Friday, 27 November 2009

I am here

They wouldn't treat a dog the same way. Tubes in the nose, mouth, front and rear, seeping painful wounds, abcesses and a scar from neck to navel. There you have it. Humanity, a hypocritically hypocratic oath which could probably better be described as an attempt to extend a painful existence to its most horrendous and torturous end.

So there we are, this is where we have arrived after a month in the same situation. The doctor's only words - "Well if he hadn't been so fit he would have died a long time ago." Please forgive me for saying this, but I thought we lived in an age of reason, an age where we understood how people think and feel, and where we take innordinate care over everything we say and do as we are aware of the infinite number of possibilities that are affected by our actions.

Apparently not. We have a society where the quick fix, the throwaway feelings, the young and instable desires have come to mean everything. Once you have passed that stage then you are no more than an old written off car that has to be crushed and dumped on to the nearest heap. Added to which, a large helping of suffering is administered to remind you of the crime of having survived so long, and having forced many innocent young poeple to work so hard for so long to support you.

Suicide has always seemed like the cheap way out to me,like the escape route, the way you go when you can't handle the cards you've been dealt. So help me god, someone shoot me.

As with all things in this world, it isn't like we haven't had warning. George Orwell has given a pretty scarily accurate account of what life is slowly becoming and Aldous Huxley wasn't far behind where we are now with the 'Brave New World' we are living in. Nobody reads any more, and actually using your intellect is looked down upon. My students don't even understand how to open a book, and their only leisure activity is shooting moving objects. Is someone out there laughing?

Perhaps if we had bothered to take note of the many people with a vision to what was our most likely future and what was happening around us, we might have been able to keep those days when we were able to live comfortably with what we had. Loved our elders instead of viewing them as a carcass ready to throw out, challenged without disrespecting, and had some notion of what it is to love another human being rather than just looking for the next cheap fix. Two world wars and the megalomaniac has got his way after all. A society obsessed with image, that recoils at the old, that hates all it doesn't understand, has a warped love for the little it does, has no notion of its own heritage, and has lost all common sense a paragraph or two ago.

Humanity has managed to disgust me once again. Will someone please turn it all off please?

Monday, 2 November 2009

The end of the book

After nearly three years on facebook, I have seen that it is time to leave and to go on to other things. The decision was not elitist: having a lot of people on a social networking site is hardly a surprise bearing in mind the precise reason that the whole thing was created in the first place. Though I do find it strange when people join what is essentially a networking site and then complain when lots of people join and things start getting much bigger. The site is performing precisely its function by doing this and any complaints towards the fact are just a contradiction in terms.

It all started over something silly. It isn't really significant enoguh to warrant spending text space over, but I was sufficiently hurt to make me think a lot about friendship. I realised that of several hundred people added as 'friends' I was essentially contacting the same people continually, both on and outwith the site itself. A lot of people after an initial flurry of 'It has been way too long, we really must meet and catch up, what are you doing nowadays? I'm (insert last ten years here)' were never seen or heard from again.

Thus leading me to the conclusion that perhaps just sending a person a video from time to time, the latest viral that has hit the site, or the latest fad app might actually not really be any form of friendship whatsoever.

I have made a vow to now start contacting people in a more conventional sense with an e-mail from time to time. Dedicating five minutes to them is actually thinking about a friend, taking time for someone. Perhaps this is just making some kind of luddite point, I'm not sure, but I think it will help rekindle some friendships at least, and hopefully for the better.

I hope this has gone some way to explaining my reasons for saying goodbye to the book, normal service will resume shortly,

B xx

Friday, 9 October 2009

Tribes and tribulations

The anglo saxons haven't existed for a very long time, at least as far as I'm aware, otherwise we'd probably have a better idea of how to read Beowulf. So where does the obsession come from other countries lumping all the English speaking ones under the same banner?

I heard today on the news how President Obama's receiving of the Nobel Prize was a great achievement for the 'Anglo Saxon world'. I was rather under the impression (unless of course, my history is totally wrong) that the US was made up of the indigenous Americans and a lot of different European immigrants. That rather suggests that perhaps a moniker dedicated to a long dead tribe might be rather redundant. It would seem not.

I just find it a real surprise that, in a country where identity is still a moot point, and indeed there is still great debate over whether people are Spanish, Gallego, Catalan etc. that a generic, and moreover innacurate description can happily be used on the evening news.

For my sins I am English, Southern English, and have a plummy RP accent, which in itself obviously means I live in a castle with a butler and that my political opinions are obviously totally reactionary and lost in a century of colonies and tiffin. So it might be surprising to you all that when I hear the UK being liberally referred to as England I feel a big 'no' coming on. I am not going to get political, suffice to say that I amaware of the existence of various other parts of the British Isles where describing the locals as English is likely to lead to offence at best, eating through a straw at worst.

I'm NCE (Non Confrontational English). I'm proud of my heritage, proud of the place I come from, and happy that it's a place people want to go to, to live and to visit. But precisely that past and that heritage has nothing to do with someone that grew up in Scotland, the US, Australia etc. When was the last time anyone referred to Iberia without making a direct reference to the airline? Is Zapatero the Iberian president? Is the Paella an Iberian dish?

I suppose that the power of words is precisely the belief that goes into them: perhpas it is time to start treating them with a little more care?