Monday, 16 July 2012
When I was a kid I wanted to be something.
An astronaut, heavyweight champion of the world, a super hero. I wanted to make a difference. To somehow be an example, explore worlds unseen, be the new Ali, save cities from evil. people would mention my name and say what it was I did. Not what it was I had! The world has changed a lot since then.
We now live in a world where everybody worships at the alter of consumerism and status is based on material gain. From the bankers private island to the 52 inch TV in a council flat, ( I refuse to use the term social housing, more PC stupidity). From the stupefying cost of a trendy University type T shirt, Jack Wills etc to the new gangster jeans at £300 a pair. Bling is de thing! And the cheaper we can get this stuff in relation to the effort we put in the better we are!
The something for nothing culture is not about those so called skiving, work-shy, scroungers on benefits but about society as a whole.
It's origin and lifeblood is based on that most profound of all Thatcherite principles that greed is good. That somehow buying a few shares and sitting back while they accumulate a nice little profit for us is a transferable idea. Lets get on X-factor sing a cover song, sit back and watch the cash roll in. Lets gamble on the futures market and make billions. Lets get people to work for us for nothing, sign multi million pound contracts that no Gvt can renege on, smash an institution to death and cream off the profits. A new lambo, rolex, helicopter.
Whether it is a rap artist with the crystal champagne or city boys spending £1,000s on a bottle of wine at lunch time, bling is indeed the thing. It is what now makes the world tick and is the defining entity.
The rioters of last summer wanted bling. They didn't want to make a political point any more than any CEO does. They wanted what they could grab with as little effort as possible and to hell with the cost.
It is the new sickness where everybody not only knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing but is also prepared to do bugger all for it. We have multiplied our possessions while reducing our values. Stupid people with smart phones. It's time this changed.
How fine it is at night to say:
"I have not wronged a soul to-day.
I have not by a word or deed,
In any breast sowed anger's seed,
Or caused a fellow being pain;
Nor is there on my crest a stain
That shame has left. In honor's way,
With head erect, I've lived this day."
When night slips down and day departs
And rest returns to weary hearts,
How fine it is to close the book
Of records for the day, and look
Once more along the traveled mile
And find that all has been worth while;
To say: "In honor I have toiled;
My plume is spotless and unsoiled."
Yet cold and stern a man may be
Retaining his integrity;
And he may pass from day to day
A spirit dead, in living clay,
Observing strictly morals, laws,
Yet serving but a selfish cause;
So it is not enough to say:
"I have not stooped to shame to-day!"
It is a finer, nobler thought
When day is done and night has brought
The contemplative hours and sweet,
And rest to weary hearts and feet,
If man can stand in truth and say:
"I have been useful here to-day.
Back there is one I chanced to see
With hope newborn because of me.
"This day in honor I have toiled;
My shining crest is still unsoiled;
But on the mile I leave behind
Is one who says that I was kind;
And someone hums a cheerful song
Because I chanced to come along."
Sweet rest at night that man shall own
Who has not lived his day alone.