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“If you don’t understand Hero’s humour, go kill yourself”

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If the last few months have taught me anything, it’s that having any hope in the forward movement of this country is a complete waste of time. The whole Brexit, get our country back rhetoric was fine for winning an election but what exactly are we getting back?

Everything is underfunded and the party that underfunded it all has swept back into power with a huge majority. We have all heard stories about the NHS but I’m currently reading about our judicial system and good luck if you are ever a victim or innocently accused of something because the justice system is so underfunded your justice may or may not happen depending on if anyone has enough time to do anything due to workload.

Now leaving aside what you thought of Corbyn, a manifesto that offered a lot of hope to the poorer in our country was dismissed by them because in their own words ‘we can’t afford it’. I heard that argument a lot by people I know and it was said with such authority it was as though they had thoroughly gone through the public accounts themselves. There was no question as to why we couldn’t afford it (if we couldn’t), just that we couldn’t and therefore they voted against their own interests. I mean that’s very noble and all but where will that get us? When you get to a point where ex-mining towns are voting Tory the game is over.

There was good news, the current parliament has the largest contingent of LGBQT+ people ever but they’re all fucking Tory, the party that dragged its heels on their rights the longest. And then we get to the environment and no matter how much the scientists scream that we need to do something the politicians pay no more than minor lip surface. It’s as urgent a response as someone running at you with a knife and a passer-by looking up and going, ‘oh dear’ whilst carrying on their journey. And it doesn’t matter how much you do yourself to try and help as even the most advanced thinking vegan who is saving the planet by not consuming animal products is actually according to a recent Guardian article destroying bee populations in California by drinking almond milk. What can you do?

However what really gets me is that none of these big issues are ever going to get resolved because we are still fighting unbelievably stupid issues. People still sign up to Scientology even after everything, they become Mormons even though we have historical evidence of when it was made up and Jehovah Witnesses exist even though the end of the world predictions didn’t happen at least three times. Alongside the newer interpretations of religion we also have the fact that millions of people still believe in all the main religions even with God no-shows through the most horrific of times. I mean how much longer do we need to wait?

Moving on from religions we have the resurgence of the flat earth theory based on nothing more than, ‘it looks flat’ and ‘look I took a picture and it can see something a long way away’. A conspiracy theory that as far as I can see has no benefit for the conspirer… oh look the idiots think the earth is round, great, now we can… oh wait what can we do?

A couple of people I chatted to told me how Reiki helped them and that I shouldn’t be so cynical even though rereading up on the explanation of it The spiritual healing art of Reiki works by channelling positive energy into your body, with Reiki masters and practitioners typically placing their hands on the affected areas of the body that need a boost, offering this energy and your body takes in the energy where most needed is just a lot of words put together with no evidence behind it. This is just one of a number of practices that include homeopathy, acupuncture etc. that have been proven over and over again to offer no more than a placebo effect and yet millions still trust and use it instead of trying evidence based medicine.

Faith healers, clairvoyants and mediums all proven over and over to be no more than either good-intentioned or ill-intentioned scam artists (although it’s harder and harder to justify being a good-intentioned one with all those previously exposed being easy to research) still have a roaring trade making a quick buck ripping off vulnerable people. Then there are the people who believe in crystals, Feng Shui and star signs without the hint of questioning. I once knew a lady who was sceptical of everything apart from star signs because it ‘worked for me’ and that seemed to be enough.

This all leads me to a quite extraordinary conversation I had the other day and I think trumps all of the above:

Another Person: My friend had had a load of sessions with a person who communicated with their horse and she swore by it.

Hero: What?

AP: I was cynical too but they bought me a free session as a present and I couldn’t believe it but they were so accurate.

Hero: Wait just to be clear are you telling me that you believe that someone can stand by your horse, hear it neigh and then tell you what the horse is saying?

AP: No they don’t stand next to the horse, they do it by phone, they live somewhere up North.

Hero: What?!

AP: Yes it’s incredible though, I mean how could they know the things they knew about my horses?

Hero: That they really liked to go riding, that they were hungry?

AP: No it was a lot more accurate than that, for instance how did she know a certain show was coming up, that my horse suffers with a bad leg…

It’s this conversation that was the moment I knew it was time to give up. The first thing that amazed me was that the scammer didn’t even have to bother going to the horse to talk to it. Of course I don’t think that would have made any difference whatsoever but at least it would have shown some effort. And then we get to the part of the person being amazingly accurate. How could she have possibly known? Now I suggested that maybe her friend having had numerous sessions over months might just have slipped some information out but the AP leapt straight to the much more logical conclusion of the horse talking somehow telepathically to the person not even in the same city let alone paddock as them.

Again all logic was bypassed because ‘it worked for me’ and I lost the argument. If you can actually make money by having conversations with horses whilst sitting on your arse hundreds of miles away then the world is well and truly fucked. This woman I know is lovely and has been educated in a time where schools were not completely underfunded and yet here we are. So next time you ask ‘Why the long face?’, assume the horse can tell you.

Why The Long Face?