Archive for July, 2010

Soft As Cotton Wool Balls

To think our grandmothers and great-grandmothers washed by hand, got up early to feed livestock, cleaned stone steps, made their own bread daily and most people complain about having to wait for a bus to take them three or so miles in the rain is an astounding feat in my opinion. Most women were working in the cotton mills in the nineteenth and early twentieth century within the lower classes and keeping house for their large families and yet today, people complain if they are asked to work an extra shift. Children attend school for six hours per day with continuous holiday periods while children one-hundred and fifty years ago were working and attending school all within an eighteen hour period. People complain today if they are forced to rise earlier than the birds while most children within farming England would have had to be up milking the cows and delivering milk for their families while collecting eggs all before six AM. What society have we in turn then created? A pathetic bunch of soft, mushy cotton wool balls if you ask me.

It’s all about, “Not pressuring the young” in exam situations, or “allowing everyone to win” within school competitions that have effectively been made de funk in this country because of the pathetic do-gooders who don’t want anyone to lose. Unless someone hasn’t told these bunch of nancies, the world is not fair, competition needs to exist, and pressure is more real than ever before in our high tech, fast moving society.

One of the reasons, in my opinion why there has been so many lunatics on the run, randomly shooting people and being so angry is because a lack to prepare our children for the hard life ahead. Kids don’t have to do chores, they whine and get whatever they want, the value of money is virtually non-existent because if mummy and daddy won’t pay, then good old British tax payers will pay for you to be a lazy bum and never compete to get a job. Because most of our youth and lacking determination and a competitive spirit, they perceive sitting home, feeling sorry for their “hard done by” asses while taking a weekly amount from the government will make everything OK. If you were poor during Victorian times, you went to the poor houses. And you could not keep reproducing if you could not afford a child, that would be sent to a poor house and do all the hard manual labour that our country keeps bitching and moaning about.

Society’s so soft and human rights has gone too far, it’s about time someone made everyone realise that life is hard you have to work to get somewhere in life.

And there are many things that are contributing to this “easy come, easy go” society. The benefits system needs overriding. Those willing to work, willing to train and volunteer should be helped in whatever way to ensure they can lead their lives to full time employment while the scrounging, “Good for nothing” bums should be left to live in squaller and bring back the poor houses. Stop all of these silly little boys and girls pretending to play grown-ups from having babies and unless they can prove they can financially care, take them away and adopt them out to families who can.

I am tired of hearing these sob stories from people who truly don’t know hardship. I am tired of listening to social services failings with children who are being neglected, ill cared for or abused by parents while capable disabled parents are automatically penalised for their disabilities. It’s about time this country takes care of the people putting the effort in and remembers that just because you are abled bodied and a bum it does not give you the right to have everything given to you on a plate.

When will society take responsibility for itself and face up to its own problems? Instead of blaming others, maybe you should take a long hard look in the mirror and question yourself for a few moments. It’s not necessarily the government’s fault you’re a lazy bitch with three or four kids by different daddies, claiming every benefit under the sun, close you’re freaking legs, get a job and pay for your own kids. Stop expecting other people to take care of your brood, while you sit on your ass, pregnant with children starving or wandering off by themselves. You’ll be the first to blubber when that child is abducted.

Society has changed, of course it has, sad to say for the worst. Bring back some of the old punishments and teach people some bloody respect. Putting some people’s needs above others is wrong and if you are throwing guide dog owners off of a bus because Muslim kids are screaming in fear, or you can’t help a wheel chair user onto a bus because you have a bad back, you need to question what is wrong with your life. Young people be respectful to the old man on the bus, stand up and let him sit down, chances are, he fought in at least one war. It angers me how no one communicates, appreciates anything anyone does anymore and there are far too few good deeds being done by others while despicable things are done by the rest.

And why is there no respect? Because there is no consequence. And why are disabled and the old discarded like old newspapers? Because there is no community spirit or respect within our society. And why are children being neglected? Because society is taking care of the wrong people. And why is there so much laziness and complaining? Because people don’t realise how good they have it and need to know the definition of hardships and real work. Until then, our society will continue down its soft and fluffy route unit it disintegrates into chaos and dust.

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How Do You See Me?

I’ve always perceived my blindness as a part of me but it seems as though society may have a very different view about what being blind is truly about.

A recent documentary shown on the BBC has made me think long and hard about how the “sighted” world views us as blind people. I know who I am and I’m comfortable with every aspect, I’m a performer, i’m a student, I’m a fundraiser, I’m a writer, I’m a woman, and I’m blind. It’s a fact of my life but when I walk down a street with my trusted guide dog by my side, what am I to others? The blind woman with the guide dog. And this does bother me.

As a blind individual, we are then categorised with so many stereotypes and the majority of us hardly come close to any of those bad habits that some blind people are guilty of. We are not all recluses, we do not all rock, and we do not all need someone to take us everywhere and do everything for us on a daily basis. There are a percentage of us who work, study, own our own homes, have families and live active and social lives without adhering to even one of the stereotypes the general public like to believe we are a part of.

I see some tweets from ignorant sighted people who believe we cannot watch movies, or should not be walking down the street, are shocked to see an attractive blind person or indeed that we are incapable of having sex. Those of us who are out in the world and are interacting with abled bodied people are forever questioned about our abilities and when those individuals are enlightened, utter shock seeps from their every pore.

Blindness does not stop us living our lives and yet still, documentaries are giving a very slanted view of what being blind is really all about.

The one positive point, I, as a blind person took from this BBC documentary, called “the blind me” is that it also represented the flaws of the sighted world and their treatment of blind individuals. Some sighted people patronise the blind, or think us to be stupid along with deaf as they walk away giggling about the blind girl who will not know they just left and I’m happy to say this is not true for all sighted individuals. But to those who have ever used a person’s blindness against themselves, shame on you. It’s not big and it’s not clever. Just remember this, most of us have sighted friends who can tell us about the rude gestures or even our own hearing can betray your rudeness and ignorance.

Just take a moment to think of how, if you are sighted, you perceive a blind individual, and if you are blind, do you really think the sighted world has an accurate assumption of what you as a person are all about? If you could dispel only one stereotype, what would it be? And is it fair for the sighted world to continue to make assumptions?

Personally, I believe there should be more representation of people with disabilities within different media outlets wherever possible and should definitely be more represented within soap operas that are meant to be close to representative of British culture as possible. And if those creators decide to develop a part, research should be done honestly and realistically instead of making blind people either into rocking wrecks or super heroes that can drive ten ton trucks.

I know how I see myself, but I also know the majority of the sighted world see me as a lesser individual with limited independence and desires and goals for my own future. Ah well, I’ll keep proving them wrong, shall I?

Not So Free To Speak

Thousands of soldiers fought for years to maintain our freedom of speech but it seems like it is not so much as a luxury as it once was.

A facebook group was set up last week after Northumberland police went on a man hunt for Raoul Mote, a man who shot his ex girlfriend and killed her new lover once he was released from prison. Mote’s motives are still unclear at this time and maybe we will never know why he did what he did. The facebook group called “Raoul Mote, the legend” has sparked much controversy as people seemed to sympathise with the killer for how he was treated by his ex girlfriend, the police and other friends and family members. People are angry because this group is allowed to continue and they do not believe Raoul Mote should be considered a “legend”. But isn’t life about opinions? Isn’t it about our perceptions and why shouldn’t these individuals, whether you regard their opinions right or wrong, be allowed to have their opinions?

Political correctness has gone too far and not allowing individuals, no matter what, to have their own opinions is getting beyond a joke. Even if a child is naughty during school, the teacher is not allowed to tell them so. They have to be so “PC”. And in a recent incident in Bernley in the North of England where a Judge told two youths that they were “scum” he was almost taken of the board of magistrates because he was not allowed to say that they were scum. Most of the general, law abiding citizens of the UK, would have called these two youngsters the same thing but to protect their “human rights” the judge was warned he could not permitted to use such “negative language” against the type of people who will be mugging old ladies before long.

It seems, nowadays, it takes negative behaviour to promote any reaction and we are more likely to support to negative actions than positive actions from anyone within society. Rewarding positive behaviour should be priority and we should scold the “naughty children” allow social network groups to have their opinions and quit all of this crap about protecting “human rights”. If we can’t retain the most basic human right of freedom of speech, then what is the point of having an act that deprives of us having opinions and the right to express those opinions?

I say, let the teachers have their opinions back in the classroom. Tell all of the scum the truth instead of babying them into committing their next crime and allow people to create groups about expressing their opinions of people they care about. Kiss the human rights act goodbye because its infringing our most basic human right of freedom of speech and the ability to think for ourselves.

Helen of Troy; by Margaret George, a review

Things of myths and legends have always fascinated me regardless if there was an ounce of historical value or they were merely fairy tales to tell children. The greek myths and legends have not escaped my fascination over the years from the stories of Hercules and the Gods to the ugly monsters that were said to patrol the greek landscape. I’d heard of Helen of Troy, “The face that sailed a thousand ships” and knew vaguely she was the cause of the Trojan war and how her beauty launched one of the bloodiest of battles between the Trojans and Greeks. But this was as much as I knew. I knew nothing of the love story, of the Gods perceived involvement and in truth, none of us will ever really know what happened, we were not there. However, it does seem there was a slight piece of history but who is to say how much of the facts are purely archaeological and how many of the myths have truth in their essence?

Without knowing the answers, many literary geniuses have attempted to tell the story of Helen and the destruction of Troy in poetry or pure fiction.

Margaret George is one of these story tellers who brings the reader forward from our twenty-first century modern lives back into ancient Greece and the lives of the Spartans, Greeks and Trojans. The story begins in Helen’s childhood and we travel along her life from start to end which is unusual in any book. We learn everything about Helen’s life and the lives of everyone around her from her childhood to adulthood and despite the book being long, it is well worth every word written upon each page. George brings all these characters, despite if they were once real or not according to history, to life and we begin their journeys and end their journeys alongside them.

The descriptions of the culture, the landscape and the in depth knowledge of each person we are truly brought into the book and get to know the lives of each individual. George manages to create a nice mix of all of the apparent legends and where there are patchy details she manages to create believable and real events that appear seamless within the narrative.

Despite whether you are interested in Greek mythology or care whether it is real or not, if you have a need to escape reality then Helen of Troy by Margaret George is a sure way to complete escapism from your every day mundane life and enter into a love story and bloody battles. A must read for everyone despite your normal interests. Go on Helen’s journey and meet good and evil and the supernatural creatures of myth legend.

Attitudes Need to Change

If you disagree with this statement, I’d advise you to stop reading now as what will follow will probably displease you incredibly.

The way people are conducting themselves at the present moment in our society’s lifetime leaves a lot to be desired. My first gripe is with the English football team. Forget the fact that they may as well not have turned up for the world cup, displaying such Sunday league level performances, but when they lost, where was their passion? Looking at a variety of other teams throughout this tournament, you could feel the vibes of pride and passion the players had for wearing their country’s shirt and playing for their homeland. But England were a completely separate issue. You may have just informed them that an ice cube out of a bucket of ice had fallen on the ground and was making a slight wet area under their feet for the all the concern that was achieved on Sunday. Everyone remembers Paul Gascony famously sobbing his eyes out when his team lost but the squad against Germany merely looked nonplussed about the result. Their was no shame on their faces, no sadness beheld in their expressions and this lack of passion for their country seriously brings into question their ability to play internationally. Players should be striving to win at all games, no matter how terrible it may look on paper. The game should be played to the death but I am uncertain if England even showed up on Sunday at all.

People continuously debate if Cappello should remain manager, but my question is, should any of those players be consider for future internationals? Without the pride and passion needed, how can any of them hope to be picked again. But here’s the sad thing, they probably will be picked for the next qualifiers and make the first team without a question. And this is where our society is wrong. We allow terrible and disrespectful behaviour to continue unpunished while those who continue to try are hardly ever rewarded. Even as young as the six to ten year old age range, if they want to be competitive at school, they are guided away from their actions. Way to go for making the next generation of dispassionate, unmotivated, lay-abouts British Government. How the hell can a child learn self-motivation, self-responsibility, passion, pride and competition if they are told those activities cannot be taught in schools? For crying out loud, you cannot tell a child it has been naughty now because of the craziness of the system that dictates fairness amongst all. Fact is, life isn’t fair and life is about competition and if no one can learn these qualities then I dread to think of the future for this God forsaken country.

Another issue that has really got under my skin this week is the general self-righteousness of some blind folks in the UK. As standard, anyone who is registered blind can claim disability living allowance that is designed to help with costs that an individual may occur to their disability. I’ve heard several comments this week about from blind people that they believe this allowance is a God given right and that everything they need should be paid for by the government or such other organisations on top of this benefit. The first comment pertains to the fact that the government are planning to tighten up those who claim DLA. This, if done correctly should be carried out. Far too many are illegitimately claiming DLA and some who are not getting it really should be considered. However, the first comment I made, about it being a “God given right” came from someone who was attempting to be smart and possibly in turn scared a fair few people. They posted that the government was going to cut DLA, and at this present time, that is incorrect information. But the aspect of that comment that bothers me was that this person seemingly believes they should be getting DLA as a birth right. Wrong! Far many other countries do not assist their disabled people as much as the UK does so you should be feeling grateful it even exists.

Now, I studied away from home for two years and I know how expensive that can be. I also know that I was living on much less than many of my visually impaired counterparts as I didn’t have a lot of the benefits that I was entitled too. When I hear someone, who is on the benefits they are entitled too, including DLA, and also receive a student loan and a maintenance grant, [which was not available when I was a student], and are complaining about having to pay someone to label something, my blood begins to boil That is what DLA is for!
DLA is broken into two components, care and mobility. This labelling of goods is designed to be paid for through the care component of DLA. This attitude amongst the blind community of automatic right is beginning to get on my last nerve. Use the benefits you get for what they are designed for, if you can’t afford something, don’t do it. Student loans companies give you what you are assessed for to live on, feel grateful you have other benefits to live off of too. Your sighted peers don’t get that much money from the state.

Nothing is given to you, at least it shouldn’t be as in the case of our so called star players; You have to work for everything in life and if you are given help, use it to your best ability. Stop thinking the world owes you something, it really doesn’t.

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