Posts Tagged ‘religion’

The Internet

22/06/2017

Or is it the World Wide Web?  I’ve no idea.

Either way, it’s great.  Isn’t it?

phones

Now, I should declare (rather proudly, like the grumpy old man you know and love) that I do not have a smartphone, but I can now listen to BBC radio wherever I happen to be in the world, provided I lug my laptop (or borrow an iPad) and can find a wi-fi connection.  This, for me, is undoubtedly the single most important thing about the Internet.  Let’s call it that.  The Internet.  No, I mean the World Wide Web.  Somebody, help me out here.

Without it (the WWW, not the BBC), I’d not be able to communicate with you all.  I suppose I could get a job as a journalist, or a writer, or a columnist.  You know, someone who is (hopefully) paid to write; someone who has to get past an editor, (perhaps); someone who has to display a modicum of expertise, with the requisite background reading and/or research.

Hang on.  I just sat down to write something.  Without the comfort of a specific theme or project (https://fiftytwoyears52weeks.wordpress.com/about/) I realised that I had no idea where to go with this.  What you just read is what popped into my mind after I remembered this line:  “[It is] better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.”  According to Gooooogle (thanks again, Interweb), this aphorism is usually attributed to Lincoln (Abraham, not City) or Twain (Mark, not Never the … Shall Meet).  Who cares?  It is probably at its most pertinent right now.  Opinions are like arseholes, as that other saying goes.  Everyone’s got one.  The point is, my suspicions have been confirmed.  We are all pretty stupid, and FaceTwitInstaBlogs rather prove the point when they allow us to speak/remove doubt.  Ooooh!  That just reminded me of another favourite, courtesy of George Carlin.

stupid

Can you tell, I’m winging it, now?  There is no plan, no theme, no agenda, no purpose, other than the need to scribble some thoughts for my offspring to read in 2037.

Okay, I give in.  I’m reluctant to go there, but these are difficult times.  Worrying times.  Astonishing times.  Let’s jump on the Trumpwagon.  I admit, I knew almost nothing about Trump until a few months ago.  Now, thanks to the wonders of the Webternet, or more specifically Twitter, I can be pretty confident that he is a buffoon.  I’m not sure I have heard him described as such, but I rather like the term.  “A ridiculous but amusing person; a clown.”  I’ve heard comedians and satirist complaining that their job is now much more difficult, because Trump comedy or satire simply writes itself.  Amusing?  No, not really, although the whole Mexico/wall/pay issue has made me laugh more than once.  Genuinely, I couldn’t give a toss about the orange one, but I am terrified by the thought that so many people actually buy into the ravings and ramblings of this clown.  In the same way, I am dismayed that so many Brit’s will happily venture forth to their local newsagent and walk out with a copy of their preferred offering from the vile gutter press.  I cannot even bring myself to name the rags in question.  Whatever.  For me, the PotUSA is not the problem.  Foolishly, I tip-toed into a Facebook debate, soon after the Election, and although I remember little of the detail, I do recall that one (of countless) apologists was ecstatic to declare that x million Americans voted for Trump.  Indeed.  If Wikipedia is to be believed, y million Germans voted for that monster with the dodgy ‘tache in the 1930s, and we all know how that worked out, eh?  Where are we heading?  Step back, for a moment.  Over eight years ago, our American cousins elected Obama.  Even more amazing (to naive little old me) was that they re-elected him four years later.  Absolutely remarkable.  In my life I’ve witnessed the Berlin Wall coming down, the collapse of the Soviet Union, peace in Northern Ireland, Pompey in the FA Cup Final, the British Labour Party having a Socialist leader, Brit’s winning the Tour de France, but ‘mericans electing a black fella?  Twice!  Wow!  Surely, we had entered a new era.

Surely the Trump era is simply a blip, right?  I’d say God help us, but therein lies the problem.  Too many Gods.  Too many beliefs.  Too many faiths.  I’ve always taken what I shall term the analysts’ view… too many people duped into thinking their’s is the One True God.  Ergo they must all be wrong.  Never mind “prayers for [insert name of latest location of terrorist atrocity here]”, just get on and be decent human beings.  Prayers to some mythical being, you know, a being which is slightly at odds with my mythical being, your mythical being or their mythical being, are surely futile.

I need to conclude with a tune.  Just a song I’d like my children to enjoy.  One day.

Sex, politics, religion and driving

02/07/2012

The four taboos.

Politics.  I really can’t be bothered with this.  Ever since Labour moved away from socialism, they do all look the same and I just don’t trust any party or politician.  Not to be discussed at dinner parties.  Ever.

Religion.  Again, as I get older, I find this ever more tiresome.  I simply don’t understand how so many intelligent, educated people don’t question their faith.  Why is it okay to eat the flesh of Christ and drink his blood?  Why is it not okay to eat certain foods?  Why is it necessary to wear particular clothing or headgear?  Why are some images forbidden?  Why is everything suddenly okay if you go and confess your sins?  Frankly, in many ways  I envy those with a strong faith, but I’m baffled by blind faith.  Another dinner party no no.

Sex and driving.  This is what I’m really interested in, although not necessarily at the same time.

It struck me some time ago that it is virtually impossible to criticise somebody’s driving*.  As far as I can ascertain, most drivers are of the opinion that they drive well; they don’t think they can improve; they have nothing to learn.  Indeed, I’m sure I’ve read somewhere that most drivers believe they are better than average behind the wheel.  This worries me, both as a keen driver and as a cyclist.  It also irritates me as an analyst.  By now you are thinking that this is rather dull.  Where’s the sex?

Right.  Imagine you are in the bedroom (bathroom, kitchen, garage, countryside or whatever – wherever you happen to enjoy acts of intimacy with your loved one) and you are getting down to business.  Hell, it’s your birthday.  Now, imagine I happen to drop by and suggest politely that you might like to slow down or that you might like to change your position on the *ahem* road.  Why would I be doing this?  I’m doing this not because I’m some sort of pervert, but because I can see that your speed and position is not conducive to providing the optimum level of concern for the other road user; the other road user may enjoy the ride more if you slowed down a bit or gave them more time, space or a different angle of approach.  The *cough* road is being shared, but one of the users is being a little selfish.  One of the users is getting full value on this road, but the other feels rather neglected, or in a worst case scenario, somewhat used and abused.  I can see this and feel duty bound to say something, but, in reality I would not be there, and even if I were, I would not dare to criticise another man or woman during the act.  It’s private and there is no risk to me or anyone else.  In short, we do not (as a rule) tend to comment on others’ bedroom antics.  The whole point of all this is that it is clearly analogous to driving.  I know that when I ask a van driver if he can give me more room, or if he can slow down a bit when close to me, I am effectively suggesting that he is a shit driver (lover) and he’d be better at driving (having sex) if he just thought about the consequences of his actions (where he’s putting his knob) while looking from the point of view of the other road user (his partner).  It’s no wonder people get so aggressive.

*The only time I have ever successfully been able to criticise people’s driving is when they have come forward for an assessment.  While working for the Institute of Advanced Motorists, I spent many hours working with drivers who were big enough to admit that they could do better.  In all honesty, that first step of seeking help and admitting weaknesses was pretty much all it took.  For me, advanced driving is roughly 90% mentality and 10% technique.  I’d like to think that IAM qualified drivers would give a cyclist enough room because they are thinking about road users other than themselves.

So, if you are not delivering in the bedroom, I ain’t gonna tell you, but there are therapists out there.  So I’ve been told.