Tuesday, January 2, 2024

2023 be damned!!

Lowlights of the year

The invasion of Ukraine continues in a First-World War-style meatgrinder-stalemate

Hamas butchers 1200 Israelis of all ages at a pop festival. Israel's reactionary government retaliates by flattening Gaza and killing over 10 times as many Palestinians

Despite him being a lying, narcissistic sociopath, Trump is getting more popular in the States and unless he is sent to prison in time, will be the next POTUS. Which of course will be a disaster not only for the US but globally.

Liberal democracy around the world is under attack from China, Iran, Russia and other half-witted regimes such as North Korea who sow misinformation on our social media, fuelling conspiracy theories.

The world seems to be getting even more stupid - ever more venal and corrupt politicians reaching either the wrong conclusion or just lining their own or their friends' pockets.

And they will be replaced by more of the same, as the people who should be our politicians have zero incentive to go into it.

So what's the bloody answer then?

One idea I feel very strongly about is abolish the post of Minister of Education. Every minister of Education who comes in says "I had a brilliant education - so everyone will have what I did" introduces another one-size-fits-all system, oblivious that most kids aren't academic.

As a result of Michael Gove's reforms English became a dissection class of fronted adverbials, which is enough to put almost everyone off the subject for good, when really a child's imagination is one of the most precious things in life, and as I've said before, the one thing that the education system pulverises.

Replace with a permanent committee of high profile educators and adopt a German style system (as Beveridge originally recommended) of grammar, technical and secondary schools. 

Stop trying to be a second rate China with this obsession with maths, and start being a first rate Britain. We're a really creative people in all aspects of life. After all, the wealthiest Chinese send all their children to Public schools here. Critical and independent thinking is what's needed, not a bunch of mindless automatons who have only been taught how to pass exams, instead of being educated.

And maybe abolish the internet. It's handy for the discussion of ideas and nonsense like this, but it's been fuelling stupidity and misinformation for 30 years or so. It's only effectively policed by totalitarian regimes, and it's just too easy to manipulate in liberal democracies.

I'm only scratching the surface here, but I should also stop NOW.

What about me???

In August I moved in with my parents who very kindly accommodated me. It wasn't as bad as any of us feared.

I've come to the realisation that I need to make a distance between my old life and new life, at least for the time being. I know time is a healer and certain enmities and suspicions that are harboured by both parties will gradually cool down.

I don't think it's worth the time and stress to talk over and over things we can't do anything about, despite the fact that modern life suggests this is the only way approach these things. 

When I have fallen out with people in the past and met them decades later, it's instantly water under the bridge  - it takes too much energy to keep enmities going for years at a time. And I spent years doing that with at least 2 people.

Saying that, there are people I don't want to see ever again of course. And some I wish were dead. And I have no qualms about that at all.

I miss the dogs and my friends. I miss being part of a family.

But I have made new friends here in Wells and reacquainted myself with old schoolmates.

Life for me is in the main, believe it or not, one of contentment. 

My Problem with booze

I've been drinking way too much. Drinking every night. I have a problem with alcohol. I can go without it but rarely do. The last time I drank was 3 days ago on the 30th.  In all, that day, I had 8 pints of strong beer: a UK gallon. I'm only small too.

A small Bailey's please.

So I think about going to the gym and getting really toned, but then I remembered I've had enough of gyms for one incarnation, so just walking loads and perhaps some swimming. I like flow-activities. Good for the brain.

I will have to stop buying booze at the supermarket. Get back into non-alcoholic beers. But only in pubs and bars.

So I guess that's my New Year's Resolution.

The boring bit about games

I'm really looking forward to playing RPGs 3 times per week or more. Katy's asked me to run a game for some teenagers in February on their half-term. I'm pretty sure I want to run the classic funhouse dungeon, White Plume Mountain.

1981 version

The session is intended to be a one-shot (completed in one session). That may be slightly ambitious with WPM, but it's full of puzzles, magic and combat. It makes no logical sense whatsoever - every room is entirely random - but if you can buy into this it's great fun. 

Like a D&D advent calendar.

I hope the kids like it - it's different to modern D&D as the new adventures are more focussed around a narrative.

I for one am loving being a player in Temple of Elemental Evil which we do on Wednesday afternoon/evening. It's so cool doing a Dungeon Crawl. It was also the second module (adventure) I bought in 1985. It blew my mind. It's great playing it.

1 comment:

  1. Are you running for office? You could kick asses in local government and work your way up Geraint!
    PS that photo is scary! Eeeek! (The table tummy.) C