Yes, it’s less than a week to the General Election in the UK. We will be covering the events during election night here at The Fantastic, well until we get bored and fall asleep or smash our TV when Jeremy Vine gets a bit much, but please be rest assured there will be a post about how shit it went!
As 2014 comes to a close and we celebrate whatever we celebrate it’s a good time to remember those who are not with us this Christmas, those people who made us the way we are, and those who work to keep us that way. While you eat your turkey dinner, there are people all over the UK working to keep us safe, keep us in power, help us get well when we are sick, these people work over the festive period and they work hard to ensure that we carry on. Let’s spare a thought for them.
2014 has been a difficult year, the terrorism continues, the hatred toward each other grows, and the world takes a turn for the worse. It’s clear watching the news that we aren’t all getting along happily and that we never will, it’s frustrating that people are so bent on killing each other to step back and see that we’re all the same. None of us are any different, in all honesty we’re just carbon, floating on a rock, in endless infinite space. Everyone should take a moment to reflect on that fact once in a while.
I hope that 2014 has brought you all you wished for at the start and I hope that 2015 is even better, raise a glass, stop and think and remember that, those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
So if you’ve been living under a rock for the past week you won’t know that a referendum was held questioning if Scotland should go independent from the rest of the UK.
The campaign trail had been going for almost three years and on 18th September 2014, Scotland voted, and decided that they should remain in the UK.
I must admit I am pleased, not that Scotland rejected independence but because there is now less risk to the economy of the UK. Scotland already has moderately devolved powers from Westminster, but now they ‘should’ get even more or at least that’s the promise that the UK Government has made. We will see if they are given those powers. I expect that Wales, Northern Ireland and the England will want better balance of powers, I hope we get them.
More like global wetness or global sogginess. The past three weeks have seen the wettest on record for the UK, we’ve had strong wind (not just after the sprouts), heavy rain, and trees frequently being blown over, so if you haven’t been blown to oblivion yet, let’s hope it is coming to an end soon. It doesn’t look like it is. I think we need to, however just calm down a little about the recent semi-extreme weather.
Let me explain, indulge me for a moment.
As a human, living in England, we have a tendency to over estimate the effect of weather on us. It’s not that we over exaggerate the weather, we just don’t seem to be able to cope with it. We seem to have this inability to cope when we have a storm or rather unexpected deluges which admittedly have led to me starting to build an ark, but alas, has it really been that bad?
It has for some, some poor fellows have had all they own washed away. Now, you’d think that they would be in receipt of some form of benefit or help from the government. No. They have had nothing, and yet we send over millions of pounds worth of aid to far away civilisations to help them after a natural disaster. Lets not start to imagine that I am trying to play down the awful things that have happened around the world, but I would like to see some help for people here, after all they are in need of some aid too.
I often close these posts with a question and yet again I am going to do it. Should we now, give some aid to those who need it here?
Now the snow is gone (not that we had any) and the Christmas season has come to end, and to be honest I’m glad. This year the “season of goodwill” (appropriately in inverted commas — as it really isn’t) started even earlier than in other years, and lets be honest I was sick of it by a week in.
It has seemed like a none christmas this year, and in fact it seems to have been even more commercial, not that I am one to propagate the season’s real meaning, being an atheist and all that kind of makes that a none starter.
I would however like to see some kind of goodwill to all men.
The world is in turmoil, as is evident or will be to you if you take five minutes to invest your mind in some informational gathering from a news outlet. I suggest we look at what sort of aid we should be offering to those in need, and think very hard in fact, as to be honest, lavishly splashing around money isn’t going to sort the issue and each situation will inevitably end up at its own starting point. Thus beginning the cycle and starting the whole process again, and the worry is, that those in need will have to come cap in hand for another injection of cash to move things forward.
These are of course, the things that keep me awake at night*. I do however have genuine concern at the turn the human race is taking over, lets say in the past forty years. We are a selfish society, each day we are out for our own aims, be they monetary, goal driven or simply to get one over on someone.
Let me state, unequivocally that, I do not have a problem with anyone bettering themselves or working hard to reach a goal that they want to achieve, this in itself is human nature and is a helpful thing to society, after all we would not have; electricity, the motor care, anything to do with America** if it weren’t for those simple humans striving to do something more with their lives.
We could however take a note from their books that on the whole most of those people who invented/discovered something amazing** didn’t take their discovery for granted and actively used their new found knowledge for the betterment of society. This isn’t often the case these days, and most ‘inventors’ are after a patent so that they can reap the rewards for the discovery in monetary value.
I hope that we can ebb the flow of negative tendencies in humanity and hope that we can one day live in harmony, but alas that isn’t going to happen is it?
Throughout history we have fought each other (this is beginning to sound like a novel), we have attacked one another, over land, resources, or even skin colour so that we can raise a flag and say that we are the best. Worrying, but alas, each one of us is just a small cog in a much larger, much more aggressive and potentially deadly machine.
So maybe in 2014, you should just make a small gesture just to improve the life of the man/woman/child next to you, and make their life just that bit better.
*They don’t keep me awake at night.
**Tongue in check, not entirely true, often not true at all.
In a couple of months times the new Library of Birmingham will open and we (the people of Birmingham) will beckon in a new generation of absurdly designed supposedly fit for purpose crazy looking buildings, sounds familiar doesn’t it? The planners in Birmingham have a history of approving slightly bizarre looking things, to name but a few; The Selfridges end of the Bullring, The Rotunda, and lets not forget the original Central Library, a much oft blogged about thing here at The Rantastic.
As we move into the new Library of Birmingham one would hope that maybe Birmingham Library services finally has a place to store it’s treasures for the future seeing at the Old Central Library did nothing to help their preservation and by several accounts have systematically shortened their life spans, but lets not think about that now, lets instead focus on moving forward into a new dimension of librarial goodness, but alas we cannot.
For now there is a battle brewing, one that has been brewing for a while since the new library was announced, one that seems to heat up each time the dreaded demolition is spoken. Yes, people want to keep the Central Library. I can understand their logic, I love architecture and I understand the attraction of a brutalist design, just have a look at Auchinleck House on Broad Street, Birmingham, that’s a classic 60’s design and to be honest it’s hideous but I like it, and I’d like to see it stay but times move on and buildings have their day and sometimes, when they’re not fit for the purpose for which they were built it’s time for them to go. Hence, it’s time for the Central Library to bow it’s head to the executioners axe and have it’s remains laid to rest.
So can we please, please, get on to enjoying our new Library and start to forget about the old one?