This site is English – get used to it…

Midweek thoughts on English society and culture


Autumn

The Autumn colours are nice and make photographs more interesting, but it gets dark early in the afternoon. In summer I go out at two o’clock on a Sunday to take photos. This week I was ready to come home by two thirty having rushed to take some photos before the light changed. The weather is changeable, it’s either dark and cloudy or bright and sunny, but very cold.

England

This is England and most sensible people wouldn’t have it any other way. We don’t get extremes of weather. The weather changes and is never to our liking, so we moan about it and get on with life. C’est la vie…

Iconic buildings

I looked at and photographed a couple of iconic buildings on Sunday. One was modern and cost over 60 millions and the other Victorian. People lived in abject poverty in the Victorian era, but they built many fancy buildings. The first steam powered factory in Birmingham made trinkets for the middle classes. The factories eventually did weaving more efficiently and that brought down the cost of clothes and benefited ordinary people, but many advances only benefited the better off. Advances in agriculture tend to benefit ordinary people too.

Science

Science has made many discoveries that has  improved things for everyone. We benefit from the technology that entertains us, allows us to travel and helps us to communicate. Some technology has meant tastier food and better heating systems. Have buildings really improved since Victorian times? They don’t seem to have become cheaper, perhaps that’s because this island is more crowded and so there is less land to go around. Science doesn’t have all the answers.

Politics

Politicians think they have all the answers, but they just chase impossible and idealised dreams. They don’t dream of a country where all British people are equal, where everyone can easily afford the essentials like water, food, shelter and warmth. They don’t believe a society where no one envies the other and people are united in comradeship and fairness. They dream of market forces, competition and a dog eat dog world. They have no vision, no humanity, they are simply animals with animal instincts, but they walk upright on two legs and they talk; they talk a lot.

The environment

I photograph some beautiful places and some ugly places too. We should look after our environment. I don’t mean just parks and nature reserves. I think everyone has a right to be able to look out of the window and see beauty rather than concrete or graffiti. We don’t have to spend a fortune on iconic buildings, we can make buildings look nice without spending too much. We don’t need big and pink, we need buildings to blend in with the environment and with nature.

Children

I think children are born with the ability to be happy and with the ability to be sad. We see young children happy and laughing. As they grow older, they laugh less, then they become adults and laugh no more. Too many people live in a world that has little laughter, that is a sad reflection on what society has become in Britain. We seem to have a society that values status, that values a late model car, that values iconic symbolism. Give them Starbucks coffee, MacDonald’s happy meals and an Apple Iphone and they will feign happiness. I blame schools for making children compete, rather than play nice…

What do we really want?

Most people don’t know what they really want. We drift through life with little purpose. We find out what’s important when it’s too late. Relationships with people are important, but we do little to encourage people to build better relationships. Politicians preach competition, not cooperation. There is a trend now to make things look good, even if they have little substance. The advertising and public relations people can dress almost anything up to make it appear to be desirable. People will turn out and cheer for world war three, if they brand it with a good patriotic message and give people  a free beer.

What do you think? Do you like what you see of modern British culture or is it as shallow and self absorbed as it appears? Please share your thoughts in the comments box. You can also follow me on Twitter  for updates.

“But as the number of university places surges in India, as China creates more patents that any other country in the world and as Brazil becomes the world’s first sustainable biofuels economy, people ask the question, will they be the winners and we be the losers?” – David Cameron. In his mind there must be winners and losers…

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One response

  1. Pingback: Weekend conclusion | Mike10613's Blog

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