Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Childish things

Marjorie Daw
Johnnie shall have a new master
He shall have but a penny a day
Because he can't work any faster

Coming out of the shower the other day, brooding on this gloomy rhyme, I realised that I have never known who Ms Daw was, or how to spell her name. Is it actually a door of some sort, or just a nonsense filler?

We take on trust that the universe makes some sort of sense. That the things we don't understand still have a meaning, should we choose to dig it out. We learn at a very young age that there is much we don't know. We accept that it will support and nurture us.

But growing up is realising that the universe was not built around us; we need to do more than simply lap it up. We must work to secure what we need. If that comes to more than 1d/d, we will need to work faster.

The world is no longer a Paradise created for us. But we do have the power (and the duty) to build towards our own kingdom of God.

Here. Now.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Things to do in the car

A propos of nothing in particular...



  • Talk on the phone


  • Drive

Too Gruesome?

This is remarkable. Thanks to William Gibson for retweeting.

It earns the Ring of Truth award (which is not just for writing).

It takes about a minute and a half. See what you think. I've put down a few thoughts on the previous post.

Embrace Life

SPOILER!! If you haven't seen the Embrace Life clip on my next post,, watch it now.

The clip with everything

They threw it all in: Everyman; the sudden, sickening violence of a road traffic accident; despair; motherhood; daughterhood; the protecting strength of love; a happy ending and loads of sparkly pot pourri. I didn't see the apple pie, but I'm sure I could smell it in the stove, lovingly timed for Our Hero's triumphant return.

Not quite what I was expecting

I don't know about other countries, but anyone familiar with the UK's hard hitting road safety campaigns will have had certain expectations. These tend to focus on the cheerful, careless, everyday routine of travel and then the sudden, sickening, life changing (if you're lucky) impact. Lingering in gruesome detail on the ruinous result.

I saw the classic setup and confidently expected that in very short order the beautiful family would be heading, in gloriously lush, detailed slo-mo, through the windscreen.

But no! In a truly magical moment, the moving child morphs from helpless victim to powerful protectrix. Just when he has lost all hope, she and her mother wrap a web of safety around Our Despondent Hero. The family is saved.

And what a wonderful tag-line.

Will I feel my beloved and best beloved's embrace when I next "clunk-click"/"buckle up"?

Making a negative into a positive

As any good salesman knows, you can turn almost any negative into a positive. All the same, finding the good side of a road accident must have been something of a stretch.

The usual message is "you could die: take this seriously". Of course, we all know that. So they took it as read and turned it on its head, to "you could live: take this seriously".

Satisfyingly clever. Actually, this seems to me to be the best metric of cleverness: how huge a negative can I turn into a positive?

I'm a sucker for a happy ending. I suspect that, deep down, we all are. Though it'll take AGES to pick up all the sparkly pot-pourri.

Of course, it's not just seat belts

A car crash isn't the only sudden impact that we will have to face. At work we may face task explosions, promotions, demotions, political thunderstorms, failure of a key project or loss of key people. Our finances may fall apart, or our health, or our homes, or our families.

The carmakers thoughtfully provide us with seatbelts. For everything else, we can look to scripture and saga for guidance. The message from our forefathers is clear: we must weave our own support networks. We must pay attention to them, strengthening them from day to day.

I have neglected mine.

I feel a resolution coming on.