Roads to Freedom

 A coded message from Emmadamus spotted on a French country walk

This week the storks returned to Saint Savinien from Africa. The world was otherwise filled with death and mayhem. Tanks (apparently privately owned by amateur military enthusiasts) rattled around Eastern Ukraine. Amateur religious enthusiasts did some mass beheading to bring us all closer to God. Euro money politics fenced around with the concept that it’s the Grexit wot wrecks it.

In a clear sky it’s easy to tell stork from clutter

And yet even in the cold air a thermal lifted these hopeful voyagers above our little town in South Western France. The legend of storks bringing babies is that they re-appear in Europe nine months after mid summer day. Maybe the message is also a cryptic reminder of re-birth and new hope.

Generally I am a very positive person. Fears of doom and disaster are over played in the media. Yet, as the pretty face of Spring makes its first weak smile, I see a troubled frown ahead. A vicious war is stoking up at the gates of Europe. Rootin’ Tootin’ Vlad’ the Impala is leaping ahead of our lame pen pusher bean counter politicos. Elsewhere, radical religion offers young warriors the sense of belonging and purpose denied to them by the world financial system. The fact is that our play safe geeky faux meritocracy is weak and we have been sussed out. It is not that our leaders have not stood up for our beliefs for they do not know what they are. Our swords have withered into spreadsheets. Politics has been played out on a pitch the size of a handkerchief in an arena the size of Alaska. 

Brave young French kids ride the torrent at Saint Jean d’Angely

The financial collapse of 2007/8 was a warning that the structure was rotten. The bloated corpse of private greed was covered over in a shallow grave dug at public expense. We’ve thrown in some quick setting cement and all our gold coins but erected no headstone. We resemble the court of Louis XVI at Versailles.Who could not marvel at our palace? A stock market failure or other financial crisis will capsize our fragile little boat into a white water torrent. From such catastrophe new leaders arise; and quickly. Cometh the vacuum, cometh the fist. Every accordion player is a philosopher.The suck is as strong as the blow. The one invites and defines the other.

We are at the e cigarette end of the Christrivian era. Our cosmetic goodness-lite is non judgmental and not tested on animals. Yet. 

Emma Thinx: You can’t back off if you’ve got no front.

Putting The Boot In.

Many moons ago while I was working in my kitchen, my daughter came to me sobbing and asked if she could raise a very serious issue. Oh no – this must be the pregnancy/drug addiction/solvent abuse/pedophile situation that we watch as entertainment on the soaps, but do not wish to confront with the suds. I dried my hands and took her to the lounge, selected some calming baroque music and told her that whatever it was, we were there for her, that I knew several state registered professional counsellors and that we would not be cross. I decided not to raise the possibility of groundings, thrashings or bread and water diets. At last she spoke.
“Mother – um – I think it’s about time I had some Adidas trainers. I’m being blanked and excluded because I haven’t got brand names on my clothes.”
It was true. “But you’re not being held up at knife-point by trainer pirates” 
“No,” she conceded -“but I am called a retard and a dork. I’d rather be stabbed.”
The truth was of course that she was being stabbed. Needless to say we pulled together as a family, called in some counsellors and had the child suitably billboarded and labelled. I knew that one day our innocent unbranded world would end. We had had a good run. She was nearly seven after all.

 My dear friend Oscar Sparrow wrote a poem about fashion and how it had mattered to him as a kid – long before he became a stuffaphobe Buddhist and renounced all possessions. Check out “Fashion Footwear” here. 

And so it is that I tip out my load of kids each day at the college as waves of fashion branded youths troop in. A few retards and dorks mingle in, but are clearly an underclass of non-populars. Fashion and status have become tyrants, and it is not only the young who suffer it. In my guise of a sportive cyclist more and more carbon fibre bandanna clad executive types swap “better than you” tales of Specialised and Trek. I have a Boardman from Halfords and jolly good value it is too!

This whole subject came to mind as Prime Minister Cameron launches a mission to restore childhood and to stop kids advertising to kids on TV. Pester power is truly an awful phenomenon. Most parents I know with even 3 year old kids are hounded by demands – some of which the three year olds pick up from advertising on their lap tops. I witnessed such a thing earlier this week and I was astonished. Would you let a three year old play on the internet? Come to think of it they would probably be a bit sophisticated for some forum sites.

Some things are just so hard to judge aren’t they? The trial of Yulia Tymoshenko (ex-president of Ukraine) all looks a bit like a political shenanigans to me. (Good job Gordon Brown was’nt put on trial for losing £7billion on our UK gold!). I mean – she’s a simple billionaire girl who mis-read her gas meter. Seven years in jail seems harsh. I just hope they have decent hairdressing salons.  I can tell her that Gilles is very much on her side and that if ever she comes back to politics he would definitely offer to stuff her envelopes. Why are there so many multi-billionaires? Which bus company are they driving for?

Emma thinx: Reveal your inner darkness. Let your roots grow out.