Times Have Changed But......
In three weeks time, we will be in 2010. A new year, and a new decade. This means that the year 1990 is 20 years ago.
Earlier this year, on my blog, I wrote that "To me, it seems that 1990 in some ways was so recent, and yet in others, it seems so long ago and so distant". I also opined, "However, for me, the past is over-rated. I wouldn't want to go back and live in 1990 again. I am much happier in the present day, for all its faults".
I stand by both statements. I wouldn't, for one moment, want to go back to Monday 1st January 1990. However, I have noticed that for all the societal and technological changes and advances, many aspects of human behaviour haven't changed. There is still greed, as seen by the bankers threatening to move abroad if their bonuses are taxed. There is still unfairness, where people who work hard and aren't paid or rewarded nowhere near enough for it, and yet others who are paid colossal amounts of money for doing comparatively little amounts of work. There is still bullying in schools and elsewhere and there are still rapists and paedophiles.
There are also still scapegoats. In the 1930's, it was Jews who were scapegoated for the ills of Germany. In truth, it was the great depression and the Treaty of Versailles which crippled Germany. In the 1950's and 1960's, coloured people and immigrants were scapegoated in the UK, with signs put up at boarding houses saying "No Irish, no blacks and no dogs". In the 1970's and 1980's, homosexuals were scapegoated and faced bigotry.
In the early 1990's, via the media and some politicians, single parents were demonised. In the late 1990's, as there was a booming economy, the unemployed were targeted, and the last few years have been the turn of Asylum Seekers to receive this treatment. I don't agree with mass immigration. It has to be curbed and halted. It is the fault of the two main parties who have been in power the last 30 years that this issue hasn't been dealt with, and hitherto, voters have turned to parties such as the BNP. However, it isn't solely mass immigration which is the cause of all of the UK's present problems.
Who really is tight?
Jews are supposed to be tight (Apology to any Jews on my contact list. I am not anti-semitic in any way, shape or form). Scotsmen are supposed to be tight and Yorkshiremen are supposed to be tight. Often Scottish or Yorkshire people themselves use this justification for being stingy. I find all three suppositions to be bullshit. How would a Scottish Jew living in Yorkshire fare if they were to be true? Would they fit ear trumpets to the side of their house so they can hear a penny being dropped in the street?
Songs of Praise
It is my parents 37th wedding anniversary today. They married on a cold and dull, but dry day at St Helen's Church, Laithes Lane, Athersley, on Saturday, 9th December, 1972. They have known each other since September 1959, have been together since 1964 and were engaged in 1967. They only chose December to get married because my dad had been working in Coventry as a welder, and earned a lot of money. My dad proposed in October, on my mum's birthday. So that year, my dad was sent to Coventry! They didn't have their honeymoon in Cyprus, or Lanzarote or Greece. No, they had a few days in York, which, by coincidence, is one of my favourite places in the UK.
Talking of churches, when Songs of Praise turn up and the TV cameras are there, have you ever noticed how churches are always full, and everybody is singing with full gusto? Yet, the following week, when the cameras aren't there, the same church will probably have 3 old people and a dog in it. The churches never seem that full on an average Sunday. I am convinced that even the Atheists turn up when the cameras are there, just to get on TV. If I ever go to church, it is for a wedding, or a funeral. I don't sing hymns though. It would be hypocritical if I did.
Ice Cream Sales in December
Two ice cream vans went up my street last week, the first week in December, when it was both cold and unsettled. I know people have to earn a living, but doesn't it seem a bit of a waste of time, effort and petrol in early December, to be selling ice cream?
I had some good luck yesterday. I had had a bet on the football. I decided to put £4 on. When I checked the results yesterday at 5pm on TV, I half-expected to not win anything, thinking to myself, "I'll be probably let down by a couple of teams". I was wrong. Arsenal, Aston Villa, Man Utd, Cardiff, Newcastle, Charlton, Norwich and Bournemouth all won, netting me £106.87. I was going to put Liverpool down to win away at Blackburn, but they drew 0-0.
I'm not a major gambler. I sometimes have a bet on the football coupons, and bet every weekend on the UK and Euro lottery, as well as the annual Grand National horse race at Aintree. Gambling for me, is all random. Any team can have a off day, or fluke or freak goals can occur. A favourite in the National or Derby could slip or fall at a fence. I think properly, you either have the gambling instinct or you don't.
From the age of 10, I used to pick out a horse for the Grand National and up to when I was legally old enough, my dad would put the bet on for me. I picked Mr Frisk out to win in 1990. I won £17, as it was 16-1.The next winner I had, and the first I put on myself, was Rough Quest on Easter Saturday 1996, the 7-1 favourite, winning £16. The year after, my mum's horse won and mine came second. In 1998, I picked out Earth Summit, and won £16, as I put £2 on. Three years later, in 2001, there had been the Foot and Mouth crisis earlier that year. However, I was laughing as a 33-1 horse I picked out won. I got £68 as I put £2 on Red Maurader! My final win so far was last year with Comply or Die, the favourite.
Other winnings I have had include £80 on the final night of 1997 in a bingo, £89 on the UK lottery with 4 numbers, in 1999, tenners on the UK lottery on occasion, £6.50 on the Euro lottery, and about five years ago when I won £50 on the Irish Lottery. I just hope to win the UK or Euro lottery, or Irish!
I am not a great socialiser. In fact, I am rather a poor mixer, and I have never particularly liked night clubs. I don't go to them, but between 1997 and March 2006 I used to go to a pub quiz on Monday nights, and won on a game called open the box, £40, £70, and on 1st December 2003, £230, but that was just luck, rather than skill in the latter two, but with the £40 one, it was a question, and I got it. The question was "When was the battle of Bannockburn?". I got it right, by answering, "1314".
Dog Attacks, Laws and the Media
On Monday, a 4-year-old boy was killed by a pit-bull type dog that is apparently banned in the UK, and inevitably, the story of the tragedy featured heavily in the UK news.
Dogs are like children, because often, when you get idiots and numpties, bringing them up, particularly breeds such as Rottweilers and Akitas, it is a recipe for disaster. That is not a slur on Rottweilers and Akitas. No breed, even Labradors, should be left on alone with a baby or youngster. A car, alone is neither good or bad. It is just a piece of metal, but when you get nutcases, or people who can't drive controlling them, they become dangerous weapons.
When tragedies like this occur, moral panics arise, particularly whipped up by newspapers such as the Daily Mail and the Sun. There are simply some people who aren't fit to bring up either animals or children. By all means, if a dog attacks someone without provocation or reason, destroy it, but punish the deed, not the breed. An individuals background should be looked at before they are allowed to buy a dog. Never mind banning certain breeds of dogs, what about banning certain types of people from owning them?