Tag Archives: fashion

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)

Unexpected Guests

Nowadays most people are accompanied by everyone they have ever known, at all times.

Folk carry around their entire lives 24/7.

Visitors bring with them not only themselves and their own personal stress but also, upon their phone and uninvited, their; work, family, friends, colleagues, enemies, social networks, hobbies, media, diet, exercise regime, shopping, entire music collection, entire film collection and all the photos they have ever taken. Am I alone in thinking this is too much? Bizarre even?

What happened to popping round for a cuppa and a chat? What happened to turning up with a bottle for a fun evening? What happened to completing a sentence without being bloody interrupted???

I love an impromptu visitor, an unplanned gathering, an unexpected night out. I really don’t love the fact that in order to enjoy social interaction nowadays, I have to take on a person’s entire world every time I want to spend time with that individual.

Quality one to one interaction is rare now, I miss it and yearn for it. I love the endless possibilities and facilitation that technology brings but I don’t think I’ll ever get used to interacting with a room full of people each plugged into a world full of people.

In that, now common, scenario, I find my train of thought obliterated into splinter cells of thoughtlets. I sometimes feel as if I am no longer either coming or going, but rather scrabbling around blindly for the important morsels in amongst the onslaught of information and tirade of drivel.

I may seem old fashioned, even archaic, but the thoughts, ideas, observations, plans and dreams that come from your head and your heart are so much more interesting, intriguing and fulfilling than trite regurgitated.

I’d really love it, if occasionally, folk visited alone and undistracted. That’s all.

‘Suit’ably impressed? Books n covers…

Nightmare Logic

Image

I love this proverb, and it’s personal.

We’re told as children that a good first impression is crucial, that is, right alongside the converse warning never to judge a book by it’s cover. Why then is it that we all head off into adulthood judging left right and centre based entirely on the threads or uniform an individual chooses to rock?

My experiences have demonstrated to me that, in the vast majority of cases, con artists, blaggers and devious sorts dress extremely well and decent folk focus on more important things. Controversial I know, and I apologise to those decent hardworking folk that are still chained to, or indeed choose, the suit and tie or female equivalent, but hear me out….

Simplistically speaking: Suits run organisations such as banks & financial institutions, dictatorships & cartels – Casuals run organisations such as farms & charities, ethical businesses & support networks.

Below…

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Every Penny Counts and WE hold the purse strings

There is much conjecture, distress and disharmony surrounding all sorts of current issues that affect us all as individuals and as a species. If we all piped down for a moment, counted our pennies and checked to whom we are giving each one, we could actually effect some pretty massive change.

I have recently done another big shake up of where our money goes and, whilst change is never easy… ethical, organic, quality local and fair trade certainly taste good! There is also a very indulgent satisfaction when you realise that you haven’t just handed over more roulette money to some eejit in the Caymans, in fact you know the guy… and how he and his family choose to spend their money….which is also local…..and so it goes round. I live in an area where this principle still maintains. The local town is a really happy, vibrant, fair and a wonderful example of how a bit of consideration goes a very long way….for generations. Every body is doin’ alright.

These are my tips for change or adjustment;

Buy local and organic where possible….. but try a little harder to make it possible. Imported food should be organic, fair trade or both. Don’t be sucked in by cheap supermarket crap, it costs a lot more in the long run…..but most importantly, the money doesn’t remain in the local area for local people. These little steps protect us from companies touting unproven GM technologies, low quality nutrition and harmful chemicals. The positive side effects are the increased quality of life due to the sustainability of the local economy.

Ethical, organic and fair trade clothing is an important step forward too…. one that is getting easier to source at reasonable prices. It’s not just fashionable – it’s sustainable.

Try and lower fossil fuel consumption as far as possible….. Do less miles in the car, convert your car to cleaner, renewable fuel, get a bike, switch to a renewable energy provider for your home, turn off unneeded lights, heating and electronic equipment. This can help re-balance things in favour of cleaner renewables and help in the fight against such idiocies as tar sands and pipelines and so forth. If we don’t want the Arctic dug up for oil then we need to remove the monetary promise.

Credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images

No demand = No money = No Destruction

Think about all the different paper you use and make sure it is from sustainable sources; writing paper, printer paper, kids drawing pads, kitchen towel, loo paper, pads for lists etc. This helps protect the rainforest – the lungs of the planet, from being deforested at an alarming rate causing massive habitat destruction and loss of potentially lifesaving medicines as yet undiscovered…not to mention all the other vast and irreversible side effects.

We need to remove the financial incentive from these companies who are, let’s face it, committing ecocide (or conspiring to, in the future) or profiting from the earth’s resources that belong to every one of us and every living thing on the planet. It may not seem this way yet, in amongst daily life, but if we don’t take matters into our own hands en masse, at some point in the not too distant future, we will find ourselves being held to ransom over dwindling resources controlled by the wealthy few. A bit like how it is now but with far more essential and precious resources like clean freshwater and healthy soil.

The only way to insure or protect against this is to take the power back.

Even if you are a skeptic, surely you can’t argue that a microscopic few rich feckers ripping the earth to pieces for profit isn’t the best plan for our collective home.

Please take a moment to think about where all your pennies go – it may surprise you how few people actually own all the many brands and companies that you freely hand over all your hard earned cash to. Look into where your earnings really go – is it Gerald at the local shop and his family? or Tesco? Is it the Patels restaurant on the high street? Or Asda meal deal? Is it seasonal groceries grown in the local region? Or imported, non-organic, out-of-season goods from the other side of the planet?

The simple fact is that every vote you make with the contents of your bank account directly contributes to the issues and concerns we are facing as a species.

Just as in nature, all beings are interconnected.

We as individuals, en masse, really do have the power at our fingertips for the first time in history. Let’s use it eh?!

Put yer money where yer mouth is   …as they say round here.  We can all improve… and action will improve all our lives and those of future generations. Our families.

Credit: http://www.suvir.com/farm.html

Fairtrade

Credit: Unknown

Needs Wants Requires Desires

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Credit: Nightmare Logic

 

I’ve been skint. I spent nigh on a year and a half living off the land almost entirely; wild brown trout, dandelion leaves, watercress, venison, brambles and blaeberries….. it was a sparse old place for that too – open hill at 1000ft. It taught me that I could survive on what nature provides, with good use of the brain and a healthy dose of cunning and guile…but most importantly, it assured me that I could live on very little money, if life threw apples at my head, contrary to all the teaching, training and brainwashing I had received previously.      Invaluable. I have also spent time in a number of “developing” countries and been humbled by the sheer ingenuity of living, and in many cases, basic survival.

You can imagine my disbelief when, watching television (a rare occasion) one evening, I stumbled across a documentary on food banks in this country and how desperately poor and hungry everyone is. This in itself is not the issue. I mean, it is a big concern but it is not my chagrin from this particular broadcast. Many people, for all sorts of reasons in and out of their control, get in a muddle – I did during the worst of my chronic Lyme, hence the foraging & hunting life. It is fantastic that there are such services, offering somewhere to turn for those most in need.

However, there was a woman being profiled on this programme who was dressed immaculately in valuable clothes with the full set of gold jewellery plus extras. I’m not sure if the irony was intended but they proceeded to let her whinge on and on about how poor and deprived she was and how she “can’t afford to feed her children”…..whilst standing in front of the largest television I have ever seen. She was in her “dining room”, leaning on a, not cheap, large dining table and chair set, surrounded by trinkets, vases and designer tat. As a trader, I did a rough sum in my head and she could have fed her children for a wee while on the resale value of her ‘stuff’. As the camera poignantly followed her ‘nearly-new, immaculate condition’, people-carrier, I genuinely questioned for a moment whether this was a new dark comedy as opposed to a bona fide documentary.

This may be harsh, and who am I to judge really, I haven’t walked a mile in her shoes but I just felt she was taking the piss. Pure and simple. I understand sentimentality with possessions, but it’s not as if her late father had whittled the tv from the biggest tree in his garden or anything! Even if you allow her the jewellery on personal reasons, it doesn’t excuse most of what I saw. Priorities girl!

I felt ashamed watching this farce. I felt that this perfectly fit and healthy woman had decided that she had found an easy option in order to not lose all her pretty but pointless stuff. It seemed that for her, it was quite embarrassing to go to a food bank…..but not as bad as losing her image and desire-related stuff. Keeping up appearances, or with the Jones, in place of providing the important fundamentals to your children is wacko. Maybe it wasn’t a conscious choice and maybe she isn’t equipped but that isn’t an excuse for a situation to languish.

I understand pride but at what point do we give people a little harsh but fair constructive criticism, stop treating with kid gloves and offer a heavy dose of reality. To teach someone the skills they require to rely on themselves and support a family when they can and should, may make them feel uncomfortable for a short while but the overwhelmingly positive benefits would spread like ripples. There is a real crisis in certain parts of the country and misplaced priorities are quite a lot to blame for that. Apparently there are kids in abject poverty and yet it is rare, even in the most deprived areas, to see one without a phone, newish trainers and trendy gear (sweeping generalisation I know…but then is it really that sweeping?) I feel that people with similar circumstances to this woman I’ve mentioned, ie. not quite living in reality, should be identified and kindly educated. They are taking food and depriving someone in real need. We seriously need to get our priorities straight, en masse, and fast.

Wants and Needs are funny things.

Through my experiences, I’ve learned that I need water, food, shelter, warmth and someone to have a laugh with. I think I pretty much need a dog now too, there is a reason that humans have had them by their sides for so long. I know folk, though, who are so busy needing everything in the shop that they are forsaking their basic requirements. People with Ipads, new cars, flashy holidays, eating crap, ill-advised food to pay for shiny things. I know it’s a bore but you really are what you eat, thus if you eat crap or cheap, then so be it. Having said that, by the same rules, if you eat rich and expensive food all the time that is costly to body and wallet. Don’t say you weren’t warned. Try healthy, fresh and tantalisingly tasty – it works! *grinning*

We all spout so many proverbs and adages and stereotypes and quotes, and yet we never heed any of their wisdom.

English: Large amount of pennies

English: Large amount of pennies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves: folk sneer at small change…. I know that small change can make a big change, and my coppers collection (one pence and two pence pieces) has fed me on more than one occasion.

Put something away for the hard times: We are all paying the price for nobody heeding this shrewd advice. The bankers might be crooks but the folk who went along with it without a second thought were chancers. They helped gamble away our financial security with bad personal decisions and the whimsical priorities that go with perceived wealth. Spend spend spend…… whinge whinge whinge. It’s balance guys, if you have it all then you will inevitably have a period of scarcity to equalize.

and so on…

Where did this swathe of lacklustre, spoilt, un-empowered people rise from? One generation, that of my grandparents, is stalwart in the face of adversity, tough as old boots and self-sufficient as they come…. they can subsist on dry biscuits from 20 years ago, and positively thrive on a diet of reuse, recycle, make do and mend……and then suddenly along comes a generation that, literally, can’t function. Can’t cope, can’t manage, can’t fend for themselves.

Needs are basic; water, food, shelter, warmth…

Wants are not; soft drinks & hard liquor, takeaway food, tv & designer interiors, central heating…

Requires are important for modern life but not essential; money, mobile phone, internet, suitable clothing

…and Desires are purely indulgent. Long let them remain so – what is desirable about something you don’t serve time anticipating, dreaming about……and sometimes, never get. Often the desire has more value than the desired itself.

I’ve found that…   If I focus on my needs and much reduce my wants…… I can afford my requires and aim for my desires.

Interestingly though, many of my desires turn out to be related to meeting my needs; fresh air, walking, chopping carrying and stacking wood, lighting the fire, growing my food etc.

All of these allow me to spend more time with those I require and desire which is certainly a universal want but could really be accepted as a basic human need.

Beware the advertising hordes!

It is unclear to me why advertising is legal in public places.

Rationality

Rationality (Photo credit: Rob Meredith)

I appreciate that large revenues are generated but feel that the erosion of rational thought it induces is, comparatively, devastating….and, far more costly. I have a voice on this because I lived for a decade virtually devoid of unsolicited advertising and marketing and can categorically state that: it is playing with our minds folks. Due to the removed nature of my experience base, coupled obviously with part of a life spent in heavily bombarded urban spaces, I am able to maintain rational thought in the face of brain mashing wallet-sucking advertising gibber. I usually get as far as; “I’d love a sausage”, “you’ve never eaten meat in your life”, “Oh yeah course, I wonder what sparked…..oh!” looking at some glossy sell-fest foody catalogue. If that doesn’t convince you…

Life isn’t simple, simply coz most of us are exposed to that complete twaddle. You feel over-loaded, over-crowded and brain-addled…..because you are. I am using “you” because after four mind-muddling years, as of six months ago I am back in the land of no products and services. Whoop!

If someone was creating loads of very loud noise continuously in a public space, it would be a health risk, a public nuisance, probably illegal, “health & safety”….. big fuss: noise lowered or off completely. Due to the silent and subversive nature of massive shouty billboards, constantly changing gargantuan screens and other ghastly things of that ilk, it’s deemed perfectly acceptable. How can one really concentrate on anything sensible if one is constantly thinking about trainers and cars, deodorant, sunglasses, cars, food, shoes, food, cars……? I’m amazed most folk in the cities haven’t just descended into meltdown, tottering about bashing into things in their vain attempt to sift through all the crap in their brain to find what actually needs to be done that day. It is mind-numbing, literally.

I really do vote for advertising in public space to be removed from the ‘acceptable’ list. We can gather cash elsewhere, in fact, if our youth didn’t feel the seemingly instinctual desire to own the latest just-about-everything, and those that didn’t achieve this level of material gain, in a heartbeat, didn’t become depressed, then we’d probably free up so much cash from the NHS, police, social services and welfare that we wouldn’t need to trash our lovely towns and cities with unrealistic, misleading, grotesque and ridiculous promotional material. It’s down right cheeky.

Reclaim our brains, our shared space and our sanity! Can we? Please!

brains!

brains! (Photo credit: cloois)