The Sunday Ramble: Last days of summer
It’s only a week now to the Autumnal equinox and the beginning of Autumn. We have cloudy days even in summer in England and so it won’t be that much different when I’m out taking photographs, just a lot colder and very bleak.
Last night was the Last Night of the Proms on the BBC. The whole idea of that music festival was to bring classical music to the ordinary people. I don’t think it did that. It was an elitist event with the wealthy and educated enjoying the event in the Albert Hall and the educated, but not so wealthy, getting their chance to join in by singing supercalifragilisticexpialidocious in Hyde park.
There was the usual rousing nationalistic renditions of Rule Britannia and Jerusalem. I don’t think that will appeal to the Scottish people who have their independence vote this week. That flag waving brings people together, but it also divides them. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing.
People seem to have an inherent desire to be better than everyone else. The marketing people know this when they are trying to sell them fancy cars, over-priced lattes made from Arabica beans and designer trainers. People are obsessed with status and I have been trying to figure out if it’s the same in all countries. It’s a national obsession here because we have royalty, but I’m not so sure about other countries.
This morning I have spoken to someone in California using Skype where it was about 1am. I think there is an elitist culture in America. I think it’s based on survival of the fittest. There is a definite culture of taking what you can get using whatever power you have to get it. They like their guns and power structures, they are really supportive of the armed forces and gung-ho by comparison with us nice gentle Brits. I also spoke to a student in Guangzhou in China, who was having lunch in Japanese restaurant. Isn’t communication great these days? You can Skype using your mobile phone and chat to someone 5000 Km away while eating your teriyaki. The Chinese too can be elitist, but it’s different from the British elitism. They want to go to the best university and revere Oxford and Cambridge more than us, but not so as to be socially elite. They want to be educationally elite, which is needed. We need people who are well educated to be our doctors, nurses, lawyers and brain surgeons. You don’t want that embarrassing problem down below fixed by some amateur of the streets do you?
We seem to be tribal in our attitudes to social interaction. We like to mix with people like us, but we all want to pow-wow with the chief. The squaws can go in the other tent. That is a problem with social elitism, it’s also sexist and relegates women to a lesser role in society. It is also racist as the upper classes look down on other races too.
The racists always seem to wave flags and they love the rousing nationalistic sounds of Rule Britannia and Land Of Hope and Glory. All that flag waving and singing last night appealed because I’m part of the same tribe, but also made me feel uneasy.
Have you noticed how many of our national institutions are prefixed with the word ‘royal’. It’s like the chief has to approve everything or it’s not worthy. People get titles awarded by royalty to show they are worthy of mixing in elite social circles. They don’t always give the peerages and knighthoods to the right people though, do they?
Anyway, only a week left to enjoy ‘summer’. I’ll go down the garden and forage for food in a minute. I have already harvested some potatoes and runner beans. I need an apple to make apple sauce to go with the pork that I have for lunch. Then I’ll be out after lunch taking photos, with the camera set on ‘cloudy’. It’s heritage weekend with museums opening with special events, so I might drop in on one and see what they’re doing.
I’ll be photographing Autumn events soon, like Halloween and Bonfire night, it only seems 5 minutes since the last time I was doing that. Time flies when you’re having fun…
What are you doing with your Sunday? Please share your thoughts in the comments box. You can also follow me on Twitter.