Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Writing - A Sacred Cow - readwave submission

dolphin bird murmuration perfect timing

Why have I posted this pic? Simply because it is beautiful.
The news is good. I have almost finished the first edit of Cessation. Also I have a couple of ideas for my next book. I am fairly certain that I will be writing a 6th Steele novel by Christmas but I have also been considering the situation described in Cessation from a different point of view. A totally different story with different characters but with a similar root cause.


A Sacred Cow

            When you hold an opinion, he believed that it was often a sign that you are a living, thinking human being. As someone once said ‘you can’t please all the people all of the time…..etc’ so if you have an opinion you are going to come to grief in some people’s eyes. Now he was the product of strong minded, working class parents and they had opinions and ideals that they were unmoveable on and as a result, he had similar tendencies.

“I believe that shareholders should be put up against a wall and shot,” he said to the assembled company.

            It silenced the general chatter in the immediate vicinity because he was in the company of semi-retired and retired people living from pensions that were funded by investments in the stock market – shareholders. In fact he himself was in a similar position so it seemed a little hypocritical. As with many people expressing themselves in verbal shorthand, what he’d said was his opinion crystallised into a careless, single sweeping statement. What he had actually meant to say, and because of the emotive nature of his words in present company, never had the opportunity to qualify, was that those 1% of people who ‘controlled’ the finances in our world to the benefit of no one but themselves, should face a metaphorical firing squad.

“Are you on a pension?” she demanded.
“Then you are no better!” the woman turned on her heel and stalked away.
“Me and my big mouth!” he thought to himself as yet another of his utterings induced a feeling of being even further marginalised.

            The problem with strong opinions is that they have the not unexpected effect of polarising opinion. He didn’t want to alienate people but on the other hand he felt that the populace had that well known disease – raging apathy. Some people even thought he was a communist which wasn’t true because he would never give away his acquired wealth, no matter how small that sum was, to the ‘great unwashed’. Although not a mean person he liked to choose the groups to which he was making donations. For example, he avoided donations to massive charities such as Oxfam for the simple reason that the organisation had become so massive that it had that curse of modern society – chief executives. Yet another strong opinion he held.
            Whenever you come across a CEO you can almost guarantee that there are two or more cars and a similar number of homes being fed by a six figure salary that has to come out of the charitable donations, before the poor unfortunates that you are trying to give to receive a penny. So he gave over the longer term to smaller charities with small, manageable and specific targets.

“I am not talking about the silent majority who have holdings in a variety of companies……” his voice trailed away as the frosty atmosphere descended around him. He found himself standing alone once again. Even his ‘friends’ found the verbal medicine he tried to dose them with unpalatable.

            The late Doris Lessing was less than diplomatic when she announced that the terrorist attack of 9/11 was in no way comparable to the quantity of terrorism the UK had faced at the hands of IRA over five hundred plus years. It made her very unpopular in the USA

“In fact it’s all down to ‘sacred cows’” he thought. His father had talked a great deal about ‘sacred cows’. They’re nothing to do with eastern religions, or religions of any kind in point of fact. It is more to do with idolising, celebrity if you like. He had a great saying which he used to deliver in his reasonable, soft Mackem accent,
“They’re all the same with their trousers round their ankles!”

What has this to do with shareholders, CEOs and so on? Well they are all singled out for attention and then seem to be deified by the media imbuing them with god-like auras that protect them from any type of criticism. It was in his mind that he had a duty to alert the world to the misuse of celebrity, glorification or whatever you want to call it because for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Newton’s Law! In other words for every man and woman who attain this craven image status there are thousands that end up suffering, directly or indirectly!

“Laud those who are fair and even handed and make it your duty to bring down to earth those who start to believe in their own celebrity!”

The unpopular opinions are me!

God Bless