“Better Together. Family of Nations. Valued, equal partners in this most precious of unions, pooling and sharing our resources. Special bonds. Lead us, don’t leave us.
Let me ask you all something today. How valued and equal are you feeling right now”
Do androids dream of electric sheep was written in 1968 by American author Phillip . K. Dick. It has recently been re-published having achieved cult status. The novel is set in San Francisco following a global nuclear war, where Earth’s life has been greatly damaged. Most animal species are very rare or extinct from extremes of radiation, so much so that owning an animal is now a sign of status and empathy. Some people will remember the story better as the movie by director Ridley Scott called ‘Blade runner’, recently re-booted in the sequel , Blade runner 2049. This science fiction ‘film noir’ is reminiscent of Raymond Chandler with lots of rain washing down on pavements lit by flickering neon lights. The world of the super corporations has become merged with the state and law and order and those unable to afford to get ‘off world’ to a better future wait out their lives in the over populated and polluted city.
Motivation is an impulse that causes people to act. Its an internal process that makes us move towards a goal. Trouble is we have to set that goal first and believe in it strongly.The eye has to be firmly on the prize or the goal will not be realised. We can’t observe motivation we can only infer it from someone’s behaviour. In Scotland we can be said to suffer from a ‘cringe’ not universally but there is a cultural norm that pulls us back. Looking at the optimist /pessimist divide how are we placed? When you see this image what do you see?
OPPORTUNITY IS NOWHERE
A postive attitude ( more on that another time perhaps) does make all the difference.Our perceptions lock on to some things then they cannot be unseen.Thinking outside of the box it reads ‘Opportunity is now here’ for me. I must be an optimist!
We all know of the very obvious examples of media manipulation or getting people to believe something that just is not true. Political history is full of examples of this, some written into political history like Machiavelli’s ‘The Prince’ which coined the phrase-
‘the ends justify the means’.
Or in more recent history, Joseph Goebells in Nazi Germany who stated ,
‘ A lie told once remains a lie but lie told a thousand times becomes the truth’.
The role of the mass media in perpetuating untruths has also been apparent for years and powerful in influencing popular belief.
For example many people believe that lemmings, the small vole like rodents ,were prone to mass suicide by jumping from cliff tops. Nothing could be further from the truth but Walt Disney portrayed their behaviour that way in an oscar winning documentary “White Wilderness’ made in 1958.
So enduring was the myth that many people still believe it to be true and ‘like lemmings off a cliff’ has entered our language .
Today we heard the Crown Prosecution Service have decided not to prosecute Tory MP’s and their election agents for over spending on election expenses buying seats basically.
Yesterday there was the revelation that Theresa May was in favour of the re-introduction of fox-hunting as it emerged that some marginal rural seats might be ‘turned’ to favour the Tories. She might even be thinking of some Scottish seats as well. Hunt Saboteurs be aware.
On top of that people’s peak tea time viewing was ruined by Theresa May and her husband Phillip chatting on the One-Show with Alex Jones and Matt Baker about being a normal, happy family. In Theresa’s household there are ‘boys’ jobs and ‘girl’ jobs apparently. Some people were checking their calendars to see if they had been whisked back in time to 1972.
In a carefully scripted and controlled ‘humanising’ PR exercise that was totally cringe-worthy we learned about her love of shoes. (So that’s what she has in common with ex Philipines First Lady Imelda Marcos, famous for her massive shoe collection. She had an entire room in the Presidential palace devoted to them).
No ‘killer’ questions allowed not even from Matt Baker who when interviewing David Cameron in 2011 asked him ‘How do you sleep at night?’ which left Cameron nearly falling off the sofa! Matt Baker, all round green guy and conservationist must have been itching to ask about the fox-hunting question at least , but no the PR people were in total control.
It was all carefully designed to ‘humanise’ Theresa May ahead of the General Election but let’s be under no illusions about Theresa May. In some ways she is more right-wing and more dangerous than Thatcher ever was.
Over the holiday period when many news outlets go into ‘standby mode’ some stories appear to fill a gap. One such story was of the spread of the ‘conurbation’ or an extended urban area, typically consisting of several towns merging with the suburbs of a central city.
It has been speculated that eventually, judging by satellite images like the one above, the cities of Glasgow,Edinburgh,Stirling and Falkirk will one day merge to form one mega city. Putting aside the cultural differences of Glasgow versus Edinburgh, salt and vinegar versus salt and sauce, its interesting as the New Year begins to ponder some of the other issues around this subject.
In this ‘bleak mid-winter’, chest infections, viral infections, increased levels of influenza type symptoms have peaked even before Christmas and New Year. On top of that we have an ageing population and a thing called multi-morbidity.In other words as people live longer they suffer from more than one , sometimes several different conditions at once.
The media on the other hand do not want to deal with ‘whole systems’ approaches to health.They cannot cope with reporting on community based responses to combatting loneliness among older people or the massively successful recovery movement in Scotland working to help people in recovery from alcohol and drugs dependence .
The medias main ‘capacity’ for thought is that of the sausage factory approach, a simplistic Accident and Emergency one door in and one door out and how long it takes before you get home.People are seen as objects on a production line to be measured by ‘time and motion’ processes in a bean counting exercise.