Now, where was I? Ah, yes…
In a world so finely hued that sixteen million colours, at least, are required to render it on a computer screen, how unimaginatively dreary it is to reduce pivotal issues to a choice between stark black or white…or, to put it another way, as a being capable of expressing over 150 emotions, how depressing the thought to have them compressed for expediency and entertainment’s sake into just two, love or hate.
In 2016, the people of the UK and the US were subjected to just such an obliteration of nuanced thought when they were presented with two less-than-ideal alternatives and asked to pick one. The possibility that, perhaps, there should be more than just one other option, or that the purely black or white, love or hate nature of the debate might be pandering only to those holding unwavering, extreme views, did not seem to be considered.
The Bible tells us: “He that is not with me is against me.” (Luke 11:23), which seems an odd thing to preach given the supposedly all-loving, eternally tolerant nature of Christianity. Indeed, it is a call to conflict: a divisive, inflammatory middle-finger to anyone who does not share your mindset and it does not belong in a civilised society. We could debate if this IS a civilised society, but if you think it is not, then if we ever hope to become one, an acceptance of the other side’s views is essential. More than that, an incorporation of those opposing opinions – those that might benefit both sides – into the winner’s agenda is a vital pre-requisite for, and an unmistakable indicator of, a truly liberal-minded community.
The alternative, as we have seen all too often, is that the needs of the vast majority of the electorate – in particular, those who prefer to listen to reasoned, balanced argument before casting a vote that has the potential to change their lives radically – are consciously overlooked, or worse, cynically manipulated.
Now, I am not naïve enough to think that we are all going to get along and live happily ever after. However, to come to me and ask me to choose between Team 1, peddling policy A, and Team 2, espousing agenda Z, without giving me the opportunity to add anything from B to Y, seems a retrograde step in mankind’s development.
Of course, for many, having a vote at all – and the fact that the results were adhered to – were a vindication of the system and a perfect example of democracy at work: you voted for it, so here it is – you have no-one to blame but yourselves. However, a country can only call itself a true democracy, surely, if the issues on which its citizens are being asked to vote, are thoroughly discussed and any legitimate, reasonable concerns are included within the options on the ballot paper. An open, broad-minded, inclusive approach to remedying our perceived ills is the only way to banish destabilising extremism and enrich our day-to-day existence, in this magazine’s humble opinion.
I will leave it there, as this topic is debated at much greater length and with a deal more eloquence elsewhere in this, your 32nd issue of that mind-warping, brain-boxing, knee-trembling periodical we like to call, The Inconsequential. It’s been quite some time since we last laid some words before you, but you will be heartened to hear that our prolonged sabbatical has not dimmed our enthusiasm nor blunted our satirical edge. We return with all your favourites intact – from the Cover Story to the Hu-manly Sports pages and all points in between, so dive in and let the cool, fresh waves of truth revitalise your jaded outlook…or you could just smile at the cartoons – no pressure.
So, until we bare our souls to you again, in our intriguing new guise of The Shabby Hare (www.shabbyhare.com – see “What’s in a Name?” on page ??), remember this: life is an adventure, dare it; an opportunity, take it; a journey, complete it; a promise, fulfill it; a goal, achieve it!