Countries: aptly named! “My” country is an accident of my birth. Who is my brother: a factory worker in Germany, an office worker in Japan, Richard Branson, the vagrant who lives under the canal bridge? When “we” go to war, who are “our” troops fighting for? “Protecting our way of life” is a phrase bandied in the media but we don’t share a common way of life. So am I paying taxes so the military can keep Branson in his mansion and the vagrant under the canal bridge?
Who tells you what is going on in the World? Do you ever speak with anyone from beyond your own borders? Do you trust “the Media” to keep you informed? If we never speak to folk in other countries, are we vulnerable to being misled? What agenda do “the Media” have?
I worry about the number of conflicts in the World, particularly the ones the UK is involved in. I am deeply troubled by the levels of support for the UK’s involvement shown by “the Media”. I want to make clear that I am not talking about support for our troops but about support for the political decisions that put them in the conflict. In whose interest is the UK’s involvement in Afganistan, Libya, Iraq? How do the politicians convince us that it is in our interest to support these ventures?
Why isn’t peace in everyone’s interest?
I enjoy my job. It barely feels like work at all: more like a hobby really. Today is my final day before two weeks vacation. I feel good about that. There seems to be a logical inconsistancy here. If I enjoy my job and look forward to being here, how can I relish not coming? I guess I just like change for change’s sake.
You’re not satified with things as they are, right? Well, that’s only natural: there’s always room for improvement. So what will you do? The answer to this question (generally speaking, present company excepted, of course) is a big fat NOTHING! If you want a different output, then you need a different input. Do not expect change to result from your carrying on regardless. We all do it from time to time. I’m guilty as well.
It’s so easy to get stuck in the rut when you should be ploughing a fresh furrow. You need to grab the bull by the horns, grasp the nettle, take the first step and all those other uplifting if slightly vague platitudes. Most of all what you need is a plan. Don’t wait for change to come to you: make it happen.
A fool and his (or her) money are easily parted, I hear. Is fashion the mechanism?
Good quality, serviceable items are allegedly unusable because they are “out”. Ridicule and scorn must be thrown at anyone caught wearing last year’s garments. We pay massive mark-ups on the price of a tee-shirt, so we can give free advertising to the manufacturer, by sporting his name on our chests.
I don’t mean to preach. In spite of my best efforts, I am far from immune. But I ask: what sense does any of it make?
What is reality? The accepted wisdom seems to be that it is our experience of the World around us. But “our” is the big word here. How do we know that we share the same experience? We use a common language to describe it but that doesn’t mean it is the same experience. In this instance, the shared language is a “papering over the cracks” exercise, hiding the differences in what we feel. If your experience differs from mine, whose is right and whose is wrong? If they’re both right, are we in the same Universe?
I’m not sure that I know a way to blog this without sounding incredibly pompous so, as ever, in I plunge!
I play the guitar. I’m not very good but I enjoy it and ultimately I only have to please myself. I’m not gifted, musically speaking, so it took a long time and a lot of hard work for me to learn. One of the most difficult things to master is the discipline of making one’s hands and fingers perform quite different tasks concurrently and in sync. I feel that learning that discipline has given me a different kind of intelligence. I’m struggling to find a better way to describe it. Maybe intelligence is the wrong word: perhaps right brainedness would be closer. I think it improves my ability to concentrate on more than one thing at the same time. Do any other musicians out in cyberland get the same feeling?
I’m pretty sure that it’s different for women and men. Straight blokes seem to have a dreadful fear of seeming gay. I think I do too, though it was much more powerful when I was younger. Is male sexuality more fragile?
Recall the adverts for men’s underware in mail order catalogues. Whenever there is more than one man in a photo, they’re studiously ignoring each other’s bodies. Often, they’re pointing and looking at something off-camera (there’s the chap whose got our trousers!). Women seem much less self-conscious. It’s not unusual to hear a woman say that another woman is beautiful but it’s virtually unheard of for a straight man to speak that way about another bloke.
I don’t understand what women find attractive in men at all! I wish someone could explain it all to me.
Where does it come from? Does it really exist?
Let me say from the outset that my experience is likely to be very similar to yours. It feels to me as though I am execising my free will. But consider this thought experiment for a moment. Think about the “mechanisms” you use to make your decisions. By mechanisms I mean your brain and its contents, the things you inherited and the things you learned. How many of those can you truely say that you are responsible for? It seems to me that they are all given and, if this is so, how can I be responsible for the decisions they make? I don’t claim to know the answer but I’m uncomfortable with the accepted wisdom. Do we believe that our mental processors are somehow more than the sum of their parts?