The Week 29th March, 2015 #17

Hello. So this week I’m going to talk a little about mental health. I think it poignant that this is being alluded to after the Lufthansa crash this past week. From what I have read, seen and experienced, and I know my friends have too, it does seem that mental health is somewhat of a modern phenomena, obviously that is not to say that mental health in its variety of forms has not been around since man first discovered fire, but in the last few decades, since the end of the second World War, it has become a more common occurrence. Just in the UK 1 in 4 adults are diagnosed with some sort of issue of the mind, but let me clarify here I’m not talking about serious cases of mental unbalance or anything of that nature, what I’m referring to here are the issues that can be helped yet do affect a huge amount of people e.g. depression, isolation things that are usually triggered or compounded by society rather than a chemical imbalance of the mind. Reports coming out are pointing to the co-pilot having issues although why he chose to take his own and everyone else’s life aboard that aircraft is a mystery. It is a shocking and despicable crime that he can never be forgiven for. However, suicidal tendencies are increasing, fortunately most people are not so narcissistic or have God complexes that they want to take innocents with them but there is an increase in mental health problems, especially here in the west, and you have to ask why? I believe it is to do with our souls (calm yourselves, I’m not going all spiritual on you if you are a regular reader you will know that I care little for all that and believe my god isn’t any god man worships) What I’m talking about isn’t a spiritual issue, as in shiny men and made up books, but is about our soul, our moral compass, that thing in the back of your head or in the pit of your stomach that stops you from doing things or guides you to do things. So many of us in the west are depressed, frustrated, angry and all the rest because we live in an Age of tedium. What do I mean?
Let’s get real, we all have easy lives with no real danger of threats therefore, if you look at any data to do with mental illness from around the world most of us would believe the worst countries for this would be central Africa or middle eastern countries where lack of freedom and terror walk in hand, yet around 30% of Americans would say they have a confirmed mental illness, involving medication, France 20%, UK 15% yet Nigeria 4%. It is fair to assume that mental well being is not so much of a priority in Nigeria or anywhere in Central Africa in comparison to the USA and UK. In contrast, the last global survey of overall happiness saw USA top for how content and happy its citizens are – so this doesn’t add up. Unless you deconstruct what is perceived as ‘content’ and ‘happy’ and this is my point – we live in boring predictable times where the internet memes and vines are some of the most shared things in the world, instead of good art or books films or games this is because our souls or essence has been stripped away from us in chunks since the war. All western countries have been looking for something to champion but have been to slow or inept at all the big challenges that have faced us since the war: Yugoslavia, Bosnia, Ruanda, Apartheid, Ebola and the like, this has had a trickle affect down to us the normal people in the street so we have lost faith in our leaders and instead of looking for good role models to inspire us: Eisenhower Montgomery, Lawrence f Arabia, Shakespeare, Mozart, Leonardo de Vinci and so on we have, instead, turned to celebs and athletes such as Kanya or Kim or any reality star or Justin Bieber, One direction and the like, all fakes and media products not people of standing. Then we have the extremes of wealth and poverty with footballers earning more than scientist when there are children dying of disease and hunger – but we can’t face up to what is happening can we – as we spectators of life sit in our stupefied state watching TV, eating good food and having fairly easy lives so many worship at the shrine of Hello and OK magazines – and yet with the internet comes the reality that we cannot hide from – the horror that rages around the planet – and we watch that too. This conflicting experience has become one of the main fault lines in our western mental state – from which mental illness has taken hold as almost a way out, a diversion if you will, a reason for some as to why their lives are not taking the direction they want. From my own point of view I feel useless about the little help I can give to people who are suffering and that gets me down. So many of us feel useless, we wish we could really help with the problems of the world and what makes it worse is those in a position to do so choose to do nothing. Most of us feel sick of the stupid celebrity postulating, sick of ‘name’ being paid millions and not caring about their fellow humans, footballers who can’t string a sentence together and those fake musicians who are so idiotic and bratish that it makes me angry. These people have a public persona and could use that for good – call on others to help and be positive role models to young people – but they don’t. This is one of the reasons mental illness has blossomed so readily. Our soul has been bludgeoned by the modern world – the imbalance in skill and talent and the amount of fans and exposure given, the correlation between bad people and idiots earning so much money from being ‘controversial’. The celeb has replaced the achievers we once so valued and these people are of very little brain, they don’t understand that with fame and wealth comes responsibility – to make a difference. I don’t mean supporting a once a year charity bash, just to convince ourselves that we care. Just consider, if someone in the public eye decided put an end to Africa’s nations would have to listen but there is no voice to listen to – no figure head we can respect, no leaders with a moral compass, no one rich enough and successful enough willing to stick their neck out and influence change, no one in the public eye who will get down in the mud and see something through, not just do a charity event for publicity (cough ..One Direction and Comic Relief) Until we are out of the Age of Tedium we are stuck in a perpetual cycle of banal public figures and socialites – so robbing a generation of any purpose. This lack of purpose is a major factor why mental illness in males is much higher than in females. Young male have completely lost their way. I am all for equal rights but there is no persona for the male now – men don’t know where they stand in society and this has lead to over bearing sexuality and ‘ladish’ behaviour – a state that has erupted since the early 90s as some men seek to ‘assert’ themselves and do so in a juvenile way – there is a lack of purpose, of self-respect and young men often seek tribal reinforcement either through ladish behaviour or worst still, through extremism. I would like to talk about connectivity and its affect on mental health more so this may run to two instalments this week for you guys to keep an eye out for.
My final comment on the week is linked to ladish behaviour. Top Gear is a favourite programme in our house; my father, brother and I love it and look forward to it every week. I don’t care whether Clarkson presents it or not – it is a good format and can be done by any three mates, male or female, who have decent chemistry and like cars. I was talking to one of my mates about it yesterday – we reckon that him, me and another one of my friends could do it just as good as them by next week. My thoughts on Jeremy, well ambivalent really, he is ok, he talks a fair bit of rubbish and is fairly prehistoric but at the same time he is fairly witty and patriotic but deserved to be fired – if any one punches someone that is what should happen simple as that. What made it worse is that he was being a right diva and that has made me begin to dislike him – his behaviour that night shows he thinks he is better then another human being and can treat a worker like a slave, bashing him for not having a hot meal ready for him….really!!!! The fact that there are petitions and calls for him to be reinstated and threats to boycott the BBC is utterly and incredibly stupid. The BBC make brilliant shows and even though I despise the institutional nepotism it is still the best broadcaster and produces good, new, fresh, fun story driven shows and as long as they do that they have my backing – I think they should stop recruiting from their families, cousins, sons, daughters and take on people on merit and from all levels of society and regions of the country but I still think they make good drama, news, etc and we benefit from it not being commercially run.
So if you are one of the million who signed the online petition or know someone who is calling for the end of the BBC just remember Clarkson intends to sue the BBC so realistically he want to sue you because that’s our money. I hope the poor chap with the split lip for not grovelling to Clarkson sues him – but that is not how our country works is it – to those in the public eye, with the big bank accounts, goes the spoils – and the very people Clarkson hates: the masses, the minions, the white van man – all love him whereas he would stomp over them if they got in his way – or failed to do his bidding!! So then again it comes back to what I was saying at the start – we have no people of calibre as role models any more. Instead our society is broken by the mistake of worshipping those who care only for themselves and Clarkson is one of them, until we sort that out mental illness will remain a problem – for lack of guidance a Nation falls.
That is it for this week. I may have some news soon about my second short story which will hopefully be out soon. Any who if you enjoy any of my stuff, do pass it on. I like people reading and seeing all my stuff and remain interested in your views, even if you disagree.. Have a good Easter and I will see you next Sunday.

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