Tag Archives: attitude

Radio 4 Rage

The only thing that brings me out in blotches and makes me see red on a regular basis is Radio 4 listeners in this country.

There is an unwritten and unwavering belief system amongst those that listen, usually exclusively, to Radio 4, that has bestowed upon said individuals the right of PhD status general knowledge and an air of superiority that you don’t actually find amongst the truly gifted and exceptional.

Honestly it is laughable

I didn’t realise how things were until I found myself stuck amongst said listeners for a protracted period of time and noted that every morsel of knowledge or information uttered from their lips was regurgitated, word for word, from a Radio 4 programme.

The more I noticed it the more comical it became.

The self-important numpties who rate their credentials upon their choice of listening material are right where the next propaganda-led dictator wants them. I swear you could put anything on Radio 4 and it would become acceptable… and of course be widely promoted!

Well, the disappointment has been huge for me. I thought I was surrounded by a wide variety of independent thinking conscious adults when all along they have just been a version of children following a trend and talking the talk, walking the walk, thinking their cool coz their ‘in’ and sneering at those not conforming to their limited way of thinking and being.

Please understand, I am not knocking Radio 4 itself – although I find a lot of it dull and repetitive, there is the odd enjoyable or enlightening bit… and if you want the most depressing version of the news you’ll certainly get that regular as clockwork. I do love the shipping forecast, from childhood, though.

Although there are many who stand for truth and aim for purity of fact, everything has the twist of humanity attached to it – the influences of belief, education, upbringing and the subconscious, bad eyesight, dodgy hearing, bias and fear…

There is no oracle in this world. No fully truthful news source. No infallible human being. That’s just the way it is.

Radio 4 listeners? The game is up! Add a few pinches of salt and form your own ideas from the incomplete information being fed, sometimes 2nd/3rd/4th hand, to you. It’s lovely to discuss the subjects and concepts but….

Radio 4 ain’t the Law

… and tolerating the sleep-inducing drone for protracted periods of time, without hesitation, repetition or deviation, does not make you special, superior or all-knowing. It makes you a little bit boring actually.

BBC Radio 4 - The World at One.

BBC Radio 4 – The World at One. (Photo credit: LoopZilla)

Savouring Now

I’ve found myself zoning right in to the tiny things just now. The pollination around the garden, the birds raising their young… sunrise… sunset… ant colonies and spiderlings. The organic wildflower meadows leading down to the river, the barn owl floating by at dusk while the bats flit about overhead.

I’m missing writing but have been taken over by a period of unintended deep meditation. It could be the heat, the pleasure of watching my garden grow after all the hard work or just my way of coping with the palpable changes going on for us as a species.

Within these hedges I am unencumbered.

Guilt is a powerful subverter and I have been wrestling with the guilt of not following the news, keeping up my opinions on global affairs and generally being downhearted about the state of the world… not being superbusy 24/7, not being sociable summer stylee, as well as the perennial guilt attached to not living how everyone else does and expects… of course.

I earn enough to cover what I need and, most of what I personally need… is free. I don’t feel my lifestyle is particularly selfish – I contribute to my local community and loan to farmers in developing countries, I provide a natural habitat for local flora and fauna and put up with creatures I’d really rather not for the greater good of humanity! I can’t summon any guilt for not being a rabid consumer or being in a perpetual state of, “What next? Where next? What do I want now?”

I am content.

This is a good thing. A wonderful feeling. A much sought-after state of mind.

I have realised that I finally do live somewhere that I don’t feel the need to get away from… I am now living a lifestyle I don’t need a holiday from. The restrictions that come with Lyme have actually given me freedom.

This split second in my life is to be savoured

life_moves_pretty_fast

In Rude Health?

Rudeness has been on my mind recently. I’ve been trying to come up with an important sociological reason for being rude and why it is so frequently employed in communication and as a general method.

I can’t find any good reason for it

Rudeness gets people’s backs up. It is unpleasant to live around. Rudeness insinuates hierarchy or superiority. Friction and conflict usually result.

Quite simply it is disrespectful.

In my opinion, being rude is ignorant… and that isn’t to say that I am not a perpetrator myself on occasion. I feel ignorant when I do it and I know I let myself down. My own rudeness is usually induced by an individual and their words or behaviour. I’m rarely an instigator. This is no excuse.

I occasionally venture further out into the material world but usually hasten home soon after…

Staff in shops are rude. Coffee purveyors are rude. Folk walking the street are rude. Drivers are rude, cyclists are rude, lorry drivers are rude. Children are rude, teenagers are rude, adults are rude. Everyone is so bloody rude!!!

Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m not a massive fan of the sycophantic and vacuous fakery camp that insists on the cheesy repetition of an insincere, “Have a nice day” etc, either.

Is there no middle ground?

The other day I pulled over in a local village to allow a stream of 12 cars in the opposite direction past me on my side of the road. The drivers? EVERY SINGLE ONE smiled and thanked me.

I lived for a few years in a place where the attitude, and the people who perpetuate it, is the unwanted virus of England. (Much wealth, no manners, total ignorance, pure disrespect) In two and half years NOT A SINGLE human being thanked me or smiled at me for being courteous.

Living in ‘rudetown’ made me a rude and seriously grumpy bitch. To have everything and give nothing is a negative state… living surrounded by this mindset made me question my very existence on this planet and whether a world of humans all aiming for that “dream” is a world worth inhabiting. (BTW it isn’t, FYI) When I assessed the damage I realised that I was at a point where going out in the car to specifically drive slowly around the place, holding people up, became a game of pure pleasure. Watching the anger mount as these spoiled individuals weren’t able to pursue their exact desire at the exact moment they desired it – because of me – became like a drug. Pottering along at the speed limit with a massive grin as they all risked their lives and licences to scream past me in fury only fed my need to make them as miserable as they had made me. The only way to dissipate the constant anger and irritation at being treated so incredibly and constantly unpleasantly, was to wind those mofos up something chronic.

Slow at roundabouts, slow at the lights, let every car that wants out in front of me…

I’d be in that supermarket carpark for just after school time, crawling around, all smiles, as the massive BMW 4×4’s and other flashy rides were trying to muscle their way through with their blond and orange and incandescent occupants swearing at me. Ha Ha Ha.

I even took to standing three feet away from the neighbours blatantly watching them and listening to their conversations…. sometimes for up to an hour. That’s what they did to me.

You can see why I had to get out!

Rudeness is self-perpetuating. It takes all the resolve in the world not to give it back in spades to someone who disrespects you for absolutely no good reason. Very few of us are able to override the basic instinct to retaliate.

So, having gone from the pit of extreme rudeness – which seeps in to your fabric – to the perfect level of politeness and respect – which does the same – I can categorically say;

Manners maketh man (and woman)

Kindness makes the world go round

A smile is worth a thousand words

and…

Rudeness is a ripple effect WMD     

To be avoided at all costs

Observations on seating, sitting and suppleness

Recently, I’ve been challenged on the fact that I rarely sit on a chair or a sofa any more. It really does seem to bother folk.

I suppose their gripes have brought it once again to my attention and I’ve been weighing up whether I am being rude or not, or if maybe, I’m perfectly justified to take the weight off my feet as I choose.

Obviously I’ll sit at the table on a chair, to eat, and when polite, obligatory or respectful but, of my own free will, I prefer to be a floor dweller. I have my reasons which I have found myself having to explain and justify as many individuals simply can’t get their heads around the notion. This is often in my own home too which I do find kinda comical…. being offered a seat when there are four free and I’ve blatantly chosen the rug. Although how polite!

My main personal reason is, simply, that I spent most of my twenties restricted to a sofa and unable to walk very well….. I am now allergic to sitting on them! I have also spent a lot of time in countries where they squat or sit on the floor and so gained a preference for a chair-less existence quite a wee while back. It simply makes me feel generally better.

Bad Backs are the bane of Britain

In my amateur (but highly observant) opinion…. I note that most “back problems” and hip related discomfort can be traced to societies that spend a large proportion of their day sitting in chairs or on sofas. I’ve seen very few of those problems in societies that tend to squat or sit on the floor…… I never get a bad back if I squat or sit on the floor…. and yet I do if forced to sit in a chair or upright on a sofa for too long. That seems evidence enough really!!

Clearly, there are a million perfectly valid causes of a malingering bad back and I am not saying that every case can be avoided. I do feel, though that there is a ‘malaise’ sector in the UK, who just constantly have bad backs and can’t explain it through any participation in adrenaline sports or heavy manual labour. The best tip I was given for fitness into old age was by a 94 year old lady who was incredibly fit and active. She swore by touching her toes at least five times every day…. slowly. Simple but incredibly effective! Stretching is also a simple preventative…

Isn’t it Shakira who proclaims that her hips don’t lie? Well mine don’t either and squatting removes pressure from the hips and puts it on the stronger option of the legs. Sitting and especially reclining on a sofa, puts all the pressure and weight on the hips and lower back…. and at an awkward and unsupportive angle. It also puts pressure on the whole spine.. at an awkward angle. These are my own personal findings from literally a few whole hours of research over the years. It is based on how I and others have felt in differing positions for differing periods of time coupled with careful observation of the lifestyles of those who constantly have niggly bad backs. So, don’t knock the science… it is as lethally accurate as all the pharmaceutical company evidence you will find… put together!

Sitting around for any length of time or with any frequency also contributes to back pain. It is well known that good muscle strength around the spine can help prevent a bad back…. if often sitting on a chair or sofa, loss of muscle substance is inevitable. Squatting or sitting on the floor requires the light support of these muscles… keeping them in use and thus useful.

Badback

Source: blog.daum.net

So… the conclusion to my exhaustive study is this…

I surmise that;

In order to avoid a strain, pre sitting down just think again….

Do you really need to sit?… or could you lean, or walk a bit?

Squatting’s better for a bit… than choosing a chair on which to sit.

The sofa – well, I truly get it…. but when you can’t get up, may not be that sympathetic.

————————————————————–

Relaxation… kicking back, is sold widely as… essential pleasure

But, pain free dotage and continued physical independence?… there is no greater treasure.

So please don’t be offended if I visit but don’t sit, it’s not through rudeness or disrespect… there’s more than that, to it.

Do join me on the floor awhile, it might enlighten you….. to all the absolute wonders… avoiding a chair can do!

Bernice Bates Aged 91 Worlds Oldest Yoga Teacher

Bernice Bates Aged 91 Worlds Oldest Yoga Teacher

N.B. I don’t read the newspapers very often and whilst looking for a picture I noticed that there is in fact a test now called the ‘sitting and rising testwhich apparently proves that the inability to get up from the floor correlates to an early death. Woah!

Fallible accuracy or accurate fallacy

It was a fact that the Earth was flat and now it’s a fact that it’s round.

Have you ever considered the fallibility of all we herald as historical fact? All the books we laud as certainty and truth. All the artefacts and etchings that we decipher as actuality. The people who brought us the ‘truth’? The very ‘facts’ that we are educated in?

Since I was at school I have always read so-called factual books with niggling suspicion. After all, people make things up all the time….my brother was pathological as a child! Who really knows if all the diarists and letter writers, scientists and so on, didn’t embellish and exaggerate, spin and concoct. Facts seem only to be facts until someone proves that, in fact, they are not.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t a few undeniable facts – I don’t think we’re in the freefall of the complete unknown: I was definitely born, I’ll certainly die, and gravity seems to be holding me down (although I could get subjective on that)…..however, I sometimes feel that, nowadays, we spend an awful lot of time spraying around ‘facts’ like fire extinguisher foam. The only break up in that monotony of white noise, is the pompous conjecture and guestimation relating to ancient finds, historical documents and the natural world, usually by folk, yes humans, who have been holed up in the same room for, like seven years, studying only one microscopic aspect of the whole. I would feel a lot more comfortable if everything came under the grand heading, “A rough idea of how it might have been”. It’s the huge pronouncements that I find so confusing. Don’t get me wrong…..I completely value those dedicated folk who nail down into the details but then can’t overlook the fact that every detail belongs to a bigger picture, so there is a fine line in producing truths from that level, I think.

The simple, classic example is, of course, red wine: One week top scientists claim it’ll cure everything, the next week top scientists confirm that it’ll kill you.

When in Peshawar, immediately post 09/11, we watched as the “news” was being broadcast to the rest of the world….. the “facts on the ground”!! This place that we had spent so much time in. Blending in. Suddenly was overrun with loudmouthed, disrespectful, pushy journalists from all over the world. We watched in amusement as folk we knew from down the bazaar grabbed their Father’s Kalashnikov, wrapped a rug round them and went and got paid huge sums for being interviewed as Mujahideen!!  Nuff said there I think…

Some ‘facts’ seem to arise a bit like the miscommunication involved in the game Chinese Whispers. Once it’s gone through three or four people, the original message, or fact, has been adjusted or completely lost in transit. So why do we trust so much pre, like 1950?

“But we have the documents”, I hear you cry. Of course! I mean, no person has ever put fake information in a diary, recounted details in their own favour or pretended something never happened altogether. Humans, pre about 1950, all told the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth…. Yeah right.

“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt”   Bertrand Russell

We would do well to occasionally take an objective overview and allow our own brains to rationalise the ‘facts’ before us. Not just swallow them and purge over others like some sort of disorder. I am sick of hearing radio 4 repeated over and over again to me, verbatim, by different people – it is not the oracle!!!  ….not that they mention the source, it’s just fact, innit.

I dunno. Maybe I’m just one pernickety pain in the ass. I just can’t accept it and therefore gain no discernible enjoyment from hanging around with fact-sprayers. For a start it is confusing and I find the alternative, ignoring people, difficult too. So I end up wasting precious time considering all this gibber which turns out to be from the Daily Mail, Facebook or some equally reliable fact producer, and then I feel, first a dick for even considering it and second a numpty for giving it a second thought. I like to learn you see, and particularly enjoy learning from others. I’m sad to report that most folk will lie through their teeth in the hope that you won’t look it up, even folk in positions of informational responsibility. That seriously winds me up.

I find that a pinch of salt is a healthy addition to most ‘facts’, it can sometimes help draw out the seasoning of bullsh*t.

Here’s a thought….. how about accepting we don’t know everything……in fact we know very little about diddlysquat. We may never know quite a lot of things. Isn’t it incredibly exciting that there is a big, ever-changing world out there to be discovered individually, at a moment in time, by each one of us?

Don’t swallow the regurgitations of others…… go out and discover for yourself!

Sometimes the greatest experts and highest educated folk turn out to be the most narrow-minded on a subject and closed to the value of experience. Just because something is rare doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, or won’t become more frequent, or can’t change altogether. This planet and it’s inhabitants are constantly changing and evolving, there is very little ‘fact’ that doesn’t seem to change with time.

 

Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right….

Image

Gangs are for the weak and feeble thus we are all condemned.

We read and hear all the virtuous, judgemental twaddle regarding gangs and gang culture in society today, how heinous it is and how abhorrent those who subscribe to it are, and yet noone seems prepared to face the fact of why this behaviour perpetuates.

We began our evolution in tribe form – fair enough – but we are thousands of years on from that and yet seemingly no further evolved in our social mentality. Obviously I don’t include traditional, and usually remote, existing tribes from this discussion.

I come from a large family and, whilst we naturally formed a tribe as youngsters, we were an all-inclusive, welcoming group with space at the table for anyone else and room in our group for all. The mindset I grew up with was that everyone is welcome. Gang mentality is the polar opposite to this.

As a child I despised the little gangs that formed at school and always eschewed the narrow-minded and restrictive inevitability of having to conform to one ideal in order to apparently ‘fit in’. I liked having friends of all backgrounds and persuasions and didn’t appreciate the attitude of being unpleasant to, or about, anyone slightly different.

As I have matured I realise that it is a self-perpetuating inevitability that gang mentality, and in some cases violence and warfare, should continue to thrive in the 21st century.

Consider this objectively, honestly and simplistically;

Of which of the following ‘gangs’ are you a member?

Nationalist: Do you consider your nationality to be all pervading, outside sports and inter-country competition? Do you see other nationalities as different ‘gangs’? Do you feel threatened?

Political: Are you a subscriber to a particular political ‘gang’? Do you ridicule those with other political affiliations and views? Do you feel threatened?

Religious: Are you a practising believer of a faith in which you ‘gang’ together as a righteous pack of self-proclaimed ‘right folk’ in a world of ‘wronguns’? Do you look down on, and try to change, those who do not agree with your doctrines? Do you feel threatened?

Familial: Does your family group believe “family is everything”? “Blood is thicker than water”?  Do you look down on other families who do things differently? Do you feel threatened?

Class: Do you subscribe to this shite? Do you feel threatened?

Educaton: Do you see yourself as superior due to your fortunate educational background? Do you hate folk who have had a good education? Do you feel threatened?

Music: Do you judge people who like genres and forms of music that you don’t? Do you only socialise with those who share the same tastes? Do you feel threatened?

Other gangs in the series: Town and Country, sports team supporters, techies and luddites, Apple and PC, meat eater and vegetarian, traveller and homebody, Audi and BMW, Iphone and Blackberry….. is it dawning on you yet?

Gang mentality is a simplistic and highly under-evolved attitude. Most of the world subscribe to at least one gang and mark themselves out as a member, asserting their right and their view much of the time specifically in opposition to anyone with incompatible or conflicting views and opinions. I myself am a country girl, born and bred. I’ve tried the town and the city and the suburbs but it ain’t for me because I can’t live a truly low impact and sustainable lifestyle surrounded by concrete…… and to be honest, I’m terrified of crowds and I adore nature. That’s just how I roll. At least I’ve tried it. However, I have good friends who are confirmed city slickers and we love each other for our differences. There is the odd clash, times when I have to gently put them right on countryside facts or they have to gently put me right on city life. What binds us is the simple respect one human being can have for another, and the fun and pleasure that goes along with that ideology. There is no spiritual growth in the act of remaining firmly surrounded with like-minds.

I truly believe that for humans to continue to survive and, hopefully, thrive then we need to reevaluate our core attitudes and embrace our differences. I don’t believe for one second that the whole world can u-turn into a mass lovefest but I am sick to the back teeth of the petty bickering and fighting that is upsetting the balance continuously.

Sometimes I look at the global ‘troubles’ and feel sad, angry, irritated and ultimately hopeless. Did you know that the earth is in real strife? Our earth, our home? The why’s and wherefores are irrelevant, the facts speak for themselves. Do you realise that most of the misery in the world is due to some form of gang mentality or other, leading inevitably to brutality, subjugation, violence, destruction. I am only saying it as I see it but religion seems to be the unequivocal perpetrator of the very worst and the most insidious breakdown of society, culture and humanity. With greed/capitalism as a very close second. In fact, the more I learn, the more I realise what happy bed partners these two doctrines make. I’m sorry but please, show me otherwise if you can.

In my own experience, if you put an unharmonious group of people to an essential joint task you get staggering results. Perhaps we should all put down our weapons, religious and political doctrines, fashionable allegiances and outdated factional thinking and instead all put our minds to saving and protecting our home. After all, that’s what we would do on a local level in a crisis.

My final thought is this: Our house is burning down and everyone is fighting too hard about who’s in charge, who owns what and who is right. We’re all going to burn because we’re too busy acting like children. We just don’t have the luxury of time to argue any more.

Don’t shoot the messenger but Jamiroquai was right way back in 1993 : Image

NB. I don’t actually like my outdated metaphor as it is the children who are stepping up in these difficult times and putting their parents, the so-called adults, the ones in charge, to shame. Of course, we have to overcome the most simplistic divide of all in this instance – the lack of respect that adults show children, many of whom are far more enlightened than their elders.

Severn Suzuki, aged 12, speaking at the UN Earth Summit in 1992      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZsDliXzyAY

Why haven’t we listened?

There is an emergency on planet earth, it’s their future, let’s grow up and act like children.

p.s. I have purposefully avoided naming any specific conflicts, if you don’t know what and where they are then you are fortunate to have lived in blissful ignorance under a stone all your life. Futility breaks my heart – do you have room for a small one?