In Season For A Reason

there’s a voice and a reason and a reason for the season  and the season may very well be now and it’s calling and they’re shouting and the shouting’s growing louder and it’s asking when and where and how

and it’s shouting and it’s crying and the proof is in the people and the people are asking why and why and why, can you hear it, can you feel it, do you know it  when you see it, can you feel it surging, voices do not lie,

they’re asking and i’m asking and we’re wondering and demanding and it’s growing by the minute, by the hour and it’s here and it’s there and it’s tweeting everywhere and folk around are fed up by the same old choir

for they sing the song of death and destruction and disaster and they try oh, how they try to fill our hearts with fear, but hearts and minds have reason and the reason and the season is asking, really? armageddon near?

what of love and truth and the knowledge born of youth, the undisturbed, the uncorrupted view, the simple and straightforward and, yes, the basic facts, that, where they argue, honesty is lacked

our educated young and the chorus raised against the same old, tired old, oh, so very, very old, repeated verse, is a fallacy, delusion, determined on confusion, keep them separated, subjugated, worse,

let them all believe that difference is abhorrent, that mothers, fathers, children, all and everywhere, are somehow out of sync, with all nature, all we need, all we ask for, how we feed, shall we really let them bring us to the brink

there’s a reason and a season and the season may be now and the reason is catching up to lies and, god, I hope it’s true that what we read and do may avert the worst of all, we, all, must most despise

 

I don’t really ‘do’ Twitter or Facebook although my posts go to both. I’d forgotten how engaged, politically, both are, especially considering my experience of both during the Scottish Referendum campaign. I’ve been negligent. There are so many voices out there speaking for causes that unite people, people just being people, doing what they’re best at. Yeah, there are some total planks. You get that everywhere. But, there are so many Joes and Janes out there, just being human and caring, that I’ve been humbled tonight to be part of their thoughts and arguments.

I’m promising myself that I’ll get back to the level of engagement that I was involved in during the Referendum, that I’ll listen to the pros and cons and follow the links  –  so many of which I could never find on my own.

I don’t know if I’ll manage it – time always being the enemy of intention – but I’ll certainly try.

There’s a reason, I believe, for the existence of these forums at this time – this season of so much unrest and dissatisfaction with what passes for governance worldwide. 

I’m rarely in fashion but I do tend to follow what appeals to my sense of justice and integrity. I find these voices here on WP. I’d forgotten that social media actually has a lot to be said for itself – if you can ignore the bits that don’t appeal.

I’d urge anyone whose interested in what’s going on in the world to do what I have neglected to do for some time. Re-engage. This is the season. And there is a reason. I have no doubt of that after tonight.

Advertisements

The Illusion

Below are the words I wrote to one of Johnny’s amazing tunes. It’s called, ‘The Illusion’.

It made me think of the circus (which I hate). And politics. And we, the people. This world of ours.

I hope you enjoy the results of this particular collaboration.

Some people may be offended by some of the images. What can I say? I’m offended by them too.

Here is the circus, here is the street,

Ringmaster has found the beat,

Try to keep up with his song,

Try to march in time along.

 

This is the game we all play,

Carnival is now the way,

Jugglers, clowns perform, we pay,

Sideshow stalls have won the day.

 

See, look, the Big Top, there go the lions,

Whipped to submit, they stride in time,

Prancing ponies do their thing,

All well-trained for circus ring.

 

Fire-eaters and trapeze acts,

Contortionists, acrobats,

Bearded lady, strongman too,

A man who’ll throw sharp knives at you.

Elephants and dancing bears,

Chained and trained with treats and chairs,

Barking seals we’ll photograph,

Voyeuristic, look and laugh.

 

This is the game we all play,

Carnival is now the way,

Jugglers, clowns perform, we pay,

Sideshow stalls have won the day.

 

Freaks, a frenzy, humankind,

All been hired, so we don’t mind,

Reassured by loud applause,

Menagerie all minus claws.

 

Unicycle, wheel on fire,

No safety net below the wire,

Seats aplenty, catch the thrills,

Captive held, donated will.

 

This is the game we all play,

Carnival is now the way,

Jugglers, clowns perform, we pay,

Sideshow stalls have won the day.

 

Crocodiles that cry and smile,

Hoops and loops, a queued turnstile,

Welcome mat once bona fide

Shit and sawdust strewn inside

 

Red coattails and top hat guy,

Prices tickets, would he lie,

Roll on up for daring acts,

Roles by rote, learned down pat.

 

Calliope, glockenspiel,

Beating drums, can this be real,

Mesmerised by costumes grand,

Performances all out of hand.

 

Extravaganza, three-ring whip,

Drugged as mugs, all on this trip,

Flashing lights and strobes that blind,

Custard pies but we don’t mind.

 

This is the game we all play,

Carnival is now the way,

Jugglers, clowns perform, we pay,

Sideshow stalls have won the day.

 

Disassembled, faded grass,

Circus moved, out on our arse,

Try to keep up with his song,

Ringmaster can do no wrong.

 

This is the game we all play,

Carnival is now the way,

Jugglers, clowns perform, we pay,

Sideshow stalls have won the day.

The Horse’s Mouth

Your voice tells me

What I need to know

One among the many

Giving truths

Mainstream

Does not cut it

For me any more

I’d rather hear it

From the horse’s mouth.

I wanted to reblog this post here but I don’t know where the reblog buttons have been hidden on a number of sites now. WP glitch or me being thick?

Ashiakira writes beautiful haiku but today he steps out from that short form to write with the same truth and feeling on a situation of national and global importance.

I trust a man who has known the loss of war and desires peace. He speaks for his people even while his government rewrites their constitution. It is in posts such as this that I fully appreciate the real power and importance of blogging. Who else will tell us what we need to know with such honesty but a fellow human being living within the constraints of political machinations? We all know that place; the one where governments decide, press portrays its version but we don’t feel as they do. Please read these words from a beautiful soul.

Penny For Them

£     s     d

2    9    6

4    8    7

+ 5   6    4

—————

£12  4s  5d

—————-

Memory escapes slightly but I think that’s the way we used to do it.

Back in the pre-metric days of my primary school, 12 pennies made a shilling and 20 shillings made a pound.

By the time I reached my final year of primary school 100 pennies made a pound. And I became au fait with the decimal point.

The new metric coins were introduced and, gradually, through time the old coins were put to rest. It took years, with certain of the old coins of particular interest being traded, by those in the know, as having more worth than their face value depending on when it had been minted and whose face adorned the other side of tails.

An aunt of mine had a little book, listing those of worth in general circulation, and kept her eyes peeled, hoping to be lucky enough to come across one of the rarities.

Adults at that time, particularly the more aged, were forever heard to be arguing with shopkeepers, believing they were being diddled in their change.

And who could blame them?

One day they had been handing over a pound note to pay for goods costing a shilling and received nineteen shillings, or 228 pennies, in change. The next day, they handed over a pound and received, in change, with an apparently huge shortfall, 95 pence.

Even I felt diddled handing over my thrupenny bit for sweets

A local shop kept two trays of sweets under the counter, one holding sweets costing a penny and the other for goodies valued at a hal’penny.

For my thrupenny bit I could purchase three penny sweets or six hal’penny sweets or any combination amounting to the same. And I could work it out.

Then, one day, those self-same trays allowed me to take one sweet from the penny tray and one from the halfpenny tray or three from the latter. I argued like an old woman despite being about 11. Something was far wrong.

Or so it seemed.

The transition between old money and new felt like we were all being diddled. God bless the shopkeepers. They must have had their work cut out too, trying to pacify irate customers while working out the conversion with the handy list sellotaped near the till and, at the same time, ensure they weren’t going to be pulled up at the end of the day, by their employer, for fiddling.

I’m no expert on economics. Far from it, in fact. When my brother was studying economics as part of his university course in Business Admin, I recollect a conversation we had as he tried to explain the finer points of supply and demand, inflation and deflation and the different schools of thought on the subject. He lost me.

Back then, and even now, I find it difficult to comprehend that price, value and worth are not necessarily synonymous. Perhaps, rarely so.

The value of water is priceless.

The value of a superstar, priceless also, apparently.

The respective worth of each, leagues apart, in life stakes.

The price? I pay very little attention to the cost to clubs when footballers change hands and contracts are negotiated, except perhaps to note the ridiculous sums paid to kick a ball about in the hopes of improving team chances of winning some trophy. I listen, in disbelief, when sums quoted translate to millions in any currency.

I do realise that my lack of interest in football colours my judgement. But, I also wonder at the economics of such transactions when clubs find themselves going to the wall, pass on the cost to supporters and are forever on the lookout for rich investors to save the day and creative accountants to cook the books.

Those interested in football will follow these transactions closely, pay the subsidy at the gates if they can afford to and consider the player worth the cost if a trophy of indeterminate intrinsic worth is brought home to be displayed with pride in a room few will have access to.

Their choice. Doesn’t affect me at all.

Except.

When the perceived worth of something or someone is based on only one factor, there’s something wrong in the state of play.

Yesterday I read a post outlining what the government of Puerto Rico should be obliged to do in order to meet their debts.

In essence, deprive the nation of easy access to water. Among other austerity measures that will hurt the populace.

Comparisons were made to the situation in Greece.

Got debt, must pay.

Somehow, must pay.

You owe, must pay.

Mismanaged economy, must pay.

It strikes me that people don’t change the currency. People don’t create monetary policy. People don’t even understand how economics works. People are guided by those who profess to know and trust that those in the know, those governing on their behalf, are actually doing just that.

People deal with smaller sums. People take what they’re given for their apparent worth and hope that they can balance their own books. Surely, we can trust the financial institutions and associated government bodies and financiers to do their jobs. They’re paid enough to do so.

Yeah, right.

I listen to figures being bandied about, trillions for Trident, billions for welfare, gazillions lost in tax default.

I understand money management on a household scale although often wonder where it all goes. Then I look at the books and note what I’m paying for this and that, remark on the changes in price of milk and bread and the rising cost of insurance. And try to balance the books without diddling anyone.

It seems that some of the economists don’t understand how economics works.

Someone, some many someones, somewhere, scribble some figures on the back of an envelope, flash the possibilities and gamble with the health and wealth of a nation. Different schools of economic thought are used to play risk. Priorities are weighed by different parties. Unrealistic goals and targets are outlined and bankrupted.

And still we allow them to mis/manage our countries. It is the trust of people that has been bankrupted while those who play the game also run the shop and set the prices. We don’t determine the currency and fiddle the exchange rate, although we are guilty of allowing value to be set by others. We are culpable in a system that dehumanises suffering based on accounts and capitalises on effort while penalising poverty.

The people, meanwhile, take their thruppeny bit to the store and can’t figure out why they’re being penalised, why what was affordable and available yesterday has become a luxury item.

Luxury is relative.

Water is not a luxury.

Ordinary people do have value.

The price they are being expected to pay is not worth it.

I can count in old money, I can count in new. Imperial, decimal. It all amounts to the same thing if someone else determines the exchange rate and sets intrinsic worth.

That handy conversion table at the till now lists the price of life against the coin.

Perhaps it always has and those who have counted the cost have been unheard except through revolution or appeals made to the charity of those relatively better off. Who can resist such appeals, even while knowing that sometimes the cause of dire circumstances is not natural disaster but the corruption or mismanagement of a country by those who want their own trophy at any cost?

One thing economists/governments don’t appear to take account of, where maybe they did in the past, is that people will put up with a lot, a really huge amount, an enormous quantity of being diddled, of suffering hardship, of paying the toll at the gate of the game others control, so long as basic requirements are met.

At the most basic, is water and the air we breathe. How much longer before oxygen tanks are issued with a price tag?

mad-hatter-1

Who runs the countries?

Penny for your thoughts?

May Music, Day 15 – Yes! Perfectly Caledonian – with some Dignity

I’m one of these annoying buggers that sing along to a lot of songs. Sometimes even just the ones in my head.

But, singing along and singing along can mean quite different things depending on the occasion.

For this one, think party, people, alcohol imbibed in sufficient quantity to be somewhat reckless in demeanour (pished), end of the night, dj with a smart sense of how to wrap up an evening. Everybody loves everybody else. Oh, yes, everybody loves everybody else. (Except for that wee shite over there that’s asking for a belt in the mush.) Arms around shoulders, linking one to another. Think, swaying in time with stupid grins plastered. Think, starting slowly and then trying to keep up, arms and legs flailing while singing (shouting) along. Timing becomes nothing. Participation is all. Ach, you’d have to be there. And we have, Runrig with ‘Loch Lomond’.

Quieten down for a more melancholy sort of pished and we have, Dougie MacLean with ‘Caledonia’.

Speaking of pished. Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve) and we have, Eddi Reader with ‘Auld Lang Syne’.

And I can’t include Eddi Reader here without including one of my favourites of hers from when she sang with Fairground Attraction. And it’s a different sort of pishing down here. ‘Perfect’.

I had no idea when I began Twindaddy’s 25 days of music challenge how difficult it would prove to be. For a number of reasons. Nor that it would create a monster. I am currently incapable of choosing one song only. But, if you all only listen to one, listen to Dougie MacLean singing ‘Caledonia’. It’s perfect. Yes, for home.

And maybe some ‘Dignity’. Because the two of them kinda go hand in hand.

There’s more to Scotland than all portrayals. Including mine.