This weekend I saw two travelling families on television, and they seemed to epitomise the travel experience extremes you could have. I try not to preach, just to relay my experiences and interpretations of those experiences, and further knowledge I encounter. When I set off on my youthful travels I was into heavy metal and rock, and had a similar outlook to Twisted Sister in this video (I saw them at the Reading Festival in 1982, where they got a lot of missiles thrown at them, but I liked them!)
I’m probably closer to the father’s ideology now; need military and strength to protect the ‘free world’ from Islamism (Communism for him, and returned to top of agenda by Trump and North Korea; I used to be a socialist idealist in youth, but have since lost faith in the majority of humanity!); but try to remember my youthful mind outlook, and how I felt about the world then.
As I’ve written before, epitomised by the characters of MacKay and Barrowclough in classic British sitcom Porridge; I don’t know if writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais meant to highlight that problem, but guess they do; the nice people are usually taken advantage of by those they try to help; highlighted on a national level by Britain trying to be nice in the New Labour years, only for there to be grooming of British children epidemic, as well as phone fraud robbing vulnerable people of their life savings; not to mention all the benefits fraud and compensation culture draining the nation’s resources.
Battle of Ives
While some of those who’ve used their power to bully me over my lifetime would probably like to be compared to MacKay, I really think they are more like ‘Horrible’ Ives; Wikipedia: Bernard “Horrible” Ives is a creep, a cheat and a snitch, universally loathed (and indeed victimised) by the other residents (and Warders) of Slade Prison.
In contrast, I think they try to depict me as the Ives. Because I have resisted their bullying, and criticised their grooming, they depict me as the ‘horrible’ one, rather than the heroic rebel; an image they try to keep for themselves, even though they are the ones in power!
For example, academics may seem quite high up in society, with positions of power and responsibility, but a lot of them still felt like rebels against the system, and understandably didn’t want to work any more than they were paid to do. However, some went further than that, ‘rebelling’ by grooming students, or not seeming to do much work at all!
Travel Hell: Taliban Rapists and Child Murderers
The Taliban and I.S. hatred of women and the West seemed to be epitomised by the Canadian couple who travelled to Afghanistan while the woman was pregnant. They were more religious pilgrims than normal travellers, but their decision still seems amazing to me. If he’d gone on his own, it wouldn’t seem so crazy, but with a pregnant wife!
While I’m glad they were rescued, by Pakistan forces, who are also mostly Muslim, providing balance, and showing I don’t think all ‘Muslims’ are bad, the wife had been raped by their Taliban captors, providing them with a ‘sex slave’ for their superiority complexes.
While their use of his wife was expected, they also murdered a baby daughter, and not sons also born there, probably showing their contempt for females (I don’t know the exact reason).
While the majority of serial killers are supposed to be white, groups like I.S. and the Taliban are like whole cultures of serial killers targeting females, and yet like serial killers often attract female accomplices, I.S. manage to groom females onto their side, such as notorious Sally Jones and other white Europeans!
Travel Heaven: Argentinian Travelling Family
In contrast, a couple who left Argentina for six months and have been travelling for seventeen years, having four children, reached Britain this week, and spoke of their joyous experience during their journey around the world.
They have also been to some countries that look dangerous, but I guess they didn’t go to the most dangerous parts.
Sometimes I went to ‘dangerous’ places for a buzz or to test myself, where there were conflicts going on, or bordering them, but it was probably no more dangerous really than living in Britain during all the terrorist threats of my lifetime.
By writing the way I have over the last decade I’ve felt I’ve increased that threat, but have had just as much negativity from ‘my side’ (Britain, liberal – left [formerly, but still on animal welfare and environment!] and especially women – working-class) as those I’ve been mostly criticising.
The latter have probably (definitely in some cases) been stirring up the former with spin or lies, making them think I’m anti-them instead of pro-them, filling those with little general knowledge or interest in current affairs with bollocks, and now I’m so far in the middle I hardly feel it’s worth writing – but maybe that’s good for my writing, in a journalistic way anyway!
Marc Latham’s books are available on Amazon.