Tuesday, 21 March 2017
Sunday, 19 March 2017
I was 25 for most of 1976, a young teacher, trying to have babies, wondering what to do to take my mind off the failing. It was, I know, the Bi-Centennial year in the USA, and I, a former 'American Studies' student, took an interest. "Why American Studies?" My father asks, in 1970, aghast. He doesn't think a career could be carved out of American Studies. " Because, dad, I don't understand why you don't like Americans and I need to learn!" I was SO naive .. My poor father, during the war, had to vie with monied GI's for my mother's attentions... He needs to be forgiven.
So I applied for the Fulbright Exchange Teacher Programme, and succeeded, but the doing of it came later in 1977, and is another story.
Harold Wilson was PM, at least until April, and I remember him: jovial, pipe-smoking, the first PM I voted for. His wife was a poet, I felt a connection. He reckoned that the, 'white heat of technology' would bring wealth to all, and shorter working hours. And it could have. Instead we have zero hours contracts and food banks, but hey! There's the Internet, so I guess it's not all bad. Steve Jobs founded Apple in a garage, and here I am tapping this out on an iPad.
John Curry danced himself to gold on ice, and I can still picture him. Dazzling, spectacular, amazing ... There aren't enough words. But it was the 70's and there was no way to stave off AIDS: he died too young, and, right now, I feel tears welling-up, and not just for him.
"Save All Your Kisses For Me" won the Eurovision Song Contest. I loathe the Eurovision Song Contest with perfect loathing. If I'd have thought we would never have to enter it again I would have voted Brexit. But I know such dreams never come true, so I didn't. Brit James Hunt, once known as 'Hunt the Shunt' wins the F1 Championship, and Concorde begins is inaptly named 'commercial' service. As a teenager, at school in Gloucester, I watched open-mouthed in awe, as this sleek air-liner on a test flight veered round Robinswood Hill moments before it's "BOOM!!"
Yes, it could break the sound barrier then, but never over-land after coming into service.
I scour the lists of births and deaths. There are many of both in 1976. I am quite taken by the fact that I only recognise ONE of the celebrity births (Ross Noble) but go misty-eyed over the departures: L S Lowry,Sybil Thorndike, Agatha Christie, Benjamin Britten ... They are still about in one way or another.
We were a country at war in 1976. Oh My God! Over fish. The Great Cod War, with Iceland. Then one day, someone woke up to how ludicrous it was, and we brought the gun boats home. For the record: Iceland won.
I guess we kind of were at war with the Irish, too. I have Irish ancestry, and kept my fingers crossed for peace, which came, in time.
It's comforting to know that wars end.
1976 was a hot year. Although as a Brit, the weather always plays a huge role in my life, there are two events that stand out. The Great Freeze of 1962/3 and The Heat Wave of 1976. We expect moderation in all things, and 97F in Cheltenham is just not on.
I congratulate myself on still being here, no small feat given the wars, plagues, extreme weather events and the stupidity of politicians. When I was 25 I didn't know what was to come, but now that it HAS come, and pretty well gone, I can sit back, contented. It's good. All good.
"Save All Your Kisses For Me"
Concorde Breaking The Sound Barrier
Tuesday, 14 March 2017
Sunday, 5 March 2017
My friend Wendy sent me a link to a ten minute op-ed that about covers all I want to say about the title of this post.
On second thoughts, I'll summarise: A 1950's cult figure said that aliens were going to cause a great flood and that only her followers were going to be saved. So, when the flood failed to make it's appearance, the lady in the know said it was because she had asked the aliens not to do the flood thing, and the cult grew.
Listen anyway, the guy's good. He explains that this, 'adjusting reality to fit perception' model, is the reason why believing that Trump will be removed from office before his time is up, is also delusional. Even if desirable, I hasten to add.
Here's the link:
Wendy got me thinking. Then writing.
Very good listen!
I long ago came to the conclusion that: you can believe what you like and get away with it, and most people do ( religion);the prettiest person with the best lies will form a government ( politics);the person you've got now is worth holding on to, because the next stands a good chance of being worse ( relationships); there IS no concrete reality, we are made of light and energy, and what we perceive as real is an illusion created in a brain evolved to construct an environment where the propagation of the species is at least a possibility(science).
Trump will not be impeached because 80% of Republican voters still support him, they are emotionally invested in him and not likely to waiver. Flying Saucer Cult 102.
So, to keep sane, we too, have to construct our own reality. For me, a stubborn belief that the Universe is ultimately benign, that at least a part of me is eternal, and that, in the end, "all manner of things shall be well," works. It's as likely to be 'right' as many much nastier alternatives. Whether or not it has any basis in what might be called 'truth' , is hardly relevant given that we are 99% energy in a universe that is 75% missing.
As Pilate so rightly asked, "What is truth?" A question that even the King of Kings couldn't answer!