Friday, 25 January 2013

My Sister - My Wife

It's an age old story, boy meets girl. They fall in love. A relationship forms. One evening they come together and the question is popped - will you be my wife? So romantic you say, but would you say the same thing if you found out that they were actually step-brother and step-sister? My jaw fell open as I watched a documentary about couples who had fallen in love and married their own step-brother or step-sister, and it's legal. 

Call me old fashioned, ignorant, out of touch with what's going on this world, whatever, but I can't get my head around it. My mind kept shouting out 'INCEST!!!'. It didn't make a difference whether or not they were raised in the same house or whether they knew each other beforehand. As far as I was concerned they were now related via their parent's marriage. It doesn't sit right with something within me.

Am I right to be so utterly confounded or baffled, or is my thinking being dominated by an unfounded taboo?
Was it my upbringing, my beliefs, my morals or ethics? I can't work it out. 

This then sucked me down the deep rabbit hole. I started thinking about those that marry their cousins. Now this is blood related! My brain is in overdrive now.  I mean, didn't Charles Darwin marry his first cousin Emma? Hang on a minute, so did Albert Einstein, H G Wells and Franklin Roosevelt, to name just a few. Not to mention the various cultures all over the world that marry in this way? But what about their children, aren't parents this closely related associated with much higher levels of birth defects? This whole subject has opened up a huge can of worms for me, so to speak. I'm wondering if any of you out there can help to make this plainer. 

How do you view blood related and/or step related marriages?
Are your views based on your morals, ethics, religions, health, science etc?
Think about the love of your life right now. If you suddenly found out they were your cousin or step-sibling, what would you do?
Are there any traditions/customs that you can't get your head around ie: mormons/muslims having more than wife?

I love to hear your views, opinions and comments.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Disappointment - My Constant Companion

Disappointment can sometimes be like a ball attached to one's ankle via a long chain. It will let you get so far then yank you back. You want to go forward in life but it's hard dragging a weight behind you. If you sit still doing nothing it's no problem, but as soon as you get up to move, there it goes again - disappointment. 

For many people, unemployment can be that disappointment, which is a constant companion. It's one hell of a road to be on. If you factor old age or should I say maturity into it, it's no joke. Add a little bad health and it becomes worse. 

People are constantly being demonized for being on state benefits, but how else can they survive if they can't find work? Not everyone chooses to sit on their backside and do nothing all day. Some have no choice. Voluntary work may give you an advantage when it comes to gaining experience and so can doing educational courses. But they don't pay the bills. 

Yes, there are some who cheat the benefit system, and some who have no intention or desire to work, but I'm definitely not speaking about them. 

I say all of this because of a number of conversations I've had with some ignorant minded folk. Ignorant I say, because they have not only never been in this situation, but they have an attitude of unrelenting grievance, filled with hate against anyone who does not work for any reason. Their high minded, pompous status in life has somewhat let them down. My blood boils but I keep a lid on it. In situations like those I have a split second choice between one of the following consequences:

 Spend the night in a police cell 
 Write a blog post

I chose wisely. No-one is worth the first route.

The basic reality is that there are people out there who have genuinely struggled to find a job. Some will use every penny of their savings to survive before they accept any handouts. They are not stupid, lazy, scroungers or useless. They are people who would do hard graft if given the opportunity. They are people who would take minimum pay, work nights if they had to, and extra shifts wouldn't be an issue if given the chance, but in spite of all this, disappointment remains their constant companion. 

Why add to the weight they already carry by giving them an additional burden of shame and guilt? Anyone of us could find ourself in this position tomorrow! 

One of my friends was in tears as he explained how his son has become deeply depressed after being unemployed for a couple of years. He's become reclusive, lost self-confidence, lost hope and no longer enjoys going to social gatherings, lest someone should ask him about work. He's applied for countless jobs, had countless interviews, been on courses but yet nothing suffices. What does a person in this position need to do before others are willing to accept that people like him have tried?

Have you even been umemployed for any length of time? Tell me about it.

What are your views on the chronically unemployed?

Feel free to share your views, opinions or thoughts. 

Friday, 11 January 2013

Anti-Social Networking

Addiction - a word normally associated with drink or drugs - but can you also be addicted to social media/internet? It seems to me that some people can't get enough of it.

On one hand, I see it as a great way to express views, meet like-minded cyber-friends from all different backgrounds and from around the world - all whilst sitting in the comfort of my own home.   
It's a cheap and very easy way to stay in contact with family/friends abroad and it allows lonely people the opportunity to socialise. Social media can help you stay connected to your fellow man. Not bad eh?

Want instant information at your finger-tips? Search the internet. Fancy talking to someone? Skype them or use online chat. Facebook, twitter and many other sites are great places to contact vast amounts of people very quickly. The internet is a great place to promote a worthy cause, and even get petitions up and running quickly. I love social media.

But what about the ugly, dark flip-side to it? 
Do you really know who sits behind those computers, or do you even care? Many of us have avatars, provide hapless names and can become faceless people we are not. Even a photograph provides no proof that it is of you! I read that a blogger found her own family picture under someone else's name. 

Also, we lose vital time at work and home spending valuable time on the internet or social networking. It's hard for people to get our attention in real life because we are so busy checking our emails (whilst we're eating dinner), texting (whilst driving - all the while condemning drink driving!), being 'poked' or poking others on sites (or am I already out of date?). I've almost broken my ankle doing long jump because my email bleeped me. We feel naked going out without our mobiles.  Some of us have lost track of what is happening in the real world around us because of it. 

Are we even aware that there are online predators, or do we only recognise them after we have been 'caught' in their net?

Do those people who boast about the great foreign holiday they're about to embark on, stop to think that a burglar may be reading that message? Cross-referenced with their home address, that is a recipe for robbery!

Do parents care about the amount of information they divulge with photos of their children on things like facebook without even blinking an eye? I mean, most parents wouldn't normally give this info to a stranger on the street, so why parade it on social sites? I wonder if any of that information has been used to groom children? Just a wild thought. 

Every time you open a new account your are required to give details of your name, email address, gender or suchlike. Different accounts have different disclosures of personal information. Bit by bit, every personal detail about you is put on the internet for all to see, or for dubious characters to gather and hack into. How about the ones that form close personal relationships with the unsuspecting innocent ones? Many of those in such situations end up with their hearts broken, their bank balance being greatly reduced or being scammed in various ways. Well, to my shame, I've been stung too. I befriended a nut... but I'll save that for another post, because it ended well for me. 

Do you spend too much time on the internet, and why?
Have you ever been scammed in some way, or even suffered a troll, what did you do about it?
Do you have any safe tips on being secure on social sites or the internet?

I'd love to hear your thoughts, comments and views.

Friday, 4 January 2013


I'm honoured to have been asked to Guest Post for the first time ever (one-off) for a wonderful blogger called Jon Whiting from 'Speaking My Mind' blog. Jon Whiting has an honest, fresh and raw writing approach, and doesn't pull any punches or hide what he thinks. He opines without fear or favour and I like that in a blogger. 

So I ask anyone reading this today to please come over and join us by using the link below. My post is called Legacy:

Legacy - by Rum Punch Drunk

As bloggers, we both appreciate, encourage and welcome participation from you. So let us know what you think by leaving comments. Jon has also written some great articles, so feel free to take a good look around his blog and don't forget to let him know your thoughts, opinions and views on his posts. 

I will be back here next week with another topic/subject for us to discuss.
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