Surrounded by trolls. Or as we know them these days, middle-men. You want to go over there? That’ll be a fee please. You need some of that? That’ll be a fee please. In the story of the three billy goats gruff, it’s a greedy troll stopping them from crossing the bridge to get to the lush meadow so they can eat. But he wants to eat them instead, and had obviously worked out if you guard the access point to the food, then you become the gatekeeper – or the troll in this case.
And we see that many have understood the point and position of the gatekeeper, the advantage of being one, or of having them there to ‘protect’ the sought after item, information or status. We’ve now got so many to get through and appease just to live, it seems we have more doors these days than ever before, but they are closed and require access codes, approval, someone to authorise you. Then once you are through, you realise it’s only level 1, and there are more corridors, and doors, and codes. Computer says no. There is an extra layer of faceless gatekeeping now with the internet and digital access rolling its way through, and makes for an easier wall. People are prone to argue and fight back against people if frustration grows, but with technology it’s a little different. No less frustrating, but you know it literally does nothing, and yet still sometimes can’t help it. If something seems an unnecessary and obvious obstacle, I believe it is in our nature to try and find the easiest solution to get round it, or over it, or side-step it. Rational and logical thought. But it would appear that when the logical and natural route seems unavailable, we will react with emotion if needed, as that also facilitates an action usually, with the motivation still of removing the obstacle.
With technology where you know you can’t win, I think we are prone to hitting it, throwing it and smashing it. When it comes to people, I guess the same can be said in some cases, but often most will adopt the communication and negotiation route. As did the three billy goats, using a bit of cunning and playing on the weakness of the troll. Greed. It’s one of the deadly sins for a reason I suspect, because it has been witnessed in many a person who will act in a way most unbecoming of a living thing. If we witnessed a monkey hoarding all the bananas, and stopping other monkeys having any and let them die of starvation while letting the bananas rot, we would be fascinated. And probably then take to locking said monkey up, so we could study this startling display of ‘greed and selfishness’ that would appear detrimental to the species. But for humans, not so much. It’s accepted, encouraged and even applauded once you reach a certain level of hoarding. Once you have all the money, gold, food and land withheld from everyone else, then it seems you reach a whole different level in the weird structure of people and society.
It used to be about getting from A to B back in the day, but now as a famous company has implied, it’s A to Z. But what wasn’t made so obvious, was that there would be sub-headers. It’s not until you leave A, you suddenly encounter A.1, then A.2, then A.3 and so on, until they decide you can arrive at B. It makes for a rather convoluted process, as we well know. But really isn’t anything new, toll bridges, gates, fences, barriers, moats and all sorts of physical obstacles have been in our way for the longest time. What is new though, is watching it much smaller before our eyes, with the bizarre roll out of 15-minute towns and cities. Putting up road blocks, cameras, penalties and strict rules to adhere to. More obstacles and sub-headers, leading to more time being taken from you, more frustration, less enjoyment of the ‘modern living’ they so heavily pushed on everyone for decades. Fines now for wood burners, after someone in the industry made a lot of money pushing wood burners as a better option, and of course after they decided to block up old fireplaces and only build modern crappy ones without them. Fines for the wrong car, for the wrong heating, for the wrong words, for the wrong attitude. Amazing isn’t it, that money and fines are the solution to everything? Well, it is to those who have turned into the monkey with the bananas. It’s never enough once obsession takes over. And it almost seems as though it stops being about them having more, but more about you having less. Because if you had as much as them, they wouldn’t be so important anymore. This is why equality was never on the cards, wealth was never intended to be distributed evenly, and why it often appears as though the deck is stacked. Because it is…