Monday, 21 March 2016

Another brick in the wall

Last week I discovered I could put text on images and post to Twitter... yeah I know this has been around for a while but I've been busy. Like any kid with a new toy I went a bit crazy, trawling THE RUNNING GAME for juicy snippets. In doing so I learnt two things: firstly that I don't write many juicy snippets; secondly that my futuristic story is a bit too close for comfort.

I'm not saying in that I'm psychic... although if you post your bank details online I do predict your money will be stolen... actually the, for want of a better word, predictions in my story are less grand dystopia ideas and more real, likely events that seem very plausible (except for the Reachers themselves of course).

When I decided to write about the persecution of paranormal beings it was really important for me to create a world that was very much grounded in a reality we could all relate to. I used events that were happening around me to fuel the destruction of my world. At that time the financial crisis was starting to break and it seemed like a natural and extremely likely first step towards the downfall of civilisation as we know it.

Greece was extremely influential in the political movement of my world. As the country grew deeper into economic crisis, the people started to turn to extreme radical ideas which rebelled against EU restrictions that were effectively controlling the country. Fascists telling their country they will gain back control start sounding good when you're worried about where your next meal is coming from, and if they happen to mention banning homosexuality, other races and taking away women's rights - well that doesn't affect you so you don't worry about it.

And we're seeing it here in Britain too. With our own economy suffering we don't look at ourselves to ask what can be done, but instead look to a thing that we can blame. In Britain's case our number one culprit for job shortages, housing shortages, benefit shortages... is immigrants. Let's not mention the fact that our government refuses to invest in our industries, preferring to contract to other countries, effectively destroying thousands of jobs across thousands of industrial areas. Let's not mention the fact that holiday homes owned by the rich are left empty eleven months of the year. Let's not forget that our government allows big corporations to not pay tax, costing the country millions. But it's easier for those in power to turn their attention to a minority that can't speak for itself, that with the right amount of propaganda (and we all know which political party was famous for that trick) can be seen to be the rats of our society. And the greater populous goes for it because it's easier than accepting that we are responsible for our own society's downfall and we have to do something ourselves.

I guess when I created Reachers, the persecution of those with differences was always on my mind. It's a huge issue not just in my country but world wide and I was... am convinced that it will only take a few knocks to our everyday lives to send our morality spiraling. Our world is overcrowded. Wealth is distributed unfairly. Liberty is a luxury. We are a boiling pot of trouble waiting to explode. But this explosion is unlikely to be the mass epidemic that wipes out the world as we know it, instead it will be like a fungal infection, spreading and turning everything black until you can't remember it being any other colour. We will be too busy trying not look that we'll miss our window to prevent the next holocaust, the next genocide, the next war crime.

In my book London was filled with the fortunate rich elite who didn't want to share. So they built a wall, separating themselves from those in need. A wall. Them or us. Rich or poor. Living or dying. As I made my memes I realised that I'm worried. Really worried. In Britain we're already persecuting our poor and our disabled (again who else is famous for that). In the States, from having the first black president, we're now facing the prospect of having a business man in charge of one of the most influential countries in the world. A business man! Because that's what this world needs: another money grabbing tycoon in charge.

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