Daily Prompt: Farce

When we were at school we read ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ by Oscar Wilde – a great big yawn for many, but I really loved it! It’s very different, reading a play rather than a novel, but all you need is a bit of imagination to bring it to life in your mind.

I certainly far prefer a farcical comedy of yesteryear to the farcical politics of today – at least the former was written with the intention of being laughed at…

Daily Prompt: Farce 

Daily Prompt: Better

Sometimes it feels like we may all want a better world to live in, but politically we fundamentally disagree on how to achieve that end. For some, better means division and demarcation (between them and us, haves and have nots), while for others better means increased inclusion, effectively breaking down the borders and barriers that selectively separate us.

‘Better’ is never an absolute, but is a relative concept – better than what, better for whom? Natural balance means that things can never be better for everyone, there are always going to be winners and losers, and sadly it seems that our current political system ensures that what is better in the minds of the decision-makers in society – inevitably the few – will often result in everyday life being decidedly worse for the many…

Daily Prompt: Better 

Daily Prompt: Meaningless

So much of what is said in politics these days, stripped of all bluff and bluster, often seems to be no more than a meaningless rush of hot air blasted out at high volume. It may be emotive, or obstructive, or deflective, or manupulative hot air, but it’s rarely based purely on anything that anyone would recognise as cold hard fact.

And what is worse, we now almost expect to be lied to with devious intent, to have the truth twisted and turned and distorted to suit that particular speaker’s agenda, whatever that may be. For politicians to spend so much time deliberately generating heat rather than light may not be illegal, but in my mind it is definitely heading towards the dodgy end of immoral…

Daily Prompt: Meaningless 

Daily Prompt: Murmuration

The older I get, the more I notice myself muttering all too frequently about innumerable irritations over the course of each day, mouthing with growing regularity those previously silenced thoughts of my youth. My grumbling rumbles along the same old weary tracks creaking and groaning like a never-ending freight-train, first about this and then that, on and on seemingly without censure.

The whatever-it-is I used to have inside my head that stopped me from saying all the probably-inappropriate stuff I think seems to have been permanantly by-passed these days, to the extent that whatever irreverent thought pops into my head almost immediately exits my mouth, albeit almost indecipherable under my breath rather than clearly spoken out loud.

Unless it’s about the current political situation either in the US or the UK, in which case my agitated and animated murmurations become increasingly vociferous, peppered all too liberally with decidedly unsavoury language… 🙂

Daily Prompt: Murmuration

Shoogly Pegs

Watching Andrew Marr’s regular Sunday morning political programme on TV this morning, journalist John Sopel (while reviewing the day’s newspapers) was commenting on Jeff Sessions’ continued future as Attorney General in the current US Administration (after his apparent misinterpretation/ misunderstanding/ misleading answer of the relatively simple question of any contact with Russia during the US Presidential election campaign), musing that potentially, Sessions’ ‘coat was hanging on a shoogly peg’.

The usage of such an informal fun phrase on such a reasonably formal political programme certainly made me smile – it’s a light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek Scottish expression relating to the questionable security of his continued tenure in office, referring to his metaphorical work-coat hanging precariously on a very wobbly coat-hook with the increasing likelihood that it may soon fall to the floor in an ignominious heap. The inference being that Sessions’ may find his services are longer be required, soon enough…

Presumably Jeff Sessions’ coat peg is located a bit too close to Mike Flynn’s in the Administration’s cloakroom… and his shoogly peg has already given way, after only a very short time in office. Hmmm… maybe we’d better check the whole rack for any more potential shoogly pegs while we’re at it, and the sooner the better! 🙂

Share Your World: Feb 27, 2017

Ever ran out of gas in your vehicle?

Not personally, but I was once being driven to the airport when the car we were in ran out of petrol – luckily someone kindly stopped and offered us a lift, and we caught our flight on time, even of it was by the skin of our teeth!

Which are better, black or green olives?

Hmmm… Black olives are a little bit softer and sweeter in the flesh, I think, but I also love the slightly sharper crunch of green olives, especially stuffed with garlic and pimentoes – but I have to make sure my husband eats some too, so I don’t have garlic breath all on my own 🙂

If you were a great explorer, what would you explore?

History – I’d probably like to go back in time and explore the past for myself, instead of having to try to read between the lines of everyone else’s propoganda-led agenda, trying my best to interpret fact from fiction. I suppose human beings have always chosen to tell their own somewhat skewed version of the ‘truth’ at any given time – the only difference nowadays is that because everyone potentially has a voice these days (rather than just the church and the elite being literate) we can pretty much catch them out and question their account.

Well, unless they are the President of the United States, of course, in which case they can tell whatever ludicrous lies they like, call everything else they don’t like (however much truth there may be behind it) ‘fake news’ and make a big show of closing their freedom-of-speech doors to anyone who isn’t prepared to report ‘on message’…

Quotes list – at least three of your favourite quotes?

‘And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom’ – Anais Nin

‘If you’re going through hell, keep going’- Winston Churchill

‘This above all – to thine own self be true’ – William Shakespeare, Hamlet Act I, Scene III

Cee’s Share Your World

 

Daily Prompt: Translate

Listening to the Munich Security Conference on TV this morning, one of the questions asked was relating to all these alleged Russian/ US cyber-hacking shenanigans and potential repercussions for everyone else across the globe. According to the German-to-English translator (or at least my undertanding of what was said) the questioner basically wanted to know whether or not there was any factual basis to the allegations being reported, or was is just another strand of rumour-mongering pseudo-scandal constantly being whipped up in this post-truth world…

It got me thinking… It does worry me that there is just so much extreme variation in all the frequently conflicting and often downright outrageous information out there right now that it has become virtually impossible to seperate the wheat from the chaff, decide what is deliberately deceitful, what is dubious but nevertheless genuinely misunderstood, and what is unambiguously factually checkable through multiple independent sources. But overall, the wily, weaselly way in which fiction is translated so readily into fact is a disturbingly growing trend. It seems like lies are the new truth, fake is the new real…

There may indeed be the possibility of multiple truths existing simultaneously in the world, or at least multiple interpretations of what constitutes truth, depending on many factors – with religious belief being one of the most influential factors out there – but surely facts have to be factually accurate no matter what your fundamental beliefs? It seriously pisses me off that I now have to independently fact-check everything I hear and read myself, because I no longer know who to trust, whether mainstream or social media sources.

Lies, it seems, are everywhere we turn; some blatant fabrications from start to finish, some cleverly twisting and embellishing a germ of truth and distorting it out of all recognition, some simply borne out of sheer ignorance and closed-in narrow-mindedness. When I was studying for my degree, it was perfectly acceptable for me to argue anything I wanted – even that black was white – as long as everything I wrote was correctly referenced by reliable sources. Without adequate referencing, my arguements became only my opinion, not verifiable factual statements to be relied on.

Personally I think politics should require a similar level of rigour – there are so many different interpretations of facts, but there is no such thing as an ‘alternative fact’. In my way of thinking, politicians should be held accountable for the propogation of any lies they tell, and moreover any democratic decisions made by a population, where it can be proved that the political arguements made by those with the power to influence that decision were not only flawed but an entirely fabricated fantasy, should be recanted, revoked, rendered null and void.

Because if, for example, individually we were to embellish the truth on our CV when applying for a job, were offered an interview on the basis of the information provided in that CV, then were offered the job but were ultimately found out to have bare-faced lied about our qualifications and experience, our contract of work would be summarily terminated, and quite rightly so. So why the hell don’t we demand that most basic level of honesty from our politicians, too?

Or is that simply too much to ask for in a post-truth world…?

Daily Prompt: Translate

 

Daily Prompt: Lukewarm

Why is ‘lukewarm’ so often considered to be such a disparaging term?

Are we so burdened with desiring the more dramatic extremes of hot or cold that we can no longer appreciate the middle-ground as anything of consequence? Are we so used to thinking in terms of diametrically-opposed black and white we all too often dismiss the nuanced intricacies involved in all the multiple and variable shades of grey in the world as irrelevant?

There seems to be a childishly self-aggrandised need by those curently in government, aided and abetted by the media with their 24-hour ‘news’ magazine culture, to insist on applying the age-old simplistic labels of good and bad to everything, as if the complexites of reporting a more average reality without encouraging such blatant bias were too much for us ordinary uneducated souls to comprehend.

Personally, I would far prefer the powers-that-be taking a more adult approach to life, however relatively uninteresting the imparting of policies and news items may become without the snappy soundbite of political spin so prevalent and pervasive in our disastrously dumbed-down, alternatively-informed society.

Have we forgotten so soon the lessons learned by fairytale favourite Goldilocks in her visit to the three bears? Porridge not too hot, not too cold, but just right; bed not too soft, not too hard, but just right. Sometimes extremes are just that – too extreme for our everyday needs. Sometimes, lukewarm living is just what suits us best…

Daily Prompt: Lukewarm  

 

Dystopian Doublethink

doublethink

I saw this ripped and fading poster on an old hoarding along some railway arches this morning, and the topical poignancy of the Orwellian reference was not lost on me: ‘War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength’.

We read 1984 at school, and I remember finding the whole concept of doublethink really confusing to get my head around – how could two diametrically-opposing, conflicting or contradictory ideas both be accepted as being true at exactly the same time? It simply didn’t make sense, and yet here we all are in 2017, in danger of being bombarded and bullied and brainwashed into submission as  doublethink has apparently become the new political norm…

Oceania as imagined by Orwell in 1948 may well have been a fictional futuristic dystopia – he could presumably have plucked any year rather than simply transposing the date to give 1984 – but ominously it feels increasingly not only that Big Brother is indeed watching every move we make on either side of the ocean, but also that doublethink is fast becoming the new alt-truth.

It worries me greatly that in democratically-dysfunctional societies such as ours, based on elitist illusion and fuelled by fear and division, suspicion and mistrust, the potential reality of each of us sooner or later coming face-to-face with the horror of our own personalised torture in Room 101 may be growing far too close for comfort…