Moonshot

Day three, I think, of my new drive to write more and I’ve hit at least 1000 words a day, though today had an added 1000 because I wrote about Trump/Woodward for Reaction.

Wordcount so far (including some deletions in order create a clean re-start: 17,571).

In other news… The Moonshot.

It is, of course, very “Boris”. I read that the billion it’s going to cost could fund the NHS for almost a year or give every person in the country £1,500. Perhaps it will be worth it if it works but this government’s track record isn’t good when it comes to ambitious plans involving testing. These stories of people being asked to drive distances is shocking. I figured I’d need to travel to the other side of Birgminham and I haven’t even got a car…

The problem with The Moonshot is in thinking that there’s a magic solution when, really, the answer lies in things that are relatively cheap. Tuesday, for instance, was the first Downing Street press conference when I thought Johnson made a good presentation. He expained masks well, noting that it’s not about protection for the wearer but for the people around the wearer. I’ve been screaming this message for months but it’s now that it’s beginning to take hold in the public’s imagination. Sadly, it’s probably too late. A large section of the public have become convinced by the argument of the other side. I keep seeing people waffling on about “freedom” as though they understand what the opposite would actually look like.

I’m not sure where that comes from. Media, I guess, and a diet of films in which people scream “freedom” and actually mean it. We all want to be revolutionaries in our hearts but the only thing we have to revolt against are the lack of plastic bags at the Tesco checkout and the sugar tax. Nobody ever picked up on it but I still like the term I coined for the coronavirus. It is still “the selfish flu”, with much of its potency lying not in its molecular makeup but in human behaviour.

In other news, I was almost peversely gratified to see that the Oxford trials have been halted. Not that I wish the team ill or anything but it does at least prove that science isn’t being rushed by the politics. This, as I keep saying, feels like it’s going to be the big argument of December or early next year. Trump attacked Kamala Harris for suggesting she’d listen to the science before she gets a vaccine herself but therein we have America politics in a microcosm. The gaslighting is intense.

Books: finished Brian Stelter’s Hoax. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Now going to see if I can finish The Cartel ahead of the Bob Woodward book next week. I read his last attempt to cover the Trump presidency and thought he was a little too gentle. Perhaps that’s how he got so close to Trump…

4 thoughts on “Moonshot”

  1. People showing decent sense round here, universal wearing of masks in shops, increasing number of people wearing them on the streets. I honestly think Johnson has just lost it, clock surely ticking for him, six person rule?, breaking international treaty obligations?, really…..?.

    1. Don’t you sense desperation and worry from BJ? The death numbers lag and I think they’re watching them very carefully, but this sudden doubling of cases does not seem (to me at least) to be related to more testing. The fact it comes before kids are even properly back at schools might be worrying the government. If this kicks off, it kicks off quickly.

      As for rules. I suspect the uptake is sketchy. Heard a story of a kid in a school around here who had a temperature and nobody thought to test him. This town is apparently experiencing a spike in cases but I was reading our local free paper where the Covid skepticism seems particularly high. I heard of a guy being kicked out of the local Tesco but not peacefully. There was also a pretty nasty scene on a Liverpool train between a transport cop and a local.

      As for breaking international treaties… I have no idea what they’re thinking. I’m no lawyer so I just assumed it was an extension of the self-rule rhetoric. Is it just a distraction from something else?

      What I suppose I’m asking is: it it too late to plant potatoes in the back lawn incase it all goes bad in Janurary?

  2. Too late for spuds I’m afraid, I’ve heard planting pot noodles in September can yield 100% of the original amount planted in January though. Hopefully they will have their bill voted down by parliament, regardless of where we end up with regards to deal or no deal. Hazarding a guess I can only imagine this is designed to make the EU walk away from talks so that they will bear the blame for a no deal brexit, which is a bit bizarre really. If you want no deal, surely you want to be the people walking away, thus showing it was what YOU wanted. I have no problem with no deal, I do have a problem with breaking promises you made only eight months ago.

    1. That assumes Johnson even knows what he wants. I still think he’s a Remainer pushing through a hard Brexit because that’s what he was voted in on, leaving him confused as to what he really belives in, which, ultimately comes down to a great big ‘ME’. Once his place in history is assured, I think he’ll jump ship claiming the virus makes it hard for him to continue. Read something the other day that he never wanted to be PM. He wanted to have been PM. Feels about right.

      Pot Noodles… Urgh! Horrible things… except Beef and Tomato if I’m in the right mood…

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It’s a cool domain name and it was available. Yes, I know. Available. Crazy, isn’t it?

Really?

Yes. It also helps that it’s also my favourite satire written by Alexander Pope, one of the most metrically pure English poets who also knew his way around a crude insult or two. If you’ve not read it, you should give it a try.

So this is satire, right?

Can’t deny it. There will be some. But it’s also an experiment in writing and drawing, giving work away for free in order to see how many people are willing to support a writer doing his thing. It’s the weird stuff that I wouldn’t get published elsewhere in this word of diminishing demands and cookie-cutter tastes.