24. Mullet

The Mullet hairstyle is back apparently. The 1980’s footballer look has returned! It’s resilience as a haircut going  back in time to ancient civilizations. It keeps the neck warm and snug in winter and stops it burning in the summer. It is now finding its way back onto the catwalk. Pop stars are now seen sporting this “new” trendy look!

Mulletfest took place in Australia for the first time this year. The town of Kurri Kurri was adorned with a crowd of mullet wearing aficianadoes.

The significance of hair is timeless. The tale of Samson and Delilah. Samson with his long hair denoting strength. Then when it was cut – weakness. The lion and its mane being the King of the Jungle. The Tale of Rapunzel and the rope of hair to attract a mate. The power of hair is endless. It makes us look young and old depending on the onlooker. A Theory of Hair? The ritual of combing, brushing and braiding of hair. The time at the end of the day before going to bed. Boys have short hair, girls have long. Is hair one of the first signs of sexuality?
Unkempt hair is a sign of unhappiness or a chaotic lifetsyle, or rebellion?
Mullet

 

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23. McQueen

Alexander McQueen was a fashion designer. Brought up in the East End, the youngest of six he conquered the world of fashion on his own terms. McQueen was a tortured soul, abused as a child he created women in his costumes to be scarey, to protect against men.

The documentary film gives the impression of a sweet man who was a whirlwind of talent, but eventually the whirlwind turned on him and he became very unhappy. He starts with being driven to succeed. This drive never leaves him. He became successful working for Givenchy and his own fashion house. So the pressure became unbearable.
Was it drive and ambition that consumed him? Like successful driven people the drive has a life of its own. The side event is the success, along with fame and fortune. The problem is what to do with the drive once the success is achieved. The drive remains intact immune to the success.

Freud’s drive theory was the idea that an imbalance is detected by the psyche and creates a drive to correct the imbalance. So if the imbalance is not addressed the drive remains intact. We all have this to some extent. Driven to succeed at work or play. It shapes our lives.

Conveniently today success usually means the filling of space. Time is money. No Time. This creates an environment where there is no time to correct the imbalance. So the drive pushes on. Filling up time. Creating pressure. More pressure. Until ……

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22. Union Decline

Union Decline is one of the side effects of our market economy. It is not the fault of the unions. Unions are trying to  adapt to support workers against poor work conditions. The digital economy where work is divided into timed minute bites of employment with no holiday or sick pay. The unions are in a David and Goliath struggle. Unions are the only bulwark against a work slavery peddled by multi national, world dominating organisations.

Perhaps not so simple. The rise and rise of indivdualism has had an impact. Financial institutions, companies, and firms used to be owned by boards of businessmen. Rather than one businessman now. This individualism further encouraged by Thatcherism is now the only way of working that the majority of the workforce has experienced. Dumbed down and brainwashed by fear not to think the workforce has no alternative. Forced to accept that work is insecure, temporary, contracted, with no increase in pay. This has become the norm.

The workforce is not politicised at the moment. Frightened and cowed into submission. The workforce is in constant fear of the gutter. Stories of more and more people using food banks are in the news. The perception is that we are all now more susceptible to poverty.

Yet the UK has a troubled history with Unions. Run by champagne socialists. Perceived as whoever has the power makes a grab for the cash. British Leyland and the Miners Strike being two famous examples.
But in the present form of Neo Liberal Democracy are Unions are the only way of fighting back?
Union Decline

Psychotherapy Counselling Union

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21. Magdalene Laundries

Magdalene Laundries was a system of slavery for women from broken homes and unmarried mothers run by catholic nuns. It doesn’t seem too fantastical to link this injustice to the repeal of the Abortion Law in Southern Ireland recently.

This turning of the tide or just catching up with the 21st Century depending on your point of view is seen by Church Leaders in Ireland as the waning influence of the Irish Church. More to the point that this sense of institutional cruelty forcing vulnerable women into dangerous situations was seen as something that couldn’t be sustained.

The Pope remains silent. Looking South for a more certain fan base.

The Prolife Movement is still powerful now backed by more and more science. Though the issue of abortion has always been linked to poverty. The dilemma between more children to feed, or more to be supported by. The role of and identity of women living in poverty is still discriminated against. The situation is complicated but always heavily influenced by male policy makers and religion.
Magdalene Laundries

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20. Wedding

The allure of the wedding still holds. The ceremony to wed husband and wife, wife and husband.
Yet the statistics show that Europeans are less and less interested in the sanctity of marriage. Yet the immediate simplicity of falling in love with someone who you love in the moment and want to extend that love to a life time remains iconic. Unrealistic and naive perhaps but all the same full of hope and optimism.

But a royal wedding is something else. The glorious weather untypical. Giving the tourist and anglophile the world over another reason to romanticise an Olde Ye England. Kings and Queens, Green Meadows, Country Cottages all wrapped up in the biscuit tin of a Culture of Manners, Law and Order and Fair Play. And Brexit.

With an American mixed race Bride, and the history of the groom and his mother. An energetic sermon focused on human rights. The suggestion of modernity enters into the Royal Wedding. Finally the Royals catching up with the 21st Century.

But the Royals are clever. They bend and twist to flex into something they cannot be. As Head of State itself an anochronism the Royals must always be trailing modernity: following careers in the Forces, and heading up the State Religion Apparatus.

The allure of Le Football still holds. The sport creates an obsessive fascination for large parts of the population. A game won by a foul. The owner of the winning team unable to enter the country. Unsporting and corrupt. The sport shows itself to be Powerful, Rich, and Royal. The administration of Football theatens to modernise. But never does. 

The FA Cup Final on the same day as the Royal Wedding could not be moved. The Population would have been forced to choose. Royalty or Football?
Two parts of English Culture colliding on the one day.

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19. May 1968

In May 1968 France was the closest that a western country in recent times has nearly had a revolution. The working class and students revolted against the status quo. The whole country and its bureaucracy came to a halt. De Gaulle the French President fled to Germany, dissolved the National Assembly, and called for new parliamentary elections.

50 years later without irony a couple of fashion houses have created an
ad campaign to celebrate the event. Young people and Revolution is sexy.
Great to sell stuff. Such is the consumption of culture to be re-sold back to us.

In a Freudian sense, if May 1968 killed the Father Figure (at least in the West), the offspring today is a multitude of neoliberal barbarisms, with defunct paternalist Capital opening the playing field to the brutality of hyper-concentrating global finance Masters of the Universe.

Today the most likely place for Revolution is from the mass immigration of young people from the East left to languish in poverty across the West. Would anyone today support them? Is there too much to lose? Mortgages, kids, tuition fees and loss of career? Perhaps this underestimates them. Younger generations have taken the full brunt of a life with nothing but the market place. Maybe not.

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18. Offensive PC

Has Political Correctness Gone Too Far? For some not far enough.
It has paved the way for a culture that uses language that does not discriminate on the grounds of race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, religion etc. PC is said to be the decent way to think, in an ever shifting world of more fliud identities. The plates of power are shifting. A new world order is possibly emerging.
Offensive PC

But what of the crusty losers? Where PC aims to protect the marginalised and disenfranchised, PC attacks the sections of the population hanging onto the old world order. With something to lose they hang onto this old world order hoping for a return to an older age.

And there is some truth in that if you change the language you change the culture. But it takes a while. A long while.
Unfortunately PC does not allow us our fears, prejudices and hatreds that we all have deep inside us. In the therapy profession when a client tells us of suicidal intention: we ask more about it. We try and bring it to the surface. So that it can be talked about and thought about with less likelihood of being acted out.

PC is not so flexible. It does not allow for our fears and hatreds: so where do they go? They stay repressed: frozen ready to be awakened: triggered by frustration and powerlessness. Brexit and Trump can be interpreted in this way.

Our society at this time does not cater for all of the human. Some have escaped the poverty of a primitive age to be saved by mass consumerism and capitalism. But has it gone too far. Humans work like a pendulum. A pause is only allowed at each extreme: the middle grey area is rapidly passed through.
Offensive PC

 

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17. Humiliation

Humiliation is a punishment or act which is designed to attack the victims’ identity.
Embarrassment is self inflicted while humiliation is meted out by the perpetrator, or set up by an unfortunate set of circumstances. It is traumatic and lays down repressed scars in the psyche.
It is a part of our primitive brain which keeps the top of the heirarchy dominating those lower down. 
Being humiliated is linked to powerlessness. It keeps those lower down the chain in place. In torture it is a big part of the stripping away of the identity of the victim. 

Did it play a part  in the Brexit vote? A section of the community who feel marginalised and humiliated hit back. The anger and hurt popped out in a way which was unrelated to the original hurt. 
Even if it is sabotaging and detrimental to that part of the community. The helpless anger triggered by the impact of the humiliation was the bigger force. Maybe this explains the idea that Brexit was not a vote against Europe. But an expression of pent up anger of the humiliated. 

After WW1 Germany was punished and humiliated. The anger and shame of this humilliation created a rage fuelling WW2. The study of humiliation shows that it plays a big part in war conflict across the world.
Humiliation is a part of us: how we are made. But its consequences are dangerous. 

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16. Windrush

How can Windrush happen? The UK moved from unregulated mass immigration to a crackdown on immigration to Brexit. A hostile environment was created to meet unrealistic targets to reduce net immigration. One thing the prime  minister does is stick to a target.
How long has this being going on with it not becoming an issue? Has the Brexit vote neutralised any humanity the UK has towards its Commonwealth citizens?

Again it is a culmination of all these factors. What it demonstrates is that modern media prevents us from joining up the dots. The news being brief and sensational it never gives us a complete picture. We struggle to make a historical time line which leads to events unfolding with many influences.
It can appear that events erupt on the day, with little thought or reflection.

Blair is blamed for the opening of the UK borders. The Left opens and the Right closes?
Yet the impact on individuals lives of the Windrush Generation can never fully understood and appreciated.
Then maybe it is just racism. Institutional. Political. Governmental. Populace. Popular. Personal. Individual.

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15. Idiot Compassion

The difference between wise compassion and idiot compassion is that idiot compassion is easier.
There is no risk of confrontation, anger or hurt.
Idiot Compassion backs up other peoples’ neurosis under the guise of you being nice or good.
People might need to be given a hard time, but it is seen as impolite or rude. Being wise compassionate in a culture of manners is challenging.
Keep the peace, don’t rock the boat, be quiet.
Idiot Compassion 

To practice wise compassion demands intelligence and courage. Causing harm and pain is not the same thing. Causing harm is long term while the immediate pain prevents confrontation and the long term harm continues.
Whether what you say is true or not depends on its benefit, and if it is pleasing to others or not. The major point is that whether it is pleasing or not pleasing is irrelevant. This is not part of the decision of whether to say or not!
In other words how the truth will be received is not part of the decision as to whether it can be said!

Bhuddists see idiot compassion as enabling. Or giving people what they want because you cannot bear to see them suffering. In this way you are giving people what they want, but really you’re doing it for yourself. So you can remain as being seen as nice. The person will not thank you for wise compassion. They maybe upset and threaten the relationship. But the intention is to avoid long term harm. Even though it might cause short term pain.
Good Luck with Your Wise Compassion

Idiot Compassion

 

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