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This month the 'Grump' is really grumpy and will include some reflections on the British Monarchy, the delicate subject of discrimination and intolerance, in all its manifestations, and a cry for help from the oceans.
Issue No. 2 - April 2021
And of course there'll be lots of the usual nonsense including political observations and an update on the pandemic, with the question being asked at the highest levels - "was the 'Coronagrump' retired too soon?"
< STOP PRESS >
Great excitement as Japanese archaeologists discover new pyramid in Egypt, close by the Suez Canal
I had not been planning to talk about the Royal Family and the troublesome children, but it seems there's no escaping it...
'This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle...' seems once again to be under siege from within. But HM, resourceful as ever, is not going to let a couple of young upstarts rock her royal boat.
Every family has its ups and downs; but we don't go bitching about it to the media. Sure, the challenges of marrying into any royal family will always be considerable, but that shouldn't mean that if things do not work out, you go winging off to the media - especially since you've still got each other!
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How have we managed to survive this far? I find it incredible that given mankind's behaviour and total lack of respect for each other and our planet, we are still here.
I would urge you to see the new documentary 'SEASPIRACY', just released on Netflix (see details here). It addresses the state of the oceans and graphically illustrates the dire implications for us all if we not only fail to sit up and take notice but also start taking meaningful action to secure the destiny of future generations.
We really are a horrible, intolerant and dangerous species. We seem to despise everything and everyone that is different in any way from ourselves. Whether it be the colour of people's skin, their gender or sexual orientation, their age even and of course, the big killer, religion. Which is bizarre, because one of the fundamental tenets of EVERY religion, is TOLERANCE.
ISLAM sights it as a moral and religious duty which means accepting the fact that human beings, naturally distinct in their appearance, situation, speech, behaviour, and values, have the right to live in peace and to be as they are.
BUDDHISM extolls that the person in front of us is not young or old...not white or black...is not Chinese or English or Indian...black or brown or white...the person in front of us is unique, always interesting and unrepeatable.
HINDUISM promotes accepting and respecting the differences that exist in the world and acknowledging the rights of others to live according to their choices and preferences. But it also cautions against a pretence of tolerance, whereby you put up with something out of expediency.
CHRISTIANITY sums it up with 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.'
So why are we always fighting and hating and belittling each other, when 76% of the planet believes and follows one of these major religions?
All this said, there are also those who like to play the victim, the suppressed and abused card...
...and the apparently increasing need to bend over backwards so as not to offend them has become a nonsense.
Well, that's got one grump off my chest! Now let's consider a more relaxed take on...
April is a busy month for a variety of religions. For 2 billion Muslims, the Holy month of Ramadan begins, while for 1.2 billion Hindus, the birthdays of Rama and Hanuman are remembered. Jews commemorate the Passover and 2.4 billion Christians celebrate Easter. But many of these festivals and the manner in which they are celebrated are difficult to understand for younger persons with enquiring minds.
Others think that they have it all figured out though; no wonder we're all in such a muddle!
Throughout the pandemic, politicians all over the world have been praising the commitment and dedication of the medical profession, and rightly so. People have hailed them in the streets, held ritual clapping events, sung songs to them and generally recognised their outstanding and selfless contributions. Which is why the UK government's pay review for nurses has met with such disdain and significant disappointment.
Meanwhile across the 'pond', devout Republicans loyal to Trump, such as TC, continue to emulate his bad behaviour...
Trump himself has been watching and encouraging them from the sidelines and, it is rumoured, has been recently been a guest of a certain friend in Southeast Asia to watch some missile tests.
Meanwhile, the frigid relations between traditional rivals elsewhere seem to be as chilled as ever. Lebanon is in meltdown, Turkey is being swayed by religious extremism and anti-feminism, Myanmar continues to slaughter anyone they feel like, opposition in Belarus has run out of steam and watching it all, with his inscrutable Cheshire Cat
smile, Xi Jinping continues
to build and consolidate
in the world.
Just as we were beginning to think we were coming out of the woods, the pandemic is having another surge. It seems as though it were just waiting for us to relax and then, wallop! People's faith in the various vaccination options has also taking a bit of a hit, and for a variety of strange and distinctly unscientific reasons.
The effects of the vaccine are, however, being studied by scientists, as there appears to be a correlation between the source of serum and the effect it is having on different populations.
Nonetheless, governments around the world are announcing new lockdowns and seasoned 'work from homers' are settling back into their established routines, whether that means
constraining the little perishers one way...
Meanwhile, the hospitality industry has been spending their lockdown
time creating new ideas to entertain people when they can once again return to the pubs and bars, such as with this Perrier commercial.
It's also been a good time to upgrade the furniture; whoever made these barstools is a genius.
Others have been taking up hobbies, and have become so engrossed in them that they have become unaware of their surroundings. This must be the best and most absorbing book ever written.
The above notwithstanding, social distancing is still considered imperative, although there are increasing signs that this has not been followed as studiously as some would have liked.
- the next big grump...
Nobody seems to talk much about the root cause of the environmental mess in which we find ourselves today, but be under no illusion, it is CAPITALISM. For example...
And given the fact that sustainable energy sources such as wind and solar power are still only able to contribute around 10% towards global needs, would somebody please explain to me how electrifying everything, such as cars and bikes, makes any sort of sense.
Worst affected by mankind's planetary pillage are the oceans. From pollution to destructive fishing practices, all life in the seas will eventually cease to exist.
Forests of kelp on the ocean floor, shells and marine organisms and sedimentary rock deposits, represent the largest repositories for carbon dioxide in the world. But like their land based counterparts in the Amazon and elsewhere, these forests, sediments and shell-life are being destroyed by pollution and ESPECIALLY BOTTOM TRAWLING.
Commercial bottom trawl vessels drag large, heavy 'doors' and foot ropes across the ocean floor, destroying nearly everything in their path. The mouth of the net can be 200 metres wide.
This fishing practice now releases around 1,500 million tons of carbon dioxide a year (similar output to Germany or the aviation industry pre-covid), as well as destroying untold numbers of animals and corals in by-catch. These facts are well known, yet there is virtually no legislation to prevent or regulate the global fishing industry, much of which is now controlled by organised crime.
I guess we'd all look and feel pretty grumpy in their position!
Well, that's it from me for another 'GRUMP'. As the dreaded virus tries for another round of mutations to get us, however much as a species we might have deserved it, I urge you to keep safe and stay well.
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