Saturday, 25 June 2011


We live in an era where everyone's voice can be heard, with the media, internet and other technological and civil advances available.  No matter how offensive or opinionated, pugnacious or principled they are, we are nearly at the point where everyone has the right to be heard.  Amazingly though, with our increased capacity to speak out, our skill at listening to what is being said and take in the things which are useful has diminished.  We are losing the skill to truly listen to each other.

Instead, we are picking up a far uglier and more dangerous skill.  Hearing what we want to hear.  That is not listening with an open ear and a teachable heart.  That is craving validation.  It is the soulless search for superficial support and it is supremely stupid.  The reason is that nothing changes that way.  The status quo is maintained and usually to the detriment of all.  We seem to think that those who say the profound are the ones who change the world.  We're wrong.  It is those who listen to the profound and apply it that change the world.

Listeners are peace makers.  They listen to the plight of their enemies and build the necessary bridges of peace.

Listeners love people because they understand people.  They also know who not to trust.  Their understanding of human nature comes from careful observation.  They listen rather than pollute the air with the sound of their own voice.

There is a reason that we have started to stray from this skill of listening though.  The listeners tend to pay a price and the talkers and the hearers tend to profit.  They are the heroes.  They do what is right and are ridiculed for it.  They listen to the woes of the weak, get them through it and consequently get left behind.  The others get to be happy and free, as they stand on the shoulders of those who listen.

Sadly, once the listener opens their mouth and says what needs to be said, they are ignored.  You should be able to spot them but you won't until they are gone.  Then you'll come to realise that the listeners were actually the ones who validated you, the ones who changed you, the ones who made you better.  The ones who made you happy.  Just be willing to listen to them too.

Friday, 17 June 2011

The U Turn

We are living in a supposedly free thinking era.  This is the time when we can have any opinion, preferably formulated upon sound reason.  We also preach the right to share our views, maybe to the persuasion of those who we share our point of view with.  It seems perfectly reasonable.  We come together, talk and debate together and subsequently learn from each other.  We can start with one opinion and then change our mind, based on the facts and opinions presented to us.

Unless we're in politics.

You see, to change your mind in politics is to pull the suicidal political move called the U turn.  Which seems ridiculous to me.  We take the time to elect people to represent us and I do mean represent, not representative of us.  These should be the best people who go on to govern us.  They will make decisions that can change our day to day lives.  So I want them to take those decisions on a rational basis and with the resources available, they should be able to do that.

However, what I want more than anything in a leader is someone who can admit that they might be wrong and be willing to try something different.  I want a leader who is willing to change their mind.  Sure, we elect them on the basis of their manifesto, what they initially planned to do.  But what if that turns out to be wrong?

The problem is that such a change of mind has been so stigmatised that no political leader will ever do it.  It consequently makes protesting, writing letters to your MP, in fact, any kind of political involvement by individuals and even groups become pointless.  A leader that is unwilling to listen is just a dictator in democratic clothes.  However, it is the adversarial nature of politics, the sensationalism of the media and the stupidity of the voting public that has created these conditions.

Until we accept that it is not weakness to change your mind but in fact, a humility that is a strength, then our politics will only serve the ego of the winners and the antagonism of the losers.  It will never be the vehicle for change because every vehicle can pull a U turn.  If we want a politics that can bring change, then it needs to be willing to change its mind.  It is a wise politician who is willing to pull a U turn... just not an electable one.  Ironically, not until we make a U turn on our opinion of the U turn.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Blending Film Titles

Once, I posted a Facebook status that invited people to blend two film titles to produce one ridiculous film title.  I got a huge number of responses and some of them were utter genius.  So here is a list of the best ones stated under my Facebook status:-

The Lost Boy Story 2
Man On Mrs Doubtfire
National Lampoon's Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of The Black Swan
Look Who's Taking Pelham 1 2 3
From Dusk 'til Dumbo
‎300 Things I Hate About You
Iron man in the Iron mask
No Country For Old Men In Tights
Baby's Boogie Nights
Ace Ventura Must Die!
The Lion King's Speech
Snow White and the Seven Gangs of New York
Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Boys
Dude, Where's My Gran Turino
Dirty Dancing With Wolves
The Dirty Dozen Dirty Dancing
The Day After Inception
Meet Joe Jackass
P.S I Robot
O Brother, Where Art Tootsie?
An Officer and a GI Jane
Fried Green Tomatoes at Tiffany's
The Good, the Bad and the Mexican
A Streetcar Named Die Hard
Finding Nemo in Sixty Seconds
Kindergarten Anchorman: The Legend of John Kimball
Mona Lisa Almighty
The Rocky Horror Shop of Horrors
Wimbledon - Rise of the Machines
Flight of the Titanic
Twins - The Empire Strikes Back
Monsters vs Peter Pan
Get Him to the Dr Zhivago
Starwars 4 - A New Hook
Battlefield: Over The Hedge
Indiana Jones and the Last of the Mohicans
Harry Potter and the Sleepy Hollow
Bambi Meets The Parents
I Know What You Did Last Summer Little Fockers
Big Fish Called Wanda
Mulan Rouge
Star Shrek
Ocean's Seven Eleven
Best Little Whore House On The Prairie
Bill and Ted's Excellent Fellowship of the Ring