What was it W.H. Davies said :-
WHAT is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?
No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:
Why does life today make us constantly chase our tails?
Why don’t we have time to stand and stare on a Sunday, instead of running around the supermarket aisles?
I remember a time when no shops opened on a Sunday, there was a time when pubs closed on a Sunday also.
How would today’s young people cope with a traditional Sunday roast and no shops open?
Today is different, today is not the old days, but have we been duped? Is it better?
I also remember a time when people spoke of nothing other than the weather and what was happening in our village. If you heard news of people from outside the village it was because they were related to someone in the village. Apart from General Elections or major murders which would hit the headlines life ambled on day by day.
NOW WE HAVE IMAGERY.
Imagery has replaced social intercourse. People no longer want to talk to anyone they just want to be fed images of what is happening in every corner of the globe.
Or do they want this?
Or is it that this is what they are being fed?
Do you really want to watch over and over again on the TV images of a man with his hands covered in blood while another young man, his whole life before him, a young child to raise, lies on the road dead or dying.
Why should we suffer images such as this constantly and if we are seeing images such as this, what are those images doing to us? Hearing hateful words attacking, not the soothing notes of a mother crooning to her child, reading to her child as he falls asleep in his bed. Into our homes comes the barbaric, comes the heart wrenching sights of a world at war and what can we do about it?
When the financial crisis hit, we were told by the media through the newspapers and the television it was our fault as we had borrowed too much. They did not stop to say how it was impossible to have a bank account without being harassed by those at the counter to borrow money every time you showed your face.
We were forced to borrow money, persuaded it was for our good to have that holiday or new car. Yes we are gullible. But they offered, they cajoled, they were in our faces, yes you can have that big house, yes you can have anything we have money for you, oodles of it.
Now it is our fault for not being more prudent.
Then there was the horsemeat scandal. Whose fault was it?
Us, the listener, the image watcher. We were told by the media once again that it was our fault for asking for cheap food.
Who asked for cheap food? No one asked me if I wanted it, but they offered it to me and said come on buy it, it is your lucky day. So once again I should feel guilty.
Then the terrible tragedy of Bangladesh and the Primark clothes.
What did the media tell us, once again the images said, it is your fault for asking for cheap clothes. Who asked? No one asked me, but they offered them to me and said come on buy, give us your money it is your lucky day.
Images bombarding people day in and day out. Images of beautiful homes which all young people should aspire to. Advertisements which distort images to make them look even more enticing and say to you, you can have a home like this too.
But hang on a minute, all those fantastic kitchens, where is the kettle and the mugs for my tea and coffee. Where are the dirty paw marks on the floor that I should have washed off this morning but ran out of time? Where are the dogs bowl and the biscuits all over the floor where the cat spread them? Where is my magazine, so I can look at even better images, something more to aspire too and where is the recycling, the curse of our lives, mountains of packaging that I suppose we asked for, but no one asked me. I would have said NO! NO! NO! If they had asked me.
If someone had asked me if I wanted the country to be in debt so please borrow a couple of thousand from us I would have said NO.
If someone had asked me if I wanted horsemeat burgers at half the price, from un-sourced meat I would have said NO.
If someone had said to me buy these beautiful clothes made in terrible conditions the other side of the world I would have said NO.
But no one asked me, they offered, they begged, they cajoled and they harassed me to do these things, then they blamed me through their images, implanted those images in my brain so I should believe?
Poor, stupid, unworthy me.
Hang on! Remember Ethiopia and Ghana and the terrible starvation that was portrayed on our TV’s; the imagery that showed a people in dire need.
Did you see the news this week on the building work going on there?
Did you see the shopping centers and young people looking healthy and wealthy?
Then they spoke about the foreign money that has come into the countries.
Our manufacturing jobs all went abroad so that more profit could be made by those with the money to invest.
Then lo and behold while our towns fall into disrepair and shops close down at an alarming rate we hear that the foreign money, much of it British, is now being used to build and create a boom in countries such as Ethiopia and Ghana.
They have the jobs; they have the money; so they become what we used to be 25 years ago.
Here we see images, people sit in their homes and have no way to save them, all that borrowing, all that paying back was fine while we had the jobs and the money, but somehow it has gone. It has gone to new virgin ground and left us here in its wake.
Money is still being made but not here anymore and will I be buying goods from these countries to support their economies. Sorry but it is not my fault, I release myself from all blame.
I switch off the TV, I refuse to watch the images and I intend to climb the highest mountain I can find on the coming Bank Holiday.
I intend to be a cow or a sheep and I intend to take advantage of what nature has to offer and I will sit and stare.
Images, you can keep them, I will find my own.