I-Land is where memories and experiences turn into short stories, personal journal entries and narration in first person, part memoir, part fiction, exploring topics such as the relation between humans and the societies they live in.

A Pat On The Back: Out With The Old

il_btm-cover‘My name is Nicolas Sampson and I write about the politics of revolution and crisis. It’s a fascinating and disturbing subject topic, sometimes both at the same time. Say hello to our day-and-age’s crucible and brace yourself for one hell of a treatment.’

So much for the world moving in leaps and bounds toward peace and progress. The mounting knowledge, the common sense, none of it seems to gain traction these days. The world resembles life in previous centuries on so many levels, with all kinds of foul behaviors resurfacing on the individual and socio-political level.

Extremism is on the march. We have embraced the populists of our day, allowing them to steer the world back to nationalism. We have made it possible for nutjobs including racists and climate-change deniers and Islamic fundamentalists to take charge of the day’s narratives.

It’s the same old story, different characters. Different causes, same vicious circle. Same pitfalls. History repeats itself in atavistic ways, recycling the problems of yesterday, all the conflicts and power-grabs, the indignant self-righteousness, the growing uncertainty. False prophets have found their niche again, campaigning for dubious agendas. The majority’s disregard for evidence is becoming increasingly common, and the lessons learned in the past are either forgotten or scorned. Back to the error we plunge, with a vengeance.

Disturbing as it is, it’s hardly surprising. More like a natural part of the process. As a species we are faced with the same conflicts every few generations, sometimes more often, and the cycles are repeated. We fight our forefathers’ battles over and over again, with a twist each time, as if once wasn’t enough already, and twice once too many.

Well, our time has come. A fresh reckoning is heading our way, fast.

Thank goodness for that! No, I don’t support populism or any of the bigots so popular lately. I am not a fan of religious fundamentalism, and I am very concerned with the content of our daily struggles, how it has shifted from how to create better opportunities for ourselves to blaming others for our misfortune, looking to persecute anyone who doesn’t please us. It’s a dangerous and stupid approach to life, and shutting these extremists shut down is a priority.

What is also a priority is finding the cause to today’s problems, the issues that gave these extremists their voice. What made them so popular despite their hateful rhetoric? What makes people round the world lend them their support? The insecurity so many individuals feel, for example, the notion that everyone is being taken for a ride, made worse off in a system that caters not for the average person but for the few that control it, those who know its buttons, its ins and outs. I would like to this issue and more like it, addressing the reasons behind the latest surge against mainstream politics, how the great dream became the grand illusion became the grand disillusionment. How we’ve moved from the mainstream to the meanstream. How decency is being sacrificed on the altar of anger, giving rise to all kinds of crimes, prejudices and behavior that can only make things worse, if left unchecked.

In other words, I am gutted by the rise of extreme politics, but I am happy that we are finally reacting is some way.

See, we’re kicking off the broken parts of the system, but are going about it in the nasty way, causing as much damage as we’re trying to prevent. But that’s how revolutions begin, with kicks and screams and all kinds of mayhem taking place, with a bunch of unsavory characters taking the spotlight. It gets always worse before it gets better, always.

And anything’s better than being stuck in a state of suspended animation, kicking the can down the road like we have been for the past how many years — decades — now. That’s no way to live, or make progress. One look around and the point is self-evident, the world creaking and crumbling under the weight of the false and unsustainable ‘progress’ we have been making.

It’s high time we got some much-needed turbulence in our bubble world, and I mean real turbulence, not the storm in a teacup we experienced back in 2008. This time we’re shaking things up like Poseidon with a hard-on running wild underwater while the Furies above fly wet and wild across the globe like runaway hurricanes.

Or, like the French revolutionaries used to say, Out With The Old, In With The New, and come what may. See how things settle after the storm. The world needs the change.

I certainly do.

My name is Nicolas Sampson and I write about the politics of revolution and crisis. Say hello to our day-and-age’s crucible and brace yourself for one hell of a treatment.

For over a decade now I have been exploring the ins and outs of change and transformation through short stories and novels, poems and screenplays.

I’d like to briefly fill you in on some of my work.

My first major piece of writing was a book called Behind The Mirror: Short Stories And Reflections, and its front cover was a swallowtail tiger butterfly — a warrior butterfly, as one of the book’s characters referred to it; a novel in epistolary form, meaning that it was told through the letters and emails and general correspondence of its two main characters, Xavier and Victor. X and V. More on them later.

After BTM: SSAR came a story about a teenager boy in search of meaning in an increasingly cold, adult world on a warm and isolated Mediterranean island, a microcosm made up of minds hell bent on making themselves bigger by making other people small. Lost in this world, and seeing not just the negatives but also the gems and beauties of Cyprus life, our protagonist paints a revealing, inspiring picture of a boy coming of age.

In search of his calling, our protagonist straddles school and family life with a question mark in his head and an exclamation mark in his eyes and demeanor. He takes on the entire world, no hesitation, and flips everyone the bird when he’s mad, as teenagers do, and wonders what if, how could things be done differently.

The story is based on real events. It’s a memoir, part comedy, part stochastic and nostalgic tale, full of real-life warm-blooded stories mixed with a number of made up elements that shed light on many an interesting issue regarding life in Cyprus, the island where I was born and grew up.

In other words, it’s not an ordinary memoir but a roman à clef i.e. a memoir with touches of fiction.

One day soon I will publish it. I’ve workshopped several parts of it, and the material seems to work. It has a voice, an audience. Its working title is The Other Dimension, but I’m changing it to

In Search Of A Life Not Yet Found, or something equally inquisitive.

Watch this space for Part 3