Archive for February, 2007

Baby Boy

To hell with everything else just now — this is a message to Baby Boy. Thinking of you. Love you.  Take care and please get well soon. xxxxxx

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Switching off?

birds.jpg      I’m going through a phase of trying to avoid the News again. Or at least rationing it – I’m a bit of a news fiend and I usually check on world affairs a couple of times a day. I know we have a responsibility to keep up with current events but it’s just so depressing.

And you can hardly believe a word of what you read/hear/see from most media outlets. By the time information is filtered through various ideologically-driven agendas, what we are sometimes left with are not facts but versions of facts (my critical faculty is not entirely absent but just now it seems to be in serious danger from overwork). I don’t even trust the BBC – in fact I especially don’t trust the BBC. Not one little bit.

Now all the Bird Flu business has flared up once more. There’s no way I’m not going to be keeping my eye on that. It had to be birds. Again. I’m not a big fan of birds.  They’re always given me the creeps – even before I watched the Hitchcock film. Crows, in particular, seem to have a look of evil intent.

Not that I’d ever wish a bird any harm: I don’t even eat them, being (mostly) vegetarian since early childhood. I’m not sure why my parents converted the whole family to non-meat eating – they were definitely not happy-clappy types and our vegetarian status did not go down too well in our scotch-pie munching neighbourhood. I have rebelled in adulthood, however, and have the occasional delve into carnivore territory, with the odd fish supper and a twice-yearly binge on the Vegetarian Downfall (bacon sandwich). But chicken or any other bird-related product has never knowingly passed my lips (I stress knowingly, because I am fully aware of how sneaky eggs can be).

But back to the News – do you think we’d be happier, as individuals, if we were not constantly bombarded with reports of all the pain and suffering that is going on all over the world? I know that if we all switched, en mass, to this head-in-the-sand approach, the world would ultimately become a much more dangerous place, but I’m just wondering about the negative long-term psychological and social effects of being flooded with doom-laden messages on a daily basis.

Compassion fatigue is a well-documented phenomenon, as is the political usefulness of having a population in a controlled state of anxiety.  But I also wonder if our senses are becoming so dulled that we’re almost at the stage of tolerating the unsupportable. We’re not yet unshockable but it takes a little more each time to leave us gasping — at least when it does not impinge on our lives in any direct way.

But remove the News and we also take away the element of the ‘there-but-for-the-grace-of-God’ effect and any benefits we experience from feeling we are in a position of relative good fortune and security. Does knowing about a hurricane killing hundreds of unknown people half-way across the world make us feel just a bit more grateful to be alive and safe?

I suppose, if I’m being sensible (not something I’m prone to), the whole thing comes down to balance and getting everything into perspective. So, that’s where my rationing comes in. Unless we really are hit by a pandemic, a once-a-day News check should be sufficient. We’ll see how long that lasts.

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Virgil Caine is the name

… and I drove on the Danville train…

na.. na.. na na na……….na

Well, don’t blame me. I just took a little break from a  task I had set myself tonight – another attempt at bringing some order  into my over-stuffed office space – and checked out some of Vogue’s fashion show videos.

I had another look at John Galliano’s Autumn/Winter 2006/7 collection (‘Women of the Wild West – all Confederate caps, Quaker hats and dirtied-up boots) and the song which was played at the beginning of the video stuck in my head and wouldn’t leave. So I looked it up and now I know all the words to ‘The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down’.   Such knowledge is bound to come in useful at some point in my life.

My ‘little break’ also extended to watching Bridget Jones crossing a line in The Edge of Reason — from endearingly dippy and sweetly impulsive to annoyingly and unbearably stupid. And what had happened to Bridget’s fashion sense between the first film and this one – the action supposedly taking place only a few weeks apart? She might have been packing a few extra pounds in the first film but at least she was packing then into relatively cute outfits – not spilling them out of a series of hideously frumpy getups. Also – a final point – just because you’ve Got Your Man, does not mean you give up on the services of a decent hairdresser.

So, another productive night, I’m sure you will agree.

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