This coming year will see many changes in all our lives, even if it’s the unfulfilled longing for Pick and Mix. One change which will come will be more postings on this blog. I am going to be franker, bolder, hopefully funnier, and I will not be dictated to by others what I can and what I cannot write. Whatever appears on this blog will stay, and I will not change a word. For those who have ears, let them hear.
Well, here we go again, and like last year, I cannot help but feel despair for this rotton overcrowded planet upon which we all scrape our existence. Already we hear of a massacre in the Middle East, and we have had our collective share of religious fanatics heaping their suffering and misery onto innocent people in the name of a God which if it did exist would be thoroughly evil. Who needs a devil when we’ve got God?? When did you last hear of an atheist suicide bomber? Hopefully this coming year might see more people waking up to the truth of the inspired writings of people like Professor Richard Dawkins et al. There can only be any real prospect of peace on this world when people grow up and throw off the shackles of religious superstition and irrational fear and start living by the rules of common decency which is innate in all of us, though suffocated by unreason in many.
Yesterday I was talking to my niece who informed me she had to be out of bed by 4.00 this morning. The reason?............she works in a clothing store in London which opened at 5.00 this morning for its Winter Sale. Also, she informed me there were people queuing on the pavement all night in the freezing cold awaiting this great event. What the hell is the matter with people in this country to make them act in such an insane manner? Are people really so materialistic? Didn’t they get enough for Christmas? Obviously not. Greed and materialism are rife, and has gotten us into this current economic mess. You cannot have unlimited growth because it will destroy civilisation. We can still have advances in technology, and better standards of living, but it needs to be more modest and in step with what the natural resources of this planet can afford us. Of course, there are far too many people in the world and little prospect of doing more than a token amount to raise the standards and prospects of the majority who are poor. Even so, we can all help by being that little bit more generous to others less fortunate. While it is true that charity starts at home, it is supposed to get beyond the front door!
I know it’s a kid’s film, but I watched the Disney Pixar animated film “Wall-E” on Christmas Day, a present. I thought it had a very serious point. Here was this robot, going about an uninhabitable Earth clearing up all the rubbish left by humankind who had all fled to live an idle pointless existence on a vast spaceship where their every need was catered for by robots. What struck me was that this was a look into a future where economic growth and the human population have expanded unchecked. It doesn’t take a brain scientist to work out what may befall us in the not too distant future if we don’t start living more simply, making do with the things we do have which fulfil our needs (not greeds), stop endlessly pining over getting the next big thing, and stop having so many children. If you want to see a nightmarish extreme example of what can happen when there are too many people and too few resources to support them in any decent fashion, take a close up look at Manila in the Phillipines where people are routinely dying in the streets and trying to sell their babies. To get an idea of the scale of the problem, take a look at it on Google Earth – it’s shocking. Of course, Roman Catholicism doesn’t help with its evil teachings against contraception. Maybe the Pope should go and live in a tin shack amongst these poor people. Even so, reason and common sense are the enemies of religion which is driven by dogma and blind fear, so I don’t suppose his mind would be changed. Oh, here I go again!!!! Sorry, but religion is a deadly disease of the mind and the sooner people wake up to this the better.
So, did you get anything good for Christmas then?? I did, and pleasingly, all the presents we gave out were well received and we didn’t seem to have made any bad choices. Even better, everything worked so we will not be queuing to exchange or return any faulty goods. I wish I could say that Christmas was a happy occasion for all my family, but sadly one of our members became severely ill and spent Christmas Day in Hospital, but is thankfully now making a good recovery.
I know this posting is laden with loads of doom and gloom, but I do actually have real hopes for things to be better this year. On a personal level, I have much I want to achieve, and I aim to travel to places I have never been before. I hope to take many wonderful photographs and make new friends and acquaintances. The exciting thing about New Year is that it’s a chance for a fresh start. In a sense, we could say this every day, though with New Year there is a much greater psychological imperative at work.
Finally, I wish a very happy and prosperous New Year to all my readers.
Renée C. Byer on the Art of Photojournalism - All photos copyright of Renee C. Byer and The Sacramento Bee I wanted to share this interview with you. Award-winning American documentary photojournali...
1 week ago