Maladjusted?

Archive for the ‘My thoughts’ Category

How TV ruined your life…

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A while back, when I was a regular(ish) blogger, I blogged about the reasons why I don’t watch much TV.  This is mainly because a) there isn’t that much on that I feel is worth watching and b) the constant streams of unachievable stereotypes and advertising quite frankly insult my intelligence.

However, my interest was piqued recently by news of a new TV programme, hosted by Charlie Brooker, which explores exactly why life doesn’t measure up to the expectations constantly rammed down your throat via the medium of TV and film.

Yes, the irony that ‘How TV ruined your life‘ is still a TV show hasn’t escaped me, but anything with Charlie Brooker is definitely worth watching anyway, and at least on BBC2 I won’t have to watch any adverts either.

Written by Lores

January 25, 2011 at 10:49 am

A facebook detox anyone?

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Hold the front page!  British workforce productivity surges as bored office workers all over the UK are forced into actually doing some work.  Sadly, this isn’t the first signal of the end of the recession – this is the news that Facebook is down…causing panic and confusion for many people who insist on living the majority of their lives virtually.

If you are one of those social media addicts who cannot help but log onto their Facebook account every 10 minutes to update the rest of your friends list with your latest banal thought, or the ‘cute thing’ that your dog/cat/child/boyfriend just did…then I beg you…please please please try not to think too hard about all of those little lost Farmville sheep going unattended, the missed poker games and those holiday snaps of your ex girlfriend which are going unstalked.

You’ll only drive yourself insane and they will probably still be there when they eventually sort the server problem out (unless they’ve deleted your whole virtual kingdom by accident of course…<insert evil laugh here>)

UPDATE:  Facebook came back on…

Written by Lores

August 31, 2010 at 2:58 pm

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On Volunteering…

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Yesterday I had a conversation with a friend of mine about why we both spend quite a lot of our time volunteering in our local community.  We came to the conclusion that it is human nature to want to help others – and not for recognition, just simply because we ‘can’.

I was put in mind of this passage by George Gilbert Aimé Murray on ‘Man as a Social Animal’, which I thought I would reproduce here as I think it explains my thoughts perfectly;

The whole supposition that a system of violent and intense rewards and punishments is necessary to induce human beings to perform acts for the good of others is based on a false psychology which starts from the individual isolated man instead of man the social animal.  Man is an integral member of his group.  Among his natural instincts there are those which aim at group-preservation as well as self-preservation; at the good of aurui as well as of moi.  Even among animals, a cow, a tigress, a hen pheasant, does not need a promise of future rewards to induce her to risk her life to save her young from harm.  The male bison or gorilla needs no reward before fighting devotedly for his females and children.  They all instinctively care for autrui.  And it would be a mistake to imagine that this devotion only shows itself in the form of fighting, or in dangerous crises.  It is part of the daily life of any natural group or herd; the strong members help the weak, the weak run for protection to the strong.  In man even in his primitive state these instincts are much more highly developed that in the gregarious animals; with the process of civilisation they increase in range, in reasonablenes, in sublimity.  In the late war, how many thousands of men – not particularly selected or highminded men – risked their lives eagerly to save a companion wounded in No Man’s Land?  The did not ask or know why they did it.  Some may have alleged motives of religion, or motives of ambition in the form of medals or promotions.  But the basic motive was probably more or less the same all through; that instinctively they could not see a mate lying there wounded and not try and help him.

A fair and progressive budget?

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I was saddened, but not surprised to read yesterday’s Observer article; ‘George Osborne’s budget cuts will hit Britain’s poorest families six times harder than the richest’ which states that

The impact of George Osborne‘s emergency budget on the poor has been revealed in a study that finds the country’s least well-off families face cuts equivalent to 21.7% of their household income. That means they will be hit six times harder than the very richest by the coalition’s deficit-cutting measures.

I understand that this country is heavily in debt, and that the government needs to make cuts in order to repay the deficit, however, I fail to see the so called ‘fairness’ of this austerity budget.  After all, wasn’t the recession itself exacerbated by the wealthy banks?

The poorest in our communities struggle as it is.  The announced cuts to benefits (yes, a three year ‘freeze’ in Child Benefit does count as a ‘cut’ in real terms), cuts to public services (on which those poorest in the community rely on heavily), rising joblessness and VAT rises will only serve to increase the rich / poor divide.  And while the rise in income tax allowance is a welcome, I can’t help but feel this is a very small carrot compared to a very big and brutal stick.

Meanwhile 23 of the 29 new cabinet members are millionaires

Fair and progressive?  I fail to see this myself.

As someone says in the comments section of the above Guardian article “This budget will cause misery for many least able to bear the burden”.

Written by Lores

June 29, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Taking a little responsibility…

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How is it that I often find that people very rarely take responsibility for their own actions – especially when their actions are in some way unacceptable or unappealing?

I know so many people that excuse the way that they act just because ‘that’s just the way they are’. From people who get angry and lash out, to people who drink excessively, to people who flirt outrageously with everyone. When confronted about their behaviour the standard patois is always the same: ‘I was just built this way – I can’t help it – it’s not my fault – I can’t change – don’t try and change me’ etc etc.

Bleugh!

Of course they can help it!  Even though people very often blame their ‘conditioning’ for acting in a particular way – surely everyone does actually have control of how they respond to events or situations?!

For example, there is a person I know who naturally has a short temper, and so as a result ‘cannot help’ getting into fracas, fights, altercations, fisticuffs, and melees.  Righto, so he ‘can’t help it’…but lets say for argument’s sake that this person was hit in the face by a 6 month old baby.  The chances are that he would react a lot differently to being hit in the face by a 6 month old baby than if he was hit in the face by a 20-year-old man. This person, who allegedly cannot help how he acts because he naturally has a short temper – in a split second – would have made a mental calculation of the context and acted accordingly.

Of course, my philosophy can’t be applied to every situation (I’m talking about people with learning difficulties / mental health problems) but my point stands.

We all have control over our own actions and we can take responsibility for the way we act and the things that we do.  Genetic disposition and social conditioning can have an influence, sure, but the final say-so of how you live your life lies with yourself.

Now strap a pair on and live with it.

Written by Lores

May 27, 2010 at 9:00 am

Well Hung…

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No, this isn’t a post about ‘packed lunch boxes’ – this is the fact that after weeks of speculation and media hype, we wake to a hung parliament here the UK for the first time since 1974.   What an anti-climax.

As I understand it, a hung parliament basically means that none of the political parties can secure a majority in their own right, and so must form a coalition with another party to give them the majority.   For example, Labour will most likely  seek to form a coalition with the Liberal Democrats, as will the Tories who will also look to form a coalition with the Democratic Unionists to give them the majority.

Personally, I can’t see this coalition process being a straightforward one – there are far too many egos in British politics, I think it will be days before this is sorted. However, I do like the idea on the Newsbiscuit website of a three-way houseshare at Number10.

One sad reflection on the election process here is that hundreds of people were turned away from polling stations around the country and were unable to cast their vote, which has caused outrage among voters – and rightly so.  (However, there is part of me that thinks that, to be fair, the polling stations were open from 7am until 10pm, which begs the question ‘what were people doing all day’?)

On the plus side however, I was hearted to see that the Green Party have won their first ever seat, with Caroline Lucas becoming the first Green Party MP, and the British National Party (i.e. Nazis) didn’t win a single seat in parliament…thus proving that the British voters aren’t that ill-informed after all.

So what will happen next?  Will there be a Lib-Lab coalition?  Will Gordon Brown resign?  Will David Cameron win over Nick Clegg?  Who knows!

Give ’em enough rope that’s what I say…

Written by Lores

May 7, 2010 at 9:50 am

Every little helps…

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Via the wonderful medium that is Twitter, I stumbled over an utterly horrendous article which stated that the supermarket superpower Tesco, are to build their own ‘mini villages’.

I’m really, really, hoping that this article is  a spoof.  I’m not a lover of supermarkets, and truly believe that they already hold too much of a monopoly over our buying habits, put local businesses out of business, and limit our choices as consumers.  And not to get too ‘Big Brother’ but via store cards, credit cards, in-store pharmacies, and on-line shopping, supermarkets already know our buying habits – which brands of shampoo we use, if we are diabetic, whether we smoke, if we drink too much…

(I have a theory that if the supermarkets / major stored linked databases and stored information on each of us with those records held by the public sector, we truly would end up in a Big Brother society.  Imagine a system where the NHS could see how many units of alcohol you were purchasing from the shops each week, and up your National Insurance contributions accordingly?  I think we are only spared this at present because of the ‘preciousness’ of personal data – no supermarket would share it, and also the complete ineptitude of public sector offices to a) keep reliable information and b) not to leave it on trains etc.  But I digress.)

I just wonder if I alone in finding the fact that supermarkets also intend on supplying housing utterly horrifying..?

Written by Lores

April 26, 2010 at 11:37 am