Over the last 18 months, I have tried my hand at writing poetry. Before I began my creative writing journey in 2019, I always assumed poetry was something other more intellectual, academic people did. I have always held poetry in great esteem and regarded it as the cream of all writing genres, so when the words came to me for my first poem, I balked at the idea of putting them into a book. I mean, who would want to read my thoughts?
I’d written my first novel, several short stories by then, with varying degrees of interest. Some of them have appeared in FB posts within the writing groups I joined, and to my surprise, I received some overwhelmingly good feedback. Numerous ‘publishing service companies’ (as distinct and different from vanity publishers) were positive and offered package deals to publish my first book: small snag – no funds to do it, so in the end, I let Amazon help me out and I have to say, I found the whole experience both rewarding and (in relation to some aspects) ridiculously easy.
During the journey to publication, I have seen and experienced all manner of oddities. My parents taught me to respect others. This applied especially those older, or with greater knowledge or experience. My parents schooled me to be polite at all times and not to push myself forward unless invited to contribute. Yet, I see others behaving badly, impolite at best (I prefer rude) and rarely see them rebuked for it.
I also notice how few appear willing to address the ‘snowflake society’. This is the tranche of society who believe there are more than two sexes, and it’s perfectly in order to identify as a banana.
The world is full of many wonderful, diverse species, but none have anything other than male or female versions, with the possible exception of the earth worm.
I was born female. Perhaps I’ve been lucky, because I have never wanted to be any different. As a child, I played with toys – not just dolls, but all toys and I learned because I had that wide spectrum there are some things more suited to females than others. I for example prefer to be clean and tidy, despite a cluttered desk with notebooks scattered haphazardly.
As the ‘woke brigade’ came further to the fore, I wrote the poem below:
Wakey, wakey to you – generation ‘Wokey Ewe’!
Time’s the only difference between the likes of me and you:
Your time to shine – which ‘platform’ are Ewe ‘trending’ –
Regale us with what pretty parroting chirp Ewe are sending?
Wokey Ewe generation is loudly proudly ‘Green’;
Your plastic water bottle aloft – the better to be ‘seen’.
Plastic is your ‘thing’ – we reused bottles made of glass;
We never rode gas guzzlers – we walked to school in our past!
What’s today’s flavour – is it a fashionable meme?
Explain why work’s second place to a dancing flashing theme?
Do I dare say or should I duck-tape mouth and ears –
In case – ‘major crime’ my words offend Ewe younger peers?
Back when – ‘my day’, brows raise, mouths pucker;
Seen Gen Ewe snigger condensing, giving me a ‘poor you’ looker!
Gender-fluid (term unheard) – the S-Word (mega-freak) – taboo!
People were just humans – one or other, as choice of loo.
For the ‘different’, we were taught ‘make allowances’;
Be kind, help out – don’t stare – ignore ‘funny fragrances’
We had school schemes – showed us our privilege and place.
We did our bit ‘for community’ – earned our social space.
Comedy was for making fun – lightening what was dark.
It gave us merriment when everything remained stark.
We toiled workplace, strikes, fuel, food and energy crisis – the lot.
Ewe moan ‘it’s hard’ in tech-rich now -it’s nowt to what we got!
So – wakey, wakey Snowflake Gen – Ewe smell the decaf coffee!
Ewe patronise the older end – but they’re not workhorse lackies,
Geriatric, arthritic maybe but worth more than fetch and carry
Today maybe for Ewe but one day the boot will shift – no worry!
I want to be clear: I have no issue now or at any time previously with people who prefer relationships with their own sex, nor those who are transgender. I have endless sympathy for both. It must be very difficult to know or realise your preference and to have to find the courage to unburden yourself to parents, family, friends and so forth. It must be even harder to express your body-dysmorphic repulsion at inhabiting the wrong gender body. Transgender individuals also face a plethora of issues a heterosexual person may not even realise. Toilets are the most obvious, but how many times do you need to fill out some kind of form, and what do you put for ‘sex’ if you’re transgender – yes please??
I’m not heartless or completely without empathy! Over recent years, there has been a lot of media coverage of the difficulties and issues facing the gay and transgender community. My complaint is not around the LGBGTQ+ community, but rather with the ‘me, me, me’ generation.
The UK (like some other areas of the world) is facing an uphill struggle to work through a cost of living crisis. It’s easy to blame the Covid Pandemic, politics or something else. For me, it won’t help. We need to be practical and find ways to get through it and find a way to redress the equilibrium. Shouting about who to blame, or eulogising how hard done by we are will not cut the mustard.
To illustrate what I mean, I’ll describe something that happened recently to a friend. He lives in continental Europe and has a real passion for 20th Century history. He lives in a country once occupied by the Nazis during World War 2, and the reality of the occupation came very close. His grandparents lived in the same area back then. Someone else in the area denounced them to the German occupiers, saying they were harbouring Allied airmen evading capture.
The Nazis raided their house and in order to effectively interrogate them, they strapped grandfather into a chair and beat his legs until they were completely broken. He spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair.
So my friend has a very close connection to the War and he has a passion for excavating the crash sites (there are many in the area where he lives) to find whatever remains. His passion doesn’t stop there. He and his friends catalogue every site they excavate. They clean up every find, research to find what they can about the aircraft and the artefacts from the site. What they strive to do is find out which aircraft, who would have been on board, and work out what happened.
It doesn’t even stop there. They write up a full report on the excavation and (if they can identify the crew who were flying the aircraft when it crashed) contact any living relatives they can find to give tell them what they’ve found. My friend often puts together a framed display of a few of the recovered items surrounding a description of the findings and the written report for the family to keep. My friend and his team then create an installation with some of the findings and erect a permanent memorial who lost their lives in the vicinity of the crash where the relatives can leave flowers. My friend and his team then arrange with the local officials for an official dedication for the memorial and invite all the relatives to attend.
My friend ensures they always have all the correct paperwork and abide by any rules and requests of the landowner, local authority and any other interested parties. I think it is an amazing, wonderful thing they do, and all during their ‘spare’ time, giving up weekends and family events at times, because they are all volunteers. You’d think such an altruistic operation would be welcomed by the country where all this magic happens, especially since they’ve been doing it for many years now – more than two decades, and all that time, no issues or problems?
Nope – until a group of foreigners recently lodged a complaint – no-one quite knows about what, but since the complaint was lodged, the whole group has been subjected to intense scrutiny; their excavation licence was suspended (now revoked) and the leader of the group (my friend) has a lifetime ban on excavating in his own country.
The whole episode stinks and it’s wrong, but I am a mere mortal in a different country and although I wrote the strongest worded letter describing why I thought the licence and group operation ought to be reinstated, it has so far had no impact. The foreigners who complained have gone home. They don’t live there and it makes no difference to them.
It matters to my friend: he and his group of volunteer friends have worked really hard over many years and built a reputation, a trust and a name for respecting the land, the crash sites and all the artefacts they find and for treating the families they contact with tact, diplomacy and compassion. They even used to collect an elderly and infirm veteran from southern England to escort him across Europe so he could attend the Escape and Evaders annual dinner every October – all at their own expense. What does that tell you about this group of friends?
This is what I mean by woke madness! My friend and his group of close-knit friends worked tirelessly for more than three decades. They put on exhibitions for the public to see the fruits of their excavations. My friend and some of his group have visited local schools with some of their excavation finds. All of this and more is being lost because someone in authority has taken the one and only complaint against them to the extreme.
When are we as a society, as a community going to wake up to the fact that there should be a balance between the individual and every other ‘body’ – companies, authorities, public services and the like.
I’m not advocating the individual should cow-tow to companies, authorities, public services; that isn’t my point. What is my point is it is a two-way street. If you throw stones, you can’t expect (if one hits another person) they won’t retaliate. That’s what happened in my youth.
Now, it seems the young feel its okay to complain and make a fuss and say their feelings are hurt. They don’t, can’t or won’t recognise their actions cause others to feel upset, pain or humiliation. Well, Shakespeare was right – if you prick us, we do bleed!
We as a society need to feel we can say something without fearing a massive backlash: the name for it is free speech. Some countries have it written into their constitution. I shouldn’t have to agonise over whether I can say or do something out of fear for how it might look. This is where the ‘woke brigade’ have taken their non-binary new language. For the likes of the older generation, it’s mad, confusing and extremely hurtful. The ‘woke community’ push us aside as irrelevant, as if what we say has no place in today’s world. Excuse me? We’re not dead yet!
As ever, I’m sure there’ll be others out there with their own views – please! Keep it clean and respectful! Take care everyone; thank you for reading and please be kind to each other!
Sunday, 12th March 2023