Tag: opinions

Men in White Coats …

Image result for men in white coats"

 

When my Word Generator app threw up likely, the idea of ‘fact vs opinion’ came to mind. We are entitled to our own opinions, I’ve heard it said, but we are not entitled to our own facts. Hmm. Fact … or opinion?

Let’s not panic nor get manic
If those boffins show we’re doomed.
Keep your cool while some paid fool
Explains how global warming zoomed.
Let’s pretend we’re experts, too!
You go first. What say you?

 

 

Image result for climate change facts for kids"

 

images: Gigall & IPCC

 

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 …

freerange

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!

In Commemoration of the WordPress Daily Prompt – While Struggling with the Sudden Realisation that From Now On any Boot up the Backside will have to be Mine!

R eached the
E nd of
T he
R oad with nowhere to look but
O ver my
S houlder at all those
P oems I wrote under the influence –
E very day a new word, prompting me to draw heady notions from the
C ellar of my mind and pour
T hem
I nto leaky
V essels just like this one. And around about now I’d usually think about
E nding.

Ah well, onwards and upwards! There’s always the dictionary, opened at random. Close your eyes, stick a finger on the page … presidency. Er … perhaps resist easy salvoes in Donald’s extremely nervous company, yeah?

Hmm, not bad, though I say so myself as shouldn’t. Random has always been my preference over Predictable. I love starting sentences with no idea how I’m going to finish them … said the new prisoner to her uneasy jailer. What I’d really like is to come up with something absolutely original that would make everyone else kick themselves for never having thought it. In other words something so blindingly obvious, it would be hiding in plain sight.

A pipe dream, of course, because how could so many billions of people miss such an evident truth?

Surely the only way that could happen would be if they weren’t talking to each other properly … if they were subject to leaders (or leaders of opinion) who told them what to believe and who to associate with … if they were working all the hours available just to make ends meet … if their brief acquaintance with leisure pursuits was dominated by an overwhelming desire to escape … if their circle of friends and thereby access to different viewpoints was – for a whole variety of reasons that were largely beyond their immediate control – narrowing … if their default response to other points of view was not to debate them but to demonise them … if – but hang it all, why am I wasting time wondering about all these hypotheticals when the plain reality is that there’s nothing new under the sun, you can’t teach your grandma to suck eggs and everything you buy does exactly what it says on the tin?

Why worry? Be happy. And yet …

To wrestle with my disquiet about things, I used to keep a journal. And then another. When the word-count exceeded The Encyclopaedia BritannicaI called it a day. Now I just write on a single sheet of A4 whenever I feel like it – chance observations, stuff I copy down, things I overhear – the usual sort of thing, only nowadays I try to make connections because I know that when I come to the end of the second side I have to flip back over and write a title which encapsulates the whole kit and caboodle.

One of the greatest double acts ever to grace the variety stage, incidentally. Like most  comic pairings, their humour derived from an uneven relationship. Although the same gender, age, ethnic origin and profession, they were drastically different in terms of personality and behaviour. Where Kit – the straight man, feed, dead wood, or stooge – was reasonable and serious, Caboodle – the funny man, banana man or comic – was amusing, less pretentious, silly and relentlessly zany.

These stage personae were, of course, entirely fictitious. In private life Kit was the life and soul of the party and would do anything for you, while Caboodle was a poisonous killjoy whose only pleasures were malicious gossip and petty humiliation. Their greatness, for those who style themselves connoisseurs of the comic arts, lies in a transcendence of mere humour in favour of a kind of existential embarrassment. Kit and Caboodle were never afraid to die onstage and often did.

Coming Soon:  Plan B

Image result for stage curtains

Image: Marketing Solutions

Stimulus: WordPress Daily Prompt Retrospective

Pushing at an Open Door

P rod a leaden sleeper, does he breathe?
R ile a spouting bigot, watch him seethe!
O pen up a can of worms for fun.
V olunteer to fight without a gun.
O perate a comic hit-and-run.
K ill the rush to scapegoat weak and poor.
E levate the right of all to more.

 

Image result for can of worms

 

Image: San Diego Reader

Stimulus: WordPress Daily Prompt Provoke

You Can Have Any Colour You Like As Long As It’s Orange!

Here are three for the price of one to end my little festival of acrostica. Hope you’ve enjoyed reading them as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them. Suppose now I’ll have to start thinking of something sensible to post about …

 

P olice came knocking on my door last night, ‘In
R esponse to a complaint,’ they said, ‘about music.’
E ver ready and willing to help, my very
F irst thought was to turn the volume down. ‘Is that
E nough?’ I asked. ‘Any level of free jazz is too loud,’ they
R eplied. ‘We’re preferring charges.’ I told them I’d prefer they didn’t.Image result for free jazz

 

 

 

 

 

P assion
R emembers.
E nnui
F orgets.
E asy choice if you’re sane!
R un that by me again …

Image result for forgetting

 

P lease don’t ask me whether I would
R ather attend this or that school, this or that hospital.
E very time you saddle me with choice, you duck responsibility and
F orgo your firm claim to be in charge. Any government worth the name makes
E ach school and every hospital a haven of excellence and safety.
R ather let us choose between the people’s champions and charlatans like you.

Image result for education and health

 

Images:

Fine Art America

Debug Lies

National Research and Development Centre for adult literacy and …

Stimulus: WordPress Daily Prompt Prefer

Sometimes

sometimes don't you just want to 
escape the prison of language
fly free of rational thought and the bounds of respectability
give voice to whatever comes into your mind 
as it tumbles in a spacetime all its own?

sometimes don't you just want to
say something no one else has ever said
to bust apart the bounds of dull conformity
and set things off in a brand new direction
towards love and its urgent compulsions?

sometimes don't you just want to 
overturn the tables of profit and loss
in the moneymarkets that stand where
people like us once shook hands and swore
allegiance beyond all selfishness?

sometimes don't you just want to 
turn off the tide of hatred
rising like blood from a pale land
too fearful to acknowledge its heritage
of mutual tolerance and trust?

sometimes don't you just want to
point an accusing finger 
past poor defenceless scapegoats
to the moneylaundering parasites 
laughing behind closed doors? 

sometimes don't you just want to
turn back the clock
to when time was all before you
and poetry ethics philosophy economics politics
were just classes in school?

 

Image result for heaven on earth

 

Image:  Ground Zero Web