Stating the bloody obvious.

The StratfordianI know it’s stating the bloody obvious but what with everything that’s going on in the world, not just at the moment but for the past few thousand years, it’s pretty obvious we are not a very nice bunch of atoms are we?

I mean, the way we go for the jugular when we want something so bad is pretty disgusting isn’t it. There’s no need to answer that because I know you agree with me.

And there’s the other strange thing. We know what we do. We’re perfectly aware of our awfulness to each other yet still we do it. It’s no secret that if we get hungry enough we will eat each other.

Look at the evidence.

It can be something as blatant as destroying the planet (more to come) as we go along. Or murdering people because we reckon they’re living where they shouldn’t be. Or don’t look like us. Or don’t worship the same gods. Or even…worship the same gods but not in the ‘right way’. Or on an individual and trite basis, we want that person’s watch because it’s not fair that we haven’t got one like it. Crazy eh? Madness. Let’s face it we are a pretty fucking awful lot.

I sometimes wonder if it’s a disease (dis -ease) that we have carried since birth for which there is no cure or it’s something that we will grow out of as in, evolving.

Whatever it is, it’s terrifying and something that has plagued us since we first appeared on the planet. The need to have more. The need to take from our neighbours what we don’t have. Jealousy. Envy. Whatever…

I suppose it’s the ‘evil’ that people have talked and written about for eons if we have to give it a name. And I think we do because it is something we all are aware of, and on the whole disapprove of,  but still take part in. Something as confusing and destructive as that, definitely needs an identifying mark.

What is total madness is the fact that it, ‘the evil’ is blatantly obvious. Although its capability to operate in darkness is well known, it can operate also in plain view for all to see.  We are aware of its tremendous destructive power yet at the same time know full well that if defeated, if conquered our lives would change drastically, dramatically for the better. We inherently know this to be a fact. It is in our hearts.

Throughout our history certain people have told us so. Jesus Christ, Ghandi, Buddha etc, etc they have all told us so. They have all stated the obvious.

They all said in their own ways…’pack it in’, ‘behave yourselves’, ‘stop it’, ‘love one another’ etc and we always knew in our heart of hearts they were right. And did we take any notice…did we fuck.

So it remains a mystery.

Why do we treat each other like shit? Why are we so bloody greedy that we would kill for what we want? Why can’t we just stop being shits to one another?

Some believe we are being manipulated. Some suggest we are part of some macabre game. An experiment in a jam jar or petri dish on the laboratory table of some god-like creature with a sick sense of humour. I suppose it’s a possibility, I mean look at the sentient creatures we experiment on, we can’t be the only ones in this mysterious universe who are this cruel.

The only thing is. We aren’t helpless. We could fuck the experiment up by being nice to one another. We have a choice. But why can’t we make it.

Then there is the view that suggests the only thing that would change our vicious mood and behaviour is an invasion from outer space. You know…that we would have no choice but to join forces and become friends and allies to defeat the enemy.

But this has actually happened/happening. Our planet is under attack. OK, so admittedly, once again we can look to the human race rather than to aliens for the route source of the ‘attack’ i.e. lack of care for the environment but you get my point. It still does require us to get together to defeat the enemy. There is common cause which is…our…er…our survival….

But I’m afraid the common cause theory falls at the first fence.

We can’t do it. We can’t even get together to save the lump of spinning earth that we all live on. Common cause….my arse.

And because of our collective stupidity, soon we will be gone.

WHY don’t Stratfordians protest?

I freely admit that I am one of those people who wander around with a permanent furrowed brow. I’m not in pain nor am I waiting for something awful to happen. I am actually wondering. I am in a permanent state of asking the question…’WHY’.

Because I am only human, the ‘WHY’ question, as you might expect varies from week to week, if not day to day. But lately the ‘WHY’ has stuck with me for some days. Why now (that’s not the ‘WHY’ question by the way) I wonder. Why (nor that) has this particular puzzle began to weigh me down. And then it hit me…

Everybody is protesting.

It’s in the air. People are not happy. In fact, people are angry. They are fit to explode because no-one, (the authorities, the ‘powers that be’ etc) is listening. The environment. The government. The cost of living. You name it. People are fit to burst. And I have a feeling that the next few years are going to ones of protest, and I for one say, HURRAH and about bloody time. But, even this is not my ‘WHY’.

My ‘WHY’ is more localised. My ‘WHY’ is ‘WHY’ is Stratford upon Avon so tame’. So, sheepish. ‘WHY’ for instance, when the town so obviously has a problem with an infestation of traffic has no-one done anything about it?

Every year since I’ve lived here (since 1971) there has been some sort of….what would you call it…a survey? An official look at the state of our streets. And always the same conclusion is reached. Stratford upon Avon has too much traffic flowing through its narrow streets. And then…NOTHING. OK, maybe a few streets are experimentally closed off and then…NOTHING. I remember a time when an electric bus introduced…then…NOTHING. Anyway my point is why have Stratfordians not protested about this literally poisonous situation. Why have whoever is in power at any given time, been allowed to get away with doing…NOTHING?

There will be some who say that protest achieves nothing. But I beg to differ.

Way, way back in the ‘80’s I was part of a group that protested about the presence of the South African Apartheid government being present at the Shakespeare celebration. In fact I got arrested (and yes, I am proud of that fact-I got fined for ‘disturbing the peace’ and the generous actors at the RSC passed the hat and paid it for me. £92 a lot of money in those days). Anyway, it changed things. Suspicious governments were no longer welcome and the Shakespeare celebrations became…………..(fill this in yourself).

My point (at last).

Why don’t Stratfordians protest about the long-term problem of traffic pollution. Especially as the solution has been searched for, for far too long. (The solution – Ban Traffic. There, that was easy wasn’t it).

This is serious stuff. The effects of traffic pollution especially on Children and old folks like me are well known.

Why haven’t they taken to the streets to let their views known? Do Stratfordian’s care? Do they have views? About anything?

(At this point I was going to mention writing to Stratford’s member of Parliament but then I remembered it was Nadhim Zahawi).

Anyway, just to say in anticipation, yes I am willing to take part in a protest and if you agree with me that this is a very important issue…


On being mixed-race.

How many different types of US there are…

Happy Birthday to me.

Zahawi poised to take throne?

Breaking news from the Stratford upon Avon Herald.


Musical thoughts; An old fart speaks.

So that’s the excitement over for another year. Glastonbury, come and gone in the blinking of an eye. Performers become superheroes and saviours of the world all on the basis of their constructing a simple melody that strikes somewhere deep in our consciousness, enlightening us and for a short magical moment taking us on a trip fuelled not by drugs but by the very vibration of the air around us.

Music would appear to be important in our lives.

Indeed there are some that are convinced that we cannot live without its vibrations. And so we have things like Glastonbury and other festivals and concerts etc that take us away for an hour or two to another place. A place of rest and escape.

Music can and does change the world.

Its vibration, the way it moves the air, its echo can infiltrate even the hardest heart and has the ability to make people stop and think. It excites memories and in between making certain people famous and a lot of money, it can give the listener, hope.

But hey, let’s not get carried away here.

Music is also fashion item and therefore a momentary thing. Once out of fashion its power is gone (until next time around maybe). One only has to look at the various musical campaigns to ‘Feed the World’ to note the short shelf life. People dance and react with fervour and passion until the beats don’t strike home anymore and the dance that they are performing looks suddenly clumsy, old-fashioned and embarrassing. So much for the poor and starving.

For all music’s and musicians’ macabre efforts to combining entertainment and deadly disaster, music cannot be denied its most useful purpose which is the passing on of information.

Music still plays the part that it has always done.

That of the travelling minstrel. The word will get around.

Music, although it does not have the ability in itself to drastically change the world it will always be able to inform and inspire. The other amazing thing about music is it gets to the parts other systems cannot reach and that is because of its ability to float in the air. To penetrate barriers, political systems and of course its magical ability to send coded and secret messages. It can also operate in disguise. Pretending to be one thing when in fact it is another. An iron fist in a velvet glove.

There is something weird/strange/mystical about music’s vibrations that will always make people stop and think…and thereafter…who knows?

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