Thursday, 6 May 2010

Life, the universe & everything

OK, so I liberated the title of this post from the creative genius that was Douglas Adams, but let's not get stuck there and instead move on.

I'd have liked to have started this post with something like "been doing some thinking" but the reality is I'm ALWAYS doing some thinking. Mine is a very busy mind, constantly grappling with concepts like .Net code, global warming, SQL injection attacks, war & anti-war strategies, human evolution & how to be a better husband & dad.
I'd go as far as to say my mind is defective: it doesn't have an "off" button!

Anyway, while being the proud owner of a very busy mind, I'm certainly no Aristotle, Einstein or Gandhi. As a result, my thinking is sometimes muddled and often incomplete. I suppose the word to best describe it is "average".

Now with my average mind, I was thinking about a number of apparently unconnected things:
1) Climate change is a reality and denying it is like the tobacco industry that used to pay off medical doctors to say that smoking was good for you. Lies may fool some, or even most people, but they do not and cannot alter the reality.
2) According to Native American culture, we don't own the world. Instead, we are borrowing it from our descendants.
3) Charity begins at home. Ever noticed how these do-gooders  off to save the world almost always seem to do it in warm climates? "Oh, I'm off to go save the children of [insert tropical destination here]". How arrogant! What makes them think they can "save" anybody? I'm not talking food-aid here, by the way.
And while they're off galavanting around in exotic destinations, in their home cities they will have inner-city neighbourhoods resembling Gaza, except there's no oppressing foreign army doing the damage.
4) Bankers are quite literally laughing all the way to the bank. Even after the global financial pit they lobbed us all into, nothing really has changed for them. That's to be expected - after all, they're making obscene amounts of money for actually not doing anything at all.
The sad & scary part is our elected leaders are allowing them to get away with it...AGAIN. They CAN stop it, they have a moral obligation to stop it, yet they don't. Why is that?
5) Following on from NR 4, our economy has been crippled. To be fair, it's been limping for a long time, with this and previous governments systematically dismantling entire industries, such as manufacturing. Oh, they brag about foreign investment, but closer inspection reveals most such investment is in service industries where they wack in a load of cash, but then we're left with a constant and steady trickle of money that will drain MORE money out of the economy than they ever invested.
6) Britain is polluted & congested. Remember, this was the 1st nation to implement a Congestion Charging Zone. Government ads tell us that cars are responsible for an enormous part of that pollution, and of course all of the gongestion. And what exactly is their clever advice? TRY and drive 5 miles less per week! Wow - they actually expect that to have ANY impact at all?
7) Britain is fat & unfit. Well, most of the UK population is overweight & unfit and a huge number of people are clinically obese. This is an unhealthy situation costing the NHS a fortune every year, and results in many people needlessly dying.

All these points ARE connected.

It is a fact that we have no real political leadership. I'd go as far as to say we're almost sailing blind.

Here are the facts: We have congestion because for some bizarre reason driving a car is viewed as a basic human right. It isn't and never should be. All drivers found responsible for killing a human being through their driving should be banned from driving for life.
Roads pre-date cars by thousands of years. Car are actually still the new new kid on the block and should not be allowed to bully everybody else.

Today is polling day and hopefully something will happen that will herald a new age of positive change.

Except I'm not holding my breath. Instead, I expect we'll just see more of the same...