Wednesday, March 12, 2008

It's Foolish, But It's Fun!

Back in the 1940's there was a popular song of this title doing the rounds. That it was during one of the frequent nadirs of this particular art form should be apparent when I tell you that a contemporary offering was 'Marzy Doats and Dozy Doats' which explains why the graves of Ira Gershwin and Lorenz Hart were in a constant turmoil at the time.
The ditty celebrated the joys of doing things frowned upon by society, climbing trees for green apples, walking in thunderstorms and excessive eating and drinking among others. After four eight bar stanzas the author ran out of forbidden fruit to lyricise over and mercifully the song ended.
But that was then and today any self respecting British lyricist should be able to come up with a list of government warnings, advisories and edicts that would enable him to give the Iliad of Homer a pretty good run for its money if he wanted to celebrate their joys.
The most terrifying aspect of the society painted by George Orwell was its infinite greyness, a society shorn of any joy and individuality. Orwell got the date wrong but he was pretty much on the money for everything else.
The other day an American researcher identified Slough as being the dreariest place on earth. He was, of course, a bit late. John Betjeman had got there first (and had to apologise subsequently) and I don't know where else he had looked but he had clearly missed Gary, Indiana and Spring City, Tennessee. For those of you living there, I too apologise, and next time I'm through I'll let you prove me wrong.
But it's not just Slough that's dreary in today's world. The cold grip of government extends even into the still beautiful countryside of rural Britain. You know, the part where the Members of Parliament have their subsidised second homes.
The original idea of a democratically elected government was that the voters should tell the government they appointed how they wished their country to be run.
Not, as it now appears, for a government, paid for by the electorate, to tell the people how they should run their lives.
That the concept of law and order has been turned on its head against the wishes of the vast majority of law abiding citizens is apparent in a new ruling that those who commit crimes because of need should be let off lightly.
The bank robbing fraternity must be especially pleased with this idea since it will undoubtedly be extended to include their profession along with drug pushers etc. in the near future.
Willie Sutton, when asked why he robbed banks said 'Cos that's where the money is.'
Nowadays they'd have to let him off with a ASBO, I suppose.


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