Thursday, 27 June 2013

Health, Safety and Hedge Porn

Introducing me and my opinions

I found recently that Facebook just wasn't capable of coping with the full ramblings of my mind and the opinions that I have developed over the years so I've decided to put fingers to keys and spew forth in a blog.  This blog.  My blog.  So here goes with the first of many.

Health and Safety

If you were to believe everything spouted in various media it would seem that we are living in an age where the potential for sickness stalks the land more freely than Bubonic plague and where danger lurks at ever turn.  "Don't go outside, it's like the Blitz out there."  Through injury lawyer advertisements the viewing public watching daytime television are discouraged from going to work in case they have an accident.  Even going outside is frowned upon driven by the risk of tripping over a loose paving slab.
Think of the effect this is having on the economy.  People scared to work or deterred from going out and spending their hard earned benefits.  Rather than cutting public spending perhaps the government should consider banning injury lawyers to give these poor souls their freedom to contribute.


There also seems to be a predilection for hi-vis jackets everywhere you go these days.  In the good old days of proper rock gigs, where the lead singer would jump from the stage and possibly get involved in a fight with a member of the audience, 'Security' would be hard arsed, bearded giants dressed in tour t-shirts. They wouldn't be fat student morons wearing hi-vis jackets, who can't step in to help because their PowerPoint training didn't equip them to deal with that specific eventuality.  And when I go to a gig I wear shades to look cool not to protect my eyes from the intensity of hi-vis clothing.
I recently went to a festival where I was confronted with a wall of yellow and orange as far as the eye could see.  This ruined every photo I tried to take of the bands and the pissed girl flashing her unusually shaped norks to the stage cameras.  However when I needed medical help for a chap who had collapsed in front of me could I find a hi-vis jacketed medic?  Could I bollocks.
And the modern human being is unique in the natural kingdom in protecting itself from danger by standing out like a blistered thumb.  How often have you heard a field mouse say to her young "right kids, there's an owl out there just waiting for you pop your head out of the nest, (or whatever field mice live in) and that is what we call a 'dangerous' situation. What I need you to do now is go and paint yourself fluorescent yellow"?

'Yout' of today

And I despair for this generation of children.  They are forced by their parents to be so risk averse that I fear for the future of the British Armed Forces.
Now I will admit that the level of traffic has increased over the last thirty years but this is generally not the major concern of the average parent.  No, what worries most parents is the massed armies of child molesters roaming the country ready to snatch their little darlings with gay abandon.  As is becoming more and more evident the true fact of the matter is there are no more weirdos out there now than there were when I was a child, although luckily for us ours were all TV celebrities so if you didn't run in those circles you were safe.
Children just don't seem to be allowed play outside like they used to.  I remember being gone for hours at a time, all the while exposed to huge risks.  We would climb giant trees, create makeshift ramps to fly over on our bikes (without first donning elbow and knee pads or a helmet that resembled the head of an alien).  We would think nothing of putting a match (non-safety match obviously) to old sofas dumped on waste ground and risk food poisoning by partially cooking food stolen from our home cupboards on the ensuing fire. And we would build dens.

Hedge Porn

You never see dens being built nowadays.  Many a happy hour of my childhood was spent building a den and furnishing it with as much discarded junk as we could find. And it was whilst building these dens that we invariably discovered hedge porn.
For some unknown reason it was once a popular exercise for people to throw away individual pages from 'tug mags' into hedges or long grass where they could be conveniently found by foraging youngsters.  If you were really lucky you'd find a whole magazine (the Holy Grail of den constructors) but more often than not it was simply a single page. This would amuse us for hours and provided colourful decoration to the interior of the den when used as wallpaper.
But the youth of today are being deprived of this adventure now and not just because they are no longer building dens but also because Internet porn is so freely available hedge porn must surely be dying out.  It would be a very fortunate ten year old that discovered an abandoned iPad in a bush, which wasn't keypad locked and had either 3G or Wi-FI access and bookmarks to 'XXX' websites.

In conclusion

So we may be safer these days what with risk assessments, warning signs, hi-vis bloody jackets, hard hats and steel toe caps but are we happier?  You may well be content with the wonders of modern life and technology and our shiny bright existence but at least in the 70s and early 80s we knew where we were.  Everything was brown.  The clothes, the carpets, the walls, the curtains, the furniture, all brown.  And this summed up life.  It was crap.  But we knew it was crap and we were happy with it that way because we had hedge porn.  These days it's crap but we think it's better because it's all shiny and safe.  Give me brown crap any day of the week (oh and while you're at it, bring back white dog shit).