Recently I re-listened to John Lennon’s haunting song, ‘Imagine’ and wished upon a star about it being a possibility. You remember the part that goes:
‘Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...’
Oh, if only…
I remember many years ago, when my father was dying, he asked if ‘Imagine’ could be played at his funeral as he held beliefs matching those in the song.
In those days, in a church funeral, it wasn’t considered appropriate to play that sort of music. And it is something I have long regretted, that we didn’t play ‘Imagine’ at my father’s farewell.
However, as I ponder it today and consider that John Lennon wrote those words in 1971, I truly wonder what effect the words had (if any) on anyone’s – let alone the world’s – attitude to war, separation of ideals, tyranny and persecution. Nil, I see now. Over 40 years later, a song with that profound message is considered just a sweet and naïve piece written by a ‘hippie sort of guy’.
Even further back than the 1970s….in fact way back into the 18th Century…. smart cookies such as Frenchman writer & philosopher, Voltaire, the writer, Dr Johnson and poet & cleric Jonathan Swift were actually ridiculing wars and oppression. Fat lot that did for the future of warring mankind. No one took notice of them either – apparently!
Some time ago I wrote about the Ed McCurdy’s anti-war song, ‘Last night I had the strangest dream’. It was written in the 1950s and has been recorded in some seventy-six languages. Yes, so many of us agree with the sentiments expressed but so few in power carry out such dreams.
‘Last night I had the strangest dream
I ever dreamed before
I dreamed the world had all agreed
To put an end to war….’
And, now, on our television screens, night after night, we see the truly dreadful sights of people fleeing war and persecution. On and on they go; searching for peace and rarely finding it.
Will it ever stop?
What can we do?
I simply can’t find the ‘right’ words to write about the tiny child’s body washed up on a beach.
The tears in my eyes seem almost an empty insult to the vision.
In my imagination I see that the whole world right now is feeling bereft, but I know that is fantasy. While there are plenty of comments and an extraordinary amount of sympathy and horror towards the reason that we have been forced to face such a graphic and upsetting image, it is not, I suspect, the ‘turning point’ in any politician’s attitude – nor will it change the attitude of any war-mongering seeker of power.
We, in the west, do not have a clean conscience. It is ‘our’ readiness to ‘go to war’; the readiness to (so eagerly) show might and power and the readiness to drop bombs and obliterate anything – and anyone – in the path of this obscene mission that has caused the world to divide. The result is not world peace BUT this excruciatingly sad image of the drowned child.
In Australia refugees are treated like vermin and the majority of people still think that we have to ‘stop the boats’. Sadly many people are more interested in the doings of the vacuous Kardashians than they are interested in understanding about atrocities being perpetrated throughout OUR world.
Yes, it is OUR world and darling little three-year-old Aylan was one of OUR children as much as he was a little Syrian.
And, now for something different…(As they say)
I have just read an article about this “heavily overgrown sheep” that was found roaming the hills. (Actually I don’t think it’s the sheep that is overgrown, it’s his/her fleece, but let’s not quibble).
The RSPCA has “put out an urgent call for a sheep shearer.”
The sheep “is so woolly its life is at risk, as sheep can develop serious medical conditions if they are not regularly shorn”
(and here follows the cruncher):.
"It can actually make it impossible for them to go to the bathroom…”
Well, I don’t know about you, but I was unaware that sheep ever went to a bathroom! Do they?
It reminds me about a suggestion in an online veterinary site that I visited when my little dog seemed unwell. Having been stung before by a huge bill from the local vet when I last sought advice (A $55 visit fee + $99 for some drops to cure her ‘arthritis’ that turned out to be a pulled muscle in a hind leg), I searched the Internet for a solution to the dog’s latest problem and was advised to ‘look closely at what she leaves behind when she goes to the bathroom’.
What? But my dog never ‘goes to the bathroom’. Our bathroom is out-of-bounds for her (as is our bedroom).
Whatever does that mean?
Oh, I get it – it’s the American way of saying ‘goes to toilet’, which is the Australian way of saying the plain, ‘passes some faeces’…or ‘does a poo’ or even ‘shit’ (sorry!)
What is this all about?
You can watch a movie or a tv show, or read a book that will describe all manner of human and animal biological function in plain words. If you are that way inclined you can view some pretty grotesque images and listen to graphic expressions about all manner of basic – and base – activities, but it seems that to utter a description of a sheep’s need to use its appropriate orifice to eject poo is unacceptable.
In the USA people shoot others seemingly at random. That’s almost acceptable as a daily occurrence. (Every year in the U.S. an average of more than 100,000 people are shot… each day an average of 289 people, eighty-six of whom die). It must be okay to allow that to happen – and to me, that’s an obscenity. But when a vet wishes to advise on a dog’s health, to say ‘check the dog’s faeces/poo’, that’s considered too rude or obscene, so the wording is about checking when the dog ‘has been to the bathroom’.
Is this crazy or what?
And I sincerely hope that someone has shorn that sheep. Not to allow it to ‘go to the bathroom’, but to allow the poor animal to live its sheepish life in comfort.
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.