Saturday, July 24, 2021
HomeCOVID-19How I got my mind back from Project Fear

How I got my mind back from Project Fear

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I WAS a latecomer when it came to scepticism concerning the national response to Covid. Being one of the fortunate able to work outside, alongside only one or two other colleagues and with an accommodating client, I remained absorbed in my work, dismissing the whole affair as either sensationalism or indeed a national emergency, but one which would soon pass. I had money to make, a project to finish, travel plans, and no energy left of an evening to do much but vegetate.

The First Ripple passed me by in a fug of fatigue. Only in August and again in November, when two overseas bicycle tours had been curtailed by both the British and Spanish governments’ farcical circus show of non-pharmaceutical interventions, did I begin to pay attention to the Ministerial jesters prattling and prancing around the Big Top.

I found myself back at home, under the house arrest of seemingly endless rain, frustrated at having had my annual adventure stolen from me. For the first time the iron fist of restrictions thumped me in the gut, winding me severely; precipitating a long journey of questioning and introspection that morphed into rage as the full scale of the Great Hoodwink dawned on me.

Every morning I would pore over the headlines – both sceptical and mainstream – and read endless pdf files on Sage minutes, pre-pandemic Government strategies and the like. Piece by piece the wretched jigsaw began to take form, and I found myself utterly gobsmacked. Every day a new sprinkling of lies; every week or two a warping of the narrative. Very little made sense. Life had all of a sudden become a hurricane of falsehood, and I began writing in an attempt to keep myself sane.

Most are unaware of how manufactured certain aspects of life often are – desires, material wants, the magnetic pull of cotton-wool security, and the frequently distorted notion of freedom. Some appreciate that citizens must sacrifice a certain degree of liberty in exchange for State protection, and feel in control of their allotted freedoms. But when the tentacles of the Establishment begin slithering down your street, through your letterbox, and into your living room; then into your eyes, mouth, ears and psyche, at what point does State interference become unacceptable?

It seems to me that short of the military booting down front doors and forcibly vaccinating the entire population, citizens (sceptics aside of course) will tolerate almost anything – even a ‘humanitarian’ intervention mission aimed at themselves. And we all know those don’t end well, somewhat lacking in humanity as they are. Not even for a nanosecond, as an adult, had it crossed my mind that I might witness the blueprint to justify cruel wars on foreign soils being superimposed upon the territory of my mind – by my own government.

One of the most troubling aspects of this unfolding social chess game is just how little time and energy the average pawns have to dedicate to exploring, and thus fortifying against, an attack on their critical faculties by Them Upstairs. Life gets in the way, and that sacred time when all chores and work are completed for the day is often squandered in the fiction-factory, delighting in princesses flying dragons or romanticised gang warfare. I don’t even have children to provide for and still I’ve fallen into that spiritual death-trap on numerous occasions. And all too often I’ve succumbed to the horrendous maxim of our age: ‘It is what it is.’ But I’ve learned that this is a saying born from tiredness, and subsequently, a profound lack of understanding of our roles as marionettes, jigging around the geopolitical stage at the whims and fancies of despotic Puppet-masters.

I’m dismayed to say the least, at our government’s lust for control over the minutiae of our lives – lockdowns – and their race to manifest a vision of life over which we, the rat serfs, appear to have no say whatsoever. They’ve made their position remarkably clear, yet in response, so too have I made clear my own, if only to myself.

I didn’t take to the streets or petition my local government. I don’t have Facebook or Instagram, and I struggle madly to retain the real scientific facts, stats and numbers. But what I did, at the very least, was take stock of the weapons available in my limited armoury, took my head out of the media mind-mincer, sat my rump down, and stamped a question mark on life and my role within it. And I feel all the more robust for it. I’ve built back better Boris – me. Not you and your stern faculty of chameleonic, brain-nibbling professors.

I’m grateful for those hundreds of hours spent sat motionless, dissecting both the ensuing catastrophe and the inner workings of my mind as it fought to rise above the choking smog of the Propagandacene’s edicts, even if at times it was dark and disturbing; etching a near-permanent scowl on my face. It was, and continues to be, a most illuminating period in my life: a period of great learning and positive inner change.

The Elite can’t build back better until they first tear down the old ways – which they are clearly hell-bent on doing – and neither can I rebuild, without first confronting and deconstructing my own bitterness and hurt.

You’ve made me a better person, Headmaster Boris. You’re the corporal punisher whose indiscriminate canings have taught me to play truant, and no longer turn up to class just to learn how to tremble in the face of your fantastical pie-charts of fear. I don’t need to pretend to have a stomach upset any more to avoid your assemblies, and I’ll no longer be doing your revolting mass-media homework assignments – I threw my jotter in the canal, along with my ‘old normal’ self.

Thank you for showing me what I really was – what I used to be. Now when I close my eyes, instead of being haunted by the algorithms of your devastating broadcast demagoguery, I see the backs of my eyelids: the only thing – alongside reality’s imprints – that any of ‘civilised’ Britain’s subjects should see.  

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Tom Penn
Tom Penn is 42. He has spent the last seven years working as a stone-waller, and before that worked in private and voluntary care, in both the UK and India. Until Covid he regularly toured southern Europe by bicycle – threat-free. His short story, The Palinopsia of National Resilience, is available on Kindle.

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