We have those moments in our life where everything changes, we reach breaking point and realise we still have time. We can make those changes that pull us from the cul-de-sac of life and we get back on that roundabout because if we don’t, we along with our souls will die in that hopeless cul-de-sac. For some it’s too late and for some the cul-de-sac is all they’ve known, all they’ve been told about but I’m not old.. yet, I still have time before I volunteer my body to it.
Hope is found in the most surprising of places, A TV show that conveys a few resonating words, a book found whilst walking down the street or the “free” one from the doctors waiting room, a random conversation with stranger.
For those of us that look into ourselves for answers, we see messages presented to us in various forms and reflect upon them, providing the hopeful respite we need from the shadows in our mind.
“Well, we’re on the eve of the day of celebration of England’s ‘Patron Saint’ and the bullshit is flowing thick and fast on Facebook and twitter etc. So I thought I’d put my ten-penneth in and add a few facts.St George Can Kiss My English Arse!
We’re living in the 21st century, the power of church over state has been in delightful and rapidly-accelerating decline for the best part of 300 years and our access to education and information has never been so readily available.
For me this begs the question; why the hell is England still dragging around the pathetically archaic and long redundant figure of Saint George as its symbolic ‘Patron’? Why, as a nation, are we not embarrassed and upset that the story of the official patron of our country is based on bullshit and propaganda?
Does St George really hold any relevance in the contemporary society of the England we all know and love?
For those of you who know nothing of St George, other than the bullshit fairy-tale of him slaying a Dragon (invariably depicted as doing so in the full plate armour of the middle ages) to save a beautiful princess in the hope of ‘slipping her the pig’ by way of reward; here are a few of the generally accepted historical details appertaining to the man himself.
Saint George was born somewhere in the region of Cappadocia in what is now Turkey sometime around the year 280 AD. He enlisted in the Roman army when he was 17 during the reign of the emperor Diocletian.
After 20 or so years of butchering and oppressing all sorts of people for ‘the glory of Rome’ he found himself in Palestine under the command of the emperors right-hand-man Galerius who was in the process of giving the Christians a right good thrashing.
At some point during his travels around the Far East, George had become a Christian and soon fell out with Galerius over what he saw as the cruel persecution of his fellow followers of the great Sky Hippy. Consequently Galerius had George’s head chopped off on April 23rd in the year 303 AD at Lydda in Palestine.
It is generally accepted that George never so much as visited Britain at any point during his life. He lived about 1,000 years too early for the use of the plate armour he is so often depicted wearing and it is a fairly safe assumption that he never actually killed a dragon, due to them not actually existing. (Though had he actually lived in England, this could readily be accepted as a euphemism for killing his wife.)
Despite the total lack of any tangible link with Britain, George was adopted as the patron Saint of England in 1415 AD; following the sound thrashing that Henry V gave the French at the battle of Agincourt.
The red cross on a white background that had been the emblem of the mercenaries and robber knights under King Richard the 1st in the crusades more than 200 years before was adopted as the emblem of St George.
(So, not as I read in some badly researched bullshit on Facebook yesterday, “Richard the ‘Lionheart’ adopted the cross of St George for the crusades”, which is why you should never rely on Wikipedia for historical research).
Just to add to the incongruity of St George as the Patron Saint of England it is worth remembering that Henry V was a Welshman (born in Monmouth Castle) descended from the French House of Plantagenet (rulers of the Anjou region of France).
So basically the current Patron of our fair land was actually a Turkish mercenary of dubious repute, canonised by a corrupt and oppressive religion and chosen for England by a king born in Wales who’s family were all French.
So, bearing all of this in mind, I ask the question once again. “Why is St George still the official symbolic patron of England?”
It makes no sense to me at all!
Isn’t it time we dragged our national identity out of the superstition-riddled middle ages?
Isn’t it time we adopted a patron who has some relevance in our current society and preferably one who has tangible links to England?
It’s not like we’re stuck for other options is it? English history is amongst the richest in the world and it is positively awash with real historical characters who made real contributions to the development of our country.
Sir Isaac Newton (born in Lincolnshire) was one of the greatest mathematicians and physicists in history and his scientific experimentation and mathematical theories changed the way we perceive the world and indeed the universe.
Charles Dickens (born in Portsmouth) is accepted as one of the world’s greatest authors. The social commentary in many of his works revealed the desperate plight of England’s poorest people to the better off in society, which in turn influenced many social reforms.
Emmeline Pankhurst (born in Manchester) stepped out of a comfortable existence and put herself in the firing line to fight for the right for women to have a vote in Britain. Without her, half of the people in the western world may still not have the right to vote.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel (born in Portsmouth) was one of England’s greatest engineers who epitomises the ingenuity and pragmatism that has been instrumental in making Great Britain such an influential nation on the world stage.
These, and countless more English men and women have done things that have changed the world for the better.
As I see it, Saint George’s only contribution to the world was to play a very tenuous part in the Roman Catholic Church becoming one of the most oppressive and ruthless forces on earth for the best part of a thousand years.
Of all the names that spring to mind as prospective patrons for our beautiful country the one that makes most sense to me would have to be Charles Darwin.
Darwin not only changed the way we think in England, he changed the way people think throughout most of the world. His theory of evolution has not only been instrumental in loosening the stranglehold of many tyrannical religions on the world, it has also led directly to a sea-change in the way that most people see the world and their place in it.
And as a lover of irony I can also see much joy in replacing the patron so beloved of so many right-wing racist groups in Britain with the man whose theories on evolution strongly suggest that the dull-witted mouth-breathing fuckwit members of groups like the EDL, Britain First, and the BNP; are somewhat lower on the evolutionary scale than a Retarded Kipper.
Saint George can kiss my arse; let’s have an English hero, chosen by the English people. And I nominate Charles Darwin as the new patron of England!”
“I have a deeply hidden and inarticulate desire for something beyond the daily life.”
I am unsure of how we are supposed to live but I know this isn’t it. There must be something more than this meandering misery. On the other hand life cannot be lived in complete happiness, to do so would be to live in madness. A life of torment and torture hidden behind a false mask of joy. Life is meant to be lived in the moments and it’s those moments that matter, the little things.
Their are always the little things, even in the darkest of moments, the distant shining light amidst the pain and suffering, the little things shine through. A cup of tea from a friend, a simple and much needed distraction, an unexpected and meaningful gift or those moment of pure clarity and beauty, when the world stops just for you and that moment belongs solely to you and the world.
It’s the 21st fucking century, why is poverty still such an issue? People’s lives at the behest of Governments, waiting to be given money for their right to exist. “Their is a two week waiting period for new claimants before you can receive any money, now get back to your water and oats you fucking peasant! Thank you for your call. Have a nice day.” It’s the same tiresome story that has repeated itself throughout history, “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” Yes we know! It’s very fucking evident! Stop saying it so matter of factly and fucking do something about it.
The World cannot go on like this, the divide will increase and disease, dystopia and war will follow.
We’re trapped in the belly of this horrible machine
And the machine is bleeding to death
The Dead Flag Blues – Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Physical pain is the bodies plea for help, that something is wrong and needs fixing. So in the same respect depression is a plea from somewhere deeper, somewhere inexplicable and invisible, an existential plea for purpose and meaning, a voice in your head that speaks from the very depths of your being, “I can’t go on like this, something is very, very wrong.”
For me personally I have felt this underlying fundamental wrongness ever since I because a teenager and developed new world views, finally seeing the bigger picture and very strongly empathising with The World and it’s pain. I believe that this empathy is the cause of all of my journeys with depression, existential crises, movements into oblivion and flirtations with death. The world is vile and horrible place, organised and structured by people without care, heart and soul which hurts, hurts to feel it’s suffering and hurts to see how people are blind to and ignore it.
No amount of therapy can fix a depression of this nature. The only way I, and many others like me, will be cured of this everlasting empathic ailment is if we begin the very lengthy process of fixing and healing our broken home. It is the duty of the creatives, dreamers and thinkers to pull ourselves out of the darkness and find that inner spark to help the world before it is smothered by the murky dark waters of the dictators, politicians and bureaucrats.
“I agree with most of your opinions and it would be a great injustice for you to change your beliefs and the way you think just so you can get by in the world.”
– My therapist
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: A lot has changed in the past three hundred years. People are no longer obsessed with the accumulation of things. We’ve eliminated hunger, want, the need for possessions. We’ve grown out of our infancy.
Ralph Offenhouse: You’ve got it all wrong. It has never been about possessions. It’s about power.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Power to do what?
Ralph Offenhouse: To control your life, your destiny.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: That kind of control is an illusion.
Now, I don’t intend my writings to be political in nature but this is something that I care about deeply and the world we reside on, that we as a species are killing, needs saving. This isn’t going to change until people and their philosophical outlook evolves, which brings me to something that has been at the forefront of my thought for sometime now.
I hated school, most of what I learnt was pointless, it had no bearing on the real world and well, it never interested or stimulated me, intellectually or creatively. I was always the one staring wistfully out of the window pondering greater things then being told off for thinking critically and using my imagination, only to be brought back to reality to find the value of x, wondering what it’s relevance is and why everyone is so keen to find out. 15 years have past and I still don’t know. The current system doesn’t cater to individuals needs and interests, in most cases it stunts their creativity, interest in learning and turns us into a cog in the machine, a slave to international prosperity and economic growth.
The key to change, I believe, starts with the education system and if a new system was put in place that focussed on individuals, the type of person they are, their interests and outlook, strengths and weaknesses, then you would have people growing up knowing more about themselves, what they want and what they’re passionate about. In my opinion this would change the whole philosophy of generations to come, they’re drive wouldn’t be for money or material things but it would be in the pursuit and betterment of themselves and their world, hopefully leading to a world in which we all want to live in and maybe, eventually, we too will grow out of our infancy.