Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Now the Education System doesn't work, it just makes you worse........

I don't believe that the Education System works, because if it truly did, there wouldn't be such a thing as learning disabilities.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Sleep

Replacing a soft mattress with a hard one wasn't the best move I have made, although the soft one was past it's best. I haven't had a refreshing nights sleep since getting the hard mattress on Friday 12th February 2010. By that, I mean the kind of sleep when you wake up and feel good. I need a lot of time to come around after waking up, though generally, I feel groggy for about 10 minutes on a morning, though this last few weeks, I have done so for a couple of hours after waking. I am not the world's greatest sleeper at the best of times, but action is needed, and that means getting a new soft mattress. My body, and perhaps my brain, it seems, has been conditioned to sleeping on a soft mattress. I also don't seem to sleep well anywhere apart from my own bed.

At the present, I seem to feel fully awake and alert in the afternoons and evenings, but I want to be so in the mornings. Despite this, I am delighted with the bed.

I remember one constantly sleepless spell I had between Thursday 28th December 2006 and Tuesday 13th February 2007. I remember getting up at about 4.30am on the morning of Saturday 30th December 2006, to learn that Saddam Hussein had been hanged in Baghdad. I didn't, pardon the pun, lose any sleep over his fate. I just couldn't sleep that night because I couldn't sleep. I went back to bed about 6.30am and woke about 10am.

I went to bed at just before midnight last night and experienced a bizarre dream in which I broke into someone's house when he has gone on holiday to read a stack of soccer programmes in a suitcase, and have stole some money and a few DVD's, and apparently have been getting away with it. Then Police were coming around nearby. It ended then because I woke up. Briefly, my body was paralyzed, but that ended quickly.

Another sleep related experience I have had is feeling tired at night, but when in bed, I have felt wide awake. I had sleep problems as a child, in between late August 1990 and early October 1990, and on occasion, in May 1991, I would, at about 5am, get up and go for walkabouts near where I lived. This was partly out of curiosity to see what happened at that time, and partly to exercise, because I couldn't sleep. I wonder if poor sleep is related to Asperger's Syndrome?

If a soft mattress doesn't cure this, then, I am either going to buy and read Sir Michael Parkinson's autobiography, read a 600-page book on Accountancy or watch a three-hour DVD on Cricket matches or party political broadcasts.

Friday, 26 March 2010

An American Surname?

Last week, of course, was St Patrick's Day. As I stated, I have no Irish ancestry as far as I know of. I have traced the family tree of my maternal Grandmother, who was born in 1917, on her dad's side back to 1727 and have got to Birstall, which is six miles south of Leeds. Her mum's side, which I have traced back to 1803 so far, come from near York.

About six years ago, I was sat in an Internet cafe, and two men were talking about their surname history. One of them said "I have got an American surname". I thought "Whaaaat? An American surname? How can you have? Does your lineage go back to the Sioux Indians?". Then it turned out his surname was Hatfield, the same as a place near Doncaster!

Unless Hatfield meant that he had some relations who lives in America, or were born in America and came over to the UK, and he didn't explain himself properly, I find his statement bizarre, as, apart from the Indians, the USA is mainly made up of immigrants, largely from England, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Germany, Russia and Scandinavia.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

What does school learn you?

I very, very rarely quote anybody else on here. Why should I? Nobody quotes anything I ever say or write. However, I found a funny quote from Mark Twain some time back... "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education" - and there is a huge amount of truth in that.

I have learned a lot more since I left school then when I was there..... I don't think school really prepares you for life after you leave, and the more I find out in life, the less I know. When you are fed up with learning, you are either fed up with life or dead.

Talking of which, a man last Thursday returned a library book called "Quatermass and the Pit" by Nigel Kneale which should been brought back in 1965. I still have one which from Secondary School which should have been returned on Thursday 16th November 1989, so I have about 25 years to go to beat him. I didn't steal it. I just forgot about it and found it years later.

I also watched Kes on ITV3 on Thursday night. If they had showed that in Hollywood they would have had to have had subtitles! There no need for special effects, extras, histrionics, dramatisation or bullshit... it just captured working-class life in a northern England mining town perfectly. I went to that Secondary School! What I thought was the bird represented his escape from the pit..... and then it was killed.. and that was his destiny.. a life down the coal mine and drudgery etc.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

There is nothing racist about the Union Jack

Writing about St Patrick's Day got me thinking. Every town hall in England should fly the St George flag, in Wales they should fly the Dragon flag, in Scotland the St Andrew (Cross) flag. What is offensive about any of them? How and why is the Union Jack or St George flag racist?

Now, if I saw someone flying a Swastika in a public place, I would protest about it, because it is a distasteful symbol. It is a criminal offence in Germany to fly a Swastika or give a Nazi salute, and rightly so. I also find it distasteful when people fly their national flags in their own garden or on the roof of their house. That to, represents some form of insecurity.

With my writings about us not celebrating St George's Day but yet St Patrick's Day, you may ask if I have become a nationalist or have joined BNP or UKIP. No, I have not. I never will. I don't vote BNP but for me, the Union Jack and St George flag must be flown with pride, just as other countries fly their flags with pride. If people don't like it, they shouldn't look at it. If they think it is racist, then they should live somewhere else.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

St Patrick's Day - but what about St George's Day?

I think my ancestry (Phillips) on my dad's side goes back to Wales, but that is way, way back, more than 200 years ago at the very least. Most of my ancestry is English though. My mum's great-grandmother was born in Scotland. My dad's Grandfather, Thomas Phillips, was born on 6th January 1879 in Bloxwich http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloxwich near Walsall. He, his siblings and parents came up here in 1890 for work in the coal mines. Thomas died on 10th January 1944. My Grandmother's mother's ancestors go back to York (to 1800) and her father's go back to Cleckheaton, or to the mid 18th Century at least.

Tomorrow (Wednesday 17th March) is St Patrick's Day. No doubt towns and cities across England will be teaming with revellers celebrating, with some of them claiming to be Irish or saying that they have Irish ancestry, though in most cases, the link is very tenuous. I have no Irish ancestry in me at all. Neither do I have any links with Ireland. I have never been there. I would even go as far as saying that on St Patrick's Day, there are some people who even claim to have Irish ancestry when they don't, because for some reason, it is sexy, romantic or fashionable to be Irish.

I personally can't see what is so great about being Irish or having Irish ancestry. Alternatively, I can't see what is wrong with being Irish or having Irish ancestry either. Having Scottish ancestry, Welsh ancestry, English ancestry, German ancestry or Russian ancestry or black ancestry is nothing to be ashamed of either. It is part of your history. To me, being Irish or Scottish or Welsh or German or any other nationality is like coming from Leeds, or Sheffield, or Manchester or London or Norwich. It isn't good or bad. It is just there.

What annoys me is nobody celebrates St George's Day, 23rd April. It is virtually ignored in England. St Patrick's Day has been a public holiday in Ireland since 1903. St George's Day should be one in England. The more public holidays or Bank Holidays the better as far as I am concerned. St Andrews Day, 30th November, should be a public holiday in Scotland and St David's Day, 1st March, should be one in Wales.

As well as St George's Day, another day that should be a public holiday in the UK should be the 11th November - Armistice Day. It was a public holiday in 1918 when the guns fell silent, and it should be one permenantly now. It also remembers the sacrifices were made in those wars and the civilian population who were killed.

What is my personal identity? A white, male, Aspie, who is from a solidly working-class background. No matter what I do in my life or how rich or poor I become, I will always be working-class, and I will always be Aspie. Both are part of me.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Exclusive: Depression is caused by being caught doing wrong

Yesterday it was revealed that Mark Owen, the 38-year-old Take That singer, who is married with two children has apparently had ten affairs with other women, a drink problem and still smokes cannabis. After the scandal broke, Owen was admitted to a private clinic because he was suffering from "Depression" and to deal with his drink problem.

I accept Owen perhaps does have a drink problem. He certainly has a marriage problem, but I wonder why stars always seem to suffer from depression, and end up in rehabs or clinics AFTER being caught having affairs or doing drugs. They don't seem to be depressed at the time. Some people may say that Owen is trying to save his marriage. Having loads of affairs is a peculiar way of trying to save your marriage to me.... but it takes all sorts I suppose.....

I wouldn't exactly call the media and the newspapers paragons of virtue, particularly with some of the bullshit they write, but among celebs, I think "Depression" is a code word for avoiding the media. If the media were after me, I would become a recluse in my mansion, or would go on holiday to some obscure place, instead of claiming I had "Depression".

Owen isn't the only one who has claimed to be suffering from "Depression" when things have gone wrong in his personal life. In 1999, the comedian Lenny Henry had an affair and ended up in the Priory Clinic because of "Depression". I am surprised John Terry, Ashley Cole, Tiger Woods or Jordan haven't tried that one. Suppose there is always time.

If celebs don't end up in the Priory because of "Depression" after doing wrong, they offer a stereotyped answer such as "An error of judgement" or "Midlife crisis". Why can't they be honest and say something like "I had an affair, I behaved like a selfish tw*t but I will try to repair my relationship" or "Its not working between us".

Depression? True depression is an illness. It doesn't come on because you are celeb and have been caught doing wrong.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Being "Normal" can cause mental illness

I believe that the causes of most mental illnesses are genetic. However, life today goes at such a fast pace, people don't take time out to reflect, to have time to their selves, and to unwind, and hence they can suffer from mental illness or stress. Also, I believe that some mental illnesses is precipitated by people trying to conform to stupid, invisible and unwritten rules which are placed on them. For example, being happily married with two or three children, having a good and fairly well paid job, living in a nice house with a nice garden and having a good social life is what society classes as being normal. Yet many people, for whatever reasons, can't or don't achieve this status in their lifetime. So therefore, whilst striving to achieve it, they can become bitter, despondent or physically or mentally ill. So, I believe that some mental illnesses are caused by people conforming to, or trying to conform to, stupid rules.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

The Media's role in mental illness

Last Sunday on Facebook, I was happy to display a ribbon promoting awareness of mental illness on my page. There is an amazing amount of ignorance against mental illness and most of it is perpetuated and stoked up by an irresponsible media who care more about newspaper sales than the truth.... with banner headlines such as "Knife wielding Schizo kills" instead of "Knife wielding Sociopath kills" (Sociopaths aren't mentally ill. They have a personality disorder and are in full control of their reasoning). The old chestnut. Mental illness equated with violence and homosexuality equated with paedophilia or AIDS.

When it comes to portraying mental conditions in the media, glaring headlines, or two-page spreads in tabloid newspapers screaming "Knife Wielding Schizo kills", it seems, sells more papers than reporting the truth concerning every day struggles for those with a condition, and how it has affected any individual with it.

You may answer "Yeah, but it sells newspapers dunnit?". It might do, but it is also a sad reflection of our society. Nowadays, sensationalism, witch-hunting and distortion matter more than the fact and truth. However, you blame the people who buy the newspapers as much as the individuals who put out this genre of reporting.

Whilst sensationalism sells newspapers, it also serves to inflame bigotry and prejudice against those with mental illnesses and neurological conditions. It leads to incorrect stereotypes formed in the minds of readers.