Tuesday, 29 March 2011

A pagan's perspective on recent news events - Spring 2011

I hope that you all had a good solstice and that the arrival of spring has helped raise you spirits after what has been a cold winter.
Since my last look at the news, in the Winter issue of the Incantation E-zine, the world is no less odd, worrying, scary, amazing, wonderful and cool and it certainly has lost none of its magic.

I'm going to kick off by passing on my sincerest best wishes to the survivors of the events around the Pacific, particularly in Japan, and my deepest condolences to anyone who lost someone in those events.
Once again nature showed contempt for mankind's advances and architecture.
I do not believe that any religion can offer any explanation for events such as this and those who offer such explanations deserve everything they get. Strangely enough I'm not going to offer any such explanations - ever.
It really does reveal the very fragile nature of our existence, whilst at the same time revealing the strength of
the human heart, our will to survive and our resourcefulness.
In amongst all the sorrow and bad news the reports of survivors being found in amongst the rubble and wreckage bring some relieve and, in my opinion, bare out the old saying "where there's life, there's hope".

So from natural chaos to man made chaos.

Across the Middle East and North Africa dictators and their regimes are being displaced and challenged. Whilst, in a lot of ways, this is can be a good thing (and I'm not about to start campaigning in some pro-dictatorship way) with it comes uncertainty and fear for many, many people. Not only is every day life disrupted but also their futures must seem very uncertain and, as someone from a stable country, it's hard to imagine how it feels to live through that kind of event. Quite why these despots are surprised that the masses that have been so deprived of so many basic things whilst they live in riches is beyond me, after all history presents us with plenty of examples, but then again I'm not some egocentric, power hungry nutcase surrounded by yes-men.
That may have something to do with it.

And then there's Gadafi.

Now here is a perfect example of power corrupting. Colonel Gadafi has been incharge of Libiya for a long, long time. In fact some would say for too long.
In my opinion, this guy is not just mad, he's A-grade insane.
He's as crazy as 6 rainforest's worth of hallucinogenic toads, all gathered together in one place, fed LSD and then forced to watch a 48 hour marathon of Jamie and the Magic Tourch with their eyes taped open!
It takes a special kind of nuts to deny what is going on outside your window.
I just hope that the men and women who are now involved opposing Gadafi remember the words of Obi Wan Kenobi in Star Wars, "if you strike me down I will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine".
A man is hard to defeat, the idolisation afforded to a martyr is even harder.

So what is happening here on this fair isle of Albion?

Well the ConLib, or LibCon (I never remember which way round that should be), government continue to make cuts to the essential services in this country. It is interesting that they expect many public sector workers to take pay cuts in the near future but there has been no indication that the members of the government will be doing so.

What ever happened to not asking someone to do something that you would not do yourself?

Politicians would get a lot more respect from people if they shared the burden that they do rather than making these decisions whilst still living the high life - they may not be on footballers wages but it's not a bad life that is for sure.
And don't even get me started on overpaid sportsmen.
The recession is certainly biting but they seem to think that, by making everything more expensive (don't even get me started on the cost of fuel) that people are going to spend more money. My friends and I are all having to cut our cloth accordingly these days and it actually results in less money being spent across the board because impulse spending drops per person.
Now I am not an economist by any stretch of the imagination but the whole system seems counter intuitive.
It almost feels like a system that someone made complicated, whilst showing how clever he was, is now running itself and that the people involved are too scared to admit that it doesn't work and therefore just allow it to force them to make ridiculous choices.
I admit I could have that wrong but that's how it feels to me.

The cut backs that are taking place in this country will leave some of the most vulnerable peole in society unsupported. One group of people that are particularly close to my heart are those in need of the help of the Mental Health services. Waiting lists are long enough to get some of the much needed life saving help that these services offer and they are only going to get worse.
I wish the politicians, bankers and those that get rich from their actions realise that the mess they have made is going to cost peoples lives.
But I have a feeling they won't.

The actions and motives of the ConLib government hark back strongly to origins of modern British society. That has it's origins in the order established by William the Bastard in 1066.
1066 was the year that everything changed on this fair isle.
Prior to the arrival of the Normans in England the rulers of this country had a strong link to their subjects, there was a social order but is was an inclusive one rather than an exclusive one.
Their society, whilst Christian in name was based soundly in the traditions of their pagan ancestors.
Whilst there was undoubtably "have's" and "have not's" in that society, those that had honoured the obligation to look after those around and beneath them.
There was less detachment between the populace and those that governed them.
When William conquered this country he installed his social order, with it's strong links to the roman church, and his knights as the ruling class of this country and thus began the exclusive class system that still exists to day.
I'm no communist but a society that prospers together should also work through the tough times together and currently it feels like the well off in this country are expecting those "beneath" them in the social order to take the brunt of the hit.
I feel that that is wrong.

On a more postive note, despite the tough financial climate, this years Comic Relief raised a phenomenal
amount of money to help those in need in Great Britain and across Africa, which goes to show that the spirit of giving is alive in well in the hearts of society.
A society that is often portrayed as being insular and uncaring.
A brilliant example of this spirit of giving is Jack Henderson.
His brother, Noah, has been in the Children's Hospital in Edinburgh a lot and Jack wanted to raise money for them as a thank you. His web developer dad set up a website offering people a chance to request Jack to draw them something and for which they would make a donation.
Despite originally being intended for Friends and family , and having a target of £100, the site has proved amazingly popular and has already raised over £3,000 pounds!
The link to site is http://jackdrawsanything.com/

Just goes to show that one small lad has a great idea and, with the support of a family member, is making a real difference.

Giving is something that was certainly at the heart of pagan society. In Heathen society giving, and receiving, gifts was an important thing. It is something that, if we all practiced it, would certainly make the world a better place.
Life is, after all, about what you give not just about what you get.

And now this is written,  I'm going to take part in  what is possibly the most exciting event of the year for people who love filling excessively long documents in. Yep that's right, more confusing than a self assessment tax return, I give you, the 2011 UK Census.

Happy form filling my friends.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

No title, just thoughts

First and foremost I want to send my condolences to all those who have lost loved ones, relatives, homes, life's worth of possessions or their life in the recent earthquakes and tsunamis in and around the Pacific in recent weeks.
I cannot imagine what it must be like to go through that kind of event.

Secondly I just want to put on record the fact that I for one do not believe that the recent events are the beginning of the end of the world.
Not that brave a statement, as if the world is beginning to end then domestic electricity is going to go pretty high up in the order of things and therefore what I type here won't matter one bit because no bugger will ever read it.
But I honestly think that we as human beings can survive most things, after all our ancestors lived through ice ages and other such events.

I'm not saying that the events of the last few weeks are not serious because they are more serious than words can ever begin to express.
What I am saying is that I do not consider them any kind of divine message nor heralding of some sort of "end times".

Humanity can be smart.
We can be strong.
We can survive.
We can adapt.

To allow my own spiritual feelings to creep into what has otherwise been quite a secular post, I would like to say that the teachings of the Wyrd show us that life twists and turns and to be able to adjust to the events around you is a great advantage.
Rather than dreading tomorrow, try living for it.

To all those effected by recent events, directly and indirectly, I wish you all the very best.