Daily Archives: August 26, 2012

West Side Story…

… is as relevant today as it was when it first burst onto Broadway.

This Leonard Bernstein musical based on Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet hits the right social and cultural issues, and makes you think. That’s why I believe every teenager should watch it.

Primarily, the rivalry is transferred from between 2 families to between 2 gangs. And as we all know gang warfare is rife on streets in cities today, just as much, if not more than it was in the 1950s. Barely a week goes by without some teenager being killed, by whatever means, by someone from a rival gang.

Over the years nothing has been learned, it seems.

As a mum to a small boy, I’m already fretting over his teenage years, which at the moment seem a lifetime away, but in reality will be upon me sooner than I can blink an eye.

What is ever gained by fighting, physically?

Why do people physically fight over the most trivial of things?

Where does it end?

SC has just started school and not a week has gone by where some charming child hasn’t physically attacked him. I don’t believe violence solves anything. So I tell him to walk away. No matter what, just walk away.

Mr Wrong No. 1 had the other approach with regard to tackling this issue with his son – he told him to fight back!

Now, my stance is if they fight back, where will it end?

I hit you, you hit me.

I hit you harder, you hit me harder.

I hit you with a stick, you hit me with a bigger stick.

I get a knife.

You get a gun.

Violence grows and no one wins!

That in essence is the crux of the whole musical. Maria (aka Juliet) says at the end of the show that she can kill now because she now hates.

Is that what all this gang warfare is about?

How can you hate someone just because they ‘hang with a different crowd’ or wear a different type trainer? You can’t really hate someone you don’t personally know, can you?

West Side Story shows that, at the end of the day, no one wins with violence or hatred, and that we need to learn tolerance and effectively ‘love thy neighbour’.

I don’t hate. For sure there have been people I have met in my life that I don’t like, but hate? No.

We’re all born different, be it hair colour, eye colour, taste in clothes, hobbies, etc. We all have good points and bad points. These should be embraced, not used as a reason for attack.

Can society change?


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A Tale for Moped Users Everywhere

Or more specifically teenage moped and bike users.

I had one of these moped users behind me the other day, and he was so close that if I had to apply my brakes suddenly he would have smashed straight into the back of me, or more horrifying been thrown over my car only to land in a crumpled heap in front of me.

But my real gripe about these teenage moped riders is more the fact that they think it is OK to just wear a crash helmet. I have also seen some motor bike riders donned this way too.

It may be cool on the continent to ride around on your moped with the sun beating down on your bare arms and legs, but what is not cool is not being properly protected.

Mr Wrong No. 1 rode bikes and before he would even let me ride pillion I had to purchase a set of proper bike gear.

And for why???

Not just to save me getting too horribly crumpled, should an accident happen, but as he explained “Imagine you are not wearing proper clothing and have a smash at 30mph and end up skidding down the road, what is the likely outcome?”

Any guesses from the moped users who like to wear jeans??


OK, here goes.

You skid down the road for however long it takes for you to slow down – say 300 yards. But here’s the warning, not only are you skidding down the road, but so is your clothing.

And what happens to clothing if it gets abrased? It starts to get bare!

And if you are still skidding when the material of your jeans have all been worn away, what will be next to start wearing away as you skid?

That’s right? Your skin – and we’re still skidding. So all your lovely skin is wearing down until we reach?  Yes, bone.

Are you following me?

That tale of how I could end up at the end of a skid with not just a gash in my leg but a flippin’ great hole with exposed bone and flesh was enough to send me running to the nearest bike shop!

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