Wednesday, 1 December 2010

TITS IN A LIBRARY- More from Read Rees

Gareth examines- slur, age and mundane megalomania



A grumpy old man? Well, that's just a slur, isn't it?


To accuse a Welshman of doing unspeakable things with sheep just because he's Welsh is a slur, a racial slur and you could be prosecuted. But why should any slur be acceptable? The intention usually is to take the person out of a person, to de-humanise therefore. You're reducing someone to nothing more than a unit in a category defined by outward appearance? It's cynicism really and not going the loving way which surely is addressing that which transcends the mould, finding the uniqueness in a person, the global soul.

To call someone 'grumpy' is patronising too in the same way as referring to a child's display of ill-temper as a tantrum. A tantrum might be a consequence of overbearing authority but authority relieves itself of any responsibility by reducing the outburst to an aberration you can sometimes expect from someone of a certain age.

Grumpiness is an expression, maybe a mild one, of anger and, if this is so, then it's ridiculous to bracket it with old men because everybody has an anger propensity, don't they? To be born is to be born into a continuous experience of not always getting what you want and this frustration is what leads to anger. Infants get angry. Teenagers get angry. Adults get angry. Old people get angry. Why should old men be singled out for not always being amenable and placid?

Who's got the worst reputation as a grumpy old man? Well, it's God, of course. How many people have struggled with God and maybe ditched Him because they can't get out of their mind an intimidating image of a bearded old man with a sour expression of perpetual disapproval on his stony visage?

Well, anybody with any sense, you'd think, would walk away from someone like this. Abusive relationships, however, are notoriously adhesive and God gets away with it again and again. Maybe some of us grow up with an ingrained timidity. Maybe some of us need the inflexible iron spine of God Almighty to make up for our own spinelessness.

Is there any particular reason for an old man to be grumpy? Well, you look at your once sleek muscles turning to flab and it's not something you want to think about too much because it leads all the way down to the grave. No, I don't want to think about that. I've done everything I could to be a person of significance and to think it all ends in ashes is unbearable. It makes me angry and murderously jealous of youth.

My stony old pride won't own up to jealousy though so I'll disguise it like Abraham who convinced himself he was serving the Lord when he plotted to kill his own son Isaac. And what about those old First World War generals sitting behind the front line in chandeliered chateaux, were they similarly motivated as they orchestrated the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of young men?

Well, I mentioned this viewpoint in the tavern to two old military historians who replay famous battles using lead soldiers. They found the idea of senior officers killing off young men to assuage their jealousy of youth as deeply shocking. It would indeed be so if it was done consciously. But we don't really know to what extent it is the subconscious mind which really calls the tune. My conscious mind might say that what I am doing is for King and country and even God. Actually, however, I might truly be motivated by some inner rage concerning the inevitability of my own decline and demise.

Robert Graves had a wife but I can't remember her name. Maybe this is because she was merely a woman. Anyway, she was asked why she didn't believe in God and she replied, 'Because God is a man, of course.'

How did God become a man I wonder? Well, I suppose if you're the biggest beast in the field and you're a man and you want this state to continue, you might try getting rid of your blood-soaked garb and replacing it with robes. Make out you're the special one, make out you're infallible like god. But it's just mundane megalomania really and the problem with being a bossy boots is that it's so lonesome. You're not going to have any mates. It's all just sycophants and cringers, and with company like that, no wonder you feel grumpy whether you're an old chap, an infant or a harridan.


taken from http://garethrees.blogspot.com



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