This site is English – get used to it…

Great Expectations


Great Expectations

A little modern Neodigital Art - The Metro in Central England

Neodigital Art - The Metro

Great Expectations

Last week I wrote some satire entitled The Emperor’s New Clothes stealing the title from Hans Christian Anderson’s story. That story of course had a moral, Emperors, Kings, Queens, Presidents and politicians will believe anything they are told; if it suits them to do so.

This week I steal my title from a classic by Charles Dickens and one of my favourite books. It was about a young boy; Pip, who steals food to help a convict and later inherits his wealth; giving him Great Expectations. The story is quite complex and has many morals; there are two young ladies Biddy who is poor and ordinary and who treats Pip well helping him with his education. Then there is Estelle, who lives at the big house and treats him badly, but she is beautiful and rich; he of course falls for Estelle.

I often wonder about young people, my brothers’ children and grandchildren and my sister’s too. I also help a few students and wonder what the future has in store for them. We have better technology but declining standards to a certain extent. I think culturally some things have improved and some things have worsened. The formality has gone and dress is casual, behaviour is casual, sex is casual and there is little polite behaviour left. I find people call me by my first name and I have more respect from some young people and virtually no respect from others. I have the respect of the students I help who know me; but some young bureaucrats that know very little about me treat me like an idiot. I had one editor who didn’t know me ‘wish me luck in my career’; she needs the luck more than I do! I had one young editor advising me to read and adhere to the ‘Chicago Manual of Style’ like I give a damn. I said if I was going to use one I would choose one from an English university and I didn’t care for style manuals yesterday, I don’t care for them today and I probably won’t care for them tomorrow! That is a good quote; feel free to steal it; I did.

I saw an excerpt from a ‘comedy’ show on BBC television. It was constant profanity; but the young woman who is now head of BBC comedy invites submissions; posted; not emailed. She  according to a post she wrote on a forum only reads submissions from ‘famous’ people. Perhaps the BBC could only take licence fees from ‘famous’ people too. I listened to a BBC radio short story that won an award and it started with someone urinating on his own front door step. Funny – not. Entertaining – not.

I try to inform, entertain and amuse. They did return my short story I sent in for radio eventually and gave me a link to a website where I learned someone won a contest for a short story and they gave him £15,000! I watched Billy Connelly in action the other night; he’s funny although it was a little manic. I though Jack Dee was reasonable too, but that was stand up comedy and not on the bloody BBC!

I do try to surprise or even shock, which is what comedy is about and being clever. The clever bit is why people watch conjurers doing ‘magic’. We appreciate watching something clever enough to fool us, if only for a second. Comedy quite often takes you in one direction and then there is an unexpected twist. Comedy isn’t repeating four letter profanities just to shock; it may get a laugh from the terminally stupid but some people want something smarter.

Young people may have Great Expectations if we can improve the media to make it more informative, entertaining and amusing. We need to develop new comic greats like Ronnie Barker, David Jason, Nicolas Lyndhurst and all the other great comedy actors of the past. We need shows like Dad’s Army, Only Fools and Horses, Porridge, Open all Hours, Allo Allo, Fawty Towers, Keeping up Appearances, the Vicar of Dibley, One foot in the Grave and those light hearted but uplifting shows like the Darling Buds of May.

I wonder about the environment and how that will impact on the future of young people. We are recycling more; at least I am! The polar ice caps continue to melt and because we had the coldest December on record in the UK there are people with no understanding of science who don’t understand climate change. I don’t blame them entirely; it is easy to get confused when the so called ‘experts’ were saying we could grow grapes in England just a  few short years ago.

I think stress and depression appears to be the biggest enemy of young people and they use drugs and alcohol to try to combat the former. I see university students who should know better get drunk every weekend and some use drugs like cannabis or worse to escape their anxieties. I have students talk to me a lot about their anxieties and they are very serious; they feel misunderstood and of course the financial side of studying has become a major problem and appears to get worse.

I’m not even sure where some studies will lead. I help with business assignments that sound fine in theory, but I doubt they will work in practice. The ‘experts’ promoting these ideas and theories have never actually run a business. Social media is the latest idea to jump on and the best thing since sliced bread. This is all new of course and so no one is really an expert; we are like doctors, we are all practising social media, no one has all the answers. There are communication problems between the educators and those seeking education. The students don’t tell their professors that the questions are confusing or misleading, they tell me or I just read the questions and think ‘this is garbage’. I write garbage answers to garbage questions and they are accepted by teachers who don’t understand or worse they don’t even care. There are some who care passionately about young people and put in extra hours and work for free; but they are often undermined by their colleagues.

In conclusion, young people are under-valued. In fact people as a whole are under-valued and are considered just human resources. They are potential burger flippers unless they have a mommy on the board of IBM! I see a lot of smart people of all ages and they aren’t given opportunities for some reason. They don’t look the part; they aren’t famous enough for the BBC, they are the wrong colour or they just don’t fit the stereotyped image that a role suggests. I find many people need to work at home or close to home. One friend was travelling for 2 hours a day to work and getting paid £6 an hour.  When you include travelling time he was doing 45 hours a week for less than £200 when tax was deducted.

Young people and the not so young will be exploited. I advise not letting your self be brainwashed into wearing the latest designer clothes, drinking the fashionable coffee or cola, following the cool celebrities or taking vacations in the sexiest sun spots. Go frugal and Thrifty and save money – then decide your own destiny with the money you’ve saved.

Make a start by reading my Frugal Friday blogs.

5 responses

  1. Didn’t care yesterday, don’t today, and likely won’t tomorrow… I love it!

    Your style and delivery immerses one in the experience, as though you take the reader by the hand and allow them to walk w/ you a ways, while still delivering the point you wish to make. It’s easy to see why you are a professional at this. Further, that you are altruistic in your service to others, well, there simply is no higher calling. It is both a pleasure and honor to know you, sir.

    1, March 2011 at 5:12 pm

  2. Hang on to that quote; it comes in useful. I was compared to Oscar Wilde last time I used it. 🙂

    1, March 2011 at 7:29 pm

  3. Newest follower on Twitter. Thanks for stopping by.

    4, March 2011 at 6:52 pm

  4. Pingback: To blog or not to blog… « Mike10613's Blog

  5. Pingback: Creating a phenomena « Mike10613's Blog

Please share your thoughts here:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s