The way it started was as follows. One child in the playground would decide they wanted to play a game of “Tig”, or “Poddy 1, 2, 3”, etc. Then they would realise they needed more children to join them so they would stretch their arms out on either side (at shoulder height), and start walking around the playground shouting “All in who wants to play...” and insert the name of the game they wished to play themselves. As other children started to join them the shout would get louder. Then came the decision as to who would be the first to be “it” - this was decided by the very clever means of “putting your feet in” (the children would form a circle and each put one foot into the middle). A rhyme was said as one child touched each foot in turn. When the rhyme finished the child whose foot was being touched was “out” and withdrew their foot. This carried on until there was one child left (he or she was deemed to be “it”) and the game would start. At my Primary school there was a word which was used whenever someone wanted a break from the game – unfortunately I cannot type it even phonetically because it is very close to what is now considered to be an extremely offensive racial term.
Why did I tell you all this???
From where I am standing we seem to be moving towards a kind of “society” which is more like a Primary School playground. Not only are the world's “Political Leaders” currently behaving like a pack of infants but everybody else seems to be following suit.
We also have bullying going on. Not just at school and work – the current bullying culture is becoming a saturating flood of nasty remarks, leaving different sections of the population out, advertising which gives false hopes of being included in a status group if you buy such and such a product, etc.
I must admit most people don't seem to realise the damage that the most innocuous-seeming form of bullying can do. The trouble is it is not a “Direct” attack on the victim per se. In fact, the victim doesn't even realise what is happening before it is too late. Before you ask – I am not talking about scams and phishing, etc. Instead I am talking about the role so-called “Celebrities” play in convincing people they need Plastic Surgery in order to feel good about themselves. Never mind the “Celebrities” - the fashion industry are also partially to blame.
When I was growing up and becoming “fashion Conscious” it was in the era of bra tops and cropped tops. (Thank Heaven those days are gone.) If anything is guaranteed to knock someone's confidence it is the thought of having an imperfect body on show. It doesn't matter if the scars originally saved your life – if they are ugly enough for you not to wear the latest “fashions” they are really ugly. Or at least that is how I was made to feel about mine.
Don't get me wrong – I am not totally against Plastic Surgery when it is deemed appropriate by qualified Medical Professionals – in the case of a major trauma which results in major disfigurement, for example. However, I look at some people today and think they are beautiful already (and some of them should really make an appointment with a Psychologist or Psychiatrist if they are really that unhappy about themselves).
There is too much pressure on us to conform to unrealistic expectations – or even conform to expectations which might be achievable for some of us but not all of us. (A clue – I could get seriously depressed whenever I see adverts for new models of cars. Why don't they have the same kind of adverts for buses???)
This is before we come to the idea of “Fake News” and “Alternative Facts”. This seems to be another thing lifted straight from the Primary School playground. In fact, it kind of reminds me of something else I remember from Primary School - “Am yer! I'm telling.” Or even that stupid little rhyme “I'm telling on you – you jumped in the lorry and you never said sorry”. (The fact that no lorries were involved in the preceding events was – apparently – beside the point.)
Now we come to the “Mainstream Media” who appear to be content with both dumbing everything down so you only need a very short attention span and jumping on the latest Bandwagon. In fact, I watched “Newswatch” on the BBC News Channel when the Grenfell tragedy was still a major news story. One of the viewers wrote in and accused the BBC (correctly in my view) of making a bad situation a lot worse by whipping up the simmering discontent to epic proportions – then reporting the results as though they were a valid news story.
I know – it is all very well me sitting at my laptop – typing away – having a go at people. However, I do try to do things in person as well. I may not be the world's prolific protestor (far from it) but – if there is a cause I can respect the aims of – I will give it my whole backing.
Finally – we come to the “Anonymity” issue. I admit this is more connected with Social Media than anything else. However, I do know of Bloggers who blog under a pseudonym for whatever reason. Please note – I am not one of them. I have always been open about giving you my real name (as well as certain other details about me).
Here is my opinion on the whole “Anonymity” issue. There should be a register somewhere where the real names of the holders of “Anonymous” accounts on Twitter (as well as a”Anonymous” Bloggers) are stored – whilst allowing the people themselves to remain anonymous if they so wish. This register could then be used to track down the people who abuse their right of “Anonymity” to make life difficult for other people.
One of these days I really hope someone manages to drag “Public” Life back out of the Primary School playground so we can have a grown up debate about the issues which really matter. I also hope that we can go back to the era of being able to watch Documentaries which actually educate us – instead of pushing the agenda of whoever is behind them.
We are in danger of losing the ability to think for ourselves – we have so many people who claim to be able to think for us. The only trouble with that is we are all individuals with our own experiences of life. For example, I can only give you a small taster of what it is like to be me at any given time. I type – you read my ramblings – you get a small glimpse of my life – however, you cannot possibly think that you fully know how my (sometimes twisted) brain works just from reading my blog or my output on Social Media. If you want to know exactly how my brain works you will need to supplement your reading diet with spending time with me and getting me to feel comfortable with you. You might be shocked by some of the difficulties which have shaped me into the patchwork which is typing this – you might be amazed by how I work around different challenges I face (or even the things I consider to be a challenge which you might be able to do without thinking about them).
All In Who Wants To Be Treated As An Adult!!!