Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Of Posties, Politics and the letter P

I should look in the dictionary at words beginning with the letter P. How many there are I don’t know, nor whether P words are more numerous than those with different initial letters. What I do know is that it’s possible to reflect on the world in which we live by using definitions of P words as indicators of the state of our planet.

The Postie was completing his walk the other day, an introspective man committed to his job of delivering letters parcels and junk mail with relentless efficiency but not a great speed; the sort of man who clearly avoids conversation and is happy with his lot. No great pretensions, just the bustle of a job needing to be done. The Postie oozes confidence and determination; he is focused, never raising his eyes nor looking left or right, he will not catch your eye and hates responding to those who greet him, but a man with a mission. Would that more were like him!

So what of this Postie (“le facteur” for my French readers)? He made me think about the Press and Politics, of Pride and Poverty, of Paranoia, of Protest.

An odd world in which we live, where the life-blood of the Press is the destruction of Politicians and the reduction of the Public to consumers of cynicism. An odd world in which we live where Politicians are and are seen as the Purveyors of greed. An odd world in which we live, where Pride in personal achievement is so often ridiculed while celebrities are made famous only for their fame. An odd world too where the Poverty of the South and East is largely ignored by the West. A world in which Paranoia is a defence for crime, where Protest is a cover for brutality by police officer and anarchist alike.

I may be doing my postie a disservice, but I half envy him his abstraction from the world, his introspection. Content with his own thoughts, he has no need for or interest in the Vox Populi; independent and autonomous, he seems unaffected by the burdens of the economy, debt and the need to be nihilistic. Or maybe I have misread my postie; maybe it is these very burdens which make him the man he is. I will never know as intrude into his private hell I never will!