Tag: opinion


Beneath her distant gaze they’d shuffle past,
except when one broke ranks and ran to touch
a foot or frozen fold or hardened hem
upon her sculptured dress so true-to-life
that some envisaged deeper prayers were heard –
if Faith should fade and Open Mind evolve,
fate could be consigned to history –
ugly inequalities may heal and
life herself be lovelier for all.


Raise your hands and worship God. A group of faithful pious hands raised  their h , #spon, #God, #group, #worship, #Raise, #han… | Worship god,  Worship, Jesus images


image: Pinterest

inspiration: Beautiful from https://randomwordgenerator.com

Three Election Day Acrostics, One Message

View your future if you can
or place an X today –
the candidate who has a plan
explores the better way.

Vested interests don’t bank
on ballot-box success –
their future fills the flowing tank,
evading tax and stress.

Vague promises are not enough
or veiled threats believed –
trust is given just for truth,
empathy retrieved.

VOTE the Funding Memorial ~ Remaking the University

image: utotherescue.blogspot.com

inspiration: Vote from https://randomwordgenerator.com

Mixed Metaphors

Rallying troopers for a
hopeless charge with the
empty pledge that future
targets will soon be in place and, going forward,
onward plans exist to provide sufficient operational gear
retrospectively some time sooner or later this year
is rather like waiting for hoofbeats to die away into distance before
closing the stable door.

Cue picture, followed by some additional thoughts:

Don't shut the stable door after the horse has bolted' - meaning ...

I don’t really know what else to say … but somehow or other I can’t leave it there. Like many others, perhaps, I’m torn between a profound wish to support the national effort and the burning urge to criticise the hell out of it.

To do whatever it takes is a fine slogan but simply reacting to events may not be enough when the initiative must be seized so that we get ahead of the curve. If preparations have been left too late, our leaders should (a) acknowledge past mistakes and (b) move heaven and earth to rectify the worsening situation. When so much is at stake, the powers-that-be will not be forgiven for dishonesty nor pardoned for inaction.

Who knows what the future will bring? We all have our hopes and fears, more of them shared than we may yet realise. Upheaval and opportunity go hand in hand.

A little personal example comes to mind: I can’t spend time with my grandkids but can see them online and, mindful of their interrupted schooling, send them video readings from factual books with pictures – dinosaurs and explorers the chapters requested so far!

Silver linings, perhaps … but let’s not count our chickens. Nor mix our metaphors, for that matter. So easy to lapse into banality when you’ve had it, er, easy. And what can I say, I’m a comfortable baby-boomer in a first-world country? It’s true. I also have the great privilege of age, having enjoyed my three score and ten. As the old film title said, I’m All Right, Jack! And as the old blues puts it, I’ve had my fun if I don’t get well no more … 

I’m fine (touch wood!) and rediscovering simple pleasures: reading and writing, listening to music, hearing birdsong. I’m also heartened by the selflessness and bravery shown by ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. It behoves us all to think of others in our actions – and, yes, inactions! Such times bring out the best and worst in humankind.

Cue song, then, music offering as much solace as anything can when we are feeling so many mixed emotions. And where else could you find such a potent blend of humour, remembrance and philosophy?



image: The Phrase Finder

source: rhetoric from https://randomwordgenerator.com

The Play Way

It’s almost three weeks since my previous WordPressing and so – concerned that I might be starting to run out of steam – have just gone back five years to my first ever post in search of fresh inspiration …

My voyage of exploration begins. I want to recapture the spirit of childhood, when we would set out from home with the deliberate aim of getting hopelessly lost. No point in going over old ground, after all …


Reading that again, I’m somehow reminded of these opening credits to a groundbreaking TV show:

Many people of my generation will know every word of this off by heart. Back then we wouldn’t have missed the adventures of the Starship Enterprise, ha, for the world! Pre-moon landings, outer space was still sexy and post-Beatlemania but pre-Woodstock we were eager for alternative experiences. Boundaries were boring and Star Trek, by definition, didn’t have any. Plus it employed some clever sci-fi screenwriters to explore some radical new ideas … well, radical by comparison with the fusty old 1950s of our childhood! Yes, in 1966, Warp Speed was the only way to travel …

In many ways they were confident times in which to grow up. The following opening credits feature two stylish special agents with a refreshingly chilled-out attitude to the Cold War hanging over their – and our – heads:

Looking back, the appeal of both shows was their optimistic and playful approach to serious subjects. Escapist, even naiive, their exploration and make-believe brought welcome extensions to our childhood. And come to think of it, much of our playing had involved pretending to be grown-ups. Adults appeared resourceful, capable, powerful. The very last person you’d want to be was Peter Pan – I mean, what sort of lunatic would want to stay a kid forever?

But now, looking back with a nostalgic eye, how we revere those precious moments of innocent discovery! As so often, the philosopher Nietzsche nails this idea:

‘In every real man, a child is hidden that wants to play.’

Ironic, isn’t it, that children yearn for adulthood while adults still feel like children? I suppose this doubleness in our nature is the basis of empathy between the generations. I find in playing with my grandkids a way to re-live my past through younger eyes as well as sharing in their fresh discoveries. I’ve just read what follows and every word of it struck a chord:

Play is the most valuable way that children learn. Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. Play is important to healthy brain development. It is through play that children at a very early age engage and interact in the world around them.

As young children struggle to create a desired effect with a toy, they discover that it isn’t always easy. They realize that there is perhaps a problem to be solved and that they have to practice to acquire and improve the skills necessary to achieve their goal.

Studies have proven that play with other children is also critical for the development of children’s social skills, They are developing skills and habits and attitudes that will stay with them throughout their lives. Play is children’s work, and they give a tremendous amount of energy and effort to it. It promotes emotional well being – awareness, acceptance, personal integration, coping skills – and builds values including empathy, trust and respect for others while they play.

It’s good to know that even an old codger like me can help in this valuable process! And through it I learn that life goes on and – who knew? – that it isn’t all about me!

No Sex, Religion or Politics

These five words – according to my dad, a conscripted soldier in WW2 – constituted the unspoken rule that helped prevent unproductive arguments in the officers’ mess. I can see why. Vital to get on with people you don’t really know when you have to work alongside them in hazardous conditions.

Perhaps blogging isn’t all that different. No point falling out with each other over minor cultural differences when we all face major threats – largely of our own making – such as gross inequality, environmental damage and international conflict. I don’t know about you but all my instincts cry out for cross-border cooperation, our only real defence against these common enemies. As the age-old saying goes: United we stand, divided we fall.

It’s eight whole days since my previous post and high time to publish again. I was planning something uplifting, even utopian, only to find there’s an elephant in the room. It’s a big one, maybe a bull, and the smell of dung is now overpowering. I sure in hell can’t step round it so will tread very carefully and call it … the ‘B’ word!

Not that I’ve anything original to say on the subject. Like many others – on both sides – I’m all talked out. But here are two items I’ve found in the vaults. No idea where they come from but each, in its own way, is rather striking.

The UK Referendum in June 2016 asked:

Should we

Leave the EU
or Remain in the EU.

Simple. Well, for the 16.1 million who said Remain it certainly was, as it meant no change. All 16.1 million who ticked remain knew exactly what they voted for.

But the 17.4 million who voted to Leave without any true facts, figures, analysis or research voted for a personal version of “leave” as they could not possibly know what the end result would be. Hence all the Remainers spoke with one voice but the Leavers presented the Tory government the absolutely impossible task of reconciling 17.4 million different versions of Brexit.

After two years we have now seen this for real. It was never possible to deliver an exit that would satisfy all the Leavers.

In other words, here is a complex issue reduced to a simplistic binary choice and Parliament – the authorised decision-maker in a parliamentary democracy – reduced to the lowly status of a rubber stamp. No wonder they’ve fallen asleep on the job.

Image result for rubber stamp

Today’s cancelled MP vote means this unfunny farce is certain to rumble on through the so-called season of good cheer. Perhaps we ought to keep calm and turn the whole bally shooting-match into a Panto, along the following lines:


Image: CharityLawyer

Pop Music (Part Two)

Where was I, by the end of Pop Music (Part One)? Banging on about freedom, I’ll be bound!

Or rather, I’ll not be bound. Anything that restricts my freedom of movement – my natural right to become a fuller, deeper, happier version of myself – is utterly intolerable. I won’t conform to anyone else’s idea of who I should be or how I should behave.

Most of all, I reject any attempt to limit me to any particular culture. The age-old tactic of those who seek power over others is to divide and rule. Convince people they are surrounded by enemies and they will be putty in your hands. Allow them to Flaunt their imagined superiority over others and turn them into little Hitlers.

I’m sure most people have seen this fairly short documentary film about an anti-racism classroom exercise. If you haven’t, I can thoroughly recommend it:

50 years after this startling little film was made, education is still the battleground for hearts and minds. Telling is no substitute for experiencing. And empathy is the most powerful educational tool. To use the teacher Jane Elliott’s favoured phrase, Never criticize a man until you’ve walked a mile in his moccasins. 

So I prefer to assume everyone is my friend unless and until I see evidence that they’re not. Evidence of my eyes, not hearsay. Innocent until proved guilty. I base this on the fact that I belong to many cultures which reach out to include the vast majority of my fellow-creatures. Not only that, but these cultures overlap to provide an intense and overwhelming reassurance that my faith in most others is firmly grounded and impervious to interference from above.

I use the word ‘culture’ to describe a broad affinity arising from a perceived similarity. There follows a list of the cultures I belong to, in no particular order:

sentient being

Yes, blogger. Last but not least. In a way, it includes all the others. And that, of course, is true of them all. They intersect with one another and all (plus others I may have left out) combine to bring me the fullness, depth and happiness I require.

You, I’m sure, could make a similar list and a similar case for its indivisible totality. We have an affinity based on perceived similarity. We belong to so many common cultures, it makes sense to imagine we share one culture. No one can put a name to it because no name would be sufficient to describe it. It is in the process of development, invention, evolution. And no one can possess it for it belongs to us all.

It remains to be seen whether we can keep it in our sights amid so many calls to withdraw our empathy from those that somebody hidden in the shadows deems to be different, alien, other … whether the circles that bind us will remain unbroken.

Turns out I’m happy to be bound after all …

OK, I’ve done my link to WordPress Daily Prompt. Now all that remains is to justify the title. Bubbles pop, you see, and ‘Bubble’ was yesterday’s Prompt word and then there was that Bert Weedon track and … and … oh, never mind, here’s Joni Mitchell !!!