mr Jinks, a stranger to me, started talking to me. He was dressed in an olive/green military style jacket. He also looked/acted pissed.
Now, I'm not the most loquatious of people but he still kept talking to me, much against my natural inclination, and the topic turned to politics. At the time, I had not felt so zonked on a couple of pints in my life, or at least not since my earliest boozing days. The conversation ended with me telling me about my anger that our troops abroad had been robbed of the vote at the recent election. He clapped his hand on my shoulder in a friendly/comradely fashion and went to the chippie across the road. A few minutes later he returned and picked up his mobile and newspaper and left again. I had been glancing at them and at the bloke behind the bar ("another" ex soldier, who seemed highly amused) wondering if he knew who they belonged to.
Fast forward to the summer-ish of 2008. I was in the beer garden of another local pub with a friend who had been in various (musical) bands in the 60's. He had asked me to get all the info I could, via the internet, on three cities in Germany he had played in while on tour. (This Googling and Google-Earthing for him had been going on for a while.) I also had a German girl friend of 20-odd years at the time and I used to enjoy looking up the places we used to visit, especially her family.
Anyway, we were nattering away and this bloke, let's call him Mr Jinks2, turns up, asking for a light, or if we could spare a fag, or something, sitting himself down at our bench "pissed" "again" and dressed in similar fashion to Mr Jinks1. He said he was from the same area of town as Mr Jinks1 had told me. J2 also managed to get the topic of conversation around to politics, but after J1 I had become a little more circumspect and had made bloody sure I told him that my friend had asked me to get these Google Earth pics etc. I had to leave early-ish for another place but J2 made some remark about some conspiracy theory type thing (I forget what) and I remarked "or the banks." He gave me a funny look as I left. I was right, though, wasn't I? The financial crisis happened a couple of weeks afterwards. I wonder if he moved his portfolio into seashells and coloured beads on my prophecy. Bless you my son.
Call me paranoid if you like, but I think it's long odds against these two being coincidences, although possible. I'm still keeping my mind open, though.
If it's not coincidence, my emails and surfing must have been monitored. They probably know what sort of porn I like. I hope they enjoy it too. (Stuff with sex under water is quite good. At least some of the participants look as though they are having fun, unlike the bored-looking "Oh yeah, oh year" -ers you get in other types.)
If it's not coincidence, where did these two men come from? Why were they "pissed?" Did they pretend to be pissed to encourage me to talk to them? Did they actually get pissed because they couldn't fake it but could still retain a necessary amount of faculties? Were they permanent pissheads because they were once in the armed forces and and were now mental wrecks because because of what they had seen or done? Were they pissed because they were still in the armed forces or other "service" and because of what they might do if I gave the wrong answers?
Morale is the will to keep doing what you believe to be right under difficult circumstances. I you have to get drunk before you can bring yourself to do something, then you shouldn't be doing it. You really will end up as a mental wreck if you continue. Whether you have to get drunk or otherwise zonked or not you will either haunted by remorse or will justify to yourself what you are doing and force yourself, against those little feelings in the back of your mind, to continue. Of course, these feelings never go away and you have to force yourself even harder to continue and your behaviour will become more extreme.
(I am excluding outright psychopaths who have no feelings towards others. I am thinking here of Amos Gunsberg and his article on humanoids, which I have mentioned in comments on other blogs. If you google "gunsberg humanoids" (without the quotes) you will find a couple of hundred hits. here's one picked in a random-ish fashion.)
Extreme behaviour in the sense mentioned in two paragraphs above is a sign of a lack of morale. You can see it in the behaviour of troughing politicians and also bankers giving themselves huge bonuses for being utterly useless. They are de-morale-ised. They are ignoring those little feelings. Of course, some of these politicians, bankers, etc are humanoids in Gunsbergs sense and have no feelings to others at all.
I don't doubt that higher proportions of humanoids exists the higher in a hierarchy one goes, since they will have fewer scruples about getting there than a human being does. The demoralised forget their scruples and do what their masters tell them to do. The whole country is becoming de-morale-ised / de-moral-ised. I'm also guilty in some senses, but these days I try not to tell others how to live their lives, so long as what they do dosn't affect me. I try to improve myself a bit here, a bit there.
Gunsberg hopes for a scanner that will detect the humanoids but if one ever could be designed it would never see the light of day under any government elected by the present system. Nor would the inventor after he'd anounced the discovery. Or even before, if he left his notes lying around on his hard drive, or on the net or other obvios "physical" places. I've said enough, or too much.
I'm going to grab a bite to eat then see if my local is bulging at the seams with non-smokers.