The BBC … Rising from the Slime ?

Television: Not a thing for which I have ever had
any appreciation … however –
having noted the recurring appearance of one BBC Presenter,
and the (for me) introduction of a second,
I am bound to wonder if the BBC is perhaps,
rising from the slime after 25 years
of glorifying every form of crude human behaviour
under the sun.

I would certainly like to say ‘Thank You’ to them
for allowing one woman, and one man,
to break the degrading trend of slovenly hosts,
and vulgar content that have come to typify “TV”
the world over.

BBC History.

Lucy Worsley …

James Fox …

The opportunity to see two particular BBC historians
presenting, (for me, via the Internet),
their respective television programmes,
has left me actually overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude.

No, not for the well-done production
relating to two topics of profound interest to me –

But, rather, for the personal efforts made by both
presenters … in their personal appearance.

Seeing each of them was, for me,
to have been transported back to the time
when a certain aspect of society was so routine
back then !  …  that I took it for granted;

and whose utter obliteration from the world, subsequently,
I have never ceased to lament –
throughout the last thirty years especially.

Both presenters hosted their respective programmes
dressed like the respectable men and women
amidst whom I was raised.

Unlike the slovenly ‘blue jeans’ androgyny
and downright scruffy carelessness that featured
in a few attempts to find historical viewing
over the past twenty years;

and unlike the (for me) insulting, vulgar
appallingly libidinous, low-cut attire clearly worn
to display the cleavage of several recent
women historians …

here was a man dressed like Any mature man
used to dress on a daily basis;

and a woman whose appearance is … well, Feminine.

It was the first time that I can recall being so
overwhelmed with appreciation and gratitude
at Anything that was produced for the medium of television

– an invention that has spent its entire existence
obliterating the concept of the mother-at-home-family,
children-showing-respect-and-courtesy-to-elders; and
personal-self-restraint-and-moderation-in-daily-life;

while at the same time, making vulgarity, violence,
promiscuity, and vacuity “normal” …
in the minds of all who view it.

Of course, I made the mistake of glancing down
to see the comments placed from the great mass
of the 21st century viewing public …

whose ingratitude shone forth
like some great advertisement
for all that is vicious, selfish, and ignorant.

“Why are you wearing a suit?” quipped one;
( It is a once-common concept that used to be known
as “Professionalism” )

several whined because the audio ‘dropped’ in places;
and more told the channel owner to take the video down
and re-upload it to suit their specifications.

Not one of these malignant ingrates had the self-discipline
to say … “Thank You.”

Which is precisely WHY these two presenters
have brought a bit of bitter-sweet cheer into my life –
“bitter-sweet” because, of course,
once the programmes have ended
you are back into the reality of modern human beings.

On these occasions, the BBC has set aside
its 21st century formula of profanity and lewdness,
to offer programme hosts who could have just stepped out
of the 1960’s that I so fondly recall and lament.

What a Pleasure – What a Relief.

Just to have had a ‘taste’ of the world
that I had the inestimable pleasure of experiencing
in my formative years.

A breath of pure, fresh air … rushing in to
the choking chamber of polluted, poisoned smog
in which one is now required to exist.

What an escape.

I believe, always, in saying ‘Thank You’ –
in giving credit where credit is due.

Sadly, it seems that I cannot thank the person
who ‘posted’ this video, as I would need a YouTube channel
in order to do so;

and, of course, I dare not thank the BBC – whose Division
of Corporate Greed known as “copyright infringement”
would almost certainly remove the videos from the Internet
since nothing can be simply ‘shared’ any more
without greed-mongers demanding money.

But, to those two specific presenters in particular:
Thank You; you have allowed me to escape,
( for a little while ) back to a world
that I so desperately miss – Thank you.

Whilst Miss Worsley’s dress is impeccable
in all her documentaries,
the young man is a new face for me …

and I wonder if I dare hope that this might
set a ‘trend’ for those who actually want to be
perceived as ‘professional’ –

to begin once again presenting themselves
as being mature enough, and competent enough,
to dress like adults
rather than ill-disciplined street urchins.

If not, and it transpires that this is but some
temporary aberration,

I am so very grateful to have experienced it.

P Livingstone

Possessions … and Freedom from Greed

Simply a State of Mind: Absolutely Everything I own fits in one duffle bag … 

It is one of the most liberating feelings in the world
to observe people – in general,
speaking, agitating, and rushing frenetically about
in their mad rush to buy the latest technological toy,
sale item, or popular fashion accessory –

and to be, oneself, not the slightest bit interested
in what so evidently controls the thoughts and desires,
commands the attention, and dictates
the actions of the modern multitudes.

Truly, this is Freedom.

Greed – the mindless acquisition of amusements
and vanity toys – is behind the appalling superficiality
of 21st century humanity,

and – for anyone who might seek a life
with more meaning than the constant pursuit
of entertainment and ego

I can promise that you WILL view the world
– and people in it – much differently,

once commercial advertising
becomes meaningless to your life.

Our House – A Plain Lifestyle

We own nothing that does not have a practical purpose;
no ‘attic full of junk’ … our only ‘transitory’
items are to be found in the bottom shelf of the bookcase:
below my wife’s two shelves of over-sized garden references,
are the book that come from, and go back to,
the used bookshop … the volumes change;
the quantity does not.

For anyone who is genuinely seeking
a bit of moral support and encouragement,
a walk around our little farmhouse …

… and a bathroom, which is next to the spare room

which contains a single futon mattress, should any unforeseen guest need to stay.

Finally, the laundry room and our version of an “Attic”

– a room containing tools, tins of paint &c. suitcases, and moving boxes:
the necessities required for emergencies, home repair, or relocating …

Where to Begin … ?

In considering the question of HOW one begins to
‘downsize’ one’s belongings,
I suppose the best practical answer would be:

“If you have not used it in the past 18 months,
you probably will never use it again.”

[ It will go without saying that this excludes
emergency items such as a torch, batteries,
a Primus Stove, and such like.
These will be stored in a container that is
specifically marked for such things as ‘power outages’,
‘plumbing’ ‘electrical’ &c. ]

With the “18 month” guide, I refer to all
personal and household items,
accumulated acquisitions, and clothing.

Set aside those items that you have not used
in the past year and a half or so:
pick up each one, and ask yourself – out loud:

“Why did I buy this, exactly?”

Then answer the question – out loud –
talk to yourself:

“I bought it to impress (so-and-so)”,
“I bought it because it was on TV –
because ‘everyone else’ had one”,
“I bought it to feed my Vanity” –
and so on.

Then ask, “What does this do with my time?”
“What does having this do to my mind?”
“Could my time be better used than by wasting it on this?”

When physically hearing the response –
you may well embarrass, if not shame, yourself.

Once all superfluous junk has been set aside
using that criteria as a starting point,

exercise personal integrity
in examining your own conscience to determine
which possessions most gratify Conceit –

that is,

identifying what things have been bought
in order to “impress”
those who are shallow enough
to actually be impressed by … ‘things’.

A Word of Advice

I would also suggest, however, that
you should not use me as an example:

I do not have one friend in the world whom I might call up
and meet at a cafe for a frothy coffee:
there are not too many folk who could live like that,
and so I would not wish anyone to reduce their possessions
using what I own as their example …

IF you are determined to ‘downsize’ your own belongings,
arrange somewhere that you can leave the ‘discarded’ items
for a month or so.

If, in that time, your resolve is fixed,
and you truly do not need Things to secure happiness,
then, you may donate the items to charity, if you so wish.

If it is something that is destructive to mind or morals,
– such as a television, books, CD’s, DVD’s &c. –
you effectively destroy it by taking it to the town dump.

If, on the other hand, the whole exercise was, for you,
a passing fancy … then no ‘harm’ has been done,
and you may freely return to the satisfaction
of your material objects.

Discernment

Everything that I own has either practical
or sentimental value: there is nothing in our home
that is a ‘fashion statement’ or ‘popular’ product.

I have always believed in quality, dependability,
– craftsmanship: one good item,
rather than three cheap ones.

Taking that little while longer to save one’s pennies
allows one to focus upon whether that item
is really an important and worthwhile purchase.

It removes that desire to ‘collect’, IF
a self-disciplined mind-set
is behind every future purchase.

By limiting the things that you own
to the narrow and meaningful standard
of definite practical need (clothing),
and sentimental or edifying items (things) only,

you will have effectively removed the superficial dross
of impulse and greed from your life.

What I Own, and Why I Keep It …

Everything that I own is seen in this photograph.

The first of two watertight boxes
contains passport and personal papers.
A second square box protects 96 Kodachrome transparencies
from my days as a military and commercial photographer.

Two black notebooks contain forty years
of quotes from books.
Three books are kept for sentimental value.
And the original typescript of my dissertation
is in archival plastic pages.

A plastic ‘under bed’ box carries all my clothes
folded in layers;

The old leather despatch bag accompanies me
wherever I go; and carries what you see,

[photo to follow]

as well as whatever book I happen to be reading at the time.

A Word about Books …

Reading is my entertainment.
Although having given away my library, it must be noted that,
over the years, the contents of my old books have been committed
(by sheer repetition: re-reading treasured volumes a dozen times and more)
to my appalling memory … and, in key quotations, to two notebooks
which have served when called upon to deliver a lecture at short notice.

A very well stocked antiquarian bookshop
provides an admirable and constant source of quality reading material:
Once a book of interest has been read and re-read,
it is returned to the shop, which, effectively,
buys it back at a small loss to me; credits my ‘account’,
and I can browse for another title of interest.
[Bottom shelf of bookcase, above, is kept for this purpose.]

It is impossible to describe the liberty
– the freedom – from greed:
from constantly ‘wanting’ things,

that comes with a concerted effort
to be rid of extraneous possessions – MOST of which,
have no redeeming merit whatsoever,
and serves only to gratify vanity and waste time.

I can also assure you that,
with the passage of a very brief amount of time,
one begins to look back with embarrassment
at the things that were once regarded as
“important” or “indispensible”.

Conversation, work in the garden;
the real enjoyment of a good book as entertainment,
makes one realise the vacuity and superficiality
with which multitudes conduct their lives

identifying themselves by the … things … which they own.

For any who may be are considering “thinning out”
their own personal possessions,

I trust that the suggestions presented here
may be of some use.

P Livingstone

A Blind Man, A Dog, and Modern “Humanity” – For Pity’s Sake, Wake Up !!!

Living without television, radio, or newspapers –
whilst being of indescribable benefit to our moral conscience,
mental acuity, and family life – has nevertheless meant
that undertaking this Internet site in March of 2012,
opened us up to a torrent of “culture shock”
of depths that I could never have anticipated.

There have been – in the past twelve months particularly –
occasions when I have been confronted with aspects
of 21st century “living” –
that almost makes me panic in despair.

But the latest revelation has filled me with utter revulsion,
and I confess, makes me want to do away
with the whole Internet and computer – my only concession to,
and link with, the modern world.

I had – for the first time in more than a year –
occasion to travel into the “big city” specifically to visit
the one specialised shop
which stocked the type of very fine-nibbed pen
that is best suited to the copperplate writing
that I have used since a boy.

Walking along the busy city street, I was aware of a slight ‘commotion’
on the footpath, just ahead of me.
It took a split second to realise that the blind man ahead of me
was stopping abruptly: the cause being that

the beautiful Golden Retriever in the white harness,
was having a ‘personal crisis’ – yet,
while still trying to continue walking at the same time.

The man – realising that something was wrong, stopped –
the face around his dark glasses plainly confused.

Having left a veritable trail of faeces on the pavement,
the poor dog cringed – its tail low, its head hung down:
it knew that it had done something ‘wrong’.

The man soon produced a plastic bag
and started to shuffle back in the direction
from which he had come …

But it was none of this that held my attention.

It was the conduct of the people – Modern Day Humanity:
the dozens of pedestrians who ignored that man,
ignored his need – his patently obvious need –
for help in a difficult situation;

and without a second thought, walked around the man,
and carried on their way.

Oh, one unbelievable creature did react …
expressing a melodramatic ‘sigh’ of vocal disgust
that the Guide Dog had fouled the pavement.

Thinking back now, I can only suggest that my brain
could not accept what I was seeing.
I was stunned – for a split second –
and found myself absolutely bursting with utter contempt
for the … “humanity” … that surrounded me.

“Sir!” … “Sir” I said, running quickly to the man:
“give me the bag there, and you carry on.”

I continued:

“Your poor dog is hanging his head,
and if you will let me clean up his accident,
I would appreciate it very much
if you would give him a pat on the head …
and tell him it’s alright.”

Plainly, the man struggled to understand what I was saying:
he stuttered a bit, and looked dreadfully confused
as I took the plastic bag from his hand.

It certainly seemed as if he could not ‘take in’ the idea
that a stranger could extend kindness to him – and his dog.

The man thanked me several times, and paused –
as though making certain he had understood me.
Only then did he walk on.

I was thrilled that he reached down, said something,
and patted the dog on its head and neck.

It was my pleasure – my absolute pleasure! –
to pick up that dog’s mess.

But as I looked up ahead at the backs of those
who had – moments ago, just walked past that man and his dog;
I could not help but think that …

I may well have just lifted a dog’s faeces of the pavement,

but that particular city block was covered in filth.

Self-obsessed, conscienceless machines
have seemingly replaced what, forty years ago, were – generally –
compassionate, empathetic gentlemen and ladies.

Today, people dress like slobs, and act like slobs … and no one bothers.

The average ‘man’ looks like a bag of manure –
unkempt, slovenly; shoulders slumped, back bent forward,
the pig-ignorance of wearing a ‘baseball cap’ at a restaurant table;
shoving their way through doorways while carrying either a vicious sneer
or a vacuous glaze on their face …

… while women have spent forty years
doing all that they can … to be men.

The ‘standards’ of 21st century “life” – or, more correctly –

21st century existence.

Vulgar individuals are tolerated in public places:
spewing obscenities as part of their “conversation”;
wearing shirts with that depraved obscenity “F*CK”
fully spelled out for all to look at

… and a BLIND MAN is left to – ( what? ) –
get down on his knees and feel around
in order to clean up his specially-trained dog’s
Highly Uncharacteristic accident?

I understand that conscience has been all-but obliterated
from the human race,

but how Evil do ego-maniacal, self-venerating human beings
have to get, before they take a look around them …

and actually start to care about the utter extinction
of Common Decency in the 21st century?

I have more enjoyment in the company of our dogs,
and the birds and animals that come down from the mountain
behind our home, than I ever possibly could
in the company of what I witnessed during my 30 minute stay
in the city today.

A plea from my broken heart, to young people in general:

feed the birds in the wintertime;
say “Good Morning” to every vacant, glazed-faced individual you pass;
stand in front of a mirror and practice, if need be,
to learn how to carry on an intelligent conversation,

but … please, for pity’s sake –– WAKE UP !!!

stop the ludicrous obsession with ‘texting’,
get the earphones out of your ears;
break the addiction of constantly needing to spew trivia and tripe
into a “cell” ‘phone …

Consider … Ponder … Think – for a change:

– at least pretend that you are capable of independent,
intelligent thought, without needing to “look it up”,
or be attached to a machine for constant amusement.

Instead of being rude, crude, vulgar and loud,
have the self-discipline to speak and spell properly,

and, by so doing, set an example to everyone around you.

Practice Kindness … Consideration for others …
and Courtesy in public:
and start reversing this 30-year plummet
into self-serving, mindless oblivion that ( to an “out of touch”,
“old fashioned” recluse such as me ) seems to have
– with very little exception – gripped the whole
of what now passes for humanity.

When people conduct themselves with no more morality
than an animal, they are infinitely worse than any animal
because they have the capacity – and the conscience ( in theory ) –
to exist at a level higher than that of a beast.

The central characteristic of arrogant men
and religious hypocrites … is Pride.

PRIDE always demands attention from others.

Pride always seeks to dominate other people –
to shove itself right down the throats of society:

the malignant Self Esteem – of people
who are filled with the love and adoration … of themselves.

It is long past time … to give attention
to those who DESERVE it,
rather than to those who DEMAND it
in order to feed conceit and ego;

… well past time for modern-minded human beings
to step down from their narcissistic thrones
and be less concerned about ME – about Ambition,
and ‘getting’, and Greed, and Vanity, and Self.

What I witnessed today has disgusted me beyond description.

A PSYCHOPATH is an individual who is not the slightest bit concerned
that others will suffer because of what he does.

Or fails to do.

They know ‘right from wrong’ – They simply do not care.

They are bereft of any genuine sense of moral responsibility –
can excuse away, or accept, any atrocity if it benefits them.
They freely choose to show neither courtesy, consideration,
or compassion. And it does not bother them in the slightest.

The 21st century is filled with psychopaths –

all one has to do is look at the comments of ‘YouTube’;
listen to the ‘talk’ of the massed multitudes
walking around in any public place in this age of ‘self esteem’,
hedonism, and greed.

As far as this Internet site is concerned,
I may not be able to slow the moral degradation of modern humanity:
but, I do not have to condone it by my silence.

What I saw today was an utter lack of compassion from a mass of people.
And when compassion is gone from any man or woman,
there is nothing left to distinguish them from a beast.

A blind man … left to crawl on a street …

… While the contemporary hordes walk around him.

I shall never, ever, be able to understand ( much less ‘fit in’ with )
the vicious mentality and malignant apathy

of Modern … “civilization”.

P Livingstone

A Folk Tale … and Real Life

detail, Urashima Taro Returning … – Yoshitoshi Tsukioka, 1886

The story is told in Japan,
of a responsible young man named Urashima Taro.

One day, whilst walking by the sea,
Urashima Taro noticed a group of cruel boys
poking and tormenting a baby turtle on the beach.

Possessing care and compassion for the suffering animal,
Taro chased the boys away,
gently lifted the turtle, and carefully
released it back into the sea.

Some time later, while in his little boat at sea,
Taro heard a voice repeating his name.
Looking around and seeing nothing,
he then looked into the sea to find,
floating beside his boat, a turtle.

The turtle spoke to Taro and told him that,
if Taro left the boat and climbed on to its shell,
he would transport Taro to the undersea kingdom
known as Ryugu-jo.

 

Though at first nervous and apprehensive – once under water,
Taro found that he could actually breathe.

The deeper he went, the more relaxed he became.

When the turtle arrived at a beautiful undersea palace,
a woman greeted him saying that she was a princess who
– wanting to visit the world of men, had changed her form:
She was the turtle he had saved on the beach.

In gratitude, her father told Taro
that he could stay in the undersea kingdom
for as long as he wished.

For many days, Taro enjoyed the thrill and care-free life
of the undersea kingdom.

After a great deal of time had passed, however,
Urashima Taro thought of his family,
and desperately wanted to se them again.

The princess told him that she could not force him to stay and,
as he prepared to return to his old life, handed Taro a box
but telling him that he must never open it in the world of men.

Returning home, Taro saw that the people in his village
were all strangers;
and that his home was now an empty field.
On inquiring about his family, Taro was told that they had died
… several hundred years ago.

Taro realised that, in the days he had spent
frolicking in the palace,
many years had passed in the world that he had left.

Realising that there was now nothing left for him of his old life,
Taro remembered the parting gift given him by the princess.

Ignoring her warning, he opened the box and
– enveloped by a cloud of white smoke –
he was instantly transformed into an old man;
and in the realisation of this … Taro died.

I had never come across a satisfactory moral for this old tale.
But to me – one was always evident.

I view the world, I suppose, ‘from the outside’ –
as a man whom no one wants to know:
whom multitudes regard as narrow-minded and morose.

But I too, look at the world and – while they see me,

I also see them …

In Taro, I see the fate and future of the majority
of the human race of the 21st century:

impatiently despising all calls
to self control and moderation;
moral discernment and selfless living –

many of whom, I believe, will one day
look back from their death-beds …

and realize that they have wasted an entire lifetime
in the pursuit of vanity, greed;
entertainment, and ambition.

For me, this life is an opportunity to think
– and consider; and use the time given me

to humble myself;
to live as though I might one day actually have to
give an account of myself before God;
and to exercise empathy, discretion, and integrity.

“Good” or “Bad” … “Right” or “Wrong” – it seems,
is now determined upon nothing greater than
My house; My family;
My possessions; My career;
My church; My country; My memories –

“Me” … “My” … and “Mine”.

Urashima Taro realised – too late –
that the whole of his life was gone.

How many, I wonder, in the final hours of their life,
have developed the realisation – too late –

that the same was true of them ?

That the constant pursuit of Entertainment and Ambition
has stolen their entire life.

It was the observation of John Owen –
chaplain to Oliver Cromwell – that,

“And hence it is come to pass, that
wherever there have been complaints of
faults, miscarriages, errors

… their counsels have only been
how to destroy the Complainers,

not in the least
how they should reform themselves … ”

Those who are false,
hate those who are true.

The mass of people will have little or nothing to do
with a man or woman who displays sober-minded
consideration in daily life. Often, such a person
will be despised and ridiculed as “narrow-minded”.

Is that an insult … Or is it a compliment ?

I may not like to be without friends in my life, but
I can certainly appreciate Why it is happening.

And, as I have no desire to be – to imitate
what I see and hear around me,

I am obliged to accept it.

I greatly value the lesson that I took
from the tale of Urashima Taro …

I choose to lament now – (to feel shame, and be sorry for
the times when I have selfishly, in ignorance, upset people)

rather than to realise on my deathbed,
that I lived life as a pathetic,
self-centred narcissist

whose sole incentive for existing
was the pleasure and promotion

… of Me.

P Livingstone

Facebook Photo Sadism … and the Membership that Supports it

Deeply distressed to be made aware, today,

of the ‘thumbnail’ of a video
in which a passive dog – clearly
surrounded by the legs of sadistic perverts,
is having its face torn off by another dog –

And to see the appended NOTE that FACEBOOK
has formerly announced (21st May, 2017) that
it ALLOWS the twisted evil of animal cruelty
to be presented on its “social” site.

The “cleanest” report – The Guardian, 21st May 2017.

The only man whom I had ever encountered,
having the moral fortitude
to address the sadistic cancer known as ‘hunters’
in like manner to myself,
was actor Roger Moore … whom, I have just learned, has died.

A man who can say what needs saying, is gone from this world;

while Facebook affirms its commitment to PROMOTE animal SADISM
by allowing vicious scum to use Facebook
to broadcast images for the fascination
of sadistic perverts who watch such things.

( They supposedly, will remove video:
still photographs of a trembling dog
being torn to pieces – is Acceptable )

Do not even attempt to suggest that
this is to create “awareness” of animal cruelty:

There is a vast gulf between discussing the existence
of twisted savages … and providing them a place
to display photographs of their sadism.

Yes, of course Facebook provides hope
as a platform for finding missing people or missing animals.

But barring any such Specific, noble use,
it does nothing but serve VANITY –
allowing people to show off their possessions,
their children, and their holiday exploits.

Occasional ‘charitable’ pages allow masses
to salve their apathetic consciences – and imagine
that they are “doing something” – by the Inanity
of clicking a “like” button.

A Facebook fan suggested clicking a button to tell Facebook
that you do not wish to see Animal Cruelty links on your page –

Pure, farcical Hypocrisy.

“I am against sadism; but I will NOT separate myself
from those who promote it.”

… ???????

If you can excuse this away; then, at least,
you can have now peered into the depths of your own soul.

Click an ‘I-don’t-want-to-see-that’ button ? No.
Leave that head-in-the-sand technique to Ostriches.
And Hypocrites.

NO – remove yourself from Facebook,
to tell Facebook
that you will not tolerate animal cruelty.

If a million people had the fortitude to do that,
maybe someone would begin to take notice.

Millions of Facebook adherents will remain unmoved
that they are part of an organization that facilitates
torture, mutilation, and horrendous suffering and fear,
in dogs, cats, and other animals –

Millions have not the moral centre
to be outraged by evil depravity – or, at least,
any outrage is not enough to over-ride the “Importance”
of having their own, personal Vanity Page on Facebook.

FACEBOOK announced, on the 21st of May, 2017 –
that it regards the SADISM of dog-‘fighting’ and animal cruelty
to be Acceptable …

… Do You ?

More than Just a Word … おつかれさま

Not Just a Word … a Mind-set

If I could … “inject” … one single word
into the collective conscience
of what may loosely be considered “Western Society”,
it would be this one –

お疲れ様 でした

The voiced pronunciation is … “Ot su kare sama”

– おつかれさま – and then, to denote past-tense,

でした – “desh ta”.

Not merely a Word … but a mind-set.

A Conviction. A Philosophy.

One that requires

Thankfulness,
Thoughtful Consideration,
and extends Kindness

for the work or effort that someone else has done.

It will come as no secret to those who visit this Internet site,
that it saddens and frustrates me
that people return here time and time again;
read, or watch a video – more often than not
espousing compassion or courtesy –
and yet leave without so much as a word of thanks,
or even greeting.

I am making every effort to be friendly …
to people who cannot be bothered to be friendly in return.
And it breaks my heart.

The … つかれる … “tsukareru” in the word means
… ‘to be exhausted’.

“Ot su kare sama” recognises that

someone else

has put in effort

from which you (in some way) have benefitted.

It recognises that … “I” … am not
the centre of the world – that the efforts
of conscientious people in this world
are not here for you to take, and use,
and glibly walk away.

Even if people come here to have a laugh –
– to mock that some pathetic, ancient man
is actually Stupid Enough
to espouse Morality and Manners —– On The Internet (!!!)

I put in about eight hours of work
for every single article appearing here,
in an effort to TRY
to edify, or challenge the conscience, of people
who have given themselves over to the Contemporary Nothingness
of the 21st century …

and even the fact
that the content of this site is a joke to you,
does not prevent some form of “ot su kare sama”
from you.

Less high opinion of “Me” … and more
humble appreciation for Others,

and this vicious, vanity-driven world Would Be
an infinitely more pleasant place.

At the end of April, an opulent house which is
set back from the country road in front of us, held
– on a Saturday evening – what (upon walking up
at 10:00pm to find out where the noise was coming from)
I was later told, was a 60th birthday party.

This included a White Tent, and a ‘live’ … “band”
to hammer noise into the sitting rooms and bedrooms
of those who happened to live anywhere in the village.

I have absolutely no concept of the amount
of self-venerating arrogance that is required
to be so obnoxious as to force ‘my’ noise
into my neighbours’ home –

but clearly, human beings who are so bereft
of consideration for others,
will have no capacity to even remotely understand
the sentiment behind this word:

that there are others who share this earth,
and who might want to live in peace
in their own homes …

and who deserve to be recognised,
and shown due courtesy and consideration.

Forcing one’s obnoxious presence upon any and all
who are within their immediate vicinity –

whether through house “parties”, “boom cars”
and other such pathetic, attention-seeking vehicles;
or those who ride around on motorcycles
that sound like flatulating refrigerators

– noise is the method used by those who are vain,
to openly display their domineering arrogance to the world.

British Columbia, Canada: Currently, Our Part of the World

An American university professor last year expressed her belief
that my wife was the top expert in her field, in the world;
and that is why we are currently located on the west coast of Canada:
to help children who are afflicted with a specific medical disability.

We chose our current location because we were told
(and stupidly believed) that it was “The Bible Belt”.

An indication – we reasoned – that people living there
would have, at least, a moral centre.

Coming from a tiny rural location in Scotland where Shetland ponies
roamed the hills, and were not adverse to looking in the window,
our notion of a North American “Bible belt”
was appallingly far removed from the reality of what we found.

The third night we here, I was out on the road at 11:00pm
confronting an actual, real ‘drag race’ of punks who – apparently,
used the strip of road outside our house as a speedway.

And, of course, no one locally, sees or hears anything.

Drug deals were conducted at night, on the walking trail
of the mountain behind our home.
Headlights would meet in the centre at night,
while one vehicle reversed out, to be replaced by another.
I was the only resident who would stand there
and observe the ‘customers’ who left.

This “Bible belt” here, we soon discovered, features
bags of junk-food trash routinely strewn along the roadside
and dumped at ‘the picnic green’ a minute’s walk away;
‘jacked-up’ pickup trucks ‘burning’ tyres outside our gate;
punks ‘laying on’ the horn as they drive past;
and even physical threats – “You better get the f— out of here” –
uttered right at the front of our house in February of this year.

Going in person to beg help at the police office last September
resulted in not even the courtesy (much less professionalism)
of a telephone call – although we DID receive a letter signed in ink,
to declare that my wife was driving at 24 km – cycling speed –
over the speed limit, on a country road: That was important;
harassment and intimidation — not so much.

In 2012, laden with the sedative effects of cough and cold syrup,
upon walking over at ten o’clock one night
to have the partying crowd of one particular family festivity
turn down the pole-mounted “disco” speakers
that were pounding from the blueberry farm
(now, wonderfully, a Buddhist retreat) next to us.

A minute after the noise was turned down,
while leaving the property to return home,
I was punched repeatedly by one crazed punk
before a relative of the property owner interceded.

Even Wing Chun – my form of self-defence –
would serve no purpose as three ‘clean-cut’ adult men
– relatives of the thug –
took advantage of a pause in the attack
to look into my face and tell me that,
if I did anything to touch him (that is, defend myself) –

“We will say (to police) that you walked over
and hit him for no reason.”

It was not, however, the attack of the vicious youth
that brought tears to my eyes as I returned to our house,

but seeing that my neighbours
had been standing around … watching the ‘show’.

Not one of them lifted a finger to help.

Not one.

Here in the “Bible belt”, the expectation of moral decency
and common courtesy is Unreasonable;
whilst evil and obnoxious behaviour is evidently deemed ‘normal’
… or even a source of entertainment.

Those who live in a fantasy world here,
talk loudly of “Community Spirit” … ???

Vicious savages; harassment from thugs;
open drug-dealing, and apathetic neighbours.
Quite the Community.

The real tragedy is spending one’s life savings
– to come to such a place.

The vicious arrogance that was so openly manifest
in the “music”, ‘movies’ and television from, say, 1990 onward,
is now standard practice in a world that exudes

not consideration for the peaceful; but,
contempt for the peaceful;

not respect for those who are moral,
but ridicule for those who are moral.

“Bible Belt” ??? Personal Experience
and plain observation has shown that multitudes
– church-going as well as not – follow a bible alright:

but it is the one whose central tenet proclaims,

“Do what thou wilt
shall be the whole of the law.”

If I could inject one word into the consciousness
of those who have no conscience,
it would be

おつかれさまでした

“otsu kare sama deshita”

not for the word …
but for the pre-requisites that are required
to voice it in its sincerity.

Sadly, in a world that visibly degenerates
to increasingly vicious and self-centred depths
with every passing year –

it is one language lesson
that I am certain will never be tolerated.

P Livingstone