20. Manchester May 2017

Manchester May 2017
So a desperate young man known to the authorities and his own community manages to slip the net and kill 22     people and himself coming out of a pop concert. He was a muslim man a description politicians and press are not describing him as. The report states one of his acquaintances thought he was not clever and able to be easily influenced. High command saw their mark and ruthlessly exploited him with their ideology.

Like all human groups in peace or war there is a heirarchy. The officers command the troops. The troops die for the cause, while the officers quietly stay/retreat back to high command. The cause is implemented by those higher up the command. The cause is always explained logically, as though to think something else is unreasonbale or blasphemous.

Making the link between the West bombing other parts of the world and terrorists coming from those parts of the world seems obvious. But to make the link makes the establishment look like it has its own “foreign fighters“, and are more like the people who are attacking/retaliating against the West. In the end whatever the fight, the end only ends with talking.

Those Manchester families are now having an unimaginable Saturday night. Which last Saturday night was normal. The trauma of loss on the families physically and emotionally will impact on the rest of their lives. They will not recover from the bereavement, but perhaps one day the event will grow an inner strength of courage and humility, the rest of us will not have.

We can pretend, as the insurance industry would have us do, that we are in control of certainty. But what has not changed over the last centuries is how we are not. Our relationship to certainty has changed. We have become more arrogant. Our dislocation from the planet and nature has cut us off from the fragility of our lives.
Every day we hang by a thread.
Manchester May 2017

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19. All Night Corner Shop

All Night Corner Shop
What happens at the all-night corner shop before sunrise
     Notes from a News Stand          

All Night Corner Shop
In the early morning light, the small moments that start a day in the city slip from the mundane to the unexpected and back again, filled with meaning that’s just out of reach. In Notes from a News Stand, filmed by the US director Michael Faller near the Broadway Junction subway stop in the East New York neighbourhood in Brooklyn, the pre-dawn interactions at a small corner shop take on the qualities of a dream – vividly real, yet fragmented.

Director: Michael Faller

Score: Michael Odmark

All Night Corner Shop

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Disclaimer:This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only.
This article is designed to provoke argument and critique

 

 

 

In the early morning light, the small moments that start a day in the city slip from the mundane to the unexpected and back again, filled with meaning that’s just out of reach. In Notes from a News Stand, filmed by the US director Michael Faller near the Broadway Junction subway stop in the East New York neighbourhood in Brooklyn, the pre-dawn interactions at a small corner shop take on the qualities of a dream – vividly real, yet fragmented.

 

In the early morning light, the small moments that start a day in the city slip from the mundane to the unexpected and back again, filled with meaning that’s just out of reach. In Notes from a News Stand, filmed by the US director Michael Faller near the Broadway Junction subway stop in the East New York neighbourhood in Brooklyn, the pre-dawn interactions at a small corner shop take on the qualities of a dream – vividly real, yet fragmented.



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18. Corbyn Dive

Mr Corbyn is taking a dive in the polls. Nobody trusts him. Nobody thinks he can lead his party or the country.      Corbyn Dive
Some would say he is a politician of conviction. He has integrity, and values & cares about people of lesser means. He does not twist or turn to other peoples’ views. He remains steadfastly Mr Corbyn.
Corbyn Dive

He is a man of decency sometimes looking like a minnow in a sea of sharks. And perhaps this is the problem. For over 30 years now the market has become ever more powerful. It has broken down groups, communities, by the use of fear. Fear of losing employment, essential services, or a familiar group or culture.

The times are more brutal. Everyone is an individual who lives and dies on their own capabilities. Not capable you are vulnerable to low benefits and dwindling services. If you cannot support yourself, nobody else will.

This has come about by an increase of wealth held by individuals. It used to be institutions. The wealthy need services just like anyone else – it is just that they can pay for them. Why should they pay for them through taxes: that is supporting others. Much better to pay only when they need it. Stop paying tax and pay for medical treatment only when necessary.

So Mr Corbyn finds himself in a new world where people perceive that they cannot afford to be communal. When times are hard our generosity dwindles to those close around us. Its not that people do not believe in Mr Corbyn’s morals and values – they are just surviving and too scared to look up and around. Nobody is going to look after them. So they have to look after themselves.

Money is the new moral currency. The Conservative Party is seen as the party of business and good handling of money. In a culture of fear and money the business party is going to win out. Morals and decency cannot be afforded through poverty and insecurity. There is only Pale Shelter.

Survival of the fittest. Keep your eyes open or somebody bigger will eat you. Or maybe you will just die exposed out in the open.
Corbyn Dive

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17. BMW Manners

BMW have got into trouble with advertising their luxury sporty saloon. It has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
The strap line ‘Luxury just lost its manners’, and the claim that  ‘For some, the climb to the top is quicker’ make driving fast a message which the ASA could not tolerate. The ASA was concerned that theBMW Manners message was encouraging speed and potentially dangerous driving. The double spread advert in the Daily Telegraph advert targeted an audience who were ‘high-net-worth’ business leaders.

There is another message that could be interpreted here. That people who can afford luxury saloons don’t mind not having manners. In fact it is OK to be able to afford luxury and have no manners. BMW owners have BMW Manners which is no manners.

And so it would seem as it is perectly in keeping with the times. The marketing men have a knack of catching the wave of current thinking and exploiting it.  The rich are becoming super super rich. They can afford bad manners with little consequence. Brexit was a vote against the rich and the Westminster Elite. Trump is rich but still expected to revitalise the industries of Middle America.

There have always been rich and poor. But never has the gulf between them been so wide. We love entreprenuers and the making of money. The disdain business owners have towards their workers seems to be more Dickensian than 21st Century.
We are being taught to love weath more than anything. We always have been taught to love money. To be safe and in control are human traits which money can give us?  But a short cut which fails to develop a sense of justice, and togetherness. The gulf gets wider and wider.
BMW Manners

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16. Brexit Education

Brexit Education: It seems the biggest criteria to ensure someone voted Brexit was less education. The more education you have the more likely you were to vote remain. The theory is that if you are more educated, you have more opportunities, Brexit Education and benefit more from the system. People voted for Brexit who felt they weren’t benefitting from the system.
Some educated people voted Lexit for more political reasons such as a lack of democracy, and left wing values to support the working class.

Imagine a woman who strongly argues and cannot understand why women mind being called girls. Her family experience was that her less intelligent brother was favoured over her. She was not supported or given ambition. Why would she do this? Is this also a lack of education? Perhaps the awareness is too painful. To maintain the demeaning description of women being called girls means that she doesn’t have to think or consider her own background as being painful or demeaning?

It seems to be more than education – but education can help! Bringing to our attention that our world is not just an anecdotal experience from our friends and family requires imagination and interest. Our world is determined by many factors pressing down on it from outside. Context is everything. Our experience is not just defined by what has happened to us. The personal world is not formed just from itself: it is created from another bigger world. Interest in the bigger picture gives a clearer understanding of our own personal world and how it was created.

Interest in our ownselves is revealing but painful. That is why we don’t want it!
Brexit Education

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15. Knowing

Knowing: we have to know everything. Everything must be known. If something is known then something else is waiting to be known. The chase of knowing is relentless. If it is not space it is the oceans that must be known. knowing Nothing can be left unexplored.

Behind this thinking of knowing everything, is a mentality so pervasive that to think anything else seems ignorant and stupid. Knowing is an unstoppable juggernaut. It mows down any alternative in its way. Reason is unassailable. Why would you not want to advance medical knowledge? Why would you not want to know the world is round rather than flat? To think otherwise creates prejudice and hatred.

People 100 years ago would marvel at the improvment of medical science. Longevity of life, quickness to heal, and the alleviation of pain. We feel sorry for those people 100 years ago who had to suffer so much. Presumably in a 100 years time medicine will be vastly different. We would marvel at the advances. Those people living in the 22nd Century will look back at us and feel sorry for us that we didn’t have the advances that they have.

We live longer but for what? Our bodies and minds have become stretched out to accomodate the extra years medical advances have allowed us to live. Is this better? Is the quality of our lives better? Are our bodies and minds upto the job of living another 20 years?  A lot of us are still dying naturally in out 40s, 50s, and 60s. Some bodies are good, but the mind has gone and vice versa. To look at the beauty of a flower in the moment is not good enough. Its origins and how it works must be known. It has to photographed and recorded.

For a moment imagine a world where knowing is stopped for a year. It is almost impossible to think of. A world where nothing more was recorded, nothing more researched, nothing more investigated, nothing more known. There would be so much more time! More time to think. More time to consolidate. More time to reflect. More time to spend in the moment. More time to look around and see where we are. More time to see where we could go.

A balance between knowing and being in the moment of not knowing is a lofty ambition.
Maybe one day we might have the time to consider it?

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14. Crash & Byrne

Tommy Byrne was as good a race driver as Aryton Senna. It was really unusual to have two such extreme talents Crash & Byrneto come along at the same time racing against each other. This was in the days where you had to buy yourself a drive with a professional team. Senna son of a millionaire, Byrne not a penny to his name. Tommy begged borrowed and stealed to race. The film Crash and Burn depicts his life. He was a whisker away from a £100 million fortune.
Crash & Byrne

At the petrol station where he worked as a youngster in Dundalk Ireland, the customers wondered if they would ever see him again. Speed would kill him. He talked fast, walked fast, drove fast. His life was fast. There are two schools of thought. Tommy screwed it up for himself, or the Grand Prix racing car culture didn’t accept him. Tommy was cocky, confident and full of self belief. He could not be told. He was not going to play the game of being diplomatic, or changing himself to suit anyone else.

From a poor working class background Tommy was seen as chippy and rebellious against the conservative business culture of the Formula racing car scene. And why not. Oppression and poverty is a deadly cocktail. Most have no way of escaping poverty and being able to compare to a wealthier background. Tommy’s incredible speed talent catapulted him into a world of miliionaires where he had nothing.

As ever – anyone else from a similar background following the same route into the same sport has little sympathy for him. Tommy messed up. He didn’t make up for his weaknesses. He was inflexible and not able to adapt to another culture. It is common for us to defend against where we might have failed but have succeeded. It wasn’t luck but our own hard work and talent. It is too painful to think it is not us, our own talent, and personality.

With the booze, drugs and women and millions to spend on these habits: his failure to enter the big league might have saved his life. But Tommy like us all was a product of his beginning, except most of us do not have such a singular talent. Like athletes in any sport with huge talent to come from poverty to potential or actual wealth they are thrown back on themselves and early building blocks.
The other example of a boozing womanising racing driver was James Hunt. A hellraiser with a prodigious talent. Except he was posh.
Crash & Byrne

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Crash & Byrne



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13. Just Britain

After Article 50 is triggered to start the process of the UK to leave the European Union –  Great Britain will be down graded to Just Britain

The events over the last few days when the British Government has agreed to the UK leaving the EU gives the Just Britain prime minister a mandate to trigger Article 50. This has the possible impact of ratings agencies of reassessing Great Britian rendering the Great worthless. 

Spokesperson Kimberly Goff from Broody’s rating agency said there had been a lot of thought and soul searching on the subject. But added that because of the economic and social repercussions on the UK – they could no longer see Great Britain as entitled to the “Great” status.

She was keen to point out that this was no reflection on the inhabitants of Great Britain, but the country’s status would not be as high, if the UK had remained in the European Union.

There is an irony in this. The Brexit vote is streotypically seen as patriotic and pro Great Britain – so being called Just Britain will be a step too far. It is again an irony that areas in the UK which received grants of millions of pounds of European Union money voted to leave the Union. Believing in the assumption that it would never happen they voted against the establishment only to undermine thier own lives and welfare. The lesson is if you rebel against the status quo you will be punished.

Broody’s also earlier in the year revoked the title ‘Leader of the Free World’ from America, say these decisions and assessments are never taken lightly.
Just Britain

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12. Interesting

Interesting is a word that has lost its meaning. The word is all over the place. On the radio, television and in the press. It is a word that is only used to attract attention. In this article the author thinks it should really be used when the speaker means entertaining. Social media in the digital age means there is more and more information out there and it has to be sold to us. It must be short and attractive.
Entertainment over substance?

The word is used to convey importance. But it really doesn’t mean anything. Like the word ‘nice’. It needs more detail and context to explain it. The argument is that in the advance for science if the idea isn’t interesting it doesn’t encourage replication. But science needs to be repeated so that ideas can be tested.

There is a universality about the word Interesting. The speaker uses it as though everyone should find it interesting. You don’t hear I find that interesting. But it is interesting. Why should it be interesting to anyone but the speaker? Mental Health has always been linked to level of interest. If there is little interest in life we think the person might be depressed.

But maybe it has always been this way. The new way of communicating is always thought of being less worthy. Book reading to TV watching to recorded programmes, to the latest way of watching tv watching  in your own time not the time it was aired. Now we talk in clips and bites of information. If it doesnt interest you click and move on.

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11. Anthony Lago

Anthony Lago was a chancer and a character. He was an Italian businessman born in Venice in 1893 who kept the French Talbot car marque alive against ridiculous odds. Lago Talbot cars are the one of the most desirable and expensive in the world especially the ‘Teardrop’ model. He was a devout Catholic who was one of the founders of Italy’s Fascist Movement.

After the war he had a change of heart and criticised the Fascist regime forcing him to leave Italy under death threats. He bought the rights to the Wilson pre-selecting gearbox, and then heard of the ailing Talbot car company in Suresnes Paris. An ideal venue to manufacture gearboxes. He assessed the company as bankrupt and offered to turn it around with an option to buy at a low price.

The factory started to produce cars and established a reputation for racing. This racing prestige enhanced national French honour. In reward the Automobile de France financed Anthony Lago to develop a racing engine. Instead he used the money to re-equip the factory to produce Anthony LagoPratt & Whitney aero engines under contract. It caused a scandal. But he managed to gain lucrative contracts from the Allied Forces. After the war the cars were fantastic but heavily taxed and in 1951 he was declared insolvent again. The Vatican’s Internal bank extened him a loan with the kindness of Pope John XXIII. Sold to Simca in 1958. He died in 1960 with little to show for his tenacity and verve.

Would he be the Car Industry’s Philip Green today? His life sounds glamourous but for the end? 
Yet he leaves a legacy of beautiful cars.

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