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

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, seeming to realise what must have happened,
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
off the pavement,

but that particular city block was covered
in filth.

Self-obsessed, conscienceless machines
have replaced what were, fifty years ago,
courteous gentlemen and ladies.

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

while women have spent fifty years
doing all that they can … to be ‘men’.

The ‘standards’ of 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?

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

feed the birds in the wintertime;
say “Good Morning” to every expressionless,
vacuous, modern-minded human automation
you pass at the start of each new day;

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 considered, independent, intelligent thought,
without needing to “look it up” on the Internet

or be attached to some type of machine
for constant mental stimulation.

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 40-year plummet
into self-serving, mindless oblivion that
has – with very, 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 …

but prefer instead to choose wilfully
stupid, slovenly, or savage alternatives.

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

PRIDE always demands attention from others.

It FORCES itself upon people ’round about.

Those who are filled and actuated by Pride,
and Conceit display their arrogance
as publicly as possible, at every opportunity.

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;

and for modern-minded human beings
to step down from their narcissistic thrones
and be less concerned about ME –
Ambition, and Greed, and Vanity, and Self.

What I witnessed that day 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.

Where there is no higher god than “Me”
will be found the obscene, narcissistic stupidity
– voiced by more than a few, that … “My truth”
is whatever I think it is.

Multitudes bereft of any genuine sense
of moral responsibility:
can excuse away, or accept, any atrocity
if it benefits their ego.

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 that day 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
philiplivingstone.org

Silencing the Lone Voice

His was the lone voice crying out in the wilderness.

And no one was listening.

Listening ?

It was not simply that people were NOT listening;
they were becoming increasingly irritated
at his rambling pronouncements
and ‘doomsday’ speculation.

But to this one man, his concern
was of incredible significance:

– despite the fact that No One wanted to know.

The year was 1847 and, in the teaching hospital
of Aligemeine Krankenhaus, Vienna,
women who delivered babies were dying.

Or rather, women whose babies were delivered
by physicians and their assisting medical students
… were dying of what was termed “Childbed Fever”.

Women, in the other ward – by contrast,
who were delivered by the hospital’s midwives,
went home following successful births.

Hungarian obstetrician Ignaz Semmelweis
was not only bothered by the phenomenon,
he was determined to stop it –
and took it upon himself to discover
and make known the reason
for the appalling rate of mortality.

Semmelweis was agonising over possible causes
when his colleague, professor Jacob Kolletschka,
cut his finger on a scalpel blade whilst
conducting the post mortem of a woman
who had died in labour.

Kolletschka died.

What was incomprehensible, though,
was that his body revealed the Same Symptoms

… as the woman who had died giving birth.

How – How ! – Semmelweis wondered,
is it possible for … a MAN

to die from a disease restricted to
… WOMEN … in labour?

Upon considering the matter, Semmelweis
was absolutely certain that he knew the answer –

The transfer of disease from a physician’s hands,

following autopsy,

to the bodies of women in the wards.

Women delivered by midwives, survived.
Women delivered by doctors bore a good chance of dying.

Physicians conducted post mortems.
Midwives did not.

Physicians and their medical students
moved freely from scrutinising a corpse,
to examining a labouring woman.

They HAD to be – he reasoned – carrying infection
… on their hands.

Semmelweis began to insist that his colleagues
wash their hands with chloride of lime BEFORE
tending women in labour.

Whilst the idea of sepsis was, of course,
unknown to Semmelweis,
he was certain that it was NOT washing hands,
that led the deaths of women.

Using the mandatory washing of hands and instruments
in Chloride of Lime, the mortality rate in the
physician’s ward dropped from 18% … to 1%.

But to physicians who worked with Semmelweis,
– the very idea that … THEY … could cause death
was, outrageous and insulting.

THEY … Were Doctors !

With his second year appointment to the hospital
not being renewed, Semmelweis was obliged to leave
the hospital in Vienna and return to Hungary where, in 1851,
he took up a new position heading obstetrics
at St Rochus hospital.

Where the death rates of women subsequently plummeted.

But now, his new colleagues were becoming
more and more irritated at Semmelweis’ insistence
that they were causing death by not washing their hands.

Never one to display great patience for apathetic,
vanity-saturated, wilful imbeciles … Semmelweis
began to write – ( much to the heightened irritation
of those to whose self-importance, arrogance, and laziness,
Semmelweis’ assertions were a threat. )

In 1861, Semmelweis completed a monograph
on the Aetiology of Childbed Fever, which conveyed
his insistence ( along with his all-too evident frustration
against care-free doctors ) that the death of women
was being caused by lack of proper washing by doctors.

Physicians were unrelenting in their contempt
of Semmelweis’ warning of danger, and continued
in their filthy habits – infecting women
with whom they came into contact.

On a holiday arranged by his wife,
Semmelweis was grabbed by several men
and dragged inside a hospital that his wife had told him
she wanted to see.

The hospital was a lunatic asylum

and Semmelweis realised – far too late –
that his wife had betrayed him,
and had conspired with Semmelweis’ own doctor
to have her husband ‘committed’.

Imprisoned in a lunatic asylum – the only sane physician
amongst a medical community full of them –

Semmelweis would die in the same madhouse
from … an infected cut.

A physician who insisted upon hygiene
was declared ‘crazy’ for being clean;

and died at the age of 47, in an asylum,
from a wound infected due to lack of hygiene –

the Very Thing about which
he had been trying to warn the world.

Betrayed by his wife;
despised by self-important medical doctors,
Semmelweis would not live to see his name
utterly exonerated by the work of Joseph Lister.

As a boy reading history, I would always try to find
a moral from which I could learn something of substance,
from the life of someone else.

I have persistently maintained that, to follow
whatever is popular and pleasing to the majority
of modern humanity – is to guarantee certain degradation
of mind and morals, and conscience.

The reaction of people demonstrates that my warning
is perceived to be little more than monotonous,
‘boring’ narrow-minded fanaticism.

I cannot but wonder if, with these thoughts
about Semmelweis – I may be the only one capable
of seeing the moral in the appalling tragedy of this man:

The moral that –

‘The Majority’ … are Wrong.

And that, there are times
when individuals who are declared
( by the masses ) …
to be ‘crazy’, ‘narrow-minded’, or ‘alarmist’,

are the only sensible and intelligent voices

amidst multitudes who are either
anaesthetised with vanity,

or just too lazy to care.

P Livingstone
philiplivingstone.org

えいち A Folk Tale … and Wasting 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,
in that unknown environment, 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 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 … as well as remorse
for the times when I have failed.

“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 had 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 those occasional times
when I have selfishly, in ignorance or emotion,
upset people through something impulsively said –

rather than to realise, on my deathbed,

that I have lived life as a pathetic,
self-centred narcissist
whose sole incentive for existing
was the pleasure and promotion

… of Me.

P Livingstone
philiplivingstone.org

Cultivating Humility … The Rose

This Internet site exists because
I care enough about people to make an effort
to reason with those who will not give me
the time of day.

The “boy who driveth the plough”
of William Tyndale’s day [ c.1523 ]
had the capacity to read a New Testament
in English …

… while masses of barely literate ‘adults’ today
cannot differentiate ‘there’, ‘their’, and ‘they’re’

– a disgusting fact of which the Internet
provides abundant proof.

Rather than be ashamed at the fact,
and grateful to those who would teach them;
vicious, arrogant creatures spew invective
at the … “Grammar Nazi’s” …
who would dare to help them to learn.

There has to have been, arguably,
no other time in history
in which human beings, collectively,
have been so defiantly Proud of their
Ignorance and Vanity.

Multitudes who are without even the sense
of Responsibility – the Integrity … to
‘check their work’,

have the audacity to dispense “advice”
on the Internet,

which is eagerly believed and repeated
by people bereft of the maturity to Discern
that something is manifestly wrong
with their “teacher”.

Peony

The very nature of Gardening requires

conscientious thought,
instils attention to detail
… and teaches patience.

It obliges the gardener
to pause long enough … To Think.

And in an Age that is absolutely characterised
by infantile emotional outbursts,
rather than mature, considered thought,

the ability to Think is something
that is desperately needed.

The GARDEN is a wonderful way
to cultivate

Compassion, Tenderness,
the Humility to learn, and a sense of
(what-was-once-known-as) Personal Responsibility.

Roses are a wonderful way
to develop an interest in gardening.

The consistent appeal throughout this Internet site
has been that, for any conscientious person
to break this perverse obsession in modern humanity
of needing to spend every waking opportunity either

staring into the electronic screen
of some technological toy;

or seeking attention
through some form of vanity possession,

he or she must either exercise the mind
through the reading of quality books,

or exercise mind, body, and senses
by appreciating and caring for the natural world
– most especially, animals that suffer the Neglect,
Brutality, and Apathy of human beings.

Gardening, I have endeavoured to suggest,
will cultivate empathy, care,
and halt the modern propensity
to exist like a machine.

( It will also, of course, provide a peaceful setting
in which to sit and enjoy that quality book. )

Whether you live in a British Country Cottage;
or Tokyo Flat; or Modern Urban Townhouse –

Roses

will transform any balcony, patio, or garden
into a visually beautiful, fragrantly scented
setting that will

calm the nerves,
arouse an empathetic mind, and
foster an outside interest that will counter
both laziness, and the modern fixation
of being connected to a machine.

Rose Petal Tea

In a garden bed or suitable container,
all that the rose requires is friable, nutrient-laden soil,
at least four hours of sunshine,

and a gallon (about a 4-litre milk jug) of water
applied to the base of the rose every 3 days
(a necessity that is usually supplied by rainfall
from late autumn to early springtime).

Newly-planted roses will need water
every other day – a great way
to develop the habit of responsible care.

“How can I love anyone if I don’t love myself?”
has been the perverse mantra
of self esteem humanism
that has been trumpeted throughout the nations
since about 1990:

The answer is simple:

Remove that obscene “Me First” mindset.

Making a genuine physical and mental effort
will instil Compassion, Self-LESS-ness,
and Responsibility –

qualities which were not only instilled,
but expected – demanded – in us as children
in the 1960’s.

It will cultivate the HABIT of thinking
Less of ME … and More of Others.

Whatever effort you put in,
the garden will abundantly return.

A garden requires constant care and attention.
A Gardener is one who delivers that care and attention.

With Enthusiasm.

There is a world of difference between the words

“Survive” … and … “Thrive”.

Many a dog understands the directions
of an Inconsistent, Impatient, or highly Undeserving Owner;

but that is testimony to the intelligence of the dog
– Not the “training” from the owner.

Many a garden exists
due to the tenacity of plants to survive,
rather than to the attention afforded it
by an unworthy owner.

Gardening is ‘easy’ … IF … you have the right mindset.

Provide a good home for plants
and they will thrive and give you a wonderful display
of colour and scent.

Have the resolve to provide Sunshine,
gentle Watering, and healthy Soil;
and place them where they are not
‘bullied’ by neighbouring plants (3 feet of separation is fine)
or harsh weather … and you can grow roses.

And if that gets you away from further
deteriorating your own mind and conscience,
in front of a television or computer screen;

and acquaints you, instead,
with patience, diligence;
attention to detail, and responsibility,

your efforts in that garden
will have profoundly affected your life.

When I was growing up in the 1960’s and 70’s
people used to appreciate things;
used to care for things;
used to make the time to mend things.

Now, people voice their disgust and impatience
at anything that does not go according to their lofty
and (more often than not) ignorant expectations.

Marriages, “friends”, the family dog
are of no more value to multitudes,
than a toy whose novelty has worn off.

“I cannot be bothered with it: throw it away.”

“The words you write prick my conscience –
they make me feel guilty — I am having nothing
to do with you ever again.”

Live your life with values higher than
what is popular with the modern masses
and you will – I assure you – experience
just how quickly “friends” will leave you alone.

This disposable mindset is seen in a phrase
that has been bandied about since
a switch was thrown on humanity in 1990 –

“low maintenance garden”,

a term that means
‘I want the benefit of a garden,
but am too lazy to care for the plants
that I want to enjoy.’

As a working gardener, I have never accepted any job
whose description includes the phrase
“low maintenance”, “barbeque” or “party”.
having neither interest or patience for those who treat the garden
as a backdrop to getting drunk and making noise.

Quite frankly, if you do not appreciate the plants,
you do not deserve to have them.

The garden is a collection of Living Things
that provide great beauty.
They deserve the appreciation of those
who have more substance to their lives
than the vacuous hedonism of multitudes.

Caring for plants ( that offer no tangible love in return )
will make it a simple matter
to extend compassion and care to animals –
as well as kind and deserving people.

The more you do, the more pleasurable
– and natural – kindness becomes.

Whether in a large garden, or diminutive balcony,
ROSES offer so much more than visual beauty
and fragrant aroma …

they can stimulate qualities in your life
that are so tragically lacking in the world today.

Care for a garden. Care for a rose.

And set a moral example
to all who see you.

P Livingstone
philiplivingstone.org

Film Review: Wings of the Dove

Despite my loathing for Hollywood and the dross
it unleashes to a disgracefully grateful world,

I was asked, recently, if I would write
a film review:

“There must be SOME movie that you have
sat through and enjoyed … ? ”

There was … One.

Film Review: Wings of the Dove

“She’s come here to live, not to die.
She doesn’t want our pity.”

“What does she want?”

“Your love.”

The only English language film that I could suggest
in answer to the assertion that there must be
“SOME movie” that I sat through,

would be the 1997 production … “The Wings of the Dove”

In this film, actors Helena Bonham Carter,
Linus Roache, Alison Elliott, and Elizabeth McGovern
feature in a tale set in 1910 London and Venice.

It was, for me, a Morality Play – and, certainly,
for a mature audience that can sit through
actual conversation – rather than profanity,
violence, and explosions.

A third of the way into the film,
a revelation is made about ‘Millie’;

from this point, the story is completely concerned with
scheming, greed, and … conscience.

Interestingly enough (for me, anyway) –
I cannot recall (with every willingness to be wrong)
that there was one bit of obscene profanity in the whole thing.
Amazing how they can do it, if they want to.

Now, this is not fit for any child – literal or mental.
There is, towards the end, a graphic scene with nudity
– sexuality, even — which is … PRECISELY the whole point
of the story.

(NOTE:  If you wish to see the film …

Do Not Proceed

with this review.   Stop Here.

For those able to still follow
a story whilst being aware of the premise … )

It is the moral reality – for those of us
left in the world who possess a conscience,
that makes this film a mirror to the soul:
something that is instantly relatable …

Ill-gotten gain;
treachery towards someone;
and conscience bringing such disgust
that one conspirator could not bear to celebrate
… “success”.

As the final scene makes abundantly clear.

Better to live alone
than to commune with “successful” predators.
Not a message which, I suspect, is often conveyed
by Hollywood studios.

Though struggling to detach myself from the nostalgia
of having walked those same Venetian streets
(Piazza San Marco too many times to count)
as a school-teacher in the area,

I cannot see how anyone possessed of feeling
could fail to be stirred by this celluloid story.

Indeed, it would take an heart of stone to
Not be moved at the scene where
a grief-stricken man kneels beside a sofa;

or to find immense satisfaction
in the result of that final ‘bedroom scene’
and aftermath.

“Give me your word of honour
that you are not in love with her memory.”

I never expected Film to arise
as a topic on this site – but then again,
the emotional pain of tender-hearted people
is something to which I can profoundly relate:
And would be the only type of film
that I could possibly watch to its end.

As this British production is the only
English-language film
that has any worth or significance to me,
I hope that this summary and these thoughts,
will pass well enough for my version
of a ‘Film Review’.

P Livingstone
philiplivingstone.org

The BBC … Rising from the Slime ?

BBC History …

Lucy Worsley: Jane Austin Behind Closed Doors

James Fox: The Art of Japan

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

No, not for the thoroughly well-done production
relating to two topics of profound interest to me
(this is the BBC, and one would expect
nothing less than technical excellence) –

but for the 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;

a once common feature of mature adults,

whose utter eradication from the world
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
of the new breed of ‘Independent’ woman –

( ‘beg pardon: “female” – ‘we’ no longer use
the terms “men”, “women”, boys” or “girls”
that specifically indicates … Human … gender )

– that featured in a few attempts to find historical viewing
via the BBC, over the past twenty years.

Unlike, too, the ( for me ) insulting, vulgar,
appallingly libidinous, low-cut attire clearly worn
to display the cleavage of one recent
British woman historian.

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 vacuity, vulgarity,
violence, profanity and promiscuity … “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 crude.

“Why are you wearing a suit?” quipped one;

( Well, sonny, 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 or decency 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 21st-century reality
of modern human beings.

Here, on these two 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 write
from the other side of the world,
to 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 –

a time when adults were actually capable
of presenting themselves with maturity
and some degree of elegance.

Thank you so very much.

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, lazy 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
philiplivingstone.org