Zzzzzombie like tendencies?

Triggered by an article I read recently in ‘Australia’s most widely-read bike magazine’ Ride On, about cycling with earphones… I just had to comment!
Ride On states that they find that “ear-bud earphones set at a reasonable volume still allow riders to clearly hear the warning sounds of other riders.”
I just had to comment. What a ridiculous article! As one comment put: “Safety when riding is paramount and the only person who loses in bike/car accidents is the cyclist. Music covers up sound and distracts…” I agree.
Sorry but I am a cyclist and did previously use earphones daily… since Feb this year I have not and will not wear them while cycling.
Ride On’s claim that when using earphones you can still hear other sounds is a probable fact, but in doing this they are foolishly promoting the activity of earphone use while cycling.

I purport that the act of journeying is or should be an interactive activity. The addition of audio-entertainment to such activity is dangerous or at least restrictive. Whether in a car, on a bike or by foot the use of earphones inhibits the potential for interaction with the world. Yes, indeed, this could lead to potential incident with other road users but more importantly it leads to an insular, individualistic culture and the AA’s zombie like tendencies. It leads to an “us and them” attitude and not “humanity”…
The AA has has urged cyclists and pedestrians – and drivers – to pay attention to the road  [the journey] rather than be distracted by music. Edmund King, president of the AA, also commented on the Injury Prevention study, saying:
“We can’t stop the march of technology but we need to halt the iPod pedestrian, cycle and driver zombies.  Whether on two feet, two wheels or four, too many people are suffering from iPod oblivion.
“When on the move our brains have much to take in and using technological gadgets means that our brains can’t always concentrate on so many things at once This is when we walk into traffic; don’t hear the truck or drive cocooned from the outside world.
“The US research suggests that this problem may be growing so we all need to use common sense to ensure that technological cocooning doesn’t endanger our lives or the lives of others.

I have commented before about our attitude as road-users and indeed a general social attitude. Unless I’m mistaken, an ignorance is a key trait here. Ignorance is bliss?
Considering our use of cultural opiates (in the sense of anything that causes dullness or inaction or that soothes the feelings). We all imbibe stuff that will colour our perception, some more than others.  The radio, a podcast, music, TV, food, art, knowledge, and other stimulants/sedatives (as well as coffee and cheese) can all be stimulating and creative, however they can also act as a distracting eclipse and induce ignorance.

When journeying with or past others, i think it’s best to aim for an open mind and a considerate perception.
We all too readily ignore that which is beyond our perception or conception. We all enjoy a moment of bliss? But not while we are journeying with and past others!
Music can be a distracting eclipse and induce ignorance. The ignorant might excuse themselves with the notion of innocence?
Ignorant? innocent? bliss? contentment? enchantment? joy? beatitude? well-being…
Heaven help us all!?


Listen.. can u hear breathing?.. r u alive?

It’s been a while since I uttered some nonsense – that could be good be a good sign… then again…

You won’t fly until you truly let go… you’ll not feel the song until you really hear it… you can’t stretch until you truly wake up…

Easier said than done!?
As Keats inferred, unheard melodies are [probably] sweeter…

A while back I commented: “Listen….. can u hear breathing?… ”
A (heard?) tweet recently mentioned: “Breath is the thread that ties creation together” Morihei Ueshiba

Over the period of lent (I’m not getting in to what that should or does mean), I have gone-without, indeed forsaken, the habitual podcasts etc on my commute to and from work. I enjoy taking in ‘cultcha’ as much as most, be it ‘new music’ or ‘old chestnuts’, intellectual debate or documentary etc.
I’ve occasionally felt the pangs to be ear-plugged (or car stereo) into info- and enter-tainment and inbibe some stimulating amusements (as Neil Postman highlighted) or I guess some digital numbing narcotic. But for the last few weeks I’ve gone without.

‘Entertain’ can mean to hold the attention of, to divert, consider, cherish, maintain…
A favourite bible verse of mine has always been “Where your treasure is there is your heart also” Matthew 6:21 – amongst other things, to me, this means; what you cherish is what essentially makes you, you are what you think and feel, and even; all things fade and therefore so will you…

The Sahara Desert Drive
Em & I being driven through the Sahara - he laughed when we asked for seat belts, then drove like a maniac!

Without the distracting opiate of one’s earphones, one of the encounters on my commute now is birdsong. From light field-song of small twittering birds to heavy crowing in the wooded areas. Even in the town, birds are prolific if one can just notice them. The rowan trees at the end of my commute are always a stage for nature of some sort.
When you cycle, you cannot fail to notice the ‘nature’ of traffic, people and yourself. We rush to get there, we must catch the one in front, we are already at our destination not noticing where we actually are, we disregard rules of the road and society. It’s hard to remain objective but it seems the nature of people in traffic amplifies attitudes that are inherent in all of us. It also amplifies perspectives and priorities….

It may be a stage of life, but recently I’ve found myself entertaining the natural world and creation more than previously. The Sun is such a powerful phenomena, we take it for granted but just think how it really effects your life. Drugs like Coffee, Chocolate, Cheese… that’s another thing. As you know, our household has pets; gerbils, a budgie and fish. I hanker for The Beeb’s Spring/Autumn/Winter Watch. Some of Country File and iplayer’s factual science and nature offerings are tonics to the daily routine. Loving Tim Spall’s “…at Sea” at the mo. Seeing wild birds fly, rabbits, grouse, frogs, cats prowling… weather… it’s life.

Listen….. can u hear breathing…?

Again Mr. Keats put it beautifully:
“Beauty is truth, truth beauty: that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”

A few ales, and all becomes clear!

It’s been a long while since I had more than a few ales. “Beer money” turns into “morthercare-toysrus-school-etc” money!  You parents know what I mean!

However, last weekend Em & I went out on what turned out to be ‘a jolly’!  Didn’t we have a laugh!  We started in the OT in Loughborough and ended up in the Fox in Syston, somehow…   The girls from the pool will tell you, but then again they probably can’t recall much either! Some good ales and a great night out.

“Oh how silly & childish, tisk tisk”, but oh what fun!  I have no hair to let down but believe me I gave it my best shot. I think…

After almost 6 months of alcohol free living earlier this year, by June I’d rejoined reality(?).  It’s lead me to question our substance intake and I’ve come to NO conclusions whatsoever.  I have taken up caffeine as a regular stimulant and of course enjoy the GP’s recommended inhibitors – happy daze I guess.(?)  Oh and of course “cheese”!
Trying too hard to make sense of a wild-erness we live in can lead one into a place where ideas are unfounded and unfocused, where things fall apart, where structure collapses…  Some joys might be false structures but at least they might be con-cre(a)te.
The resonance between: reality of a happy focused(?) conducted view and the dream of a lost expansive wild(?) view…   hummm.
Always looking for “more” in things. Perhaps my omnipresent chimera can be just as disillusionary(?) as my realities.
As mentioned in “bubbles“, realities are built around us and some struggle to see through them – either way…
Familia… yearning real fellowship, familiarity, friendliness… Maintenance? Feeding? Nurture? Interaction? Pollination?
Perhaps occasionally we disciple-ine ourselves too much, perhaps we lose the fantastical structure that can develop “really” naturally… ?
Have a beer (or 9)!