This is a very visual age, many of us carry a mobile phone with us everywhere. We can not only speak to our friends, look at our emails and of course take selfies which we later share on social media. We are overwhelmed by images of physical beauty of impossibly beautiful girls; Beyonce, Angelina Jolie and Catherine Zeta-Jones. You and I are fascinated by images of perfection, ever since the Renaissance pictures and statues of perfect forms both male and female are presented to us. It is part of our human nature to admire, to be stirred to feelings of love by perfection in the human form. We follow the careers of our heroes and heroines with dedication.
Yesterday I watched a programme about the actor Marlon Brando, whom I first watched many years ago. I was struck by his physical beauty, handsome is not the word, the right word is beauty. When writing about a male actor, critics prefer to concentrate on his acting skills. Brando was one of the foremost actors of his generation, an actor who changed the mould for film actors. He was applauded as an enormously skilful actor, an actor with charisma, his beauty was not singled out. Beautiful actresses like Marilyn Monroe were only talked about in terms of their physical allure, yet I think Marilyn created herself both as a beautiful woman and as an actress. She had comedic and dramatic talent directors thought it was all natural. No, she acted the part the directors wanted to see and she did it so well they assumed it was natural. Beauty has an overwhelming effect on those who see it, in its living, breathing,vibrant form. Many television actors are very good looking especially the young cast of Neighbours, one in particular stands out for me and that is Travis Burns. I’m sure he will have a long and very successful career. Who is your choice?
I have as long as I can remember been interested in history: that is stories of the past, how things came to be the way they are today. Now when I look at the History magazine I find the 1950s, the 1960s and even the 1970s are dissected in its august pages. How can this be? This is my life-time, how can my story be part of history? Am I not living and breathing, not particularly active its true but still part of the big scheme of things. This morning as I was washing my face an old wrinkled face looked back at me. When did this happen? There was a time when my eyes were bright, my teeth were all there, I could hear every sound, not yet sans hair. I still have a fine thick head of hair, of various shades, yet all my own.
Now I’m part of the past, a small insignificant part, swept along in the tide of life, here and there wherever the forces took me. I have some memories of the great cataclysmic event of the twentieth century, the Second World War and of the decade of scarcity which followed. I was part of the 11+ generation, now that really is a part of the past. Now in theory the nation wants to give every child a good education, in practice we are still a long way from achieving that laudable aim. Although it is understood that the early years of a child’s life are extremely important, the brain is still growing and keen to learn. The government has in true penny-pinching mode cut back the funds for Sure-Start schemes, so the children who need the most help are now deprived of it. This dereliction of duty is called austerity, it could simply be called neglect .
It seems opportunities are relative to the place you are born into, if you are born into a wealthy family your parents will pay a large sum of money to have you educated in a Public School, (which is in fact exclusively private). Such a child will of course meet all the right people and be assured of an important place in society. Who cares about children who are deprived through no fault of their own? Not our government, we’ll push them out of sight! I have a terrible feeling that we’re moving backwards to the 1930s or even the 1920s. These were not good times for the majority, people like my parents who worked hard and still struggled to pay for the essentials of life. It could be different if billionaires didn’t buy yachts and instead paid their taxes like the rest of us. Poverty is not relative it is an absolute condition.