I don’t want to write about the abuse of women. Any abuse especially sexual abuse is both simpler and more complex than it appears to be, hard hard hard to make rules about, because so many aspects of it are about individual perception, because of the many reasons for it, both in the case of the subject and the object, and because of the bandwagon syndrome as in “Oh, that happened to me too.”

I don’t want to write about Facebook or its clones WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram which I regard as the technological equivalent of bubonic plague, carbuncles on the soul.

I don’t want to write about the price of a cashmere sweater (Times 30.10.2017) because most of the cashmere I come across is a poor shadow of the lovely thing it once was.   Perhaps this is a perfect example of why everybody can’t have everything for the mass production of it has impoverished its quality, feel, line, endurance and value in every sense including warmth… but of course we don’t need warmth now because everywhere is centrally heated – so what we need is cashmere because its name means money, but it’s no good if it’s too warm because we can’t wear it. Last days of the Roman Empire, anyone ?

I don’t want to write about HMRC exporting function involving the tax matters of British nationals to a US company (madness) or a former Whitehall IT chief breaking rules designed to keep senior civil servants from benefitting other commerce with insider knowledge (revealing).   Both are horrid examples of “what the eye doesn’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve over” – only this ignorant heart does.

I don’t know enough about Spain and the Catalan secession to write about it, though this seems to indicate further fractionalisation of the European dream.

I don’t give a damn about football and thoroughly resent its intrusion into national news.

In the last couple of weeks I have seen longer stays in prison invoked for people who are cruel to animals, people who throw acid, and returning jihadists or Isis sympathisers.   Will somebody please tell me where these elastic walled facilities are, because the prison system is full to overflowing, its staff demoralized and inadequate in number, while taking offenders off the street and into a lockup environment was never more than a short term answer to much ?

I don’t want to read another article about the shortage of housing and the ever extending numbers for the new build.   I do want somebody to explain – certainly in London – why existing property is allowed to stand vacant for years while the young and the poor struggle in B&B or worse ?   Surely – even as an interim measure, because building on any helpful scale will take time – the law could be changed so that a building, commercial or domestic, may only stand for one year and then it reverts at the lowest market price to the local authority, where it is mandatory that it is used for housing, this law having to be reviewed annually so that abuse is minimised ?

I fear platoons of hastily built ugly housing on green belt when it is widely agreed that space and light are increasingly essential to mental wellbeing.

I don’t want the weather forecast sold to me – gloss over today, sell you a better tomorrow, urge you into looking at the week ahead – when we all know the weather systems are less perceptible than they used to be. Are these meteorologists or sellers of snake oil ? I cheered when one of the better practitioners said last week that he could only tell you tomorrow and urged watchers to keep their eyes open because it wasn’t clear, even to him, how things might go from then on. It has come to something when you find the relative honesty in a weather forecast uplifting.

The idea of the contrary* comes from Arthur Penn’s film “Little Big Man”, when certain braves did everything back to front in a First Nations version of examination of the nature of paradox, when films were something to see, enjoy and think about. Old looks more and more inviting.

One response to “contrary*

  1. On ‘old looks best’ – nowadays children have bought Hallowe’en outfits, and do not have to perform for a token prize. Not so in 1950s Edinburgh. A friend recalls a friend ( probably about 7 years old) reciting The Burial of Sir John Moore at Corunna on every doorstep – he would not be interrupted. (There are 8 verses, beginning: ‘Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note…..’)

    Isn’t that cheering?

    Lesley Young

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