ABOUT … This Internet Site

About This Internet Site

Plain Lifestyle, Few Possessions, Great Contentment –
Humility, Modesty, and Empathy in a World of
Self-Deification, Hedonism, and Greed

Having observed – for the past 30 years particularly –
as the human race has descended to below the level of animals
in morality, as well as comparative mentality,
one is left to wonder how much more depraved
the modern masses can actually become.

Since 1990, “Self Esteem” – the worship of “Me”,
has replaced courtesy, consideration, and compassion
in the bulk of observable society. Self-veneration
is now the sole arbiter of what is deemed ‘right’ and ‘wrong’.

Vicious narcissists on one side;
hand-wring hypochondriacs on the other:
All having no higher pursuit in life
but to be glorified and entertained.

Ten minutes on the Internet is sufficient to reveal
the depravity in which modern multitudes now wallow.

Rising above sheer laziness is too much effort for the most,
who are always looking for ways to make life ‘easier’.

People communicate by spewing filthy obscenities and crude vulgarity;
speaking of little else but pride, entertainment, or possessions;
and freely dispensing ridicule, abuse, and malice against anyone
who seeks to live respectably in this world.

I remember a world in which the terms “Lady”
and “Gentleman” actually had relevance:

when young women were not ashamed to be ladies,
nor sought to imitate the pathetic macho posturing
of vicious and vulgar men;

and being a mother at home
was the most honourable job in the world;

when men had enough maturity and respect for their wives,
their family, and other people, to tuck in their shirt
and exercise self discipline in conduct and conversation;

and children were taught enough respect for adults
as to address them as ‘Mr’ ‘Mrs’ or ‘Miss’.

It is heart-breaking to realise that the things that I value in life

– conscience, courtesy, basic good manners;
the ability to read, write, carry on a conversation;
speak and act with discretion and self-discipline –

have not only vanished,
but are now derided as “weakness”
and viewed with contempt;

while the skill and wisdom gleaned from life experience
is relegated to … “Well, that’s your opinion” –

and to make simple observations such as the above,
is deemed the outrage of “telling people how they should live”.

Now, it may well be that, in being presented with the
relatively recent degradation of human society,
YOUR Conscience may be telling you how you should live.

I am not.

You can be an atheist, a Buddhist, a Christian;
you can hug trees, or worship the Third Moon on the Right:

as long as you do not inflict fear, pain, or injury
upon any animal, child, or peaceful adult –
I am not the least concerned with how you live
– provided you harm no peaceful creature.

Whilst my memories and life experience
may well reflect my disgust at the discernible degradation
of humanity in the space of the last 30 years particularly;

and my inability to find any point of similarity between me
and the world and its people,
that I see and hear displayed around me,
they are straightforward Observations.

Nothing more.

I am just one man who began using a computer in 2001
because I could no longer buy ribbon cartridges for my typewriter.

The thoughts presented here are merely observations
made from someone who has always been on the outside
of the “television-controlled mind-set”
of popular culture, fads, and fashions.

I have simply spent more than 50 years
watching human society progressively degenerate;
and now lament the almost-complete elimination
of moral decency – courtesy, consideration, and conscience.

Two little birds enjoy a drink from the fish pond.

Criticism is good: it keeps a wise man or woman ‘sharp’ –
PROVIDED, of course, that the one doing the criticizing
is QUALIFIED by Humility, Wisdom, and Mature Life EXPERIENCE.

Until we became familiar with the Internet and ‘had a look around it’,
I had never imagined ‘ordinary’ people to be as vulgar and alliterate;

or as vicious, callous, and apathetic towards anything
that did not immediately gratify their lusts, ease, or vanity.

Good people ‘post’ a nature video; a film-clip of their dog,
or even a portion of a documentary film,
and the comments that appear below
seethe with filth, vulgarity, and contempt.

I shall never forget the film on a mother with her autistic child,
and the comment from America
that the woman should have … “put your retard down”.

Or the assertion below the piece on the Amish farmer and his wife,
noting that “they are all pedophiles [sic], brainwashed, and stupid”.
“What a f–king useless, boring life” declared another. [ my edit ]

The depravity of modern mankind – especially young people –
is completely beyond my capacity to fully take in.

It took me less than a week to realise
that I cannot ‘surf’ the Internet.

To attempt YouTube is to wade through a cesspool of filth:
find a video of bluebells growing in a woodland clearing and, it seems,
there will be some vile, obnoxious creature
spewing profanity and invective at that.

My brief look around the Internet
taught me about the 21st century –

– actually, it explained a great deal.

Why it was, for instance, that
whenever I held the door open
for a young woman at the supermarket,
she tells me that she can ‘get it’ herself;

why people stand in the checkout queue
bellowing into ‘cell phones’ for all around them to hear;

… or why one cannot spend ten minutes
in any public place
without hearing “f**k“ after each use of the word “the”.

They even have a slogan now – “WTF”.

The filthy obscenities of forty years ago
… are now a fashion statement.

There just is no lower depth of depravity than that.

It breaks my heart to see that any plea which advocates
moral discernment, self control, or moderation,
is now reviled as “Hate Speech”,

and that this is a world where those who cry for “Equal Rights”
– once they get what they want –
are the very LAST to give equal rights
to those who are different from themselves.

Go into the average evangelical church and you will find
– if not an out-an-out rock concert complete with coloured lights –
certainly, festive, feel-good, ecstasy-stirring emotionalism
specifically designed to assure the religious humanist
what a good and special person they are.

If it makes Me ‘feel good’ … then it IS “good”.
No other criteria are required.
Multitudes of religionists will instinctively render reverence,
humility, and self-controlled respect – to the Queen,
who would never once think of rendering anything remotely similar
unto God.

That moral Integrity is all-but non-existent
in the Self-worshipping world of today,
is a fact Readily discernible
in the daily conduct and conversation of multitudes
who no longer have the ability to blush
– or feel shame about anything.

This is the 21st century: an age in which human beings
DEMAND to live in a world where –

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

And anyone who might reason them away
from that self-serving existence,
is dismissed as a sad fanatic
who has nothing of value to offer beyond … ‘complaining’.

Simply being ethical and quiet in the modern world,
is enough to earn the hatred of multitudes
in whose seared consciences, the very existence of morality
moderation, and self-discipline … is a ‘thorn’.

From Northern Ireland, having served, since 1981,
as a private lecturer, and writer of bespoke documents
in Prescriptive English …

Killinchy (centre)

… my wife and I currently live in British Columbia
continuing our plain lifestyle without television,
stereo, newspapers, or cellular telephones,
in a 1920’s farmhouse, contentedly seeking
– despite harassment from local Canadian thugs –
to avoid the noise, vulgarity, and ‘party’ mentality
of modern humanity.

This Internet site reflects those obviously unwanted,
‘out-of-touch’ characteristics which are distasteful
to modern humanity – yet which, nevertheless, define me.

It consists of … “Old Paths” …
that are now despised in the modern world –
written from the perspective of a man
who remembers … and laments

a world that is now long gone.

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, I believe, who will one day
look back from their death-beds … and realise
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 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 Entertainment and Ambition
have 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 ?

“… they abhor him that speaketh uprightly.”

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, or in ignorance, upset people)
rather than realise, on my deathbed,
that I lived life as apathetic, self-centred monster

whose sole incentive for existing
was the pleasure and promotion

… of Me.

P Livingstone

Facebook Perversion … and the Membership that Supports it

I was forcibly made aware today

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

that FACEBOOK allows this twisted evil 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 re-affirms its commitment to promotes animal sadism
by allowing vicious scum to use Facebook to broadcast videos
for the fascination of sadistic perverts who watch such things.

And do not even attempt to ‘inform’ me 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 broadcast their sadism.

Of course Facebook provides incredible hope as a platform
for finding missing people or missing animals.  

But barring any such specific, noble use, it is a vanity platform,
punctuated by occasional ‘charitable’ pages where clicking a “like” button
allows masses to imagine that they are “doing something”.

‘Click on the ‘no animal cruelty’ restriction to show Facebook
that you are against animal abuse’ stated the sentiment of one individual:

Pure Hypocrisy.

If you can excuse this away; then, at least,
you can peer into the depths of your own soul:
‘I am against sadism; but I will not separate myself
from those who promote it.’

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.

If you insist upon supporting and condoning – by your presence –
FB by having a general, personal ‘Page’ which invariably
brings revenue to the company,
do, please, have the decency to be ashamed.

You may not have enough of a moral centre to be outraged
by evil depravity: and disgusted with those
who provide a platform to broadcast it – But I do.

If you have an account on Facebook, and have the integrity
to delete (not ‘deactivate’) your FB account, please let me know.
It would be some small comfort to learn that there are
folk left on this earth, who can place righteous indignation
before the ‘social’ broadcasting of Me, My Possessions, and My Vanity.

Thank You.
PL

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 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 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 vanity to the world.

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 that particular family festivity
turn down the pole-mounted “disco” speakers
that were pounding from the blueberry farm 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

Revered Painting: “The Great Day of His Wrath”

A painting that always fascinated and awed me as a boy,

The Great Day of His Wrath …

John Martin, 1853: Tate, London

“The Great Day of His Wrath” is John Martin’s depiction
of the Day of Judgment in which every man and woman
will be called to render an account –

not merely to account for the use they have made
of their time given upon this earth,
but even for every idle (never mind malicious) word
they have uttered.

I am pleased to hold the painting in such high regard,
for I find myself reminded of both painting and subject

on a regular basis …

“Leave Bags at the Front” … ???

I have managed 55 years in this world
without stealing a single thing in my life.

which means that it is impossible for me
– as an honest and honourable man –
to even imagine the type of self-centred presumption
and contempt for decent human beings
as so evidently exists in shop-owners and store managers
who display, at the entrance to their establishments,
signs demanding that potential customers

“leave all bags at the front”.

I understand that the generality of the human race
has deteriorated in morals and basic manners
to such a degree over the past thirty years, that multitudes

cannot communicate without filthy profanity and vulgar obscenities;

cannot move without a TV, radio; headphones or speakers
blasting noise into their brains;

or think independently of “looking it up” on the Internet.

I realise – see it with my own eyes, that men now dress like slobs
– for pity’s sake, some do not even have the decency
to remove their hats when seated at a table in a restaurant.

The basic good manners that were displayed in public
by every and any mature adult fifty years ago –
have been utterly eradicated from society;
and human beings may have collectively descended
to below the level of animals –

but that, surely, does not give you license
to abandon discernment and the application of discretion,
and presume that EVERY customer who enters your shop
is a thief deserving of having their moral character
degraded by you.

Of course, you do not remove the (often large) ‘handbags’
… of women;
or bar them from entering your premises.

You wouldn’t dare.

A woman with a bag … is a Customer.
A man with a bag … is a Thief.

In a ‘New World’ of mindless compliance
where every value of decency and morality
is sacrificed on the altar of ease,
and the pursuit of constant entertainment,

I realise that multitudes will see nothing wrong at all
in being presumed a thief, and therefore
are happy to leave their personal possessions
at the front of your shop –

but there are a few of us – “old folks” – still walking this earth,
who have lived lives of courtesy
and consideration towards other people;

who were raised with moral integrity and “old fashioned”
dare-I-say ‘biblical’ values of conduct and self control.

I will not willingly surrender my bag to a thug with a gun:
I certainly will not surrender it to you,
who complacently presumes that I am a thief.

I have observed – since the mid-1980’s in particular,
the eradication of manners and moral decency in this world;
and have watched selfishness, vanity,
and crude speech and behaviour
rise to levels that are nothing less than obscene.

Which only makes me more determined to never sacrifice
the moral standards and values with which I was raised,

in order to buy some iToy or vanity possession
that does nothing more than gratify greed,
or waste my brain on mindless entertainment.

Especially when I would have to hand over my personal belongings
and, by so doing, agree with the shop-keeper’s
defamation of my character.

It may well be that I am the only person walking this earth
who will not sell his character
for the sake of buying and acquiring some … thing.

There is nothing in your shop important enough
for me to submit
to you degrading my moral character.

The Atrocity, I suppose, is not so much
having the callous contempt of a bully:

but in being so bereft of a conscience
as to feel no shame because of it.

This is an age when corporate supermarkets hire less staff
and demand customers scan and load their own groceries;
– in bags that They have to provide themselves.
( All to ‘Save the Earth’ … of course. )

But such brazen contempt for customers
need not be a hallmark of your shop, surely ?

It is, of course, merely a suggestion but –

How would it be then, shop-keeper,
if you exercised enough of a moral centre
to display appreciation for those
who seek to spend their money in your shop …

rather than immediately presume
that anyone who walks through your door

is a thief ?

P Livingstone
2017