Monday, November 27, 2017
The Wind ruffles my fur.
The Day has begun,
and this is how things are.
The Ground flies past,
my fleet paws.
My eyes are looking near and far
The Day has begun,
and this is how things are.
My nose finds all the smells;
deer and an old leaking car.
The Day has begun,
and this is how things are.
There are people to greet,
with a wagging tail.
And things to chase.
And good food to eat.
and at the end of it all,
there is a sofa on which to sleep.
and this, is how things, are.
Eyes burn like grit is in them
Thursday, May 25, 2017
Thursday, February 16, 2017
over the wide, wild open sea.
The land is a memory i cannot bring to mind
the trees, the grass the verdant hillside
The snow in winter
The blossom in spring
all recollections are dim
All there is the ocean and the big blue sky
over the wide, wild open sea.
Did once the land beneath my feet not move?
was there once soil and not sun bleached wood?
was once my bed not a deck, my pillow not bulwark?
over the wide, wild open sea.
Saturday, January 28, 2017
in the small hours
in the time between yesterday and today
Stare outward and see nothing but the night
Stare inward and see nothing but the night
the wind may blow in the trees
the rain may hit the window pain
the snoring next to me, will probably be loud and grating
but the silence all around echos,
echos in me
"you are never alone, not really...."
you are always alone, really.
No one else is ever in your head
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Friday, June 18, 2010
I'd agree. Not because we should be on 24hrs, 7 days a week. Not because of course it is utterly reasonable to be available even if in a different time zone, or doing something else.
I'd agree as the journalist, Tyler Brule, says what 70% of the world think. "I have sent an email, therefore you should read it."
There is no point expecting an end to the torrent of mails, usual inane two line whines. There is no point expecting people to notice the polite notice, that you are away, doing something not at your desk, therefore cannot answer today and please ask someone else. There is no point, as anyone who actual works knows, you will still get cc'd and still get the mails and then the demands for replies.
No one reads the out of office. They ignore them.
Because work is now sending mails. Not doing things, or makings things, or writing anything more than FYI on the top of another series of forward mails and at the end is a demand for a report on something that has nothing to do with you or the original sender.
Mass instant communication - and all it is, is noise to show that people are "working".
Friday, October 09, 2009
Having had another day of stuff thrown at me, some of it, a lot of it attitude. People with a high opinion of themselves, or more accurate a dissmissive attitude of others
Very disheartening to have people or persons actual be very rude and dismissive of you.
Being me is sometimes, not easy
"My God, My God why hast thou foresaken me....."
Monday, September 07, 2009
"Ferraby loved everything to do with being a father, from wheeling the pram out in the afternoons to preparing a bath at the exact temperature: even to be woken up in the middle of the night was an acceptable part of fatherhood, establishing his connection firmly. But most of all he liked simply to be with the child, watching her, talking to her, feeling her minute fingers curling around his own. He felt no need for any more exciting hind of activity, these days; he whole leave was passing in this simple and tender fashion, and he would have chosen nothing else. "
This stuck a sudden cord - not by the whole part which is poor Ferraby losing it and unable to stop himself having waking nightmares of sinking - but the besotted father, not wishing to hold anything but the flesh of his flesh close.
And that made me remember my grandfather lying in a hospital bed, in a gown designed to rob you of any dignity. Flesh of my flesh, his shoulder and arm despite being that of a ninety year old man, could have been mine- same broad shoulders, freckled skin, long forearm.
The stroke had robbed him of most of his speech and will. He lay mostly in the bed, move open eyes close, seemingly unaware of the world.
And he would not eat.
I ended up at one point feeding him baby food -combined with selective swearing this finally seemed to trigger his appetite. Then the hospital were persuaded to puree his food. Then, he finally started eating for them. He was like a large baby in the end; waking up at odd hours, making inappropriate noise and needed cleaning and helping with basic functions of bladder and bowl.
And it was not much fun at all. But then we had the only hope of him returning to being the cantankerous, casually racist, misogynistic bastard he was before where as a baby will, always of course, turn into someone great/good/worthwhile. Even a potential baby is invested with so much hope.
Alas I do stir the cup of bitterness I have prepared myself - the child we, I, would have had would have been three now.
And my grandfather - he was released, expelled more accurately, from hospital and the family found him a good -ish care home. As good as any can be expected really. And I left the fighting to get him to recover, to live to others for a few weeks, while I lived a bit of my own life. And in that short time he went and died. Maybe because I was away, maybe it was just time. No one aside from my grandmother seemed overly upset - he was just old. I felt guilty I was not more upset. And I had looked away. Flesh of my flesh, blood of my blood but I cannot say, due to character traits lain out above, we were at all close. Which makes it worse.
"Il y en a toujours l'un qui baise, et l'un qui tourne la joue"
There's always one who kisses and one who turns the cheek
Again the Cruel Sea; though it is a French proverb I think.
I am childless and age creeps up on me - I fear I will be childless and alone come my end, or at least not much loved like my Grandfather. Perhaps that is what I must face.
Some things do not turn out how you want, no matter how hard wished for or worked for and some do.
Cynical experience over my hopeful heart says; "Life is not fair. At best she is impartial. At worst, downright vindictive."
All you can do is brave the Cruel Sea and roll with the waves and storms.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
TENACITY - a polite term for bloody mindedness or stubborn attitude that has worked in your favour rather than against you
EVEN HANDED - they mean that this person tries to offend no-one so does very little
PASSIONATE - over enthusiastic to border line obsessed with certain areas of work
COMMITTED - over enthusiastic to border line obsessed with certain areas of work
DEDICATED - over enthusiastic to border line obsessed with certain areas of work
KEEN - over enthusiastic to border line obsessed with certain areas of work
DRIVEN - over enthusiastic to border line obsessed with certain areas of work
FOCUSED - over enthusiastic to border line obsessed with certain areas of work
ENTHUSIASTIC - over enthusiastic to border line obsessed with certain areas of work
TEAM PLAYER - cannot complete a task of his/her own so involves everyone to help with it, making decisions and announcing to office what is going on. Also first to stop doing their job if something more interesting is being done by someone else and they can assist/take over doing it
IN TOUCH WITH THE BROADER PICTURE - Complains all day about how badly company/organisation etc is run, usually with jaundiced but sadly accurate facts rather than doing anything about how badly place is run
SELF MOTIVATING - have not actually spoken to him/her for months and they have not sent any reports in or attended any meetings, but still claiming expenses and saw them in the corridor last week, striding past whilst talking on a mobile phone.
SELF ASSURED - arrogant self opinionated and rude. Possible senior management material
NOT A TEAM PLAYER - failed to bring in cakes on birthday, make anyone tea/coffee, go to pub after work or go to Christmas party and seems to have an OK home life and no personal problems. Smugly happy so not popular.
QUICK THINKING - someone who thinks about what they are doing; not to be trusted and got rid of when redundancies happen. If they stay that long.
The long grass in the field by the side of the road shimmered like the sea and shadows stretched and lengthened, like a cat waking from sleep. Darkness rising and waiting to take over the whole ground, but at the moment only a contrast to the last, glorious huzzah of the day, a counterpoint to the spectacular light show in west.
The car tyres hummed on the road, the engine quietly growled along, like a slightly perturbed dog. Light bounced off the bonnet, refracting, dancing around. Intensely bright, the driver of the vehicle, squinted through dangerous dark shaded glasses – care worn hands, scarred and battered gripped slightly tighter the steering wheel. He, a large, slightly running to fat, slightly greying man, shifted in the drivers seat, unintentional making the car shimmy and shy like a young horse before a jump. It did not stray over either line, but the mistake made him grimace in disgust at the lack of control.
Fortunately he was alone, both inside the automobile and on the road. No one was beside him to admonish him, no other driver to flash their lights in alarm, no policeman to haul him over.
Just him and the sun, quietly setting across the wide flat landscape at the end of a long hot summer's day. And Miles Davis playing. The beginning “Flamenco Sketches”, starting in that unwinding and cool way that was at once a rush to the head and a release of tension, like that first sip of dark red wine, or the hit of water from the shower as the cares of the world were washed away, the tension between his shoulders and in the small of his back eased. The noise in his head turned off for a few moments and was replaced with calm.
He should hit shuffle on the mp3 player; change the music and the mood to something upbeat, to keep him alert and focused; He should not be thinking, reflecting, shooting glances to his left to admire the beauty of the great ball of fire slipping gently behind the horizon.
He should have left earlier, he should have arrived earlier. He should have planned better; so that at the end of a long day, he was not driving, tired and hungry the two hours from home.
Lots of things he should have done. Hundreds, thousands. This was why he was where he was, not somewhere else, though he was realistic enough to not think that somewhere else was on his own luxury yacht being hand fed peeled grapes by some scantily clad ex-super model.
But right at this moment, at this sudden apex of his life curve, because it was an apex, a highest point, he was driving along a quiet, blissfully traffic free and untrammelled by repairs, road, with Miles Davis playing and the warm summer sun, softly, caressing the day goodnight.
He exhaled, blew out the worries and fears of the day, pushed them out of his mouth with his breath. Took them from deep within himself, placed them in his diaphragm and pushed them away, in on long steady exhalation.
The bills, the passing years, the job that took too much from him both physically in time and emotionally in care, the ageing relatives that seemed to exist between life and death now with no joy or interest in the world, the sad disappointments and rank unfairnesses.
Gone, or at least pushed away in the exhalation. Put aside; 'parked' as that annoying, peppy, polished but above all young middle manager would say. No longer part of the moment.
Because the high point was now, he was on an open road, comfortable sat, listening to some nice music and enjoying the sunset.
He toyed with the idea of pulling over to watch it.
He dismissed it.
Not because he was late, or that there was no where to stop, or that it was self-indulgent. Though these were second, third and fourth thoughts that notice what he was thinking and rushed into the decision making process late, all a splutter, demanding to be heard, far too late as the decision was taken.
He did not stop.
The moment was an apex, a high point for all the constituent parts of the situation.
The open road, with the car moving at an acceptable, progressive but above all constant speed – not stopping, starting, bouncing around with our impatient road users in their urgent demanding efforts trying to get where they were going, endangering or impeding him. No sea of red cones, no flashing 40 signs, no pathetically chirpy young woman explaining on the radio, that due to a broken-down-lorry (now one word in the English language) there were “severe delays”. The car moving, the feeling of movement, of progression, of transit, of the transitory nature of the whole situation and life was tied up in the fact that the car was in motion.
Whilst the sun setting was the perfect backdrop, in this apex scene, the perfect moment. Not quite literally driving into the sunset, but some director- of a particularly cheesy melodrama - would have sat with with his camera filming frantically as the car sped along the road, gold and red sunlight all over it, the closing moment.
The end of the day.
Sadly unlike cheesy melodrama there was no closing moment, apart that rather final cold hard closing moment, in life. No happy driving away with the setting sun.
But the moment had that, the beauty and the tranquillity and the calm to it.
The music was a great soundtrack, though he probably, knowing his budget it would have to played by someone else, not use the original as here.
Bill Evans starting the tune, improvising over the cord changes, with Miles Davis coming in at just the right moment. The perfect mix, of reserve, of sadness and melancholy but with a “heh that's okay” shoulder shrug in there as well. Jazz, born of the blues, knowing sadness as well as joy, this encapsulated the end of the day feeling, the slight tiredness, the weary sad smile.
The last track on the album.
He must have played this tune so many times.
Actually now he thought about it, as the road began to come to a bend, he had played this at other sunsets, sometimes deliberately sometimes accidentally.
Escaping Birmingham, after a hellish day, the sun hitting the hills as he scudded down the M5, with only a few other drivers around. The nasty taste in his mouth after the unpleasantness of the day's business, the ache in his fingers from writing, the mobile phone firmly off. He had put the CD in the player, skipped forwarded, and carefully still of his speed and road position went past Tewkesbury toward Gloucester, the Sun on his right, the road painted red. The end of the day and all the stress and time stopped, or at least paused. Out of the loop and at peace.
Or sitting on the patio, a cool glass of something in front of him, cats hunting in the flowerbeds, the wood at the back of the house, full of summer noise, the music slowly reaching out its tentacles from in the house, so he was distracted from listening to the friends around him, but still captivated by their faces, animated and smiling and talking as the music filled his head.
Or the harsh winter, cold and stark coming back from work, and walking from where the car was parked, miles from the house, and the tune popping into his head, as the snow and ice that frosted the cars and roof tops went pink and red with the setting sun.
He pushed the clutch dropped out of gear, down two gears, lifted his foot, slowing the car smoothly, calmly in above all pleasingly controlled way. Checked right, nothing, slowing still, making sure.
Then away, accelerating, round to the second exit, up a gear and off on another section of unblocked, uncluttered, lonely road.
Then rushing toward him, familiar buildings.
The tall towers of the disused power station, with light shooting through the rusting girders, the broken building sad and old, but some how less sad, with the soft dying sun light, the summer breeze moving the heavily leafed trees near it.
Flamenco Sketches finished, and something else on random played came on.
Something upbeat and poppy, with a repetitive and grammatically incorrect chorus but above all no soul, that had somehow found its way on to the player.
He turned off the music, sighing that the moment had now passed. Sad, that it was over, but happy that it had been good.
At the end of the day, it was just the end of the day. Like any other of the 13000 or so he had witnessed, many he had not really paid much attention to at the time.
The end of the day, with the night waiting.
The car sped on leaving the open road behind it.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Surely this comes under the Geneva Convention as torture or Cruel and Unusual Punishment.
I am being forced, AGAIN, by She Who Must Be Obeyed And Feared, to watch this - show is too small a word to encompass the sheer utter awfulness of it.
Ok Graham Norton is helping as very funny, but if it was not for my decision to self medicate on home made cocktails (Daiquiri's but now sadly out of Rum), would be gnawing my own leg off...
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
And the red bricks glow red - like a hearth stone, warm and inviting
and the roof is as green as a cricket pitch
cool and bright and fresh
and over the town, as the evening comes in, the tower is bathed in the dying days light
and it looks as if this was ever thus, England in the evening spring sun
and the sun goes behind the hill.
And the cathedral goes grey and dark.
And the bricks are old, and cold and dirty
And the roof is an old off green
And it is cold
Night is coming
The dark coats the land in a dark, soft blanket
The tower is gone, lost in the night sky
And then lights come on
And the tower is a beacon of light
Golden and bright
The colour of the sun
ethereal, floating over the dark land
shafts of light bouncing upward,
connecting the cathedral to the heavens
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
This then lead one friend to insist we renamed the range of kitchens, from "Tiverolli" and "Mocca Studio" to the more realistic naming criteria.
Purple plastic and grey marble effect worktop - newly made bachelor wanting to look trendy and cool
Gloss black doors, with chrome handles - pony tailed tosser
not so glossy black door, with wooden surround - wannabe pony tailed tosser
lime green doors with light gray work tops - Look-at-me kitchen for your thirty-something never married
coffee coloured units and doors - I don't actually use the kitchen, it is to look at, hence this impractical colour is fine
white units, white top, with built in door handle - bought by the builder as "deluxe kitchen".
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Fish eaten on Fridays.
Only horses sweat.
Stand up when a lady enters the room.
Take your hat off in church.
Now we have e-mail - perhaps we should have some rules - for e-mail, for chatting, mobile phones etc.
1. Do not text while talking to someone face to face. Devote your attention to one thing at a time and actually you may actual effectively communicate.
2. E-mailing someone three lines about a subject is not actually working on something. Stop using e-mail as audit trail back covering exercise.
3. Do not start mails with no salutation or any personal touches - we've all done it, it is not nice
4. Do not use chat instead of walking over to someone to talk
5. or to use it to pretend you are working
6. cc'ing your boss on all your mails is not big, not clever and not a substitute to writing your reports or communicating properly.
7. Flaming is a bad idea. Really. You will be scorched. Move away from the keyboard!
8. Passing a mail to you to someone else to answer for you is rude - reply saying you getting someone else better qualified/less busy to deal with it please.
9. Never ever ever hit reply all without checking the circulation. Ruthlessly cull your own circulation lists. Limit the traffic.
10. Less is more. Send less mails or even Stop Mailing some people. Really try the phone or in person. Because, think what you are doing. What people now do all day is send each other memos or read them. Not even twenty years ago, we actually did this thing called work at work. Think how long you spend all day going through the slew of e-mails, demanding, pleading or simply the two liner to show involvement. Stop adding to this tidal wave of drivel! Write what needs writing. Ruthlessly cull you circulation list. Major cause of project over runs - reading all the two line e-mails from people trying to appear involved in the project.
Two postings in one month. Too much
Saturday, November 08, 2008
It does have the risk of missing oncoming traffic - if you happen to cross a road (which, as I am in England this is highly likely) or share the route with other users. Horses are very large animals. Having been nearly run over by a trotting hunter am now taking this as a serious risk. The other is dog walkers, or rather the dog, who thinks either a) this is jolly good game to chase you or b) decided you are a risk and chases you. You then have to translate the barks - is that angry woof or playful woof? Either way stopping is often required - in order for the owner to recover the dog
It has given me a business idea. Exercise your dog - I run and the dogs chase me like idiots for a hour. But I think the chances of being bitten and losing dogs too high, for it to be viable.
These aside, running early in the morning - 7:00 AM, when most sensible people have just hit the snooze button on the clock radio, is peaceful. Morning dew turns spiders webs into silver necklaces, draped gaudily around branches. Soft golden light, playfully illuminates the woods and the turning leaves. You are alone - in fact I have even seen the milkman parked up and not moving.
I do have a music player thing with me, but do not use it. Firstly to listen out for horses or dogs, secondly as lost in thought.
And I find I very quickly retreat into thought, mainly as your legs begin to ache, you need to not think, "I have hardly gone any distance" or "why am I doing this?" or "I am far too old to do this".
The regular rhythm of feet hitting the leaf strewn path, the puffing steaming breaths, the jangle of keys in pocket sooth - like a train running on a track, like a steady hypnotic chant.
Having run the route many times, it is familiar, so you do not look so much- and if you were not thinking of something else, you'd be thinking of the pain in your legs, not on the fauna and flora (Deer mainly. No chance of hitting them, they run away as soon as see you).
Possibly this explains the series of trips and falls - not the poor state of the bridleways. Too busy musing on the unbearable lightness of being you miss the large tree root or pot hole and end up flat on your face (four times now in seven months). I have scabby knees and an interesting scar on my hand to attest to this.
But I still think deep thoughts. As it is space - my space - in a busy day, in a busy world. No e-mails to answer, no calls to answer, no one else to attend to. And really that is all one needs - time and space, possibly the most valuable commodity to anyone.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Mowing the lawn and thinking do go together quite well. As long – if using electric, you do cut your own cable, or slice your own toes off, pushing a mower up and down the grass it is a good time to drop the brain into another gear, and ponder the great unknow-ables of life the universe and if Phylis in accounts is having an affair (again).
With a ride on – no too hard to drive and think I feel, but does depend on terrain.
As I attacked again, with aid of said electrical grass cutting implement, the patch of thorny scrub laughable called a lawn, my mind wanders, it that detached idle way around issues, and does the mental equivalent, of taking the back of the TV to work out where the funny noise is coming on
Perhaps not always a good idea, but it satisfies the curiosity- that itch to know and to explore. And hopefully nothing goes bang.
(note. Unless you are a TV engineer this will invalidate your warranty. In the case of buzzing TVs)
I have just, sold my house. So the lawn was actually my landlord's not mine. So my original house, which I spent years sorting out and spending money on is sold.
And this made me think about home and Homes. Because in English, home is not just a house, it can be a whole country, or a city or a street not just a house. We do not have “the mother land”. We have home. Which is more, well, cuddly, cup of tea and biscuit relaxed and dress down than the patriotic, hard line, dress smart and stand up straight, social realism of “motherland”. Nor is in Chez Nous – my place. It is not so hip, cool and casual or French.
Home is where you wear slippers
Home is where know where the mugs and tea is stored
Home is where you sit and just are, not having to do anything
It is not appreciated as it is rather like a comfortable old jacket you wear at weekends (I'm English. I wear jackets.). Comfortable – familiar, worn. Maybe stylish but, most of all it fits and feels well. But not thought about.
Perhaps that is a man thing? Women will wear shoes and clothes that are uncomfortable, because they look good.
Men wear stuff that fits. Then looks good. No man would do to his feet what women do to theirs with high heels. Men are either to wimpy or not insecure enough. Or possibly too lazy...
And then I run our of lawn and the Philosophy stops.
Monday, May 05, 2008
Only of course it is not, which is why I say, down with it. Having survived its mangling, I feel I have a valid standpoint on this. The joke is always given:
A means of the information in the lecturers notes passing to the students notes, without the information passing through the brain of either.
Which people laugh at, as it is ridiculous. But this is how it is. As a student I was part of a compliant at one of our lecturers, as he was so bad. But really we should have fired 90% of them. The could not speak publicly, they cared little if they got their message across and the actually practical application of anything was beyond them.
These are the sort of people who complain of “dumbing down”. These are the people who say you “read a subject” at university. These are the smug so and so's who ruin education. Because they keep it a competition.
Rather than trying to get everyone educated – that is all understanding things, universities are an exercise in proving who is good at cramming for exams. And yes there are essays, and The Thesis, but exams are really it.
All universities tend to teach is how to pass written exams. Want actually someone who knows something, then universities are not the best places. Find someone who makes a living out of it, tends to be a better bet. Even in really practical subjects like computers and engineer, the real clever people are inventing Yahoo- how many of the internet pioneers were actually university professors and how many clever youngsters. How many professors were involved in designing Concorde? The Channel Tunnel? Inventing mobile phone networks? Start very successful companies? Very few.
Ok, it is a very sweeping generalisation, and not really true. There are lots of clever professors making money. And the universities have clever people in them. But universities are rigged not to help you learn, but to test you. You have to spend days getting a reading list. You have to research yourself things. No one shows you how to do anything. Most lectures are just the lecturer repeating his book at you – which is oddly the course book and costs £40.
So when these graduates come out what can they do? Well they can sit for three hours and regurgitate facts and formulae no problem. Actually rewire your house, fix your car, find a cure for some disease – then my faith in the system falls down. Truly stupid people get degrees. Really clever people sometimes do not.
The problem in England, which has spread I fear is that universities have some scared glow that rubs off on graduates. And actually no one asks -”So what does that mean you can do?” that is until the get to a work place and find, “oh dear I have to solve a real problem not regurgitate a known answer”.
In a meritocracy you are judge by your merit. Your worth to that society. Universities were born in the medieval period and hang overs from the class and rank system are still there. The value thing is “pass this test to prove you are clever”. It is not “pass this test to prove you can do x, y, z”.
I have a degree, actually. Makes me no better than anyone else, until I use that education to do something better than other people. Which I do not do. Most of what I studied does not affect my daily working life. Like a lot of graduates.
So the degree thing is like a club. A badge. A show off thing. And it makes me laugh when an estate agent or Bank Manger has BA (Hons.) or BSc (Hons) after his or her name on the business card. Because it proves nothing apart from you have bought into the “I passed the exams so I am clever” lie.
No, you are just good at sitting exams. If you could sell my house or arrange not to not lose my current account then you would have merit.
So what would I change? Make universities actually educate so people can do something other than pass exams.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Religion. (I have now a mental sound track playing, from Fiddler on the Roof. It is stuck on everyone singing “Religion! Religion!”). The problem with saying ‘Let’s get rid of religion’ is that some people take it very badly and threaten to cut your head off – which sort of makes my point.
Religion – ‘It is the opium of the people’. A saying of Karl Marx often quoted, though his argument is a lot more complex and of its time. People remember this particular part because it has a truth to it. A little religion, like a glass of wine with your meal may well be a good thing. A small prayer here, following most of the commandments especially the stealing and murder ones; all very good and beneficial.
Overdose on religion and the affect is more dramatic. People drunk on religion start stoning certain people, because, say they happen to be have slept with the ‘wrong’ person. They start to think that they are the ‘chosen people’ and everyone else is lesser people and not ‘special’ like them. They even blow themselves and innocent bystanders up in ‘holy wars’.
Religion, at least the organised type, is about putting a social order and control on the people. It has very little to do with thinking about the meaning of life and much, much more about your place in life and how you should live it. Hence, all the rules over shellfish, pigs, sexual activity and prayer times. Really – if there is a God (and I am not discounting the prospect incidentally) – do you think the supreme being, who is outside time and space even cares what you eat? Who you sleep with? And when or even if you go to a place of worship? You may say ‘you cannot know the mind of God’, I am going to take the radical step of assuming God is neither mad nor stupid – which means anything that hurts no one is not a problem for God.
So then, who came with all these rules? Oddly enough, I think it is the people who have the robes and do the chanting. After all, they benefit. If we just had ‘Think before you act and do as little harm as possible’ as the one commandment, it would rather cut down the need for priest types, wouldn’t it?
Cut out the bells and smells and “moral lecturing” they would be stuck doing useful stuff, like helping the poor maybe?
Now we could have a long list of the good and bad that religion has done, which actually is not my argument. (Though one for my list, is the refusal of the Catholic Church to allow the use of condoms. This has helped HIV/AIDS spread and kill so many people that it is tempting to call it mass murder.).
Why would I change Religion? Because it is a method of thought control and social conformity. It really is an opiate of the masses – you don’t have to think or reason or try to do the right thing yourself. Just do as the good book and the priests say and you are just and pious, no matter how idiotic. Kill the infidels, don’t allow blood transfusions, gay people cannot be adoptive parents, make women cover themselves all the time. Just Shut Up and Do as you are told. Which is just plain stupid. We are humans, because we think differently from the other animals. So we should use our brains, possibly God given, for making life and the world a better place. Not for trying to stick to silly rules or fighting over who’s God is best.
Religion is like an over protective parent. It treats people like very small children, with a list of ‘you must do this and not that’. In truth, with the widely educated societies we are becoming, we don’t need ‘Do and don’t do’ and rituals that control us. We need solid values and rational reasoning to help us in life. Not dogma, cant and patronising.
We need to be allowed to think as when we think we are human. When we do not we are just another dumb animal.