The times we live in — 41 Comments

  1. “They go out of a night, not to have a drink but to get smashed out of their skulls”

    Literally! 🙁

    It’s not all bad news though, Grandad.

    Thankfully, there are still lots of decent young ‘uns around to keep us on our toes.

  2. That’s why I don’t watch the news.

    Or go out.

    /me crawls back under table. safe…

    (I’m only half joking – I actually /don’t/ watch TV or go out – I won’t be cowering under the table, though)

  3. Grannymar – I’d put Envy in there too. [and Pride?]

    Steph – I know the bad ones are a tiny minority. The kids getting hammered on alcohol are quite numerous though. And you’re right – there are still a lot of good people about. There’s hope for us yet…!

    Kae – I still maintain that TV is more of a curse to society than a benefit. I rarely watch it myself these days [or nights]. And if I go out I bring the 12-bore and a 15″ carving knife. 😉

  4. I wholeheartedly agree, my handle is a reflection of the consumer dystopia in which I exist. Adam Curtis is responsible for a number of excellent documentaries, one of which is “The Century of the Self” that talks about the rise of consumerism and some of the instigators of our modern way of living/thinking (?). One of the points made is that everything that we are sold or attempts to sell to us are targeted at our base instincts in order to bypass our higher brain functions. Everything bombarding us in the media is designed to feed the inner beast and kids are bound to get affected before they develop any filters to moderate it.

    One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two “wolves” inside us all

    One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

    The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

    The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”

    The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

  5. Thrifty – That is very profound, and I love it. It should be hung on all walls instead of those damned ‘motivation’ posters.

  6. I have been pondering the same subject grandad. Its all very sad…and to a large extent it is horrifying.

    Reality tv has also brought people to lows I never thought possible. One only has to view a very minutes of the Big Brother 9 live feeds to understand what I mean.

    I cancelled my subscription, because it was the only way that I felt I could make my point. Unfortunately..americans love that stuff, and it will be around as long as there is a demand for it. It is truly disgusting.

  7. I really don’t get the Heather Mills thing at all. I completely understand if one half of a couple gave up a career to to look after a home and children. They need to get their part of the investment. But Mills didn’t lose a thing. If anything, her career gained from the limelight during the marriage. I honestly don’t understand why she should get a penny.


  8. Laure – I cannot watch any of those shows that invite people to make fools of themselves, be it Big Brother or any of the other “stars in their eyes” type shows. They are not only promoting a “celebrity” culture that doesn’t exist, but they are ripping the public off with their phone-in votes.

    John B – It reminds me of the old Mr Merton question [paraphrased]..

    Tell me now, Ms Mills. What attracted you to Mr McCartney, apart from his billions and being world famous?

  9. We did a quick poll of our class yesterday to see how many kids had mobile phones: from where I was sitting, it looked like all of them, although apparently one or two hands stayed down. What on earth does a ten year old need a mobile phone for? What’s more, they’ve all laughed at mine when they’ve seen it in the past. By modern standards, it’s pretty old, but it still does more than I need it to (like takes pictures). Apparently I should have upgraded by now. Because clearly a perfectly good, functional telephone is no good these days. It needs to have slidey bits and mp3 players and metallic pink casing. My kids admit they don’t actually use their phones for phoning people all that much. ‘Everyone just has them, innit Miss?’

  10. Not that I’m a promoter of marriage and all that it entails ……………….. but

    did McCartney and Mills not exchange vows …. in an overly over the top Irish castle and somewhere in the middle of all those vows were words to the effect that they’d share and share alike?

    It didn’t work out …. she should have got 50% of his worth …. I’m not arguing the rights and wrongs of the percentage …. only that marriage is promoted as an equal partnership …. they were both adults when they signed up for it … there was no prenup …. so 50% sounds right to me.

    (I’m not a fan of either party …. perish the thought)

    An aside observation …. the more people have (monetarily) these these the more into right fecking eejits they turn into …. and Mills and McCartney are just two more of those feckin’ eejits!

    Done for today Grandad! 🙂

  11. Paddy – If I knew the answer to that, I’d be a divorce lawyer and not a time waster. I think the biggest eejit is McCartney for going into the whole business without some kind of agreement. With his kind of finances, I would have thought it essential.

  12. I love your post, Grandad! I’ve been battling with my fellow Americans over many of the issues you wrote about for years. Have any of you heard of this show called ‘The Moment of Truth’? You should read up on it and avoid it like the plague. It is the worst TV show on air.

  13. TT – It can only get better. Or can it?

    Danny – Thanks, and welcome!! I saw an extract from that show on YouTube where a woman destroyed her marriage by admitting to an affair – all for the sake of a few thousand dollars that she didn’t win anyway. It was the most pathetic thing I have ever seen. People are literally destroying themselves and others for the sake of a damned game show.

    Television has sunk to the lowest depths, and it is still sinking.

  14. Grandad,

    Do you fancy preaching some Sunday?

    (Most of my lot don’t listen to a thing I say, mostly because most of them only come to church at Christmas)

    There’s no-one to say anything. The Catholic Church is so compromised by the scandals that people just say, “Who do they think they are?” and the politicians are so mired in tribunals that no-one listens to them.

  15. Ian – You jest! Talk about the blind leading the blind? That would be the blind leading the sighted!

    I can just imagine what it would do for your congregation..

    Unless of course, you want to lose your ministry?

  16. Great post Grandad, I’ll be sending the link to my kids so they can have a little read. Also…the quote noted by ‘Thriftcriminal’ was bang-on!

  17. I’ve totally resisted consumerism with my kids and it seems to have worked. Much as Drummerboy would love a new car and a PS3 we’re still a single TV family and have minimum gadgets and luxuries. We do alright and it gives us an appreciation of the simple things. Not all kids are boozy bingers but it is a problem that hits the news (I use the term loosely).

    Thrifty, you’re a wise old bog walker!

  18. J A – My apologies – I missed you! I completely agree about mobile phones. Am I correct in saying Ireland has the highest number per capita? We have two mobiles in the house. One is around nine years old and the other isn’t much newer. Both do exactly what we want them to do – make phone calls. I have a camera in mine. I have never used it. [I have a camera for that] Why would I need to change????

    Ian – If that was was the judge said, can you imagine what he thought? Don’t worry about her friends. She will have plenty after that award?

    Maureen – I’m flattered. It’s not particularly well written as I wrote it off the cuff. That’s the way I tend to blog. And Thrifty’s quote is brilliant.

  19. Baino – Of course you do all right. None of these is necessary [except maybe for a car]. God, but I sound so old!!!!

  20. I really liked your post (and thrifty’s quote). When people talk about society today it reminds of a couple of lines from a Kavanagh poem that I did in Leaving Cert, many years ago.

    ‘We have tested and tasted too much, lover- Through a chink too wide there comes in no wonder’.

    It’s like we are unable to defer gratification. Does anyone actually save up for something that they really want anymore?

  21. I so agree with you and wrote about it myself for an article, G. I am currently living in the house of a couple who have gone to their ‘sun’ home for the winter.
    Thus I am surrounded by their luxurious items, very few of which I have myself.
    Most enlightening not to be attached to any of the gizmos that are littered everywhere here, down to the jaccuzzi in the bathroom (still haven’t figured out why others so desire these things!).
    I remember nights in the pubs in Cork where you wouldn’t dare be caught out without your party -piece, it was all about literally having the few pints and singing and reciting and story telling and walking home happy but sober.
    We’ve lost touch with so much!
    God be with the days.

  22. Crazy times indeed. This is why I don’t watch the news either, I prefer to live in a bubble,lol

  23. If you ever need proof that consumerism, and the desire to sell us any old shite at any cost has gone totally off the frickin’ charts, just look at shampoo ads.


    My hair has always been the same. And so has yours. ProV my hole. Radiance enhancers, vitamin enriched, shine capacitors…

    Piss off the lot of you. Come back Yellow Pack. All is forgiven.

  24. There is a culture of dissatisfaction, you say. The more we have the more we want. Wasn’t Ernest Schumacher’s book ‘Small is Beautiful’ prophetic? It’s a me me me generation, with shared cultural ideals, moral values, community solidarity all going out the window. Whinge journalism feeds the rampant egocentricity – phoning Joe Duffy’s radio programme to complain about urinations in public laneways being a prime example.

    News addiction is a problem. In USA people calling themselves News Resisters have severely curtailed their reading of newspapers and viewing of tv newscasts. They read books of poetry, collect postage stamps, practise arabic or chinese calligraphy, or listen to soothing music instead.

  25. I heard on the news that when the judgement was read in court Heather Mills became hopping mad!

  26. Hey Grandad,

    Don’t watch the news, the media never focuses on what’s good with the world, doesn’t pay the bills you know. And there’s a lot more good going on than what the media reports. Besides, watching the news tends to cause a rash.

    Despite being a cynical old(er) bast**d who’s seen too much life for his age, people in general are a fairly decent lot who do their best to do their best on a daily basis. Of course you don’t hear about that in the news.

    This comment was going to be a bit longer but I’ve just been called to supper.

    See ya’.

  27. I seem to have struck a cord? I actually hadn’t planned to write this piece [not that I plan any of them].. It was just a doodle in an idle moment.

    I think I should do more doodling?

  28. If you ‘doodlebug’ then your thoughtful musings on life and society will land on assorted targets and explode the general complacency!

  29. Grandad, I couldn’t agree with you more. Though to be fair, there are probably plenty of sensible young people we don’t notice, and plenty of potentially sensible young people who get caught up in the wildness despite their best intentions.

  30. I wonder if and when a custody battle ensues that her sanity will not be called into question. And is she the kind of role-model we should have for women or motherhood. The bottom line seems to now be, get married, have a child and then claim back pay(not just maintenance) when the marriage doesn’t work out. Please no.

  31. I actually sat down last night and read the entire judgement [that was no mean feat!]. It is full of little beauties..
    She wanted £30,000 a year for equestrian activities [she doesn’t ride]
    She wanted £39,000 a year for wine [she doesn’t drink alcohol]
    She wanted £500,000 a year for holidays!!!

    She is some dame.

    As for the doodlebugs…. I’ll drop the odd one from time to time.

  32. The only reason we live in a culture full of celebrity and consumer, is because that is what the media, and those who live there lives by it, tell us…

    Just ignore them, live the life you want to not the life they want you too.


  33. Grandad, I’m a mere 48, and I remember MY grandad muttering about “kids these days” and how the world’s going to hell in a handbasket.

    He’d have a fit if he could see it all now, because.. you’re right.

  34. My mother seems to be under the impression that Heather Mills is the new Princess Diana. No idea why, but there you go.

  35. Welcome, Margaret. Maybe Ms Mills plans on marrying Prince Charles for a couple of years?

Hosted by Curratech Blog Hosting