25 January 2013


Contents 25 January 2013
Bell Curve: Joselyn Duffy Morton
Escape: Claudia Ward
Anonymous poem
Cover photo: Roger Morton
25 January 2013
After procrastinating on doing a new posting for the blog, I finally got going, wrote an editorial and lost the lot – that’s never happened before. (Maybe it’s because I was whingeing on about what a depressing month January is.)
Obama did get re-elected. Thankfully, or that might have been a tilt too-far. As we all know, he can’t be re-elected again, so surely now - he can just go for it. His inaugural speech made promises in regard to climate change. Good, yet evidently billionaires (who maybe make their billions from products that might pollute the planet) throw money to misrepresent the scientific statistics, to sway the public that it is not caused by anything mankind is doing, or indeed that it is not happening at all. Meanwhile the issue of gun control is an emotive one. Of course, it is also a financial one - the world trade in arms is huge. ‘Thou shalt not kill’ might be part of the Christian doctrine, nevertheless killing still seems to be profitable. I am perfectly happy for guns to be banned, having never ever thought of owning one myself. While they are at it, I think drones should be banned. I think they epitomise evil. Scary horrible shit.
Here in France Monsieur Have-lots Gerard Depardieu sold his 50millʐ Paris flat, got a Russian passport and a little place in Belgium. He didn’t want to pay Francois Hollande’s 75% tax. It’s a tough world. The Homeless and Unemployed continue to increase. Do we teach our children to hate and despise them or feel sorry for them, even feel responsible for them? Moral issues that religions don’t seem to be fronting up to or fretting or fecking about.
Check out endecocide2020. Ecocide is the brainchild of UK International Human Rights lawyer Polly Higgins. Crimes against the planet constitute ecocide – which are criminal offences that CEOs could be jailed for. She presented this to the European Parliament this week. Sign the petition. It means large companies can’t just pay fines and it is all forgotten instead it means  that somebody could go to jail and therefore this might act as a serious deterrent. Can’t hurt – so sign. Think of all those yummy fish ruined by oil slicks and plastic crap.
Good old Oxfam issued a report detailing (almost naming and shaming) the wide gap between the rich and poor. How’s this for wake-up-call information: The group says that the world's richest 1% have seen their income increase by 60 % in the last 20 years, with the latest world financial crisis only serving to hasten, rather than hinder, the process. The world's 100 richest people earned enough money last year to end world extreme poverty four times over. Last year, when we were all feeling the pinch, the $240 billion net income of the world's 100 richest billionaires would have ended poverty four times over.
“We focus on poverty, we work with the poorest people around the world. You don't normally hear us talking about wealth. But it's gotten so out of control between rich and poor that one of the obstacles to solving extreme poverty is now extreme wealth," Ben Phillips, a campaign director at Oxfam.
Talking of rich Apple factories in China are not innocent, it seems. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese workers for Apple’s electronics are subjected to exhausting work conditions and 30 workers often share a 3-bedroom flat. There are also intimidating punishments. It sounds worse than grim. It is time Apple stopped this appalling state of affairs or maybe re-name its company Serpent or Hell-hole.
Am desperately trying to think of a jolly January joke. Slim pickings which is why I rate Claudia Ward’s cartoons so highly – she always makes me smile, if not laugh out loud. So thank god for cartoonists, they are a clever breed. Keep warm, Joselyn Morton


Bell Curve

The bulge of the mediocre masses in the middle,
the clever ones on the left
the non-achiever, disadvantaged  two-digit
figures on the right.
The bell curve curse of the fairy godmother
of the human gene pool
The beautiful curve of the bell that never rings
The ‘if’ of life. The whiff of
inevitability in this academic-driven
sterile image that imprisons populations in their
intelligence-rated slots from which
only a few ever slip out to
make their own bell-like sounds.
Joselyn Duffy Morton©

Escape - Claudia Ward Cartoon

Anonymous poem

When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home
in North Platte , Nebraska , it was believed that he had nothing left of any value.
Later, when the nurses were going through his meager possessions,
they found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the
staff that copies were made and distributed to every
nurse in the hospital. One nurse took her copy to Missouri
The old man's sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in
the Christmas edition of the News Magazine of the St. Louis Association
for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been
made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem.
And this little old man, with nothing left to give to the world,
is now the author of this 'anonymous' poem winging across the Internet..
Crabby Old Man
What do you see nurses? . . . .. . What do you see?
What are you thinking . . . . . When you're looking at me?
A crabby old man . . . . . Not very wise,
Uncertain of habit . . . . . With faraway eyes?

Who dribbles his food . . . . . And makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice . . . . . 'I do wish you'd try!'
Who seems not to notice . . . . . The things that you do.
And forever is losing . . . . . A sock or shoe?

Who, resisting or not . . . . .. Lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding . . . . . The long day to fill?
Is that what you're thinking? . . . . . Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse . . . . . You're not looking at me.

I'll tell you who I am. . . . . . As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, . . . . . As I eat at your will.
I'm a small child of Ten . .. . . . With a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters . . . . . Who love one another.

A young boy of Sixteen . . . . With wings on his feet..
Dreaming that soon now . . . . . A lover he'll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty . . . . . My heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows . . . . .. That I promised to keep.

At Twenty-Five, now . . . . . I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide . . . . . And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty . . . . . My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other . . . . . With ties that should last.

At Forty, my young sons . . . . . Have grown and are gone,
But my woman's beside me . . . . . To see I don't mourn.
At Fifty, once more, babies play 'round my knee,
Again, we know children . . . .. . My loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me . . . . . My wife is now dead.
I look at the future . . . . . Shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing . . . . . Young of their own.
And I think of the years . . . . . And the love that I've known.

I'm now an old man . . . . . And nature is cruel.
Tis jest to make old age . . . .. . Look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles . . . . . Grace and vigor, depart.
There is now a stone . .. . . Where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass . . . . . A young guy still dwells,
And now and again . . . . . My battered heart swells.
I remember the joys . . . . . I remember the pain.
And I'm loving and living . . . .. . Life over again.

I think of the years, all too few . . . . . Gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact . . . . That nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people . . . . . Open and see.
Not a crabby old man . . . Look closer . . . See ME!!

Posted on facebook by London-based artist Liza Hirst

Cover Caption

Snow on our steps
Photo: Roger Morton