A series of thought-provoking Banksies from Dave!
What is a nation?
It’s a territory occupied by a people with a shared culture, history, language or descent. Or is it?
Well increasingly in this multicultural world it isn’t.
Nations are artificial constructs created by people. They are political constructs artificially drawn on maps. Some are mere political decisions as with most of Africa and the Middle East. Some are the result of conquest by various robber-barons and empires like most of Europe. Some were established by colonialization – like the USA, Canada and Australia.
Nations are not stable. They change. Their boundaries alter. They fall apart and are split up. A study of old maps show this very clearly.
Within any nation – such as the USA or the UK – there are many languages spoken, many religions followed, many cultures incorporated, many races and creeds. There is nothing uniform or homogenous.
The cultural identity of a nation is a product of many different cultures and it is never fixed; it changes constantly.
Nations try to create an identity for themselves and glue people together with flags, national anthems, national costume, constitutions, pledges of allegiance, kings, Presidents, prayers, pageantry, national identity, military displays and other artificial psychological ploys to create a mass psychology that binds people together.
It is totally artificial. It is also extremely transparent.
The whole idea of nations has no real substance.
I would suggest that it is holding us back; that we need to think more globally and not be restricted to this outmoded idea of nationalism. All people are important. The whole planet is important. We need to solve problems universally. Competition between these artificial groupings causes wars, poverty and stops us solving the huge environmental problems, crime, terrorism and religious fanaticism that are assailing us.
Let’s do away with nations!
In our culture we seem to put a great deal of importance to intelligence. But is that the greatest human attribute? Certainly intelligence has enabled us to develop science and technology as well as solving many of the problems the universe has thrown at us. But it has also created weapons that have killed millions, wiped out whole species and tyrannised. Intelligence has created ways of being mean, cruel and plain nasty.
We also value hard work and application.
We value creativity in all its many forms.
We reward strength and physical skill.
We are moved by oratory.
We are rocked by musical skills.
We put a lot of emphasis on beauty and physical perfection.
We like the ability to solve problems.
We value sexual prowess.
We appreciate humour.
We like people who exude confidence and authority.
We greatly admire and bow to leadership qualities.
In the past we maybe valued bravery more.
Piousness used to be considered one of the greatest attributes.
Reliability is thought important.
But no I do not think any of these are the greatest attributes despite the way our society rewards these attributes. The highest paid people in our world are the politicians, leaders of companies, entertainers, bankers, sportsmen and women, musicians, models, film stars, comedians and artists. The people who display many of the attributes above. Somehow I do not think this is right. The huge rewards for those attributes seems wrong to me. Have we got our priorities wrong?
At school, a long time ago, there was a class I taught which was quite a handful. There were a number of highly intelligent people and a lot of great athletes and musicians. But one day we were all talking and they decided that the most valuable member of the group was a lad who was probably the least intelligent and most useless at sport or creativity. He was a big uncoordinated dopy looking guy. But he always had a big smile, would do anything to help anyone and was the most friendly congenial person you could ever hope to meet. If you were in trouble you knew he would be there to help. He had more important qualities. He might not have been clever, good looking, highly skilled in anything, but he certainly had something.
No – for me the most important human attributes are centred around caring, compassion, empathy, respect and that willingness to help others.
It seems strange to me that the professions that display these qualities – nursing, social care, teaching, fire-service, environmentalists, farmers and others – are ones that are not well rewarded or held in great esteem.
I would ask once more – have we got our priorities right?
The sun is shining. The temperature is warm. There are white clouds in a blue sky. It is a beautiful day.
I am fit, healthy and feeling good.
Today I opened my eyes again into a fabulous universe that is full of many wonders, beauties and things to discover just like I have done 25,219 times before.
My brain is still functioning well. My senses all operate well. I stop to contemplate what an amazing experience this is.
Today I’m playing a bit of music by Neil Young. I’m contemplating a walk on the hills and a read of a book. I’m thinking about the book I’m working on. I’m meeting up with friends later for a pleasant evening of talk, food, wine and fun. I’m thinking ahead to a concert tomorrow and meeting up with my daughter.
For 25,000 plus days I have experienced this universe. I don’t know how many I have ahead of me – certainly not another 25,000 – but I intend to make full use of every second of them as I can. I want to pack them with love, friendship. writing, reading, travel, music, sex, fun, exploration, thought, learning, experience and joy.
One day I will not open my eyes. There will be no universe to be inspired by. Until then I will live.
Sex is all about variation in your children
Life is about survival. Life is about passing as many copies of your genes on to subsequent generations.
Variation is the key to survival. The most genetically varied your children are the greater the chances of some surviving to pass on your genes to following generations.
I believe I read somewhere that 1 in 3 children in any marriage have a different father.
This is not surprising. Biology works that way and civilization is only a thin veneer.
Sex is about diversity. The two sexes have different sexual tactics.
As a biologist it seems to me that:
The female attracts in as many males as possible and selects the one she wants. Her aim is to find the most superior genes for her children. She works on quality. She is attracted to successful men. Her aim is to set up home, have children and have a partner that helps bring them up so that they can reach their full potential. While maintaining this nest she will look to mate with another male in order to bring a cuckoo into the nest. This gives her children more variation. Females can produce few offspring and go for quality and a small range of partners.
The male can father many children. He is less selective. He tends to go for quantity more than quality. He takes his chances where-ever he can find them. He will buy into the family and nest-building and raise his children but will quite happily father children in other nests.
The biological result of all this is that there is greater mixing of genes and a better chance of surviving.
It seems to me that the puritanism of religion has only ever served to mask what has always been going on. There is a biological imperative at work. It operates subliminally at a very basic level and supersedes morality.
Sex rules. Biology wins out. Even in the most repressed societies sex will find a way.
Who to believe
To ask why
Night follows night
Day follows day
None of it matters
Thank you to all the people following my blog. There are thousands of you and that is really incredible.
It is fantastic to think that people from 137 different countries are interested in what I am writing. Thank you for following me.
Secondly – thank you to all those people who leave ‘likes’ and comments. It is very rewarding and makes you feel like going on. Now I know stats don’t mean a lot to you but they are very reinforcing for me. They make me feel that it is worth doing. So thanks for the support. Blogging takes a lot of time, effort and thought. It’s nice to know there is an appreciative audience.
Thirdly – thank you to all the people who have taken the plunge and tried one of my books. Please leave some reviews. I know it is a pain but it is great for me to hear what you think and it is good for anyone who is looking to buy to know what to purchase.
If you like what I write and would like to try a book then I have 22 up on Amazon. You might want to have a look: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Opher-Goodwin/e/B00MSHUX6Y/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1435313921&sr=1-2-ent
To start with I would recommend ‘Green’ if you enjoy a good Sci Fi read : http://www.amazon.co.uk/Green-Opher-Goodwin-ebook/dp/B00YHN7UJU/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
or ‘In Search of Captain Beefheart’ if you like Rock Music : http://www.amazon.co.uk/Search-Captain-Beefheart-Opher-Goodwin-ebook/dp/B00TQ1E9ZG/ref=la_B00MSHUX6Y_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1435436099&sr=1-4
Or ‘A Passion for Education – The Story of a Headteacher’ if you are interested in the inside story of a Headteacher. (It’s not just for teachers!)
But there are a whole bunch to choose from. You might find something else that would take your fancy.
Thanks for the support and appreciation. It’s great!