Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Is it me or is the Whole World Going Mad?

    Do you ever see the news on television, or read the papers and conclude that the whole world's going mad; or is it just me. And you're not supposed to say 'mad' any more, it's not politically correct. Can we say barmy instead, you tell me. It all reminds me of my old favourite,  Arthur English. 'Stop the world' he used to say, 'Open the cage.' Well something like that! I know exactly what he meant.
    Here in dear old Derby they had a Punch and Judy show in a big shopping complex. Great, Punch and Judy has been going for three hundred and fifty years. And a good time was had by all. Except that a lady representing  some society or other complained bitterly about the violence; particularly the domestic violence. Granted Punch was evil personified. He threw the baby around and abused his wife. But surely Punch and Judy shows don't glorify domestic violence; and he was after all arrested by the policeman.
    An audience, including children KNOW Punch is Evil. I would doubt children would be influenced negatively by this type of theatre. I'm not going to labour the point, but there were many letters in the local paper, The Derby Telegraph; very few supported the opinion that Punch and Judy shows should be banned. What do you think?
    Derby has been hit by the recession, times have been hard for many and financial cuts seem never ending. The local council is aware of how bad things are, so they tell us. They have decided to find out what the good people of Derby REALLY need. (Are there elections coming up I wonder.) So in their wisdom they have brought in consultants to find out what we REALLY need or want. And the cost, good people of Derby? £400,000! £400,000 that could have been spent on OAP clubs or homes;  on the young, on our decrepit roads or cutting the long grass at the side of our roads. We don't need highly paid consultants to search out what we REALLY need. Less spending on banal surveys for starters would help.
    Yet our problems are tiny when compared globally. The whole world seems to be at war. Syria, Iran, the Ukraine see violence daily; war brings horrors that are almost beyond belief. Starvation, the loss of home, mass killing, all are present, often in the name of religion. Yet I doubt that we think of the world beyond our little existences for long. Most of us are selfish by nature, mores the pity. So we live almost in a bubble, not necessarily all of our making. And its the little things in OUR lives that mainly catch the eye. Little things that reinforce the idea that the world's going mad. For instance I watch QVC on occasion. What a sad person I have become! On QVC they have make things out of cards. Mindbendingly dull but whatever turns you on and all that. And do you know they were making this week? Christmas cards, for goodness sake! and they've been doing them since June!
    All these 'happenings' in the world were starting to get me down and I didn't know what to do about them. Then I went with Paulette to shop at Lidyl, parked up and realised the answer was staring me in the face. The Lidl where we shop is situated in Normanton, reputedly the roughest part of Derby but we love it. I sit in the car whist Paulette shops, not through idleness, honest, but my mobility is not good. 
    I  tend to 'people watch', always entertaining, often educational. Ten paces from my car stood a young man, around thirty years of age; unexceptional, someone who you would not normally give a second glance. He appeared deep in thought; certainly in a world of his own, oblivious of others. He proceeded to extract a 'spliff' from his pocket, studied it, put it in his mouth and lit it. For the next five minutes he smoked contentedly if somewhat vacantly; he was oblivious to passers by, of my gaze, of the world beyond the pavement on which he stood. He produced a second 'spliff' from his pocket, lighting it with the tiny but still lit end of his first, very thin 'spliff'. Finally finishing his second 'smoke' he smiled to himself and he was gone, perhaps never to be seen again.
    Whist finishing off this post my juke box played loudly in the background. The unforgettable Harry Lauder i think accompanied my efforts. And the words of his immortal song rang out loud and clear; 'Keep Right On to the end of the Road'. Now there's a thought!

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12 comments:

Helen Devries said...

I'm often glad that I live in Costa Rica where 'politically correct' doesn't exist...but good manners do.

And as for the consultants....to which couincillor is the boss of said related to?

Nota Bene said...

Love a bit of Punch and Judy,,,don't forget the cruelty to animals in there too!

Yes, the world is mad...always has been, it's just that in the modern age of omniscient communications we all know about it...

CWMartin said...

I've heard a few people in the last few days make the same complaint... and Arthur English says it for me, too.

Keith Smith said...

All roads lead to Rome, but I've yet to find one, so that I can leave this dump of a country. . . .

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Helen
High
Fascinating that you read my 'stuff' in such a far away place (of which I know nothing I am ashamed to say)
Very interested in your comments on manners.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Nota
High
As Dylan was it, who used to say 'Times they are a'changing'!

Grumpy Old Ken said...


CW
High
Fascinated you remember Arthur English!
Are you English Born?

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Keith
High
Keith, it's not that bad yet, or am I living in cuckoo land?

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Note how I've put high on the comments when I meant 'Hi'. Is this the first signs of senility?

CWMartin said...

Hen- No, but a big Are You Being Served fan!

Bernard said...

All the Steam Rallies and shows I go to with my Organ, have P&J shows and the kids just love it.
PC Kill Joys - the lot of them!
Perhaps, P&J shows should be banned, and children encouraged to watch violent wars, be-headings, executions of rows of innocent victims? Just like they see on their 'play-stations'?
The depressing reality of the present is in some way rendered more palatable when laced with heavy doses of nostalgia;
That it is a fantasy makes no difference, the pleasure of living in the past is that our dreams can be selective.
All the best...Bernard

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