January 27, 2015 10:25 pm
Published by Faysal Mikdadi
There is an ageing process. It takes each of us down a narrowing experience gorged alley. We all manage fairly well. This is because we humans have the admirable flexibility needed to help us adapt to virtually anything. My ageing process (over sixty six years of it so far) has been as benign as any other average human being’s. It has had its bumpy highs and lows. It has also had the odd physical weakening pain – some ailments, a few procedures, the bad back, the need to get up at night, the falling asleep during an exciting edge of seat TV thriller, the feeling that what others do is always wrong, the flicker of an old vaguely remembered desire quickly subdued by an urge to close one’s eyes… But these are foibles that are easy to cope with. Indeed, most of us laugh them off on the way to collect our diminishing pensions. Even better, the lapsing memory is most advantageous for reading favourite books long forgotten and for watching crime thrillers never remembered.
The difficulty has been distinguishing between simply ageing and those aspects of our world that appear difficult to cope with regardless of age… that appear almost quirky and askew… in the ordered world that we were dragged up in by our adoring parents (during respites from various wars).
It is a little like a bad back. But no sitting up straight, moving gingerly, lying back with knees bent towards the torso…etc… appear to help. The feeling of discomfort remains. Is it true or is it only me with my mounting year totals crushing my enfeebling mind and worse body? It comes with age you know and no end of Omega Three or blueberries or five a day seems to help. Is it true or is it just me fancy?
Is it true that there are people in this world (a minute number, Piketty tells me and so did that nice man from the OECD) who own more than almost everybody else? Is it really true that the rate of return to capital has overtaken the growth rate of world output and that it is set to continue to do so for decades to come (Piketty also told me this)? Does it really mean that we are living in an economic situation not too dissimilar to the times of Charles Dickens (Marx warned me a long time ago but I took him for a ranting old fool and joined the adorably acquisitive capitalist hordes instead).
Is it true that there are people who are hungry in their millions across the Southern Hemisphere (Willy Brandt told me that a long time ago) – and, come to think of it, now also across the Northern one (wide eyed Ed Balls tells me this every time he rants “…flatlining. The economy is flatlining”… but I am not listening because I despise New Labour Blairism – or should that be B-liar-ism?
Is it true that Obama, Hollande, Cameron, Miliband, Sisi, Netanyahu and many others manipulate, cut and thrust just to garner votes and not for the common good? (My rag tells me this over my burnt toast every morning). Is it true that Palestinians are dispossessed, scattered across the world or live in the squalor of occupation and camps? Is it true that their plight is invisible to almost every so-called freedom loving democracy, and, worse still, to their so-called Arab brothers? (…as nobody tells me because Palestinians are never noticed).
Is it true that the French screamed in favour of freedom of expression and encouraged cartoons that would offend over a billion Muslims? (As Charlie Hebdo m’a dit rÃ©cemment). And that Cameron defended our right to offend others? (As the BBC – Biased Broadcasting Corporation – tells me daily).
Is it true that there are still people on this planet who hate me because I am Jewish? Because I am Christian? Because I am a Muslim? Because I am black? (As so many all over the world tell me every few minutes). Is it true that we cannot listen to each other any more? (As my wife tells me nightly).
Is it true that Australia is ruled by an alien who believes that Prince Philip deserves a knighthood? (As an Australian clown told me after a few lagers over breakfast). When do I get mine, Tony me old mate?
Is it true that there are people in Britain who can work but who do not do so, and that their Government hands them large sums of money whilst it hounds the disabled and – occasionally – even the dead – to find a job – lazy blighters? (As the DWP would never tell me). Is it true that we have some thirteen years of free education and many young persons still come out of schools illiterate and innumerate? (As OfSTED also would never tell me).
Is it true that a teacher earns very little for doing such an honourable service and then s/he pays a good proportion of it in taxes whilst massive corporate companies earn billions and pay virtually nothing in taxes? Is it true that this is called ‘clever business tactics’? (As Professor Flopsy Grabitall Junior of the Harvard School of Business tells me).
Do we still slaughter each other for reasons beyond humanity, beyond decency and beyond mutual love? (As Amnesty International and many allegedly religious people tell me).
I no longer know whether this is caused by the ageing process or simply by a process of raging. Is it true? Is it? Is it? I do not know anymore.
Never mind dear. Here’s a nice cup of tea. Now settle down and enjoy the sing song, dear (…not bloody likely; it is too loud…). Drink up, dear (…I’m not your “dear” – It’s Dr Mikdadi to you you wishy washy do gooding health volunteer…) and consider yourself lucky to have the NHS free at the point of delivery (…for now anyhow… until the American ginormous corporations take it over and turn it into a profit making bottom line behemoth…).
Slurp. Slurp. Slurp. Is it true? Is it? Oh shut up you grumpy old git and be glad to be alive still (…as if I had a choice in this matter…) and alive in England and not in that nasty anti-European Union socialist Greece (…and I can’t remember who told me that…).
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This post was written by Faysal Mikdadi