Going Backwards

       Daddy, is it true what Sir Winstons been saying?

He´s upset me a little because I believed I lived in a wonderful kingdom with lots of great opportunities and great things happening.

       What´s he been saying to you then Mr Midnight? Perhaps he´s telling tall stories.

       I honestly didn´t want to upset you Mr Midnight. I was only stating what I had discovered the other day.

       Can you stop beating about the bush Sir Winston and inform us of what you´ve discovered?

       I found one of those shiny metal things lying on the living room table and next to it that booklet thing had fallen onto the floor and  had come to rest upturned displaying lots of words.

       You mean your curiosity go the better of you and you pulled the thing accidently onto the floor.

       Well it was only a CD so it doesn´t really matter.

What were the words or lyrics about Sir Winston.

       Well I was a bit baffled at first because just like Mr Midnight, I also assumed with live in a beautiful world. I love my little patch of the planet.

       Get to the point Sir Winston!

       The booklet was from that new album from daddy´s favourite band – Depeche Mode.

The album is called “Spirit” and I read the lyrics from the first song on the album.

Here they are:-

GOING BACKWARDS

We are not there yet
We have not evolved
We have no respect
We have lost control
We’re going backwards
Ignoring the realities
Going backwards
Are you counting all the casualties?
We are not there yet
Where we need to be
We are still in debt
To our insanities
We’re going backwards
Turning back our history
Going backwards
Piling on the misery
We can track it all with satellites
See it all in plain sight
Watch men die in real time
But we have nothing inside
We feel nothing inside
We are not there yet
We have lost our soul
The course has been set
We’re digging our own hole
We’re going backwards
Armed with new technology
Going backwards
To a caveman mentality
We can emulate on consoles
Killings we can control
With senses that have been dulled
Because there’s nothing inside
We
       I can see why you made Mr Midnight sad.  The whole album is written in this manner which personally, I find quite good because sadly, we human beings often choose to ignore our surroundings.
I´m glad to see that some people are switched on.
You see, we humans know an awful lot about how our planet works but hardly any of us wish to take responsibility to rectify our path. We seem to believe that somebody else other than ourselves is going to make things better.
       Then you humans are just as naive as us cats believing we live in a wonderful kingdom.
Although our little world appears to be perferct, in reality, it is actually falling to pieces.
       Some of you are trying to mend things though aren´t you daddy?
       There are some, yes, but the majority (myself sometimes included!) often wish to ignore our reality.
Human beings will often conveniently ignore reality until something disastrous happens and then when things have quietened down again we will often carry on as though nothing has happened.
The lyrics above really do hit the nail on the head.
       Well I´m not going to stop believing in you human beings. I´m sure one day you´re all going to get it right.
       And I´ll second that opinion Mr Midnight!
(C) Copyright MAGS 2017
Lyrics  “Going Backwards”  (C) Martin L. Gore 2017

 

Intolerance, authoritarianism and nationalism

It was a wet sunday afternoon and Mr Midnight, Sir Winston and myself had decided to go upstairs into the study to make a comfortable afternoon. I made a fresh cup of my favourite darjeeling (Steinthal First flush) and then went upstairs with my two lads close behind. After a while, our topic of conversation turned to a topic which was becoming more and more prominent every day in the world news.

Here is a jist of our conversation:-

       I don´t understand it all. So much victimhood and dissatisfaction uncontrollably seems to spread around the “modern” world like a mad virus.

       I think that´s partly due to the new craze of the times.  That crazy thing called Nationalism.

       There´s lots of information here in these books daddy about your human thing called Nationalism.

I think Nationalism is an evil.

It causes wars, its roots lie in xenophobia and racism, it is a recent phenomenon – an invention of the last few centuries – which has been of immense service to demagogues and tyrants but to no one else.

       Quite true Sir Winston. Disguised as patriotism and love of one´s country, it trades on the unreason of mass psychology to make a variety of horrors seem acceptable, even honourable.

       I see what you  mean daddy.  Here´s an example:  if someone said to you, “I am going to send your son to kill the boy next door”, you would quite rightly hotly protest. But let him seduce you with  “Queen and Country!”, “The Fatherland!”, “My Country right or wrong!” and you will find yourself permitting him to send all our sons to kill not just the sons of other people, but other people indiscrimanately – which is what your bombs and bullets do.

It´s a mad, mad world out there!

       Look daddy in this book. That not very nice gentleman, Mr Hitler, once said, “The effectiveness of the truly national leader consists in preventing his people from dividing their attention, and keeping it fixed on a common enemy”.

       That man was truly off his rocker wasn´t he. How ill can one get.

       Here´s a quote from Goethe who once remarked that nationalistic feelings “are at their strongest and most violent where there is the lowest degree of culture”.

       That Mr Goethe was a smart fellow wasn´t he.

       But he also proves that nationalistic tendencies are not only a sign of our present times because he died quite a few years ago.

       Nationalists take certain unexceptionable desires and muddle them with unacceptable ones.  We individually wish to run our own affairs; that is unexceptionable.  Most of us value the culture which shaped our development and gave us our sense of personal and group identity; that too is unexceptionable. But the nationalist persuades us that the existence of other groups and cultures somehow puts these things at risk, and that the only way to protect them is to see ourselves as members of a distinct collective, defined by ethnicity, geography, or sameness of language or religion, and to build a wall around ourselves to keep out “foreigners”.

It is not enough that the others are other; we have to see them as a threat –  at the very least to “our way of life”, perhaps to our jobs, even to our daughters.

       Your human idea of nationalism suggests that of a “nation”. The word is meaningless: all “nations” are mongrel, a mixture of so many immigrations and mixings of people over time that the very idea of ethnicity is largely comical, except in places where the boast has to be either that the community there remained so remote or disengaged, or so conquered, for the greater part of history, that it succeeded in keeping its gene pool “pure” ( a cynic might say “inbred”).

       I do hope you humans get your act together because we all, even little pussy cats, have the same basic wishes in life; namely to live in peace and be loved.

       I´m going down stairs now to get another cuppa. All this stuff about nationalism on a Sunday afternoon has dried my mouth out.

       I couldn´t agree with you more daddy. Our topic this time round is very dull and dry. I think  I will join you and have a large bowl of milk.

       I´m all up for that, but before we go, allow me to quote some wise words from a Mr George Bernard Shaw.

He said; “Patriotism is, fundamentally, a conviction that a particular country is the best in the world because you were born in it….”

His words certainly make me think!

 

(C) Copyright MAGS 2017

* This article was based on an extract from the book “The Meaning of Things” by A C Grayling.

Freedom to roam

MM-Avatar       What was all that hullabuloo last night Sir Winston?

You were making a right racket.  When I came out to investigate what you were up to there was no sign of you.

SW-Avatar       I had some business to attend to.

I couldn´t help the noise because I was acting with my natural instincts.

MM-Avatar       But there were more of you than just yourself. One couldn´t help over hear all the hissing and fighting.

SW-Avatar       Precisely.

There were two of us.  That great big cat from up the road decided to pass through my territory and my natural instincts got the better of me.

MM-Avatar       I know it´s unusual for a cat but I´m not really too bothered about who comes and goes through our neighbourhood.  The green kingdom is for everyone Sir Winston.

From what I´ve heard, freedom to roam is also a big human issue at the moment. Lots of humans are frightened they are going to be taken over by other “foreign” individuals. It seems to be the sign-of-the-times.

SW-Avatar       I just can´t help squabbling Mr Midnight.  Everytime another pussycat sneaks through my territory I feel I have to protect my kingdom in some way. I know it´s daft but my natural instincts will not leave me alone in such circumstances.

I suppose it has something to do with the fact that I need to be free.

MM-Avatar       Freedom is certainly worth fighting for and indeed, when we have freedom in our lives we often so easily forget how our freedom came to be.

Freedom is definetly worth fighting for – but everynight Sir Winston?

Don´t you get tired of all that fighting?  I cherish the fact that I am free but fighting is too stressy for me and doesn´t fit to my cool image.

SW-Avatar       I´m trying to get a hold of myself. Just give me some time and I`m sure I´ll sort out my habit.

I believe Human beings in the Western world believe that they live in freedom but when one examines the sad traits of their governments; all the spying Governments do behind their citizens backs and all the rules, regulations and vicious propaganda attached to modern society, one could easily see a different picture.

Democracy seems to have taken a turn for the worse and populism and authoritarianism are also making their way around the globe.

That is why freedom must never become taken for granted.

MM-Avatar       A Mr Thomas Jefferson once said that “Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom”.

How true his words ring in the 21st Century.

SW-Avatar       Here is a quote from a favourite past person of mine;  Mr Edmund Burke.

He once said, “A state without the means of some change is without the means of its conservation”.

He also said “the greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse” and “you can never plan the future by the past”.

My favourite quote from this gentleman is; “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”.

MM-Avatar       A lot of our so-called human world “leaders” could learn a thing or two from that gentleman.  It´s a shame he died so many years ago.

Oh well, we´ll just have to make the best of things I suppose.

SW-Avatar       And I promise I will try and stop my antics everytime a foreign cat steps into our vicinity.

Freedom must often be fought for but I´ll try and respect anothers freedom.

Copyright MAGS 2017

 

Taking your own path in life.

MM-Avatar       Look at this funny photo I found on daddy´s computer. I haven´t a clue as to what the poor fellow is up to.

cat1

SW-Avatar       He looks really spaced out but also kind of cute.   I don´t know what a rollercoaster is so I´ll find out what daddy says.

author-Avatar       A rollercoaster is a fair ground attraction which propels people up and down along a railway track.

MM-Avatar       But why do people need to go up and down daddy?

From my observations you people are often up and down and without having to use a  railway track.

author-Avatar       Although not my cup of tea, rollercoasters are supposed  to be a lot of fun. They travel up and down at great speed, often looping the loop and going round tight bends, making people scream their heads off at the same time.

MM-Avatar       I don´t wish to be rude but I thought human beings were loopy enough without having to go round the bend as well.  A rollercoaster seems to be a strange contraption.

SW-Avatar       As oppose to us cats, a human  life seems to always be full of ups and downs. It´s no wonder some of you wish to emphasise this fact by building your rollercoaster thingeymybobs.

MM-Avatar       Look here; cop your eyes on this photo.

cat2

This pussy cat´s doing exactly what a normal cat should be doing. It´s enjoying life on the level – without ups and downs.  A cats life is always on the upside of life and usually a cat will stick to enjoying life on the “ups” of life.  That´s why we are cats.

Life is to be enjoyed and its what one makes out of life that matters.  We create our own lives and most of us would sooner stick to living life to the full  without all those “downs of life” if you don´t mind.

SW-Avatar       I think “Monorail cat” looks quite funny.

author-Avatar       And if you two would kindly observe, your funny “monorail cat” also needs a track, albeit a flat track, with which to have fun.  The rollercoaster track goes up and down and Mr Monorail here decides to travel on the level.

MM-Avatar       I didn´t say one shouldn´t have a path (or track) in life. We all need to know where we are heading. You humans seem to enjoy adventure, with a little pain tied in getting to wherever you´re going, but we cats prefurr to travel through life at a much more sedate pace.

The path in life is the same direction for all but the journey is not necessarily the same.

SW-Avatar       Whatever path we decide to take in life it will always be the correct one, whatever the outcome.

author-Avatar       And I believe that if we all took the same path life wouldn´t be life without all those “ups and downs”.

It is what we make out of our discoveries and experiences which count.

(C) Copyright MAGS 2016

 

 

 

How to stop complaining, grumbling and moaning.

Mr Midnight had started  wearing a purple latex band around one of his legs and he was now proudly parading around the garden so that Sir Winston could see it.

SW-Avatar       What have you got tied to your leg Mr Midnight? It looks quite funny.

MM-Avatar       It´s a new therapy I´m practicing.

As you already know, I`m not too keen on bands around cats necks and things like that, even though they sometimes have little bells attached to them, but I wanted to start this therapy thing I read about.

SW-Avatar       But why the colourful band?

Does it help your blood pressure or something?

MM-Avatar       In a way, I suppose it does help my blood pressure Sir W.

You´re aware that I have a tendency to moan about things a lot, especially what the humans manage to do to our planet, and so the band helps me to cool down a little.

SW-Avatar       I`m not quite with you Mr Midnight.

Can you explain yourself a little better?

MM-Avatar       The other day I was lolling about, killing 8 or 10 hours before daddy usually makes the evening meal, when I happened to notice a book by daddy´s bedside.  I didn´t have much else to do so before I had another little nap I thought I would try and read a few words of it.

SW-Avatar       I´m not quite sure you should have been in daddy´s bedroom Mr Midnight. You know what a fuddy duddy he is about us cats going into his sleeping quarters.

MM-Avatar       Well if you don´t tell him I won´t.

SW-Avatar       Won´t he think it odd that you´re wearing a band around your leg, especially if its been quoted in his book?

MM-Avatar       I´ll cross that bridge when I get to it.  Anyway, don´t you want to know what the book is all about?

SW-Avatar       Oh yes, please do go on.

MM-Avatar       The book is called “A Complaint Free World” from a Mr Will Bowen and is about how to stop complaining and to live the life you always wanted.

Basically, it´s a 21 day challenge and you know how much I love challenges.

SW-Avatar       Too right Mr M.

MM-Avatar       It´s all about creating a positive lifestyle.

Moaning and complaining about things attracts negative energy and negative energy blocks the body, even attracting and reinforcing our negativity which in the long run, often creates all sorts of illness.

Although most of us are not aware, we all complain quite a lot – even us cats!

So according to the book,  everytime I moan, complain, nag or groan I have to swap my leg band onto the other leg with the goal of not swapping the band for 21 days!

Everytime I swap the band it makes me aware that I´m complaining again.

Obviously, human beings swap their band from wrist to wrist.

Because these strap things are not really made for cats I have to cheat a little sometimes. I hope Mr Bowen is alright with that. If I moan or complain about something then I catch myself moaning and will therefore moan a second time so that I may keep my band on the same leg! I think the main idea is that I´m conscious of the fact I´m moaning.

SW-Avatar       So if we can get rid of our complaining then we help our bodies to detox from negativity in which to become happy again.  It sounds like a great idea and a lot of fun is involved.

MM-Avatar       Here´s the website incase any of you out there happens to be interested:-

www.acomplaintfreeworld.org/

or

http://www.willbowen.com  (As I´ve already said, he´s the chappie who set the whole thing in motion).

SW-Avatar       It looks like I´ve got to go and get one of those bands. They are a pretty colour aren´t they.

It´s up to you folks. Do you want to live a happy life or not?

If you ask me, you´ve nothing to lose.

All our love from Mr Midnight and Sir Winston.

 

(C) Copyright MAGS 2016

 

Losing control

??????????       I´m glad that I´m a cat this time round daddy and not a human being.

author-Avatar       And why is that Mr Midnight?  Can you remember a disturbing event from one of your past lives or something?

MM-Avatar       Not really. I sometimes have strange flashbacks burning my brain but that could also have something to do with the fact that I haven´t drank enough fluids.

I don´t need to travel back to one of my past lives to be thankful that I´m a cat.

You human beings always remind me how good I´ve got it.

SW-Avatar       And I can vouch for Mr Midnight daddy.

The two of us are very thankful.

author-Avatar       I´m still none the wiser as to why you prefer to be cats than a human being.

??????????       That´s easy to answer daddy.

We cats lead relaxing lives AND we “think” for ourselves.  We´re not fond of being told what to do.

author-Avatar       You can say that again.  I´ve already noticed, still you wouldn´t be cats would you if you always did what we human beings wanted you to do.

MM-Avatar SW-Avatar       Too right!

SW-Avatar       I tried to flick through that science magazine you had lying around the other day but I didn´t get far reading it.  My paws kept slipping on the shiny paper and I didn´t want to puncture a hole through the middle of it in case you would be annoyed.

Still, I did manage to read a caption from a US biologist; Gerald Crabtree was his name, where he had proved that you human beings have apparently,  lost a little bit of your intelligence to solving simple problems.  Your brains need a little longer (50 milliseconds) to digest and process information as oppose to times past.

MM-Avatar        You poor humans seem to be slowly “losing it” as this Crabtree fellow seems to have pointed out.

Without being too rude, I´ve noticed this fact for quite a long time – and without having to do any experiments like Mr Crabtree had to.

That´s why I´m glad I´m a cat. My brain is still super efficient and my instincts are all intact.

author-Avatar       What do you mean you´ve noticed  we´ve been “losing it” for quite a long time?

MM-Avatar       Observation tactics daddy. Simple, old fashioned, cat observation.

SW-Avatar       It´s your devices daddy. You humans do not need to use your brains as much as you used to do because most things are being taken care of by your electronic devices.

Your smelly, moving machines now drive on their own and park themselves automatically. You can navigate your way around with your gadgetry instead of having to think where you are.  In fact, from what I´ve heard, modern humans are literally glued to their devices 24 hours a day.

author-Avatar       I know we over use our electronical equipment a lot but we´re not using them 24 hours a day Sir Winston.

MM-Avatar       But doesn´t it frighten you all.  I mean, not being in control of my life would scare the pants (if I had any) off me.

You have to wade through a  flood of information everyday and I suspect that most of it is useless garbage. Gadgetry seems to be so time consuming.

SW-Avatar       And you´re never free. I thought freedom was so important for modern humans.  You´ve always got your mobiles switched on.  I´m glad I´m a cat and don´t have to carry one of those things around with me all the time.

MM-Avatar       And what about your politicians.  They´ve got an easy time with you all because very few humans seem to be able to “think for themselves” these days.  Most human beings appear to blindly believe the propaganda which is served to them.

author-Avatar       We do seem to have the habit of conveniently switching our brains off. Perhaps you´re right and it does have soemthing to do with the fact that we have become too reliable upon our machines.  We seem to have become disconnected with reality and our environment.

SW-Avatar       Or modern humans have forgotten (thank goodness?) what its like to live difficult lives with REAL problems because most of your seem to have become sick on your prosperity of the last 50 years or so.  It´s such a shame because I thought the human race had something going for it.

MM-Avatar       Please people, don´t lose control of yourselves. I don´t want to appear rude again but please relax a little, put your thinking caps on and attempt to get a REAL LIFE.

The real life is out there and not to be had by addictively consuming your time by using modern gadgetry.

Afterall, how many cats have you seen running about the place with a box and antenna glued to their ears?

We cats worry about you all you know.   🙂

 

Copyright MAGS 2016

The best sofa in the world

The garden was a great place to be for recreational activities at this time of year and Mr Midnight and Sir Winston  had decided to take a break from playing and lolling about and were both now laying next to one another near the shade of the large tree in the corner of the garden.

10410704_944554975568075_5867472152594260223_n       It´s not a bad life we lead is it Mr Midnight.  I´m quite fond of this patch of the garden because it´s just so magical here.

DSCN0678      It´s not magical for me because I don´t like those spikey bits sticking in my bum. I much prefer lying on the path next to you.

It´s quite interesting that we both have diferrent ideas of where our favourite chill-out zones should be.

SW-Avatar       Well this part of the garden´s not bad for relaxing but there is another place much more comfortable than here.

MM-Avatar       And where is that?

SW-Avatar       In the house with daddy.

MM-Avatar       You could be right Sir Winston; there are many places one can wind down after a hard days slog.

I particularly like lying in that old chair in the bay window or if its cold outside, underneath the wash basin on the heated floor of the bathroom.

SW-Avatar       I was thinking of something else.  I was thinking about a soft, warm human sofa.

MM-Avatar       But I thought humans were not really into relaxing and taking care of their bodies properly.

You should see some of their sitting positions when watching that box with moving pictures.

It´s no wonder humans suffer with back pain half the time.

SW-Avatar       The human races addictions to the television set are well known among the animal kingdom but I suspect their back pain doesn´t just come from  sloppy sitting positions but also through their unconcious mental beliefs that they are frequently not supported in life – be it from their family, friends, workplace or society in general.

MM-Avatar       Still, purrrhaps they should adopt better sitting postions.

If you haven´t a clue humans you could try observing us cats every now and again.  We know how to take care of our bodies.   🙂

Now what were you going on about some kind of human sofa?

SW-Avatar       I love sitting on top of daddy.  Daddy is the best sofa in the world!

MM-Avatar       Ah I see what you mean. I must agree, humans are quite good to sit upon.

I especially like to dig my claws in deep when I knead daddy before I settle.

SW-Avatar       I can´t help doing that either, although I do wish I could stop doing it. It must be my instinct calling but daddy doesn´t seem to be too pleased about my actions.

When daddy lays on his sofa I love to stretch my body upon his and feel his warmth and happiness then spreads through my body.

MM-Avatar       I´ve noticed. Sometimes I can´t sleep in the chair next to you because your pur is so very loud.

SW-Avatar       I just love to feel daddy´s appreciation for me. I suppose it´s true love.

MM-Avatar       I know what you mean.  When I lay on him I feel exactly the same.

I must agree, humans make great sofas, especially when we have a sofa like our daddy.  🙂

 

Copyright  MAGS 2016 (C)