|20 Wishes for 2010
||[Dec. 23rd, 2009|10:07 pm]
|[||Tags|||||2010, adoption, america, blog, child labour, christmas, ghana, health, marie antionette, money, new years, oasis of the seas, obama, poverty, socialism, speidi, star trek, sweatshops, terrorism, toads, wishes||]|
Sod numerical significance. I’ve spent two days of precious pre-Christmas time trying to write ‘52 Wishes for 2010, Parts 1 and 2’ due to a perverse and stubborn feeling that if I did anything less I would be taking the easy way out. I had even considered 365. The sadomasochistic streak
mile in me was voting for a cruel ‘2010 Wishes for 2010’. “But”, I sighed to myself, “there’s no point writing a blog if you are going to toy around with alienating your readers.” 20 it is then. If I’m feeling really overflowing with more wishes in the next week I’ll throw up 10 more.
My list includes silly wishes, serious wishes, personal wishes and bigger picture wishes. I no more expect them to come true than I expect the man in the moon to come down and offer me a slice of his bottom, but that’s hardly the point. Wishlists are for dreaming; for crystallising your thoughts and directions. Aspirations for society may be unachievable ideals today, yet also goals to work towards for the future. Wishing for ‘world peace’ is trite, but demanding that child labour be banished from the high street is achievable for a species that sent man to the moon. For too long we have allowed cowardice, greed and laziness to obstruct simple human justice. So I say, ask for it, and keep asking. No one ever got anywhere by wallowing in complacency.
So here goes. In no order of importance:
1. I want to get paid for writing. I would like to point out to any Editors or indeed business magnates that I only require a very modest income. In fact what are mere pennies to some would set me up quite nicely. Think outside the box, dedicate a small corner of your establishment to me and I will work slavishly for you. Come on, you know you want to.
2. Politicians, journalists, sofa-sitting critics: Work with President Obama and get off his back. He is the finest president we have had yet, and we’re unlikely to see his equal for many years to come. Nevertheless he is working within a complicated system that he inherited, and he has to make the best of it, as do we all. His critics waiver between ridiculing those they say hail him as godlike, and deriding him for not making enough revolutionary changes within the first year. Which will it be then? He has integrity. His motives are sound, and not a day goes by that I do not feel grateful that Americans had the good sense to elect him. The next step is to realise that he can do very little without continued support, from America and abroad. Despite what some people choose to believe, our world did not get in the state it is from the evil machinations of only a few. Our whole society has contributed to its own illness and we are all responsible for achieving reform.
3. I want to spend a couple of weeks in Ghana. I am so eager to learn and be in the culture as much as possible in that time. Experiences so full and varied are like oases of water for a camel in a desert; you drink every drop of them up and feed off of them long after. This isn’t the place to detail everything I want to do while there, but suffice it to say I have a lot planned and will be blogging throughout. Money is required, see Wish 1.
4. I wish I had perfect health. Why not? If you’re going to ask for what you want you may as well be a little unreasonable. I’m tired of being sick.
5. I’d like a few weeks totally off the record.
6. Child labour, sweatshops, and forced labour are issues I feel extremely strongly about. I want it made totally transparent which retailers are above board and which are not. There would not be shades of grey if it were my child involved. We have a “traffic light” system on our food to protect wealthy, educated people from eating themselves into the grave. I want to see something similar on every shop front.
7. I want Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhal to get married, happily ever after. It would just make me feel better.
8. I want there to be a world wide redistribution of wealth. There are flaws in every type of political system being enacted as an absolute reality (e.g. socialism) but there comes a point where you must draw the line. ‘Every man for himself except when man feels inspired otherwise’ is not good enough. I read about the Oasis of the Seas with a feeling of sickness and horror; knowing that “Every 3.6 seconds one person dies of starvation. Usually it is a child under the age of 5.” I understand the process of production creating jobs but the discrepancy between spending £800,000,000 on a pleasure ship while valuable human lives are being lost is sickening. The Oasis of the Seas is just one of a thousand examples. I enjoy luxury as much as the next person and I can gawk at a spectacular sight. But the gulf is too wide and shameful.
9. I would like each of us to understand that we are not in any way better or more deserving than those less or more fortunate than us. Every child in every country is as precious as your own.
10. I’d like to be taken under the wing of a fairy godmother. A Godfather would be lovely too but it’d lend itself to complications. I am in dire need. A fairy Godtoad would be considered at this point if the warts are in the right place.
11. I want a machine that can traverse the space/time continuum. I’d like to make some amendments to my own life, but more importantly I want to experience everything that is out of my reach. There is not a time or place in Earth’s history that I’d find dull, and I ache for all the moments lost to me. Every sensation felt, word uttered and sight seen I could take and want more. There are so many questions I want answers to.
12. I want the sickening duo that is Speidi to be tortured for eternity. I have enjoyed the second to none comedy value they provide, but I've decided they're enjoying it too much. Since I (sadly, probably) must retain a modicum of respect for humanity (even for Speidi) I will specify their torture to be a life with absolutely no attention, respect, admiration or money, spent only in each other’s company. That should suffice.
13. All class sizes should be reduced to a maximum of 18 children. This might mean half of the classes being relocated to the centre of the earth, but I think this is a fair compromise to pay for the return of a happy, well educated youth.
14. I wish the grass would grow thick, soft and crimson red. Just for a week of the year.
15. People whose primary contribution to conversation is a pedantically perfect grasp of the English language should be forced to do 20 hours community service each week.
16. All Star Trek series (in chronological order) should be required viewing in school. Teach ethics and appreciation for the universe, all wrapped in an entertaining package.
17. I would like it formally announced over a planetary wide system that Marie Antoinette never said “Let them eat cake.” That was a phrase already in circulation for a hundred years before her advent on the turbulent French political scene. It was later falsely attributed to her in the wake of Revolutionary propaganda. Those words are like nails on chalkboard to me, so while we’re at it, let’s make a fine for each time they’re used in reference to her. All funds will go to feed the hungry, exactly as she would have liked.
18. The processes, emotional and practical, of adoption, could be much improved upon. We are in the midst of an ever growing population crisis; millions of children live and die in appalling conditions every year. In no way would I ever support a system where there was a limit of any kind put on the number of biological children parents could have, but, I think far more people would be open to adopting if it weren’t such a terrifying prospect. Better education and understanding of the subject could deconstruct many of the barriers that stand between children in need and loving homes. Before I became ill this last time I’d just begun the process of adopting. I was terrified of being rejected, even though I am already the proud mother of a wonderful 3 year old boy. Many other women have said to me that they were interested in the idea of adopting, but felt too overwhelmed by fears to pursue it. Would they be able to bond with the child as their own? Would they be approved, could they afford it? A concentrated effort to demystify what is actually a very ancient and natural process would go some way to solving many of the issues we face today. I hesitate to speak for men (though I suspect they’re much the same) but I would like to impress upon anyone reading this that the maternal instinct is a powerful force. There are few obstacles it cannot overcome, and it has its own way of igniting just when needed. It can be trusted.
19. I don’t want to be afraid of terrorism anymore. The last 10 years I have watched with horror and heartbreak as innocent people around the world have been murdered for crimes, real or imagined, that their country’s governments have committed. I know that terrorism has been going on for much, much longer, but for most people of my generation the emotional impact of it has multiplied hundredfold since September 11. Now that the genie’s been let out of the bottle I don’t know if we will ever get it back in again, so this one is probably too big an ask. A while ago I was Christmas shopping on a very busy high street with my son when I heard a car backfire several times. My first thought was that someone was shooting and I clutched him in terror. I wish it wasn’t like that.
20. I hope I can write words that people enjoy reading throughout the year to come. Irrespective of Wish Number 1, I love writing. I love hearing back from anyone who reads my blog. I love words that roll off my tongue, down my fingertips and off into the mysterious World Wide Web. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your lives and being part of mine. Here’s to a rollicking 2010.