26 August 2008

Television, The Drug of the Nation

One nation under god has turned into
one nation under the influence of one drug

    Television, the drug of the nation
    Breeding ignorance and feeding radiation

T.V., it satellite links
our united states of unconsciousness
apathetic therapeutic and extremely addictive
the methadone metronome pumping out
150 channels 24 hours a day
you can flip through all of them
and still there's nothing worth watching
T.V. is the reason why less than ten percent
of our nation reads books daily
why most people think Central America means Kansas
socialism means unamerican
and apartheid is a new headache remedy
absorbed in its world it's so hard to find us
it shapes our mind the most
maybe the mother of our nation
should remind us that we're sitting too close to...

    Television, the drug of the nation
    Breeding ignorance and feeding radiation

T.V. is the stomping ground
for political candidates
where bears in the woods
are chased by grecian formula'd bald eagles
T.V. is mechanized politic's
remote control over the masses
co-sponsored by enironmentally safe gases
watch for the PBS special
it's the perpetuation of the two-party system
where image takes precedence over wisdom
where sound bite politics are served
to the fastfood culture
where straight teeth in your mouth
are more important than the words
that come out of it
race baiting is the way to get elected
Willie Horton or will he not get elected on...

    Televison, the drug of the nation
    Breeding ignorance and feeding radiation

T.V., is it the reflector or the director
does it imitate us or do we imitate it
because a child watches 1500 murders
before he's twelve years old
and we wonder how we've created
a Jason generation that learns to laugh
rather than abhor the horror
T.V. is the place where armchair generals
and quarterbacks can experience first hand
the excitement of video warfare
as the themesong is sung in the background
sugar sweet sitcoms that leave us with
a bad actor taste while pop stars metamorphosize
into soda pop stars you saw the video
you heard the soundtrack
well now go buy the soft drink
well, the only cola that I support
is a union C.O.L.A. (cost of living allowance) on...

    Television, the drug of the nation
    Breeding ignorance and feeding radiation

Back again, "new and improved"
we return to our irregularly programmed schedule
hidden cleverly between heavy breasted
beer and car commmercials
where oxymoronic language like
"virtually spotless" "fresh frozen"
light yet filling" and
"military intelligence" have become standard
T.V. is the place where phrases are redefined
like "recession" to "necessary downturn"
"crude oil" on a beach to "mousse"
"civilian death" to "collateral damages"
and being killed by your own army
is now called "friendly fire"
T.V. is the place where the pursuit of
happiness has become the pursuit of trivia
where toothpaste and cars
have become sex objects
where imagination is sucked out of children
by a cathode ray nipple
T.V. is the only wet nurse
that would create a cripple

    Television, the drug of the nation
    Breeding ignorance and feeding radiation

by Disposable Heroes of Hiphorisy - Michael Franti, 1991

21 August 2008

Yes, Atheist Prime Minister?

An article in the British newspaper 'The Guardian' (21 Aug 2008) caught my attention entitled:

'The rise of Miliband brings at last the prospect of an atheist prime minister' here are the first three paragraphs:

"When Labour cabinet members were asked about their religious allegiances last December, following Tony Blair's official conversion to Roman Catholicism, it turned out that more than half of them are not believers. The least equivocal about their atheism were the health secretary, Alan Johnson, and foreign secretary David Miliband.

The fact that Miliband is an atheist is a matter of special interest given the likelihood that he may one day, and perhaps soon, occupy No 10. In our present uncomfortable climate of quarrels between pushy religionists and resisting secularists - or attack-dog secularists and defensive religionists: which side you are on determines how you see it - there are many reasons why it would be a great advantage to everyone to have an atheist prime minister.

Atheist leaders are not going to think they are getting messages from Beyond telling them to go to war. They will not cloak themselves in supernaturalistic justifications, as Blair came perilously close to doing when interviewed about the decision to invade Iraq." [You can read the rest of the article here.]

Now why doesn't that make me feel any better? It's great that these politicians won't use 'god' to try to fool the people, but they will continue to fool the people without invoking imaginary beings. Which is worse?

The ones that care a jiffy about the people - those brave enough to stand up to the elite gangsters, are shot down without a bat of an eyelid. I don't think Obama, McCain, Clinton, Brown (Miliband), Putin, Kharzai and the rest will make a difference. They have no intentions of changing things. How can they? Take a short walk through recent history.

No amount of posturing from Obama will make it other than what it is. He's a front for the mob. He's there to show the world how much America has moved away from just being a country which got fat off the backs of inhumane suffering and oppression. Presenting this Black man as a saviour allows people to be distracted as the current incoherent, bumbling front man is wheeled away out of sight and the mob agenda is moved to the next level.

People are sheep, in the main, and therefore can be controlled and fed poor quality fodder - you can see that all around you.

No, my friend, we are truly in the Dark Ages and we may not realise it with these creeping impositions on our lives.
The smokescreen of being atheist doesn't impress me one iota because none of the mob are 'believers' - they know the power of the supernatural/religion, how much it is a powerful detractor and have used it to their best advantage. We have been and are being tricked. Some have fallen for it and some haven't.

Have you fallen for it? What do you think?

18 August 2008

The Power of the Written Word

Words, even written words, can be so powerful and have the ability to profoundly affect how one feels. I often read blogs which make me laugh or feel a little sad but rarely do I read posts which do both those things and make me cry.
Dan Leone is a father of three children who does not believe in god/gods and his father is ill. I urge you to click on the link to his post here:
Good Company is More Important Than Good Wine.
I don't know this man, have never met him and yet his words have stayed with me. They may do the same for you.

14 August 2008

The Gender Wars

This is a touchy subject for me and possibly some of you reading this post but I wanted to highlight something that has been on my mind for a while. Women hating men and men hating women.

Why have we allowed ourselves to get into gender wars? How did that happen?

I am aware and fully understand that the majority of the atrocities committed in this world in the past and right up until this moment are committed by some men. I understand that some women have had truly horrific experiences at the hands of men.

But there appears to be whole industries geared towards cultivating fear among races, geographical areas (uptown against downtown), young and old, disabled and able-bodied, gay and straight and men against women. We allow it to happen. We buy into these stereotypes. You can see the reality programmes (the format hasn't changed since I last watched television I've been told) and their focus is on how can the woman become less like her real self in order to nab the guy. The grooming to become a racy version of a Stepford Wife does women no justice at all and none either to men. It is insulting and yet we are encouraged to be something that is unreal and we women are surprised that the men are not versions of an imagined 'super hunk' who has just fallen out of a crappy romantic novel.

We have all been set up.

We raise our children to 'act like a boy' or 'act like a girl' - these gender roles are identified and instilled from the breast. Boys are treated differently and allowed to be rough and tough whilst a girl should be feminine and is cute when she moans about getting her hands dirty. We, women play a part in this. As difficult as it is we may need to look within at how we talk about errant partners whilst the children are hearing. Children pick up the negatives and will act out accordingly, even into the relationships they have as adults.

Let me ask you a few questions: If someone of another 'race' exhibits negative behaviours and attitudes towards me, or even causes me physical injury, does that mean all people who belong to that particular group will act in the same way or are even predisposed en masse to act the same? Should I always be on my guard when I encounter 'those types of people' and ensure any contact they have with me is limited and only of the superficial kind? Is that how I should live my life? Substitute gender for race.
I hear it so many times: 'What do you expect, he's a man!' or 'She's a woman - typical!' and other not-so-smart comments designed to provide reasons why a particular person has acted in a particular way but which then includes all men/women within the same category in one fell swoop. I've even said it myself in the past - I am speaking from my own experiences.

The saddest part of it all is that most people are actually nice people - as in, Joe and Joan Bloggs are not too dissimilar to you or I trying to make our way through this sometimes confusing world. We are actually in the majority.
Women are the ones who raise the future generations and I would like to start there. Men have a responsibility too to make those changes necessary for all humans to have a more progressive and productive life.
If you are in a relationship it is important to forget the gender roles and just allow and enable each other to be whoever you are and also any children to grow in a healthy manner.
Don't think I'm knocking men for women or vice versa - I'm just suggesting we pause the next time we say something negative about someone - anyone - due to their gender.
Just my thoughts. What do you think?

11 August 2008

Head In The Sand

(click cartoon to expand)

09 August 2008

One Olympic Bore

Is it just me? I'm so not interested in the Olympic Games. Not the fact that it is in Beijing, nothing to do with the politics of China nor the fact that the rest of the world seems peeved about China for one reason or another...but, frankly, I find the whole spectacle quite boring.

The powers that be want you to be hooked on every commentary, every sporting event and I couldn't give too hoots. Obviously our eyes are meant to be focused firmly on the event or the Soviet Union may not have chosen such an opportune time to 'deal with' Georgia nor John Edwards to 'come clean' about his alleged extra-marital affair. Your eyes and ears are meant to be elsewhere. That's how much politicians have mastered the art of social psychology and manipulation - they know what will distract you - and it works!

I think my lack of interest is partly due to not watching television anymore. I don't care to total the number of hours I have wasted sat in front of the box - although that is not to say all those hours were wasted, just that the majority were. What we should remember is companies want you to buy: whether their products or ideas they are all on a sell. I don't want to be told how wonderful these athletes are for spending years training to compete against the best in the world - big deal! And so what? I don't want to watch big splashy adverts from McDonald's or Nike or some other multinational corporation who has spent millions of dollars securing their position to push their products at the masses watching the games. I don't care who has taken performance enhancing drugs, had a tantrum, wins a medal or been injured. Makes no difference to me whatsoever.

No, I would rather be spending my time with family and friends, playing with my doggies, chatting to my neighbours, going for a long brisk walk, updating my blog, reading, preparing a lovely meal and just cogitating for the sake of it on the wonders and ridiculousness of the world. I may even create a piece of art work or start my herb garden or paint the side of the house.I could learn the basics of another language, teach myself the basics of Dreamweaver and I could do all of this in the two weeks odd and have bags of time to spare to do the normal everyday things that one has to do.

Would you trade your time glued to the box for how many weeks? The next time you sit in front of the television with all your provisions ready for the main event, think about this: Is this how you would prefer to spend your precious time? Just my thoughts.

06 August 2008

The British Monarchy & Democracy

The British Royal family have taken the unprecedented step of releasing a statement to deny that Prince Philip has prostate cancer. They view the reporting of this matter as a serious breach of privacy. The newspapers are all agog and are waxing lyrically about prostate cancer, when are men likely to suffer from it and blah, blah, blah.
They fail, yet again, to ask a serious question:
Why the hell are we still paying for these people to live in the lap of luxury? How is it possible that in a so-called democratic society we, the British taxpayers, are still paying for these people to live high off the hog with barely a murmur from the 'royal subjects'/masses as the cost of living increases daily for the 'common person'?
Why? How did this happen?
Well, a long time ago there were fewer people living in the area now known as Britain. The people who raped and pillaged grew stronger and the weaker people worked the land and received little or no money at all for their extremely hard labour. The ones who raped and pillaged found they needed to control the land and could band together and give each other titles (a lot like the Mafia and other gangs) - so someone became King, Prince, Duke, etc. They each tried to double-cross each other and murder friends and family who stood in the way of them making money or keeping hold of their ill-gotten gains (again very Mafia-like).
The minions had to be controlled and it helped that along the way a profitable means was found of subduing the people and this is where religion played a vital role and various versions of texts came into play - one of many versions of The Bible! 'You will get your reward in heaven, folks!' And the minions watched as the people in the castles held lavish banquets as their lackeys carried out unspeakable cruelty against the common folk.
People were taught that failure to bow and scrape to these thugs meant a painful, often torturous death. (Forgive me for simplifying a very long and complex period in British history, but you get my point?)
And then we swing around to the present day - we are supposed to bow and scrape to them whilst they live fabulous lifestyles and own some of the most expensive real estate in the world. Their homes have priceless masterpieces of artwork adorning their walls and we are not allowed to enter without permission because although we pay for it all it doesn't actually belong to us. We are the minions, remember?
But, I hear someone cry, what about all the tourist money they bring into the country? Let me answer a question by asking a question: How many people visit the UK specifically because they want to meet the Queen? Very few. People will visit the UK regardless of whether a monarchy exists. People like history, especially those from other places who have ancestors who left the British Isles for a better life elsewhere. In any case that line of argument is weak - to require the British taxpayer to continually fork out millions each year to keep others in a glorified state of opulence and a position of power is wrong on any level.
To compound the problem the Queen is the head of the Church of England and this is a classic illustration of church and state working hand in hand - they need each other to exert pressure on the masses to conform to the imposed societal norms, which incidentally benefit those at the top of the tree. If you don't know how the Church of England came into being then please click here for a Wikipedia article.

You will notice that the media seems to prop up this unfair system and makes a lot of money from coverage of the Royal Family and does its best to curtail and muffle any scandals which may make Joe and Joan Bloggs wonder why they are paying to be ruled over by these people. What's worse we have the next generation waiting in the wings to take over and continue the dynasty! This is supposed to be the 21st century, People! It is incredible that we are where we are.
Regardless of your nationality does it seem morally right to be ruled by non-elected people? That their children will be automatically placed in the same position of power and will rule over you at a time appointed by them, not you?
I'm for being as fair as possible in this dog-eat-dog world and this just seems neither fair nor reasonable to me. What do you think?

01 August 2008

Inter-racial Relationships

Does race matter to you? I ask that question as since I am temporarily in the US at the moment I have noticed just how polarised the various racial groups are. It would appear that people are frowned upon if they are in a relationship with someone of another race. 

I am interested in those people who have stepped outside of the norms of their community and decided to have a relationship with someone who is racially different (that has to be an oxymoron, doesn't it?) from themselves. Also there are those people who would rather die than have anything to do with anyone other than in their own racial grouping. You know those who would banish their sons and daughters if they even dreamt of 'involving yourself with those people'.

Now I am not American. I probably don't understand the dynamics and the history of racial division in this country. I probably will never understand it as my parents came from the Caribbean and then moved to England, so my perspective is different. But my personal view is that divisions are stupid and non-productive. It is important for us to recognise that in the whole scheme of things we are homo sapiens. Any categorisation into racial groups is meaningless.

Of course, there are those that have benefited from an unfair advantage created by their ancestors. Of course, life is unfair and will always be so, but does that mean we should cut off certain people who we perceive to be different from us? Does it mean we should be sheep-like and follow what our parents tell us to do because their parents did the same?

Young people are getting smart. They have access to information in seconds that would have taken weeks if not months to acquire. Internet technology, web-cams, multi-tasking mobile phones have revolutionised the way people communicate across the globe. That in itself should tell you that times they are a-changing. Things are different. Young people are more likely to have friends from other racial groups than say 40- 50 years ago. That helps to break down barriers. Yet, in the USA, you watch and notice how many people still live in polarised ghettos whether they be white, black or anything else.

So do you believe that you should only have relationships within your racial group to preserve 'our identity'?

I'm just sharing my opinions on what I see and would be glad if you could let me know what you think on this matter.