Monday, 24 May 2010

The joys of unemployment

"When you take a look in the mirror three or four years down-the-line, where do you see yourself?", a careers lecturer once asked me. And not knowing what the future had instore for me I replied, "working hard, earning a reasonable living, "and quite whittingly, "taking over the world", in a true narcissistic fashion.

Flash forward three or four years and what is the outcome? Well lets just say I haven't taken over the world, not earning a reasonable living - try none at all - but still have a strong desire to work hard when given the opportunity.

See at the moment I'm unemployed, I was made redundant from my job in November where I worked as an editorial assistant for almost a year and then from a company where I worked as a customer service consultant for approximately seven weeks.

Such a change of direction huh? But believe me it was not my doing, had to find a job and it was the only one available, so I took it, remember you have to do what you got to do to get by - unfortunately it isn't going the same way now. Times are tough for most households and with the blue and yellow army looking to wield their axes at our purse strings, I can only assume that things are going to get worse and many people's futures will be effected, not just my own.

But is it wrong for me to ask to be treated like a human being and not another statistic? Or am I looking at an eutopian fantasy that will not come true?

My gripe at the moment is that I spent six years of my life going to get educated at university and college and when I go to places to see about jobs, I simply do not get listened to. It's like they have their own interior motives and you are simply a pawn in their game of lets see who can get the biggest bonus this quarter by putting people into jobs that are not suited to the individual.

Ok, ok, ok, not all places are like that and I may be coming across as somewhat arrogant and as if I see myself as 'Damien-Almighty', who is above mere mortals. But honestly and sincerely I don't.

At this moment of time I feel low, useless and quite embarassed at the situation I find myself in and just want to get out of the rut, I'm 26-years-old, two degrees behind me and living on Job Seekers Allowance. So I can relate to the story I read in the paper today that most young people who are unemployed feel like taking their own lives because of the emotional impact of losing work.

I am honest, hard working and like most young people simply looking for a chance to fulfill their potential. Moreover I want to be treated like a human being, times are tough I know, and that businesses need to cut costings here and there, but a simple email saying you weren't successful for a job you applied for isn't asking for much, is it now?

Monday, 23 April 2007

Bus Drivers and "Urban Games"

When you are sitting on a bus, coming and going about your business, watching the world around you pass by through a glass window, do you ever stop and wonder how do bus drivers entertain themselves during the course of their day and I think I have the answer.

The other day when I was on line I went to "You Tube" and saw a clip for Channel 4's tv programme "Balls of Steel" and within the show there was a segment called "Nege's Urban Sports" and basically this is about a man who does crazy things, and in return calls them urban sports, while trying to win a trophy in the pursuit of entertainment values.

Nevertheless the show got me thinking, I wonder do Bus drivers do something like this to help pass their day in, not do crazy stuff, but little stuff like hit the air brake a little harder so people go flying forward or backwards and count how many people near fall over.

The reason I think like this, is due to the fact when I was on a bus going about my business, I got up and went towards the front as my stop was aprroaching, I saw the bus driver look up in his mirror, the one which allows the driver to see down the bus, and as I was walking down, he hit the brake and I Nearly went flying. Maybe something suddently went out in front of the bus, maybe he was following the highway code of "Mirror, Signal, Manouvere", or maybe he was taking bets with other drivers as to how many he could bowl over while hitting the air brake.

So the next time you are on a bus and you see the driver looking up in his mirror, hold on tight because you never know, he might just have a bet riding upon your actions.

Food For Thought though isnt it.

Monday, 19 March 2007

ring a ding, a ding dong

About a day ago, I was lying in my bed watching the news and I witnessed a report on Channel 5 from a citizen journalist who was reporting about the use of mobile phones on public transport, and no it is not about someone getting up in the morning, maybe a bit angry from the lack of sleep and deciding to rage war against mobile phone users, but was about those people who play the music aloud on their phones.

I am sure you know what I am on about, we have all witnessed it at some time. If you have not, dont worry, your time will come and in the words of MR T, "I pitty the fool". Sorry if I am calling you a fool, but you will get so annoyed that you probably will "knock the suca out".

Anyway, forget about my rants and raves and back to the story. The report focused on one City Council across the water and how the council introduced a hotline as well as a fine for those who continued playing their music aloud on public transport.

So what has this got to do with us?

Well I think this story has a lot to do with us, especially in time we are living in, with most people owning MP3 players, I-pods and other techno gizmos I can not remmember their names, so I am not going to mention them. But more importantly, this story raises issues such as lack of respect for other people and the flip side of the argument, a lack of respect for a person to express their individuality.

This is a difficult one to call and as usual it is a juggling act between the common good and the rights of the individual.

For instance, I was on the bus coming home after a long and exhuasting day, and a group of young people came on the bus, no problems there. It was not until after they sat down, their mobiles came out of their pockets and the tunes began. Now do not get me wrong I love my music and I will not put down anyone because of their music sense, but the stuff I heard was enough to make you contemplate Hara Kiri.

For example; "Sponge Bob Square Pants", the "Gerbil or Hamster Song", the "Ginger Alert", which is pretty funny because there was someone with Ginger Hair on the bus, and last but not least "Thomas the Tank Engine" mixed with "50 cent's", find me in the club, you no what song I am talking about.

Ok the scenario has been established. How would you feel if this happened to you? Or has it already happened?

Would you;

(a) Say something to the individuals, saying something like "Would you please could turn it off", acting in the interests of the common good, because somehow I do not think you would appreciate SpongeBob being repeated about five-six times on the one journey.


(B) Not say something, continue on your journey, and think to yourself , ok if they want to listen to that its ok because there are individuals and being liberal minded you do not mind freedom of expression and individuality.


(C) do nothing because knowing the area you are travelling in and the people you are speaking to, if you speak out, it will probably start an argument leading to violence etc etc etc.

Ok these are going a bit extreme, and I would pick probably parts B and C , but hopefully the theme of the Battle between individuality and the Common Good, if this even exsists or if one can define it, has been illustrated.

If not I will leave you to ponder upon these.

If you were living in the Council where this has been introduced, how would you consider enforcing this matter? And furthermore can you imagine going to court over your choice of music? Or is the "Nanny State" Syndrome going a bit too far?

Friday, 9 March 2007

The Death of Captain America, tragedy or about time?

Recently I came across an article in a news paper entitled "America is Finished."

The article was about the comic book character Captain America and do not worry it is not about the country, so for all those who are about to go into global meltdown, just relax and follow the advice of songwriter Mikka, "relax and take it easy."

After 66 years of defending America from the likes of Adolf Hitler and his most notorious advisory Red Skull, the character finally has met his end after being gunned down by a sniper.

Captain America, always rememebered for his star and stripes costume, was created in 1941 to instill patriotism within the minds of Americans during the Second World War. Furthermore the comic has sold more than 210million copies in 75 countries with his adventures being featured in film as well as television.

Whats so important about the death of Captain America?

The reason why I pay particular attention to this article is in what the co-creator Joe Simon said in the article.

"We really need him now", he said.

But is Joe Simon right in what he said? Does America need its hero now more than ever?

I think it does especially with issues such as the Iraq War, poverty and governmental negligence on the minds of the people. Captain America was set up to harness patriotism and was the embodiment of American Realism, something which people are now loosing by the dollar.

Now do not get me wrong, I realise there are people in the states who are very patriotic and believe the messages outlined by George Bush's administration and probably echoing in the back of their minds is the song written for Mad Max 3: Beyond Thunderdome, "We do not need another Hero."

But for those, and yes as sad as me who know the song, the rest on the lyric goes "I just want to find the way home". Now I do not want to get into the rights and wrongs of the system, this is something for the public and its politicians to decifer for themselves but I think people need to find their way home, not just in the political arena but in life in general.

This topic is one we as human beings must battle within ourselves but for those fans of Captain America, do not worry, rumour has it there could be a film on the way so all is not lost.

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Dope Growing Granny

Cannabis and its use for health reasons is once again in the headlines.

Patricia Tabram, 68, believes cannabis should be allowed to be used for health reasons and the law governing the drug should be changed.

Tabram, who refered to the drug as her "medicine", was found guilty of growing and possessing the drug but she felt dissappointed at the outcome of her trial.

She said: "I am disappointed in the attitude of the court regarding someone my age with my health problems and the way I deal with it. "

The jury heard how she used cannabis to ease her depression, as well as aches and pains she had sustained in two previous car crashes.

The use of Cannabis for health reasons remains a topic on the minds of both users and on some of those within the medical profession alike but the end is nowhere in sight.

As it stands, actions like Tabram's, are against the law, even though she would argue her reasons for usage are justified. So until the law is changed she must pay £1000 in court costs as well as having to endure 250 hours of unpaid community service, 175 hours' for cultivating four cannabis plants and a further 75 hours for possessing powdered cannabis.

Should the law be changed, or should it remain?

This is a very difficult topic with no right or wrong answers, just opinions and on that note here is my two pence worth.

I think the drug should be allowed for medical use but only if it is supervised by someone of the medical profession. More importantly, I would like to see the drug (Cannabis) be used for people who are in pain.

Like many people in the world today, I had a friend who passed away from Cancer and rest assured he was in excrutiable pain from his illness and if Cannabis could have helped relieve his pain, I would have administered it.

I also think there would have to be some sort of ranking system installed and created if cannabis was to be used for medical uses but a major problem arises from this, who decides on the priority of patients illnesses?

Another logical question resulting from this would be, do you honestly think in today's political arena, a doctor or nurse would openly endorse such a plan of action?

The answer; I do not think so, well not until the law is changed, first and foremost.

In relation to the Patricia Tabram case mentioned above, I must flag up some hypothetical questions which may cast doubt on the use of the drug for medicial reasons.

Firstly; In the Tabram atricle, it mentioned Tabram was invloved in two previous car crashes. If someone was to pick up the article and read it, they could think the two crashes may have been a consequence of taking the drug.

Therefore the question would be; what exactly are the consequences of taking the drug and what is the affect on the human body?

Secondly, the article also mentioned she took cannabis in order to combat depression, something she suffered as a result of loosing her son, but medical experts have well noted the links between cannabus and depression.

So could cannabus be fuelling Tabram's depression instead of battling it?

To follow up on this story click here