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Burdock

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.

Decimation of Character

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.

The Love of Speed

When Simon Weeks roared into his close on his Harley , everyone heard and saw that shinning brute of a motor bike. It gleamed and seemed to beckon attention , and Simon , tall and proud in his leathers swung his leg deftly over pulling that monster onto its stand. 

It was his pride and joy , he lived for that bike, nothing else mattered, it was his ego in shining chrome. When he was on the road he felt like a king in command of a wonderful faultless stallion that could carry him anywhere and was beyond compare. Other traffic he viewed with contempt and he rode with a reckless madness as if he was some indestructible God.

Small wonder that the accident happened. It was fatal: Simon and his dream were completely obliterated. I thought he got what he deserved , although I would not have wished it upon him, but did his poor grieving mother deserve this?

I would like to have resurrected that young fool so he could see her tears of despair.

Kindred Spirits

Bert clicked on the porch light, stepped out , and quietly closed the door. The rain fell persistently as he looked about and drew on his freshly lighted cigarette. The anxious hunger died slowly and pleasure invaded his lungs.

The door across the road opened and out came Fred for the same purpose. These middle aged men were banished from their homes by wives and families. Bert walked over the road and joined his fellow smoker . There they stood looking at the rain : kindred spirits.

Conscience

Nearly all adult humans have a conscience; which varies according to our upbringing and the society we occupy.The greatest allowable freedom is that enjoyed by western secular democracies. They have been shaped by Christianity and now they shape Christianity and seek to make life for everyone more tolerant.

Oppression and control comes from the fixed rules of  ideology or religion. Once an individual allows his free conscience to be controlled they lose their humanity and can do anything. This is the radical mind-set trap that it is possible for anybody to fall into.

True or false

Specific cases are dangerous evidence , but used all the time by the popular media, or politicians needing votes. Just recently a well known left wing UK politician had himself pictured sitting on the floor of a train. Immediately pictures of empty seats appeared to prove him wrong.

The camera doesn’t lie but neither does it comment , it just records what you choose to point it at. So remember behind the shutter is a human mind that could have an agenda designed to convince.

Tribal Celibrations

I’m reminded of our primitive ancestors when I see and hear of the extensive arrangements being made to celebrate Great Britain’s Olympic medal success. The tribal drums beat , the feet march to raucous shouts from the jubilant crowd. The great warriors are back in the bosom of the nation, all else is forgotten in the frenzy of our triumph.

Is it not curious that in our own behaviour we see little of the traits of our distant ancestors? Could it be we are not as civilised as we suppose?

Who do you know?

A familiar UK politician was shown a picture of Ant and Dec ( you may not know them) : he looked blank.

The country was in an uproar, and the faith we had in politicians was shaken to its foundations.

He had hardly claimed the pedestal of power  when this monumental ignorance in his knowledge was exposed.

No degree in political science or notches carved on the pole of social standing could ever make up for this.

We fancy we ‘know ‘ all sorts of people who we outwardly recognize, but when the chips are down it’s only ourselves we are really familiar with.