I used to happily get stoned and embrace what I thought was darkness, but suddenly realised I was trying to escape the neon shine of days that were mostly devoid of natural light. Everything was the fault of a government, an employer, blame could lazily be directed at the feet of women with enough sense to stay away from self-destructive boys disguised as men, and at the ingrown toenails of the priests and vicars I had never heard and refused to listen to.
In 2014, Dawkins made it as clear as an artificial light-polluted sky that nowhere is where we are all heading. He talked about the mystery of existence like a middle-aged Tory politician might express a love for a band such as Radiohead or Nirvana, and like an American democrat lady who claims to carry a little bottle of hot sauce in her handbag at all times. I could see through Dawkins’s proclamations of awe for nature unknowable, but I let his flimsy arguments and proclamations be because I wanted so much to believe that there are no afterlife consequences attached to our selfish actions.
Then the Hitch came along, I saw the light. Maybe there is a God or gods, but how dare a higher being to tell me what I should or should not do? It is right to not believe in a universe with purpose, and I can confidently defy the evil dictator in the sky if lack of belief ultimately turns out to be incompatible with unknowable reality.
Anti-theism is for me. 2015
This was when things changed drastically. My mind was slightly less closed to reason. I become obsessed with watching and listening to any Christopher Hitchens video I could find via C-Span, Internet archive or youtube. I was inspired to read essays by George Orwell, but I was so unused to reading, the easy to understand words just did not compute. Though one word whirled around my mind over and over again — Totalitar…
..ian…I desperately wanted to basically understand modern English politics, I felt that if I could have a basic understanding of Britain since the 1950’s, a lot of the foreign information I was trying to make sense of may become more compatible with my poorly educated brain.
As soon as this mission began I paid more attention to Peter Hitchens. He talked sense on the videos I listened to during nightly Christopher Hitchens fixes. I came across an interview on C-Span about a book called ‘The Abolition of Britain’:
“OCTOBER 20, 2000
The Abolition of Britain
Mr. Hitchens talked about his book The Abolition of Britain: From Winston Churchill to Princess Diana, published by Encounter Books. Mr. Hitchens decried what he felt is the loss of Britain’s international stature and the decay of British culture. He believes the current generation of citizens is ignorant of Britain’s past and that the traditional standards of civility, faith and morality are in rapid decline. Mourning the loss of British reserveÒ, he compared the behaviors exhibited during the funerals of Winston Churchill and Princess Diana. Mr. Hitchens also talked about his brother, writer Christopher Hitchens, as well as the Teletubbies, the Rolling Stones rock band, and the British National Health Service”..
It was as though true thoughts were being expressed that I had already thunk, and skillfully articulated in easy to understand way. The interviewer deserves a lot of credit too.
It seemed as if I was reminded of truths I’d kept secret from myself for many years, subject matter that my grandfather and father argued about from time to time when I was a quiet eavesdropping child. Like waking up from being sedated, I could barely keep my eyelids open, the truth hurt my eyes. Going back into a dreamless sleep was no longer an option.
What has happened since will take quite some time to articulate (I hope) well, , and is for another day, month, year or in the next dark decade to come. A lot of the memories are private and will probably never see the artificial light of day, but what I intend to publically share eventually, may be of interest to whomever you happen to be.