Archive for the ‘Pondering’ Category

Woody Harrelson on feeling like an alien and other wise ponderings . . .

It’s apparently from a 2003 film named Go Further that curiously slipped my I must watch all films that have a green message radar.  Anyway, I came across it on Facebook via Occupy Love and was so awestruck I thought I’d share it.  Appropriate for Earth Day methinks.

I sometimes feel like an alien creature
for which there is no earthly explanation
Sure I have human form
walking erect and opposing digits,
but my mind is upside down.
I feel like a run-on sentence
in a punctuation crazy world.
And I see the world around me
like a mad collective dream.
An endless stream of people
move like ants from the freeway
cell phones, pc’s, and digital displays
“In Money We Trust,”
we’ll find happiness
the prevailing attitude;
like a genetically modified irradiated Big Mac
is somehow symbolic of food.
Morality is legislated
prisons over-populated
religion is incorporated
the profit-motive has permeated all activity
we pay our government to let us park on the street
And war is the biggest money-maker of all
we all know missile envy only comes from being small.
Politicians and prostitutes
are comfortable together
I wonder if they talk about the strange change in the weather.
This government was founded by, of, and for the people
but everybody feels it
like a giant open sore
they don’t represent us anymore
And blaming the President for the country’s woes
is like yelling at a puppet
for the way it sings
Who’s the man behind the curtain pulling the strings?
A billion people sitting watching their TV
in the room that they call living
but as for me
I see living as loving
and since there is no loving room
I sit on the grass under a tree
dreaming of the way things used to be
Pre-Industrial Revolution
which of course is before the rivers and oceans,
and skies were polluted
before Parkinson’s, and mad cows
and all the convoluted cacophony of bad ideas
like skyscrapers, and tree paper, and earth rapers
like Monsanto and Dupont had their way
as they continue to today.
This was Pre-us
back when the buffalo roamed
and the Indian’s home
was the forest, and God was nature
and heaven was here and now
Can you imagine clean water, food, and air
living in community with animals and people who care?
Do you dare to feel responsible for every dollar you lay down
are you going to make the rich man richer
or are you going to stand your ground
You say you want a revolution
a communal evolution
to be a part of the solution
maybe I’ll be seeing you around.

Woody Harrelson


Three years ago today: Sophie Lancaster RIP

Some thoughts to leave you with – in the wise words of the lovely Dalai Lama . . .

Despite the tremendous progress in material conditions the world over, suffering remains. The afflictions such as greed, anger, hatred and envy that underpinned much of our misery thousands of years ago continue to do so even today. Unless there is a radical change in human nature within a rapid period of time, these a…fflictions will plague us for many centuries to come.

The most important benefit of patience consists in the way it acts as a powerful antidote to the affliction of anger – the greatest threat to our inner peace, and therefore our happiness. The mind, or spirit, is not physical, it cannot be touched or harmed directly. Only negative thoughts and emotions can harm it. Therefore, only the corresponding positive quality can protect it.

A mind committed to compassion is like an overflowing reservoir – a constant source of energy, determination and kindness. This mind can also be likened to a seed; when cultivated, it gives rise to many other qualities, such as forgiveness, tolerance, inner strength, and the confidence to overcome fear and insecurity.

Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama’s Current Facebook Status . . .

Just as we should cultivate more gentle and peaceful relations with our fellow human beings, we should also extend that same kind of attitude towards the natural environment. Morally speaking, we should be concerned for our whole environment.

Who can argue with that?

A Budget Response by the People’s Bloated Popular Front of Jaded Public Sector Workers Party

First of all, can I just say that I was highly, HIGHLY jubilated by Harriet Harman’s thirty minute rant at the coalition.  She tore into Osborne and roared with venom at the Lib Dems.  Call her a hypocrite but they deserved it.  Absolutely they did.

In all honesty, I’m not sure what to think about this hyped-up  “unavoidable” “Bloodbath Budget” that we’ve all been dreading.  Some are saying that it wasn’t as bad as we were led to believe.  Well I reckon all those ominous warnings were just a pyschological spin excercise anyway – you know, make us think it’s going to be really, really terrible, then when it’s out, and it is terrible, it won’t seem quite so terrible because we all thought it was going to be much, much more terrible.

Anyhoo, terrible it was ever thus and here are some thoughts from the PBPFJPSW party.

I couldn’t help noticing that the BBC appeared to be, on the day,  seeking reactions mainly from the small business community who were smiling smugly.  I’m happy for them.  Small businesses are important and I’d rather support the small independents than the huge monopolisers.  Big business types (the aforementioned monopolisers and such-like) will be sitting safe with their tax havens secure and well able to absorb any teeny, tiny inconsequential taxey things that they might have to endure.  I’m happy for them too because I’m told it’s the fat cats who create the wealth which they then redistribute amongst the . . .  erm . . . oh, themselves.   And there will be high fives and huge sighs from the bankers because they’ve been let off very lightly indeed, bank levy or not.  I’m not happy for them.

The Mail is claiming that Middle England has been clobbered the most but just who is this Middle England?  Well apparently, it’s folk who spend larger amounts of money than poorer folk on non-essential items such as white goods and conservatories and the like, thus being more affected by the rise in VAT.  According to the loony logic of the Mail, the VAT rise isn’t as unfair on poorer folk because poorer folk only spend their money on food, children’s clothing and other essentials that aren’t taxed anyway.  Oh?  Well tell me then – when you have a low income with a large family and your freezer packs in, what do you do?  And when your teenage daughter refuses to share a bed with her younger brother and sister any longer and demands her own bed, what do you do?  Lower paid workers need stuff  sometimes too.  Teenage kids from poorer families need clothes too and when it comes to clothing retailers, as parents will know too well, kids stop being kids at the age of 12 to 13 thus the ending of VAT free clothing for kids.

Well anyway, I’m sure people earning over £40,000 will cope without their tax credits at least so Middle England isn’t such a victim.  Oh, but if you’re a Middle Englander who is also a public sector worker and you lose your job, then you will be affected, badly.  It’ll be the public sector job losses (more on that later involving yours truly) that will really start to rock the boat, not least the actual services that they provide.  The job losses will have multi-level knock-on effects and the coalition seems to be the only group of people that are unable to forsee the unintended consequences, one of which being that vital services will be harmed, something which will impact all of us as users, as will the rise in benefit claims.

And while we’re talking about the bloated public sector and the bashing thereof, let’s just think about those pensions that the private sector and business community are getting their knickers all in a twist about.  Those gold-plated pensions that are making our teachers and nurses and youth workers fabulously wealthy actually aren’t all that super-fantastic, trust me, not among the front-line workers anyway.  Personally speaking, and not without some indignance I might add, like most other workers, an almighty chunk of my wage is removed every month and paid towards NI, income tax and pension so, all-in-all, those bloated public sector workers who are just rolling in money, are making a healthy contribution to the public purse and – to – their – own – pensions – thank – you – very – much.

For sure, I accept that, when times are tough, some things have to go, but it would be nice if the bloated right-wing media and the bloated coalition cabinet of bloated multi-millionaires would stop blaming the not-really bloated public sector for the collosal crisis that the bloated bankers are overwhelmingly responsible for.  Just because there are bloated fat cats in the private sector who are too stingy to contribute to their workers pensions, it doesn’t mean public sector pensions are an evil and almighty sin.  They’re not.  They’re just part of a pay deal to entice and incentivise good workers.  The contribution that the government makes towards public sector pensions is not a free handout.  It is a part of their wage which is deferred until retirement so let’s have less of this public sector bashing and myth-spreading by the jealous private sector bosses because they too will eventually feel the impact of the cuts.  Here endeth that particular rant.

Freezing Child benefit for two years is another attack on lower paid people and what with the VAT increase, a freeze on child benefit will be very hard felt by the lower paid and the token tax relief thingy they’ve sprinkled on will go pretty much unnoticed.

Cutting disability living allowance.  Harsh one, that.  We can all become complacent about our health and take it for granted that serious illness will never strike us but if and when it does, it’s so easy to spiral downwards and closer to poverty.  Sure there are those that blag their sickness but there are genuine cases – people who suffer from chronic or long-term illnesses – and to make them undergo repeated medical assessments is a Very Bad Policy Indeed.  It’s traumatic, undignified and downright bloody cruel.  It could make their condition worse and compromise their quality of life which may already be poor and deteriorating.

The Green issue got barely a mention.  It was probably the least green budget we’ve had for years and I think we can safely assume that a low carbon economy is a dream, for the duration of this parliament anyway.

To sum up, so much for sharing the pain.  This was a typical Tory budget that Thatcher would be envious of and the Lib Dems can hang their heads in shame.

Oh, one last thing . . . can those people who are screaming at the government to end the international aid please . . . . shut up!

Happy 101 Sweet Friends – a meme moment

The delightfully gruff PaddyK has tagged me and right proper chuffed is how I’m feeling about it.  I mean Paddy is one of my very top favourite writers and his dry wit and pragmatic wisdom has me laughing out loud and spluttering into my coffee many-a-time.  So to be tagged by such a force can only be interpreted as a compliment and I thank the good and lovely man for that.  My only problem is that I have to tag ten blogging friends too but I don’t actually have ten friends who blog regularly so five will have to do.

What you do:  List 10 things that make your day and then give this award to ten (five) bloggers.  So here goes:

Ten things that make my day (or made my day once):

1. Hearing an old favourite song played on the radio when I’m alone in the car and it’s played early on enough in my journey so that I get to hear it in its entirety before I get to where I’m going and I don’t have to sit in my car pretending to chat on the phone or look for something till it finishes.

2.  An act of kindness.  As touchy-feely as it sounds, I mean it.  For me it’s the little things in life that uplift, inspire and quite simply make the world seem better.

3.  Hearing me laddie play a piece of guitar music perfectly after weeks of struggling with it.

4.  Watching me laddie score a try at rugby.  His position is hooker and he’s great at that but he rarely scores a try so when he does, my mad  inner-madwoman is usually released and I can be seen jumping,  yelling and whooping on the sidelines like a, erm, mad madwoman.

5.   Morning cup of coffee brought to me while I snooze in bed.  I get this treatment every Saturday and it’s often the best part of my day.  Usually goes pear-shaped from then on due to boring stuff such as laundry, cleaning, mopping, shopping and squabbling kids then picks up again in the evening, which brings me nicely to my number 6.

6.  A glass of white wine, a bowl of green olives and my feet up while hubby cooks dinner.  Another regular Saturday treat.

7.  Seeing three deer jump out of the woods and run across our path right in front of us.  This happened last weekend when we were hiking on Great Gable in the Lake District.  It was one of those heart-stopping moments and it definitely made my day.

8.  My middle daughter getting in from school and telling me all about her day – word for word.  Never a dull moment for this girlie.  Her life is full of sunshine because that’s just the way she is and I love listening to her.  Sometimes I’m busy and I only half listen but that’s my loss.

9.  Coming home from work to a clean and tidy house.  This is a rarity.  Every now and then one of my girls has a rare attack of domesticity and gets stuck into the dishes and the dirt.  Only the women will understand just how wonderful it feels to come back to a tidy home.

10.  Getting a Green MP in Westminster at long last.

There you go.  And the five friends that I am tagging are my other favourite bloggers.  Feel free not to take part:

The romantic Mysoul whose makes me think and writes beautiful poetry and prose.  Her blog is a haven.

The wise and witty Zhisou who is very clever with words.  He makes everything simple.

The lovely Helen who has a warm compassion for humanity.  She’s also a published poet.

The sweet and loyal Jose who has encouraged and supported my blog since I began writing here.

The unassuming and tolerant JimJay from The Daily (Maybe) whose blog has been a great source for Green party information and interesting links.  As a dedicated Green party member I suspect he will be too busy to take part in this.  Fair enough.

Of Universes and Cute Professors

I’ve really been enjoying the BBC2 programme Wonders of the Solar System.  It’s presented by the rather cute Professor Brian Cox and although I don’t understand a word of the physics, he makes it very sexy and interesting.  He explores how the laws of physics carved natural wonders across our solar system.  The Beeb describes the series as spellbinding and it really is.

Seriously, the universe, black holes, dark matter and all that stuff, it thoroughly fascinates me.  I don’t get the physics behind it all but I am utterly fascinated just the same.

My friend’s son is doing a PhD in Solar Physics and I once asked him just how much one can one know about the sun.  I mean what is there in that great big lump of burning gas that one could study to PhD levels.  The look in his eyes told me that I’d asked a dumb question and no wonder I failed my O level.

I did Physics O level at school and I was rubbish.  Truly rubbish. I wanted to drop it and I made an official request to the year Head seeking permission to do just that.  She saw my request and made me take an IQ test before making her decision. Then she told me that my IQ score told her that I was capable of doing A level Physics and so no, I couldn’t drop it.  I told my Physics teacher what she said and he said well she doesn’t teach you Physics does she.  See, even he agreed that I was rubbish.  He was a great teacher, one of my favourites but I was never able to please him in the old Physics lab.

I sat the O level and just as we both expected,  I was humiliated.  I got a derisible U. In case you don’t know, U stands for Ungraded.  It doesn’t get lower than that.  Science just wasn’t my bag.  I was the same in Chemistry.  All those bloody equations.  That said,  I do remember most of the periodic table which sometimes comes in useful at work.  I was quite good at Biology too which is just as well given my chosen career path.  But anyway, I was made to sit through a traumatisingly cruel Physics exam and the only thing I learned was that IQ scores are no measure of academic ability.

As for that universe out there, I remain completely and mind-bogglingly fascinated . . . and in utter awe and on that note, I’m off to put my feet up and get ready for tonight’s episode.