"Your time is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life.
Don't be trapped by Dogma which is living with the results of other people's thinking.
Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your inner voice.
And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become."
- Steve Jobs

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Down with the WAGs

This extract from a DAILY MAIL article - how true!


How depressing it is that the World Cup, which is supposed to celebrate football, should instead bring out so much that is ugly about our society. In their way, the antics of England's wives and girlfriends — the so-called WAGs — are every bit as disheartening as the glorification of Wayne Rooney. It is true that the media have done much to advertise this bunch of mostly peroxide-blonde, spray-tanned, silly young women.

Pity Baden-Baden, a delightful German spa town where English travellers used to stay in the 18th and 19th centuries on their way to Italy. This is the base for England's players and their WAGs, who are staying at the Brenner's Park. Last Saturday at around 10.30pm, diners at the hotel's Wintergarten restaurant were treated to a screeching rendition by the WAGs of 'We Are The Champions'.

They then went to Garibaldi, an Italian restaurant and nightclub, and the liveliest 'hotspot' in sleepy Baden-Baden. There, they ordered £270 worth of Moet & Chandon champagne, nine vodka red-bulls and various other drinks, and danced the night away. The total bill came to £450.

Elen Rives was particularly boisterous, climbing on to a bench to perform a riotous, reportedly somewhat uncoordinated dance routine. (This same Elen had launched a foulmouthed rant and had been escorted off her British Airways flight after being told she could not carry six items of hand baggage into the ClubClass cabin on the way to Germany.) At 3am the group subsided into the back of taxis to return to their hotel.

All this was too much even for Victoria Beckham, who remained aloof during dinner in the Wintergarten, and did not join the other girls at the club. Nor has Victoria thrown herself into shopping with as much abandon as the others, who have descended like locusts on Baden-Baden's shops, which have ordered in extra supplies of clothes made by Prada, Gucci, Dolce and Gabbana, Dior and the rest. In a single hour on their latest shopping expedition, six of the WAGs are said to have spent £57,000 on designer clothes and shoes.

The German Press is aghast. One commentator observed that 'English women seem to treat their bodies as something to dismantle. The Germans in contrast want to preserve theirs.' Even the mass circulation, downmarket Bild Zeitung, itself no stranger to bad taste, is poking fun at the behaviour of the WAGs.

Meanwhile, some English commentators are wondering what good the presence of these sybaritic young women in Germany is doing to members of England's team, who are being permitted several trysts by Sven Goran Eriksson. Some of the energy expended during these encounters with WAGs might have been better spent on the pitch, to judge by some of our recent performances.

Not very long ago, English women were held up on the continent as the acme of style and elegance. Now the world looks at the WAGs and sees young women with a lot of money and no style, who behave as though they are enjoying a hen night in Ibiza. It seems not remotely to occur to the WAGs, nor to the Football Association executives who, I suppose, are ultimately responsible for them, what a tawdry spectacle — and what a shaming role model — they present.

We should be celebrating the prowess of the England team, who have at least progressed to the second round, but the World Cup seems only to emphasise everything that is cheap and worthless about our society. Many people, I fear, will have been entranced by the depiction of Wayne Rooney as a blood-soaked warrior-god ready to smite our opponents. Nike and its advertising agency are simply supplying what they think football supporters want.

And, bewildered though the German Press and public may be, the shopping and drinking exploits of our WAGs will probably earn them more admiration than censure in this country. Getting pie-eyed, after all, seems to be the ambition of many English football fans, in Germany and at home. If loutish and inebriated behaviour were the test for winning the World Cup, England would win it every time.

The only bright point is that — so far — English supporters have been relatively well behaved and, by their usual standards, have caused minimal damage. But all we need to confirm our reputation as a peculiarly dysfunctional society is a good old-fashioned outbreak of English football hooliganism.

Friday, June 16, 2006

More PC bollocks

An addition to my earlier blog about schoolkids and their jumpers, news today that youngsters were sent home from a Norfolk primary school for wearing their England footie kits.

And the reason......? "Because they are made of nylon which is not a good fabric to wear in this hot weather".

So the schools force you to wear jumpers and swelter to death in the heat, but then send you home for wearing nylon because it's "too hot" to wear it.


More likely they were terrified of non-British students or parents complaining they felt "intimidated" but the strong presence of patriotic kids, but they are too scared to give that as the "real" reason?

What next I wonder. "Taverham school has banned it's pupils from wearing polyester, as it's *so* last season darling - everyone should wear cheesecloth!!!"

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

PC gone mad

Read article HERE.

Unbelieveable news today about the schoolkids who have to keep their sweaters on during the current heatwave "because of health & safety rules".

Despite soaring temperatures the youngsters have been ordered to wear the offending item at all times, unless their parents sign a consent form. But the school's headteacher defended the policy and said it was among a string of safety measures designed to protect her pupils from a variety of sun-related illnesses, including sunstroke.

As a result children as young as three are only allowed to take off their jumpers if their name is on a parent-approval list. Without the required written permission they have no choice but to keep the sweater on - even during physical education classes.

Pupils are also only allowed to apply sun cream if their parents have signed a consent form.


Can a child not take responsibility for when he/she is too hot now? It's simple! "phew, I'm a bit hot" *remove jumper*. See?

I guess the sun cream issue is different, cos kids run around in the sun without realising they are burning. But it's easy enough for supervising teachers in the playground to make sure they put their cream on - why do they need a parental consent form??? In case they have an allergic reaction and the school gets sued? In case a teacher rubbing cream onto a child is accused of molestation?

When I was at primary school we ran around at lunch and playtime in the sun, and nobody said anything and we certainly didn't have sun cream on. And everyone was fine! We probably weren't outisde long enough for the sun to have a real effect on us.

Schools are obviously not worried about a child passing out because he is too hot in his sweater, or dehydrating because he's running around in his sweater but not drinking enough water. I wonder if schools in Australia have such stupid policies??? I seriously doubt it. Kids in Aus have grown up with lessons on sun protection, TV adverts, plus sensible parents who instil the importance of the "slip slop slap" rule from day one. I should think that if any kid gets sunburned and comes home crying, the parents will just scold them for not putting their hat and cream on - they certainly wouldn't go running to the school and blaming them.

But not so in Nanny Britain. What on earth next? No school meals unless a consent form is signed, just incase a kid gets a tummy bug and the dinnerladies get sued???

Monday, June 12, 2006

Feed your kids fish oils

Interesting news today that schoolkids may be fed Omega 3 and 6 fish oils at school, to "help improve their brain power and concentration".

Utterly useless however, if the schools continue to spend less per head on school meals, than what we spend on our prisoners and Police dogs.

There are lots of young kids in the cul de sac where I live. And it sees that from the minute they wake up they are hyperactive. You can tell when they've been filled full of sugar-crammed cereal, as the screaming hysteria in each back garden reaches a crescendo. Then they walk to school sucking on a can of Coke and eating a bag of crisps. Then no doubt after Turkey Twizzlers for lunch, or chips and burgers, they are TOTALLY ready to settle down and concentrate on lessons. Not.

Home again, and mum fills them full of more chips and microwave crap, then they sit and do their homework with the radio or the telly on in their bedroom.

A survey by the National Farmers Union found that nearly half of children thought margarine came from cows; a third believed oranges grew in Britain; and nearly a quarter did not know the main ingredient in bread was flour.

Around one in five did not know that ham came from pigs — as opposed to a tin or a packet — and they offered colourful suggestions for its origins such as cows, chicken, sheep and even deer.
Do they inherit this ignorance from their parents, who would rather spend 30 minutes watching EastEnders, than preparing a fresh home-cooked meal?

A voice of reason has arisen in this whole debate though, some Professor dude said of the Omega 3 idea: "It is only a sticking plaster, however. The much better alternative is eating a good mix of foods, coupled with teaching children and the general population about nutrition and diet." Hear hear. Send the PARENTS as well as the kids to basic nutrition classes, and knock some sense into them.

I was out and about at a show on Sunday and witnessed parents feeding their kids burgers that were as big as the kids head....and tiny toddlers with huge ice-creams dribbling down their mouths (how much sugar?!?!!), while other kids drank cans of fizzy pop. Not surprisingly, the parents were large and blobby, and even some of the little kids were developing lovely little beer bellies. Again, this collective blindness to the fact that THEIR KIDS ARE FAT.

In that film "Fast Food Nation", Morgan Spurlock visited a school for kids who had been expelled from their regular schools for unruly and disruptive behaviour. They were deemed "special needs" because of their inability to concentrate and their hyperactivity and rowdiness.

This "special" school fed the kids on a diet of organic food and freshly prepared meals with out a trace of chemicals, sugar, or artificial crap. They only allowed them to drink natural fruit juice or water. Within weeks their entire behaviour had changed, they settled down in classes, and their grades rocketed. Not a fish oil capsule in sight.

Why don't we learn from this?? Why do most pubs and cafes still offer "kids menus" that contain chicken nuggets, burgers, chips and hot dogs? Why do McDonalds continue to tempt kiddies with their Happy Meals and crappy toys, yet bluster they are improving because they offer the option of "fruit bags", knowing full well the kids will go for the burgers instead? Why do garages and service stations have banks and banks of crisps and chocolates tempting you as you queue to pay for petrol - with not a fruit selection in sight? Why do supermarkets still stack the shelves near the checkouts with sweets and kiddysize goodie bags, prompting nag-tactics from bored kids in the checkout queue? Why do cinemas stuff us full of popcorn and bags of chocolates and salty nachos and monster-sized chemical-packed soft drinks? Why don't they offer healthier stuff???? And so it goes on.

And why do the Government continue with this ridiculous "five a day" campaign, which nobody understands and therefore doesn't bother about. What the fuck is "five portions of fruit and veg", what is a "portion"? One piece of brocolli? half a spud? one apple? FFS make it a bit bloody clearer! WHere are the billboards and posters and TV ads extolling the virtues of fruit and veg, and tempting us with pics of juicy pears and crunchy apples and steaming sweet potatoes and lovely brocolli bakes? Apparently only £1.5m was spent on advertising "Five a day", against an estimation that the food industry spent in excess of £0.3 billion in 1999 promoting unhealthy food products.

If I had my way then all junk-food manufacturing companies would be closed down. But then there would be howls of derision crying "what about the jobs" and "you're killing economic growth". I''m sick of this "economic growth" crap being used asn an excuse for us to keep manufacturing food that is killing us, airports that are suffocating our air, and cars that we no longer buy.


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Don't forget D-Day

Amongst all the hype surrounding today's date 6-6-06 and all the AntiChrist bollocks that come with it, spare a few minutes thought for all the WW2 veterans, who today will have thoughts of fallen comrades, death and violence on the beaches of Normandy.

Much better to hype about those brave men and their sacrifices than some overinflated Devil story ...

Monday, June 05, 2006

Love & Its Disintegration

The passages below have been excerpted from "Love & Its Disintegration In Western Society," a chapter in Erich Fromm's The Art of Loving (New York: Harper & Row, 1956), pp. 2-3, 72-74.

"Our whole culture is based on the appetite for buying, on the idea of a mutually favorable exchange. Modern man's happiness consists in the thrill of looking at the shop windows, and in buying all that he can afford to buy, either for cash or on installments. He (or she) looks at people in a similar way.

For the man an attractive girl -- and for the woman an attractive man -- are the prizes they are after. 'Attractive' usually means a nice package of qualities which are popular and sought after on the personality market. What specifically makes a person attractive depends on the fashion of the time, physically as well as mentally.

During the twenties, a drinking and smoking girl, tough and sexy, was attractive; today the fashion demands more domesticity and coyness. At the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of this century, a man had to be aggressive and ambitious -- today he has to be social and tolerant -- in order to be an attractive 'package'.

At any rate, the sense of falling in love develops usually only with regard to such human commodities as are within reach of one's own possibilities for exchange. I am out for a bargain; the object should be desirable from the standpoint of its social value, and at the same time should want me, considering my overt and hidden assets and potentialities. Two persons thus fall in love when they feel they have found the best object available on the market, considering the limitations of their own exchange values. Often, as in buying real estate, the hidden potentialities which can be developed play a considerable role in this bargain. In a culture in which the marketing orientation prevails, and in which material success is the outstanding value, there is little reason to be surprised that human love relations follow the same pattern of exchange which governs the commodity and the labor market. . .

"Modern capitalism needs men who co-operate smoothly and in large numbers; who want to consume more and more; and whose tastes are standardized and can be easily influenced and anticipated. It needs men who feel free and independent, not subject to any authority or principle or conscience -- yet willing to be commanded, to do what is expected of them, to fit into the social machine without friction; who can be guided without force, led without leaders, prompted without aim -- except the one to make good, to be on the move, to function, to go ahead.

"What is the outcome? Modern man...has been transformed into a commodity, experiences his life forces as an investment which must bring him the maximum profit obtainable under existing marketing conditions. Human relations are essentially those of alienated automatons, each basing his security on staying close to the herd, and not being different in thought, feeling or action. While everybody tries to be as close as possible to the rest, everybody remains utterly alone, pervaded by the deep sense of insecurity, anxiety and guilt which always results when human separateness cannot be overcome.

Our civilization offers many palliatives which help people to be consciously unaware of this aloneness: first of all the strict routine of bureaucratized, mechanical work, which helps people to remain unaware of their most fundamental human desires, of the longing for transcendence and unity. Inasmuch as the routine alone does not succeed in this, man overcomes his unconscious despair by the routine of amusement, the passive consumption of sounds and sights offered by the amusement industry; futhermore by the satisfaction of buying ever new things, and soon exchanging them for others.

Modern man is actually close to the picture Huxley describes in his Brave New World: well fed, well clad, satisfied sexually, yet without self, without any except the most superficial contact with his fellow men, guided by the slogans which Huxley formulated so succinctly, such as: 'When the individual feels, the community reels'; or 'Never put off till tomorrow the fun you can have today,' or, as the crowning statement: 'Everybody is happy nowadays.' Man's happiness today consists in 'having fun.' Having fun lies in the satisfaction of consuming and 'taking in' commodities, sights, food, drinks, cigarettes, people, lectures, books, movies -- all are consumed, swallowed.

The world is one great object for our appetite, a big apple, a big bottle, a big breast; we are the sucklers, the eternally expectant ones, the hopeful ones -- and the eternally disappointed ones. Our character is geared to exchange and to receive, to barter and to consume; everything, spiritual as well as material objects, becomes an object of exchange and of consumption.

"The situation as far as love is concerned corresponds, as it has by necessity, to this social character of modern man. Automatons cannot love; they can exchange their 'personality packages' and hope for a fair bargain. One of the most significant expressions of love, and especially of marriage with this alienated structure, is the idea of the 'team'. In any number of articles on happy marriage, the ideal described is that of the smoothly functioning team. This description is not too different from the idea of a smoothly functioning employee; he should be 'reasonably independent,' co-operative, tolerant, and at the same time ambitious and aggressive.

Thus, the marriage counselor tells us, the husband should 'understand' his wife and be helpful. He should comment favorably on her new dress, and on a tasty dish. She, in turn, should understand when he comes home tired and disgruntled, and should listen attentively when he talks about his business troubles, should not be angry but understanding when he forgets her birthday. All this kind of relationship amounts to is the well-oiled relationship between two persons who remain strangers all their lives, who never arrive at a 'central relationship,' but who treat each other with courtesy and who attempt to make each other feel better.

"In this concept of love and marriage the main emphasis is on finding a refuge from an otherwise unbearable sense of aloneness. In 'love' one has found, at last, a haven from aloneness. One forms an alliance of two against the world, and this egoism a deux is mistaken for love and intimacy."

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Poor football....

A TV advert encouraging viewers to sponsor a child in the Third World has been banned for being "an unfair attack on football".

The World Vision ad, to have been screened during the Cup, shows an African boy playing with a ball made of maize, bags and string.

The advert then says: "England's team are sponsored for £49million. Masidi is sponsored for 60p a day."

The Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre watchdog said it "suggested money spent in the development and sponsorship of football was wasted".

World Vision boss Rudo Kwaramba said: "We're extremely surprised by this ruling."


"money spent in the development and sponsorship of football was wasted"

HOW TRUE - 40 YEARS AND WE'VE STILL NOT WON THE WORLD CUP. How much has been invested in the England team in that 40 years? I bet it would write off the whole third world debt.