Greed Will be the Death of Us

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Picture courtesy of http://www.drawntonature.co.uk submitted by kjhayler

I am lucky enough to have grown up in a place where I was able to be close to nature and bare witness to some of the most remarkable animals on our planet.

I consider myself honoured to have been close to elephants, been charged by a rhino, stood eye to eye with a water buffalo, watched a pride of lions devour its kill. I’ve stroked a cheetah, albeit a baby one. I have listened to the hyena giggling outside our tent in the dead of night.

I’ve taken pictures of the cutest jackal (i never knew they were so small) and been scared witless by a puff adder crawling in our garden. One of the joys of living in Africa is being on the doorstep of some of the most spectacular game and natural beauty on the globe. Anyone that lives there knows it, anyone who visits it, knows it, and anyone that’s seen pictures of it knows it.

But this is the scary thing to me. The idea and thought that one day soon, all I will be able to look at to recall the magnificent creatures that I was once able to stand and watch roaming free, alive and wild is a picture like the one above, scares the hell out of me.

12 animals, slaughtered for nothing more than an ivory tusk by a gang of professional poachers???

When the hell did poaching become a professional occupation? In Africa poaching has always been a serious issue. Mainly due to its vast size and poverty stricken people. Give a man an opportunity to feed his family for a year without hassle and you have a powerful motivator in your hands to inspire anyone to commit the most heinous of crimes against our natural world.

The latest outrage to have made the press in a big way over here is an attack in Tsavo National Park in Kenya. A place where once over 30,000 elephants roamed free and wild, a place where now concern is so critical that a government is considering the formation of a national army to fight against poaching gangs. So is this the launch of an International war on Poaching?

The crazy thing is that we living in the Western world get outraged as we see these things happening around the world, yet 50 years ago, it was us doing similar things in the pursuit of an ivory trinket to adorn our mantle or line our necks. Furs, skins, heads, teeth, body parts. You name it, we’ve wanted it, pursued it, taken as we please. Even I am guilty of this. Leather jackets hanging in my cupboard. An ivory handled letter opener on my desk. Think about it, nearly everyone of us are in some way guilty of it.

Now as another part of our world comes into its time of wealth and prosperity, all those things that we enjoyed at the height of our time at the top, is now being craved by a whole new generation of people willing to pay the price to have the status symbols of success and power. And only now are we outraged by the senseless killing! Cites? An international treaty on the trade of endangered species? Hell it is a treaty without muscle and one that fails to go far enough to secure and ensure the safety of what little natural beauty this world of ours has left.

It is the incessant greed of mankind that will be the ultimate downfall of this planet. We won’t stop wanting what others around us have, until there is nothing left to want, and then even more. If is not the tusk of a Rhino to enhance our sexual performance then it will be the hide of some poor beast to line our boots and make our hand bags look pretty.

Of all the things that I miss from Africa, the outdoor beauty of the natural world is the biggest on my mind. I cherish the moments I’ve spent on safari, camping, exploring the vast open savannah plains. My heart cries out at the senseless killing of such a treasure trove of beauty, yet I know deep down it will not stop. One day, very possibly even in my lifetime, I will not be able to dream of returning to see and explore the beauty I remember from my childhood, and that my friends is criminal. If anyone has the right to expect to be left in peace and allowed to prosper and multiply it is the animals that do nothing other than to enhance and give great wealth to our natural world.

Woe are we, for we all have blood on our hands.

Thought for today – “Contentment is natural wealth, luxury is artificial poverty.” – Socrates

Song for today – Caribbean Blue by Enya

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A Visual Documentation of the Horrors of War on our Youth

Seeing the Horrors of War - Picture by Wivelrod

I watched 5 Days of War today, and while i was watching a portrayal of the war in Georgia unfold, I was struck by a powerful emotion of sadness as I watched the soldiers stories unfold in the film.

You know, how often do we stop and think about the soldiers? We scream and shout about the innocent that are killed and wounded, we complain about the costs of war in terms of lives and public capital, we grieve for the dead, but do we ever really pause to give thought to the effects of sending young men, who have chosen to serve their nation, to a battle zone of pain, loss and destruction? How often do we stop to think about the changes that our youth undergo in war? Do we give enough thought to the nightmare that goes with having to adjust mentally and sometimes physically to life as normal on their return?

We train these boys to become killing machines, send them into a war zone where survival becomes an instinct, criticise the work they do,  print horrific stories detailing the horrors of war perpetrated often by all sides in the conflict, pay them a pittance for doing this service and when they return conveniently forget about them. Who tells their story? Who takes the time to help them heal the wounds, repair the metal damage they suffer? Who helps them deal with the emotions, memories and nightmares they have learnt to bury?

Do we even really see the effect of war on our young generation of service men and women?

In thinking about this I went hunting online, looking for people that work with soldiers suffering from the trauma of war. In my hunt I came across the work of a young photographer in  the Netherlands called Claire Felicie. She undertook to work with a group of young marines from the 13th Infantry Company of the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps during their posting to Afghanistan in 2009/10. In her portrayal of these men, she took close up portrait pictures of the service men before, during and after their deployment to Uruzgan in Afghanistan.

These pictures are set out in haunting triptychs that clearly and emphatically highlight the effects of conflict on our precious youth. You cannot help but look at these pictures and feel moved. Maybe, just maybe, its time that we should stop and give prolonged consideration to the damage we do to these boys and girls when we send them to war. Perhaps its time to give these brave and dedicated service personnel the real support, credit and recognition they deserve. Maybe its time to think about the lives we break, damage and shatter to protect interests that really aren’t that important in the bigger scheme of things. Look at these pictures and tell me that these boys don’t deserve better!

Nicky

Sjoerd

Remon

Arnold

Pascal

Emiel

European Collapse an African Opportunity!

There have been over 9 Million Refugees and internally displaced people born out of conflict in Africa. Hundreds of thousands of people have been slaughtered from a number of armed conflicts and civil wars. Genocide is a craft that has been used and perfect by multitudes of African combatants that make the killings in European countries seem pale in comparison. Bloodshed and loss of life in Africa since the 1990’s has overshadowed any other theatre of conflict throughout the world, yet it is not something that you hear people talk about. Little is known about the truth behind Africa’s years of strife. Scant consideration is given to the multitudes of lives torn to shreds or impacted by decades of death and destruction.

On a report produced by Virgil Hawkins called Stealth Conflicts, How the World’s Worst Violence is Ignored, he presents the graphic evidence that since 1990 88% of the world wide death toll due to conflict can be found in Africa. Yet on the flip side of that coin, only 2% of the people surveyed in an International survey in 2009 could name any single theatre of conflict in Africa.

It beggars belief that in the 21st Century that a conflict which vast sums of International resources are expended on the Arab/Israeli conflict. A conflict that while has little direct evidence of hard numbers of deaths, has disputed figures around 20,000 casualties since 1948. Compare this to the Congo Conflict were it was estimated casualties at the height of the conflict amounted to 42,000 people a month or the Darfur struggle which has left over 400,000 officially dead, I have to ask where the justice is in this world.

The UNHCR has put official figures on Refugee Migration and Displacement as a result of conflict in Africa at 9 million people. Yet no consideration is given to the impact on the people, nations, lives or economies of the places that take these lost souls in. That is without even stopping to consider the impact on the lives of the refugee’s themselves. I did a quick calculation of eight G8 meetings around the world through Google, looking at the bill that was paid for world leaders to enjoy the luxury lifestyle while people starve as a result of battles of attrition. In excess of US$100 million was spent for G8 leaders to meet in eight locations around the world in the last two years, and what if anything was accomplished as a result.

The world is in worse economic strife than in living memory. International terrorism is still a thorn in the West’s side, and a deal on the environment is more comical than a Tom and Jerry cartoon. Considering the rhetoric to come out of these meetings, we Joe public are sung a merry song of lies, deceit and corruption by a world lost in its own lavish consumerism. As long as it’s ok when I get home, screw the rest of the world. As long as we win the next election, forget the reality of what we can’t fix, and hell if you work for the media, well, frankly let’s just work on making Rupert Murdoch even richer and more powerful at the expense of the truth and reality.

Hawkins undertook a yearlong study in 2000 to see what percentage of the International Media attention fell on stories out of Africa, and not surprisingly, less than 10% of the information available in the mass media in that year were to do with African issues. What is of even more irritation is to find that research carried out by Media Tenor over 2002/3 pointed to media coverage post 9/11 in main stream media channels fell to 0.2% of all international news reports dealing with African Issues.

Africa gets the pity of the world. It is brushed off as a chaotic rabble of warlords and destitute people with little hope of achieving peace or stability. The International corporations see it as a land to rape and pillage, stealing what they can while the masses battle and rage over scraps. Governments see it as a necessary evil, a war torn shred of humanity to call light to when spin is needed to cover up a local transgression.

As African people we do not have the respect of the International Community. We are not regarded as an equal sitting at the table. We have no power over our own destiny. We are bound, yoked and in service to a First World that has nothing but contempt for us. The sad thing that we don’t realise as African people is that it doesn’t matter to the world at large if we are white, black, blue of yellow. They have no care which tribe or ethnic clan we originate from.

I have watched US media channels broadcast World Cup football reports with a map of South America as a back drop to their news room. I have seen British politicians stand by idly as generations are wiped out in a multitude of African conflicts, and raise not a finger to help or challenge the murder and destruction, yet when conflict erupts in Oil Rich Libya fight like hyena’s to get to the aid of the rebels. I have met adults who have no clue that Africa has 52 Independent nations. To them Africa is all South Africa, and we are one, seen with the same eyes, lumped together as one people, branded as incapable and unworthy of equality.

I have seen greed and indifference reduce my amazingly beautiful Africa into a boiling pot of hatred and division. I have watched International Arms merchants become hugely wealthy off the blood of African men, women and children. I have seen nations of people fall to the deception of a better life in the words of war lords.

Africa, my people, we need to wake up. It is high time that African’s become people in our own right. We need to realise that the rule of “divide and conquer” is being used against us even today. The West has no desire to see Africa rise up out of the ashes and prosper. Our leaders have no intention of making a better life for their people. We are bitter and twisted people. We see colour as more important than survival. We define tribe as more critical than progress. We enjoy destitution more than prosperity.

We can sit here and blame every single thing that has worked against us through life as African people, or we can take the future by the horns and shake it from the grasp of our oppressors. Africa wake up. We are not a nation of slaves anymore. We are not a world of single minded selfish cultures. We are individually loyal, educated, resourceful people. We are beautiful. We are richly diverse, uniquely talented, broadly capable, and hugely capable. What we lack is unity. What we need is a common heart, a single desire, and a drive to win.

Democracy is won by blood and persistence. Freedom is taken not given. Respect is won not earned and wealth is owned not distributed. The world have Africa right where they want us. We sit under their thumb, bark when instructed, kill when ordered, hate without reason, distrust without cause and work against each other without consideration. It is too easy for someone like the CIA to manipulate a war on command. It is far too easy for someone like the China National Petroleum Corporation to drain vast resources out of our natural rich economy. It is far to acceptable for our leaders to become fat off the wealth of international aid and hand outs while their people suffer on in poverty and destitution.

The sad fact for Africa to live up to is that we are too ready to squabble among ourselves over insignificant issues. The opportunity of a life time is passing us by as we speak. The financial institutions of the world are on their knees. The global economy is distraught and solutions are scarce. World leaders are at each other’s throats, only too eager to be the one that provides a fix to the problem, waiting in the wings ready to spill blood in a political battle of life or death at the hands of their electorate.

Never before have we heard of mighty economies like Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal and Ireland fall into bailout territory. This was land that was once hallowed to African nations. Investor confidence is at an all time low. Markets are stagnant with the filth of decadence and over indulgence. This should be Africa’s time to shine. This should be our salvation as we step up to the plate with answers and solutions. We could have so much to offer, if only we would pull our head out of the sand and unite, pull together as African’s and work together to build the power house of tomorrow.

I’ve said it once already, Africa will one day be a world power. It’s just up to us how quickly we get there! Please leave your thoughts and opinions as comments. Your input is needed.

A world without Risk is a Dangerous Place.

young-black-man-in-anguish-over-effects-of-addiction1I sat earlier this week watching a program on television about the Marsden family. It was a heart wrenching account of a family torn apart by the death of their baby son only 2 years of age, who was taken from them in a tragic accident. All it took was a moment of time to lose sight of the toddler, a second to lapse into a panic driven hunt that lead to the discovery ten minutes later of the boy’s body in a pond close to where he’d started his misadventure.

I felt the burden that these parents had been forced to carry, and the guilt that they will always bare no matter what the circumstances or findings of any coroner, panel or magistrate, judge or jury. There is no easy answer that can heal the pain, nor is there any sense of time that’ll ever change that wish that circumstances were different. It was clear to see how the family had been affected by the tragedy within their unit and it was also clear that in their minds eye they needed to do something to fulfil their desire to show that their son didn’t die in vain, that through his passing maybe something could be done to safe guard other children.

The Marsden family have been campaigning for a change in the law to better protect children from the hazards of ponds. As I watched the program, I was moved by the feeling of tragedy that had befallen the family, but the fact of life is that tragedy befalls all of us daily throughout life. Sometimes it is out of nature that we have to die and we as those left behind have to find a way to deal with the hurt that this specific gap left by one’s passing has left in our lives. Other times the passing is not so easy to put down to nature and becomes even harder as we’ve had no time to prepare ourselves for the sudden loss. As I pondered this I became aware that we all have to guard ourselves against the eventuality of having to deal with the pain of death.

So does this mean that we need to prepare ourselves through the changing of the law? I began to look at some statistics. In the next two or three paragraphs some of the grim realities of life on earth are laid out in one place to think about. Some of the worst of our world I present for you to consider.

The World Health Organisation tell us that over 400 people a day die as a result of AIDS related illnesses daily in Harare, Zimbabwe. There is a violent crime every 13 seconds in the Capital city of South Africa, and a death associated to a gun crime every 30 minutes around the world. Someone dies every 5 seconds in the developing world from famine related illness according to the World Food Program, while the first world produces more grain to be turned into fuel than the entire third world could ever require in a year.

Since the beginning of the 21st century war has claimed the life of 466 people daily when you spread the death toll of all 125 major conflicts of the 21st century across the 365,250 days of the century. In a paper produced looking at the factors affecting youth deaths from 0 – 18 years across a year, in 1990 in the USA 17.3% of all deaths were attributed to Vehicle accidents and 14.4% to various other deaths, making accidental death the major attributor to youth deaths in that year. Yet swing the tables to a third world country and the WHO will tell you that 66% of child deaths in Southern Africa can be attributed to AIDS. In India and China, the two biggest populations on earth, child mortality has reduced by 30% in the last 15 years, yet 4,6 million children still died before the age of one in both China and India last year.

Finally if we begin to actually take a look at deaths by age, the top three causes of youth death are as follows: in children from 0 – 1 years of age, the top three are Developmental or Genetic Conditions, SIDS or Premature Birth Issues. In children from 1 – 4 years of age the top three are Accidents, Developmental or Genetic Conditions or Cancer. From 5 to 15 years of age the biggest killers are Accidents, Cancer and Homicide. And lastly the 15 to 24 age group follow a top three trend of Accidental Death, Homicide and Suicide. The largest number of deaths in any society befall the 15-24 year old age group, the largest attributor being motor vehicle accident in this age group.

I recently saw a video produced by the South Wales Police Force to be used as one of the most vividly dramatic ways of warning about the dangers of using a mobile/cell phone while driving. It left me feeling quite ill for two reasons. Firstly, I’ve been guilty of using my phone to text before while behind a wheel, and secondly to watch three lives get snuffed out, one that of a toddler strapped in its baby seat was a toughly sickening and mind numbing thing to do. Death is not something to smirk at or make look appealing in dramatic fashion through the movies.

The main reason for presenting so many facts and figures around death and tragedy came from my desire to try discover how many children are killed each year through accidental death. In my mind’s eye, since time began a child on a mission to discover is probably the most open to danger at that one stage of his or her life than at any other time. Yet it would seem that statistically this is not true, and we find that illness and various other factors associated with growing up present more of a risk. While yes statistics show that children do die from accidental causes, are we able to prevent them having an inherently explorative nature? Will a fence any height really prevent a determined young child from falling into a pond full of water while chasing the ducks?

Don’t get me wrong, I fully appreciate the impact that the loss of a child on a family. If there is one thing that we hope for our children it is that they have a long and fruitful life, and when that is abruptly cut short we are left with so many questions, feelings of guilt and an empty hollowness that never fully repairs itself. Yet we all feel the effects of tragedy as it is estimated that over 50 million people pass on each year. So why then is it that when a child dies we become so in sensed with a desire to do something to change the status quo?

A large proportion of that energy is guilt. The guilt that we were not able to do anything, the guilt that we were not there, the guilt that we failed in our duty to protect our child, the guilt in that someone we cherished died alone when they most needed us. This factor drives us to see that no other human ever need to go through the pain and suffering that we are going through. Personally I also feel that if we are blatantly honest with ourselves it’s because it’s a very lonely world to shoulder all that guilt alone, and very often we look for a way to halve the burden we carry. The sad reality is that even when you find that your able to maybe make a change in the law that the pain continues, and the burden does not go away.

Life is a cruel and wicked curved ball that deals both joy and hurt, and more often than not it is not dealt in equal proportion. The happiness of the things we take for granted in life can so quickly be snatched away from us and in most circumstances we are not in any position to deal with the thoughts and feelings that besiege us in that most emotional of times. We spiral into a deep and closed depression while we struggle to deal with our feelings. I began to wonder if as a society we should not maybe begin to look at ways of educating ourselves to deal with emotion. Ways to prepare for such traumatic events in our lives and thus be better equipped to deal with the rapid flood of emotion when it comes.

One of the most troubling facts that emerged while I was doing my research for this post, was the number of deaths among young people that are attributed to suicide. It is the fourth biggest killer right across the board in child age ranges, and according to the WHO there is a suicide attempt every 3 seconds with a death caused by suicide ever 40 seconds. Statistics from seven European nations, Canada, the US, Australia and New Zealand show that suicide accounts for 23% of all deaths in children over the age of 10. 10 years old! It beggars belief that a child the tender age of 10 would contemplate taking its life.

The highest levels of suicide are found in India or China, while in Europe it is Eastern Europe that suffers with the highest rate in teenage suicide. In a recent survey carried out in the Sates, 10,000 young people ranging in age from 12 to 19 were surveyed and it was alarming to find that 60% of those surveyed said they had thought about suicide. In cases of child depression the leading pointer for suicide were situations where children were unable to deal with the death of a family member, the breakup of a relationship or feelings or fears associated with being gay. It was alarming to find that most teenagers believe that if they do not get into the right college of university then they will be regarded as a failure by their peers and the world at large, and a large number were bitterly affected by family divorce and financial issues in the home.

Is this not a pointer at how ill equipped we are as human beings to deal with emotions and the hurts and ups and downs of life. This curve ball that we travel along in life is our only chance, and how well we equip ourselves will greatly change how well we apply what we know to getting that perfect strike. We spend anywhere up to 15 years educating ourselves, very often with subjects and knowledge we’ll never use again in life. I can most assuredly say that I have never used the sign or cosign rule since I left school, and have never had to use the theory of osmosis in my daily life. Yes undoubtedly it is useful to know while you are preparing to choose what direction you wish your life to take, but surely it is just as important to prepare yourself responsibly for the journey ahead? You don’t go camping without learning about the area you plan to camp in, packing a bag with a tent, some food and the necessary items required to make your camping expedition a success and enjoyable adventure. Why then do we set out on life not really prepared for things we know we are going to come across?

I really don’t believe that it is right to wrap children up in cotton wool and legislate to protect them against everything. It is a big bad world we live in, but it is one that we have to learn to become tough in, and there is a part of taking risk and living on the edge that allows us to learn what is right and wrong and what will hurt us and what will not. Unfortunately in such a densely populated part of the world there are a whole world of risks from other people that make it difficult to allow our children to grow up in the same way we did, but in as much as is possible I think life will always be cruel to some and kind to others. Throughout the walk of life we have taken away so many of the freedoms that children need to become well balanced and equipped to survive in a world of hugely intense pressures and demands on them as people and part of the society within which we live. By taking away the skills they learn from seeing the hurt others go through when a friend close to them dies, by removing them from the emotive realities of tragedy and by trying to over protect them we take from them the chances that they do have to learn some of the things that we need to learn as humans. So while it is hard to face and try to deal with a tragedy that so many of us face, maybe there is something that we all learn by watching others go through these things, and just maybe without realising it your loved one’s passing has served a purpose you never even considered.

Tollerance – A farce of Humanity.

I often ask myself if as human beings we really can live life without being prejudicial. It would seem impossible to be honest with myself and say that I am not prejudicial towards certain classes of people, or certain cultures for that matter. Does that make me a bad person just because I am honest enough to admit that I struggle with being prejudicial even though I know it is wrong? I think if I was able to force everyone to be honest with themselves for a moment, and then honest enough to be able to confess, that I’d find I am not alone.

We are told that we live in one of the most multi cultural accepting and tolerant countries in the modern world. I often wonder whether the spin doctors that come up with this shit have ever left Downing Street and the inner sanctum of Greater London. I wonder if a visit to the colonies would wake them up to the fact that right here within this wonderful home we call Great Britain it is difficult to find a Welshman, Scott or Irish person that does not hate the English. I wonder if they’ve ever realised that the English are frequently subject of discussions about how intolerant they really are. It is even subject of comedy as the likes of Dara O’briain and Rhod Gilbert make fun of the bitter rivalry between the nations of the Union Jack.

The biggest double standard comes from our oh so very political correct establishment in Whitehall. For if we are to follow the instruction of the government and community leaders, who preach tolerance and acceptance on the widest scale, then why is it that when it comes to accepting Neo Nazism, Communism, the fascists, Klansman or any form of extremist they are subject to immediate exclusion, ridicule and fall subject to persecution based on prejudice. Admittedly many of these groups are founded on the principal of intolerance or hate in the first place, and there is a social angle at the root of the treatment they receive. However my point is that if we expect these people to be tolerant and to lay aside their prejudices then shouldn’t we be leading by example. Double standards and hypocrisy are not the way to win a war of words.
When we examine history, especially the subject of religion we are faced with what I believe is the starting blocks of most prejudices. Islam will in no way at all accept that Christianity is a parallel religion, and Christians won’t accept that people are capable of making their own choice. Hindu’s will not for one moment agree that the Buddhists, Sikhs or Jainist’s are acceptable religions within their own sphere of influence. Then you have the pagans who won’t accept witchcraft, and Muslims that won’t accept Judaism. Within the walls of religion there is the greatest forms of prejudices and intolerance that society can point too, yet it is something that as society we are far too scared to even begin to debate or seek for a common ground that could lead to a peace accord.

On a personal level I find that I struggle with prejudice. If there is one thing that I have come to find intolerable it’s the whole class system that is so evident in modern society, especially evident here in Britain. I know and perfectly understand that it is an entrenched part of British culture, yet I find it so demeaning and irritating. The fact that a whole class of people look down their noses at people who are perfectly within their right to be where they are, doing what they are doing, and living the life they choose really makes me angry. In many ways, the so called upper class are infact a bunch of hypocritical, lazy, uncouth individuals who take their place in society to mean that they are entitled to be treated special. And we as the working or so called lower class seem happily to allow them to do so. It is a system that I fail to understand, and one that I defiantly seek not to become a part of.

Class systems exist all over the world, and you will always find the privileged at the head of the snake taking advantage of a hard working middle class and turning up their noses at the poor lower class. This through history again can be a pointer at a cause of prejudice. Class systems have certainly been at the root of racism. I know that through my experiences growing up in an African country where in many situations the white colonialists and indeed many people that chose to continue to settle in Africa after colonialism, looked upon the indigenous population as an intolerable mass to be segregated and kept out of society. This is unacceptable in any modern standard, and society pays the price for this intolerance even today. It will take many generations to forget the hurt of colonialism, even though it has a fact of history gone and unchangeable. The sad fact is that this class system which kept a majority in poverty for so long has caused one of the biggest issues of modern society. Racism in so many circumstances has become a trump card that a minority can now play over a majority anywhere around the world. For many years the world did not wake up to racism, did not see its effect on a marginalised people, and by the time it found itself ready to deal with the cause and effect, the flames of hatred had taken hold and raged in a insurmountable bush fire. The lessons that we should draw from this struggle should be learnt today before we have a total role reversal and reverse racism is allowed to destroy another whole millennium of potential here on earth.

Woman have for so long fought for their rights as human beings, that we can look back at another classic form of prejudice and the track it has followed. Any woman who reads this paragraph might find it irritating, and if you do I welcome your thoughts, but I write this thinking of a portion of the population that I see every weekend, and compare that in my mind to my life back in Africa. It is a funny thing to me that woman have struggled so long to become equal in recognition yet are the first to expect a traditional role in terms of dating and relationships. Of course this is not always the case, and there are woman out there today that seem to be perfectly happy to be the one to take the lead in the courting process. For the most part I don’t deny that woman should be given their rightful place in society. They are certainly not slaves of men nor should they be treated badly by testosterone fuelled bullies that prey on vulnerable women. However, if a woman wishes to be treated as the farer sex then in my opinion they should learn to be the farer sex. There is nothing attractive about a woman on an imaginary testosterone high. Having worked the night club industry for so long I have watched how modern woman have changed, and I miss my humble Africa where a woman was a thing of beauty to be admired and courted and charmed and respected and loved. How can you feel those things for woman who flaunt themselves as mutton dressed as lamb, drink copious amounts of alcohol, smoke, fight, use language that a trooper would blush at, crawl home along the pavement unable to walk after an alcohol fuelled night out, with little regard for their appearance, behaviour or safety. “How do you respect that?” I wonder to myself night after night as I leave the club and drive home watching this sad story play out. How are you able to not form a prejudice towards that kind of person, jump to conclusions about any woman that you might meet, wondering in the back of your mind if that is what they are going to turn out to be like. The most amazing thing to me is that it is not just the teens and twenty something’s that do it. I have happened to work for some classy establishments in my time and find that even mature, respectable woman seem to find it acceptable to carry on in this way. If that is woman’s lib then frankly you can stick it.

So I come back to my original thought. How on earth are we meant to live a life without prejudice? In this wonderfully PC world of ours, we are meant to teach the generation of tomorrow about acceptance and tolerance and learning to live side by side. Yet we carry out our daily lives showing our intolerance in our actions. Not only does this make it uncomfortable for the people around whom you display your prejudice, but children learn more from actions than they do from words. Take for example a gay person. Imagine a child growing up and realising as it does that its gay. First of all its probably learnt through its own experience in its family that gay is a totally uncool thing. So not only does the child have to go through the realisation that, “hell I have gay feelings!” but it also has to go through the mental trauma of trying to figure out how it is going to tell society that its gay. This is just one example of how we make it difficult right within our own homes to live without prejudice. Personally I don’t believe that we are ever going to be this wonderfully accepting race that we dream of being. Maybe in realising this fact and becoming more tolerant of ourselves as humble human beings with faults and imperfections then we might begin to make some sort of progress in learning to accept each other.