Sunday, March 8, 2009


It is easy to mourn past times which appeared much safer than they appear today. There is the impression we are less safe, and our children are at greater risk, but that's all it is, an impression.

Our memory has always played the trick of letting us recall the good things from our childhood and teens years - whilst masking, hiding and burying those aspects of past life which contradict our warm feelings.

Look at Shakespeare's Winters Tale, Act III, scene III, when his character the shepherd, wishes youths between 16 and 23 would sleep, to reawaken beyond the time of drink, violence, theft and getting wenches in trouble.

It was largely the same in the 16th century as it is today with one exception, the cloak of mystery and magic surrounding our establishment (royalty, politicians, judiciary, and in the 21st century: captains of industry) has been lifted to reveal a tawdry world of self interest and an unwillingness to be accountable.

The explosion of 24 hour, wall to wall media, has brought with it, the uncompromising truth about our leaders, culture and society in all its raw and savage clarity. We are having to adjust to a "liminal" state in our history, very much like the transition from feudal communities to industrial structures, as we now move away from the mechanized to the electronic.

I commend the work of Emile Durkheim, so you too can see, what is happening today, is simply a variation on a long line of historical themes.