I was going to buy a mobile phone yesterday, but didn't. Why? Partly because I felt pretty lousy - like a hangover without the booze. Probably a virus. But my main reason for only buying things that I can simply pick myself, like new jeans or some headphones, is of course human interaction. The very word makes me depressed. Ants interact, but apparently we don't talk, discuss, joke, debate, argue or gossip any more. No, we interact as well, like the ants. That, at least, is the mode in our corporatist culture. So I avoided the mobile phone shops, with their eager staff, all programmed by their 'trainers' to see me not as a human being but as a target of opportunity to be financially engaged.
It's not just business, of course. In politics, the more the Blairs and Browns talk of 'engaging' me in 'debate', the more I realise my opinion doesn't matter in the slightest. I am not a citizen, I am a subject, and will have to do as I am told. 'You've had the debate, now obey your orders'.
The same goes for the little sphere of my job, where I feel powerless to change anything for the better. A vast corporate culture bears down on me and crushes my spirit. I am forced onto meaningless training courses delivered by ignorant people who can't even speak proper English. I am told what to think and what I should feel.
I am, needless to remark, middle aged and tired. Work, and things in general, just seem more difficult. No doubt I'll get over it. It's probably just a virus.