Tag Archives: society

Friday Poem – A Poison Tree

poison treeThis is quite a poignant poem by the English poet William Blake (1757-1827), and to me seems to reflect the world we live in today.

The poem is like football, a poem of two halves – albeit the first half is only the first 2 lines.

In the first half the writer says that when he is angry with his friend he tells him and the anger is forgotten –  oh, how the power of communication works so well!!!

The rest of the poem deals with what happens when we are angry with someone we actually don’t like so well. We don’t say anything, we suppress the feeling and what happens? The feeling doesn’t go away, instead it grows and grows inside of us, fed by all that negative energy and hatred until it explodes as a mighty and destructive force.

I think the underlying theme behind the poem is that communication is always a good thing. Always keep the lines open!

A Poison Tree

I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.

And I watered it in fears,
Night and morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright.
And my foe beheld it shine.
And he knew that it was mine,

And into my garden stole
When the night had veiled the pole;
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.

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You Know When You’ve …

… been tangoed! tango

You know the advert, when a rotund male dressed in a Sumo nappy and painted orange goes up to someone and slaps him round the face after he takes a taste of the orange Tango drink? Yes, that one!

Well, goodness gracious me, a strange affliction seems to have come over the female population. They’ve either been drinking far too much orange Tango, or they’ve been watching too much TOWIE and admiring WAGS?

I went out with some friends on Friday night and I seriously could not believe my eyes.

Everywhere we went, every single woman seemed to be a shade of orange from tangerine to a bright Seville!

From girls in their early twenties to women, who should have known better and were trying to dress to age down, but really they shouldn’t have bothered, talk about mutton dressed as lamb.

It was not a pretty sight … AT ALL! ANY OF IT!

What is with the overdose of fake tan? and hardly any clothes on?

Now, I’m a bona fide Essex girl, but I wouldn’t be seen dead going out looking like that.

Not even when I was 20!

Joan Collins says English women have no class and don’t know how to dress. And I know she didn’t mean all, it was one of those sweeping generalisations, but thanks to the minority, we all get tarred with the same brush! And to be honest, from what I saw on Friday evening, she seemed to be spot on!

Having class, doesn’t mean being born with a silver spoon in your mouth, but simply knowing when to stop so you don’t end up face down in a gutter.

And knowing how to dress to make the most of your attributes, but that does not mean having your melons and lady garden out on display for all and sundry to see, leaving little to the imagination.

Surely a man wants a mere hint of what’s on offer, so he’s interested enough to find out what underneath the wrapper? There is no sense whatsoever, in my opinion in letting him view the whole candy cane!

After all if you live in a sweet store the last thing you want is something you can take anytime?

No amount of orangeness will remove who you really are, so come on ladies, put the fake tan away. Be you?

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Mind Games

Why is it inherent in our human nature to play games?

I’m not talking about recreational sport, but games with people.

Mr Wrong No. 1 and No. 2 both were expert mind game players – whether they did it intentionally or not.

I was always made to feel wrong, stupid and generally not good enough. And because they made me feel like this, I used to go along with whatever they wanted to do, go, etc. I never had any say. They also used to pick at what I wore and how I wore my hair. Making little digs and sly comments.

Now, it could always have been that I was too subservient in that, due to previous experiences I didn’t want to do anything to rock the so-called boat, and therefore just cow-towed and agreed with them.

I have been the one, throughout my life where I have watched other women treat men like dirt and yet they themselves are still treated like princesses. Whereas if I dared to disagree or stamp my little foot I have been shown the door – no, not shown ,literally thrown out the door – before the stamping foot reached the floor!

But wherever the fault lies I, myself don’t play mind games.

I am now in a place where I know who I am and am happy and content with that.

I don’t fit moulds – I break them. I cannot change myself to someone elses ideal. If they want me, they get me – warts and all, If they want me to change me – they will be disappointed.

But what is the point of games?

I don’t get this whole “rule” thing about dating.

If you like someone, be you male or female, what is so wrong in just being open and telling them?

Why do you have to go through the pointless, and dare I say, pathetic routine game playing?

Why shouldn’t a girl text a bloke and say “fancy a drink?”

Why should a bloke string 2 girls along til he can decide which one he prefers? (I must point out that this of course applies to women stringing 2 blokes along as well)

Why should we sit around looking at our phones wishing they would call or text? Why don’t we just think “screw it” and call/text them?

Why do we hit the panic button over the “L” word? Why has society built such a small word up to such an extent that it feels like when you say it, what you are actually saying is “I’m using this as a test to see whether you will say it back!” When in reality that little word actually just means you have touched another person’s heart and soul? Does it really matter a fig who says it first? Does it matter really if the other person doesn’t say it back? We all know our own hearts, we cannot dictate another’s, so maybe the other person doesn’t say it back, it doesn’t mean they don’t, though of course it might!

Dating should be fun – not akin to playing a tactical game of chess or Strategy.

I mean clearly, that’s why I’m a disaster zone.

Surely, it should just be a case of I like you, you like me. Let’s go out and have some fun.

Starting out as friends and if you feel “chemistry” (and I use the word very loosely) – surely that’s an even better place to start.

Getting to know someone surely should be a time of excitement and joy, not feeling stressed because you feel you must play the game and follow the ‘dating rules’?

Isn’t it time society ripped up the so-called rules and made a new set?

Of course, it’s all very well for me to talk, but if truth be told I would be the last person to do that.

I would love to be able to just say “hey, no pressure, let’s go out for a drink?”

But I fear my heart has been broken too many times.

 

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The Age of Innocence

Childhood is so brief and we are supposed to look back on it with fond memories in our dotage.

So why is society intent on making our children grow up too quickly. Sex & drugs education at 5, careers advice at 7, pregnant at 9 or 10,  in AA at 12 and drug rehab at 15.

Wow! What wonderful childhood memories to look back on. Paints a scary picture though and if things carry on this will be the norm for the next generation.

So how do we stop the rot, so to speak.

Initially parents! The buck stops there.

Whether it be single parents, married (hetero or same-sex), we are responsible for our children’s upbringing. We are their role models and their guides through to adulthood.

Think back to your childhood would your parents have let you stay up ’til all hours, or watch inappropriate films/television. If the answer is no, then ask yourself why it is now appropriate to let your children do this.

How angry would your parents have been if you hadn’t said please, or thank you? Why is it now the norm for children not to say this. ‘Thank you’ – those two little words carry such weight.

What would your parents have done if you had been rude to a teacher at school? Why do we now hear so many stories of teachers being abused by pupils, or teachers disciplining children only to have the parents turn on the teacher instead of backing them up?

So parents (and I do appreciate it’s not everyone) take responsiblity for your children. It is not the school’s fault if they don’t teach your children discipline and manners – it’s yours. It’s not society’s fault that your children don’t know right from wrong – it’s yours. It’s not the computer games company’s fault that they sell inappropriate games – it’s yours for buying it.

It’s up to us to instill a sense of decency into the next generation and the only people who can do that for our children is us as parents.

The next on the list is the media.

Children’s programmes and there are a lot of good ones out there, but they should be appropriate.

There are far too many where, again children never say please or thank you and are shown to be self-centred.

Do we need cartoons where the ‘bad guy’ is drawn in an unpleasant way – the character comes from the voice. Bullying starts because people are different – if young children are exposed to bad guys being different then they will assume all people who look different are bad. That might not make sense to you as an adult, but think about it with child logic!

Sketch shows should have age appropriate humour. Slapstick is great but it is not suitable for a show aimed at preschoolers/infants to show someone failing to get into a cannon (with the intent of being fired out) and then having the cannon explode on his face!

After children’s programmes come adverts – yes Milkshake! I’m talking about you. How suitable is it to show trailers for 12+ movies during a break when it is obvious that preschoolers will be watching – ditto 18+ computer games.

Adverts should, again be age appropriate – and gosh, can’t you tell Christmas is upon us. How lovely it was to have a few adverts before September (again totally irrelevant to children’s programmes – life insurance, washing machines, etc) between programmes, whereas now each programme is separated by a good 5 minutes of adverts. But I digress…

I think the worst  advert for a toy I have seen, again on Channel 5, during Milkshake, is something called a blade spinner. Now I’m not blaming the television company for this one but the toy manufacturer. How intelligent is it in this day and age when teenagers are being knifed left, right and centre to produce a toy called “blade spinner” where the object, a car, is aimed towards this monster who has “knife-like” claws and spins around trying to whack the car out-of-the-way. I’m sorry, I just find it irresponsible.

Finally on adverts – Lalli-Kalli. Love the shoes, but is it really necessary to give away free make-up to 5 year olds!

Let’s grow up a  bit and leave pre-school behind. Teenagers – bless ’em. We were all one once, but were we really that scary that when an older person came across a group of us they crossed the street?

Note to teenagers – being a celebrity is not a career option!

Why do so many teenagers go out and get drunk? Because it’s cool? Because there’s nothing else to do?

I think it’s partly to look cool – but believe me there is nothing cool about being so drunk you end up either in casualty having your stomach pumped, or you spend several hours staring down a toilet bowl!

Would I be right in assuming boredom plays a big part?

If it’s boredom, as the old saying goes “go out and find something less boring to do instead”.

OK, so I know youth clubs and scouting are not perceived as “cool” any more – so make it, or anything else cool. Channel your bored energy and find a ‘hobby’ – who knows it could turn into a job??

Talking of jobs and teenagers – soap producers take note – why do no teenage soap characters on British television ever seem to have any career ambition. They all seem to drop out, or leave school at 16 with no idea what to do and so they drift.

So I say to everyone – parents, media and society – STOP! THINK! And let our children enjoy being children for as long as possible

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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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