It was an old piece of wasteland at the back of a church. A place where we were not allowed to go, but to us it was paradise. The ground was rough and overgrown with weeds and contained many dips and hollows large enough to crouch down and hide in. This was our world and when we played in it time had no meaning ; we were totally absorbed in the game until we were dragged away or light faded from the sky.
Here grew burdocks in wild profusion which made fine ammunition to startle the enemy. They stuck on most types of clothing and we had pitch battles with them. So my memory retained a soft spot for the burdock plant which played such an important part in the innocence of boyhood.
I have noticed a tendency for this reprehensible technique to be used in argument as follows:
Instead of examining a man’s opinion on any subject we examine the man himself , asking questions such as: is he wealthy? Does he break the law? What does he say about others? Is he a member of any groups? The intention is to invalidate anything he may have to say.
Along with this unpleasant practice we imply that in order to have an opinion on anything we must experience it directly. Only an expert footballer can criticise football; only a doctor the use of medicine; an artist only is competent to criticise a painting.
Just think if these media tricks were taken seriously very few would dare open their mouths. The media would close down and parliament would shut it’s doors.