Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Shut Up Already.

When I feel at a low ebb, hashing it over with a good mate, consuming a bottle of good wine and generally having a good cry does the job and afterwards I feel better for it. Sometimes though I have been known to go on and on and on to whomever that will listen about whatever it is that is making me so depressed. So much so, that those around me are affected by my moods and misery. It is hard to live with. I speak from experience.
Droning on about something continually can have a very negative effect on those around us and when you are in the pit of despair it is exceptionally difficult to find the constructive energy to claw your way out.
What then is the media up to? A National depression? Shall we all just chuck in the towel, return to our cold, unheated bedrooms and huddle under the sheets to wait for the Prime Minister to give us the sign when to end it all? They are all at it. Weekend columnists raving on about how, by being ‘crunchy’ they’ve turned the AGA off, have garaged the 4x4 and have let Lenka the nanny and Ruby the ‘daily’, go. They fret about how to pay school fees, this winter’s skiing trip and whether or not they’ll have to cancel Tuscany in August. I have read about two or three such articles in the last week. They all live up the line.
High brow journalists are no better. On and on and Ariston about how many more companies have gone under and how many poor sods are unemployed. Some hack with the news headlines at the top of every hour on Radio 2 is dolefully spelling it out for us that life is, quite honestly, sh*t.
Well that isn’t news. Anyone who has suffered tragedy or loss, deprivation and fear will subscribe to that point of view but we would also agree that we are lucky enough not to live in a country where bombs rip our homes and schools apart. They did once and our grandfathers put a stop to it. We are also lucky that we have a social security system that looks after its young and old – not particularly well maybe, pensions are ludicrously meagre but we see few little old men and fewer little old ladies literally scavenging for food and dying on park benches. Our NHS system is far from perfect but they won’t turn us away if we can’t pay for our treatment. Our schools still churn out illiterate children, but at least they had an opportunity to study in a safe and free environment. Our public transport system is often far from efficient and tragic accidents do sadly happen, but they are infrequent and we are rightly horrified when they do. Our needy children are sometimes overlooked and are neglected by the very people who ought to be fighting their corner – but this is such a rare occurrence that a national outcry is heard across the land and those culpable are punished immediately.
If someone is murdered or raped in this country the powers that be will do their utmost to find the villain and if found and moreover, if found guilty, they will be tried and punished accordingly. The crime will not be dismissed, our police cannot be paid for keeping quiet, nor our juries handpicked. Conversely neither will the accused nor the victim be stoned to death, (in some countries rape is seen as infidelity), nor will they be executed by lethal injection.
Mass starvation, war and genocide are intolerable abominations that many of us, thank God, will never know or understand. Being in the ‘grip of recession’ is not. The rhetoric the media continually use to describe this ‘relentless grimness’ is not only odious but insulting. I think that we are all aware of the current financial downturn (whisper it). Do we honestly need to be reminded every hour and in every publication?
I don’t deny that these are very worrying times. Bleak. But I am convinced that through incessant negative rhetoric we can talk our way into a worse place. I wish I had more of a voice. I wish I could shout “Shut up” at the top of my lungs at the radio and that whoever is the prophet of doom and gloom could hear me.
Have we ever been a country to give up in defeat? I cannot imagine for one minute that such miserable, pessimistic language was used as freely during the World Wars. We were urged to Keep Calm and Carry On. Making do and mending wasn’t a phrase intended to make us fall to our knees in desperation because we couldn’t have the latest i-Pod. It was just a fact of life. We Brits are renowned for getting ‘on with it’, with sticking two fingers up at adversity.
Hubby in his own inimitable way has laughed at me, “You sound like Winston Churchill”.
“Yeah well, he isn’t remembered for his defeatist attitude is he?”
“Blimey Alice, since when were you so politically strident?”, he asked.
“I’m not as fluffy as you make me out to be I’ll have you know”.
“Righto. Let’s have a test. What’s happening in Gaza?”
“Appalling things. Too awful to mention”, I said, defiantly.
“Okay. Who’s Alistair Darling?”
“Guy with the freaky two tone hair. Um..” I pondered, “ got it, Chancellor of the Exchequer”.
Hubby, smiling as though he held a trump card added, “Ban Ki-moon?”
“UN Leader”.
Hubby looked positively lost for words. But then he’s not to know that the pub quiz has a lot to answer for.“Well, I never. Alice Band for PM! Sanctions on misery!” He was being facetious but my manifesto would be far from it.


Sally said...

Well said AB. I'll vote for you. And besides, when you do get the top job, other people are there to worry about the intricate details!

Mary Alice said...

People have turned soft and lazy....Victory gardens for all.

DL said...

Hear, hear! to everything you've said here.

D. :-)

Kit said...

I'll vote for you! I try not to listen to the news adn feel like putting my fingers in my ears and going Lalalalalalala if I can't avoid it.

Positive attitudes and less News or No News is Good News
or something like that.

Have you seen this blog?

She is all about not letting your attitude be influenced by the media and setting your own positive mindset.

Trudy said...

They love to get on the TV and scare everyone.

Hubby and I started the new year with the idea we will save money this year....how? I'm cooking the 500 things in my freezer and the 100 things in the cupboard....hmm, it's actually becoming a challenge to see what I can come up with....and so far, we are FINE (who'd a thunk it?)

Of course, we are probably single handedly destroying the economy....why? because we are not out spending our money right now. I feel like I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't.

Sally said...

My blog needs you btw!