AS I SEE It… ‘A time of Innocence!!’

“There is a new war and it is only just beginning!!”

1514a02dfe83d1a2801477c1da9d8004First and foremost, let me state for and on the record, I am not a racist!! Never have been, never will be! I was raised in a loving, caring home where all people were equal regardless of race, colour, culture or creed. I grew up in the 50’s, a time of innocence and trust. Where doors were never locked and neighbours looked out for you, making sure the washing was in, if it looked like rain. The groceries were put away, the chooks and pets fed if you weren’t home. We lived in a time, where “gay” meant ‘carefree and happy’ (it was also a brand of ice-cream!) and where parents socialised with all their neighbours and friends regardless of their social standing and beliefs. We experienced foods from all cultures and embraced our friends and their differences. The values instilled in me during those informative years have never left me.

More and more today, I wish I could find my hidden door and go back to that time. A time where the word “PC” meant ‘Police Constable’ (Personal Computers and Politically Correct were terms not in our vocabulary!) ‘Rainbow’ was something beautiful in the sky and we forever chased that elusive ‘pot of gold’. Nursery rhymes were fun and we knew them all by heart. Little Bo-Peep, Georgie Porgy, Humpty Dumpty, Old King Cole, Mary had a little Lamb and of course Ba Ba Black Sheep. ’Enid Blyton’s “Noddy” books were read over and over. We knew every word, every character, lovingly caressed as we turned the tattered and torn pages held together with a mothers loving touch! Where knowledge was an infectious drug and books of every genre and manner were precious gifts, cherished with revered respect and love.

We played cowboys and Indians with all the kids in the neighbourhood, had cap guns and wooden rifles. We had our gangs and our hierarchy. We obeyed the rules set within this structure, at school and at play. Catholics and Protestants mingled together when they had to, especially on a cold and frosted Saturday morning all in the name of sport!

If we stepped outside the boundaries set for us, we got a swift “kick in the pants” from who ever happened to be the closest, Policeman, parent or friend. No one ran crying foul and yelling, “that was assault” If we mis-behaved at school, we got a belt across the knuckles from one of the teachers, or God forbid, “six of the best” from the headmaster. We accepted it, no questions.. End of story!!

My, how times have changed! The world we now live in will never be the same; almost all of us have memories of those beautiful times. It was ‘A time of innocence!’

Yes, we all learned of the Holocaust and the atrocities that took place during the Nazi occupation throughout Europe and other conflicts in the South Pacific. Many of our fathers and grand fathers will never forget the treatment of fellow humans by the Japanese, Germans Americans and British all in the name of what?

I’m sure we have all asked that question!

Now.. Fast-forward 60 odd years and what has changed?

It’s sad to say, but today, we are no longer a tolerant society. It could be argued that 9/11 saw to that! We’ve become targets for extremists. We all know of this diaspora! The biggest threat seen today is their infiltration into Western society. Sadly, this in part, is because of the media scaremongering and continued frenzy. Keeping this image to the forefront and fueling it on a daily basis through many different outlets. Guess what? We have allowed this. We have allowed in part, these extremists to breath a foul breath of hatred against the western world.

Our right to celebrate our traditions like Christmas, Easter, our religious beliefs, or our cultures and their traditions, whatever they may be are dwindling. Children today are no longer allowed to recite Ba Ba Black Sheep, or read Enid Blyton’s classic “Noddy” books.

We have begun accept that this is the way it is.. We are indoctrinated that it must be ‘politically correct’. Sadly, folk just tend to shrug their shoulders and say “Oh well!! ”

It doesn’t matter that our forefathers gave their lives to protect what we had.

Right now, America is in the grip of another hatred war. This time it is not ISIS it is pure racism. The point blank shooting of another African American citizen has ignited a media feeding frenzy. This has continued with the shooting of twelve police in Dallas. These extremists must be laughing all the way to the bank!!

Where will it end?

“There is a new war and it is only just beginning!!”

AS I SEE IT… “Once we were Roadies!!”

“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” Said Victor Hugo.13509093_10153626749001766_8637562070675799114_n
I’ve been watching a series called ‘Roadies’ and it has me hooked. I started to drift back to a time long long gone. Nothing but a faded memory in these Autumn years. Never the less, still a beautiful memory. It took me back to dust filled sweat laden alcohol and drug fuelled days of that long hot, wild and beautiful Summer when I became a roadie.
Sure, it was a lot different then to what it is now, but basically the culture is still the same. We were all there for the same adrenalin rush, the thrills, the music, the drugs, the groupie girls, and the excitement of being with the band, on the open road. It was a pure form of what we called “Freedom!” We had broken free of the restrictions placed upon us by controlling parents.. Parents that had not embraced this new world, after all, mother was kept at home, cooking keeping house and being the dutiful wife! (In May of 1955, Housekeeping Monthly published an article entitled, “The Good Wife’s Guide,” detailing all the ways that a wife should act and how best she can be a partner to her husband and a mother to her children.) Looking back, it may feel a little strange to accept these rules today, but it remains so interesting to see how society once behaved. This was still the case in 1968 and even to this day, that stigma remains.

So, how many of us remember wishing we could just quit school and live the free life? After all, it was the 60’s and to take the line from Dylan’s famous song, ‘For the times they are a-changin’ indeed, the times were changing! America was at war with Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand were being pulled into it. We all looked at this unique group of miscreants, ‘The Roadies,’ with many of us secretly wanting to be one of them, albeit for a night or a week. I don’t know about you, but I wanted to be a  ‘roadie’ to escape the reality of the world, to unleash my creativity by writing lyrics and poetry, to rebel, to grow my hair long, wear a black tee shirt and jeans and bright silver chains. Go on a trip and have a smoke! But for others, it was to avoid the draft. No one questioned anyone’s motive for being part of this eclectic group of heterogeneous people. Creativity excelled as we found a multitude of ways to manipulate our parents and peers. We had dropped out of school and for now, the mainstream of society. We were chastised and castigated pretty much by all members of the community, all because we wanted to pursue our dream, to live this open and carefree lifestyle. We were from many different cultures and classes. From the wealthiest of the wealthy to the poorest of the poor, but here there was no class distinction. We were all, as one. All sharing more than the food we had pooled. We shared stories, many horrific stories of growing up in what I can only describe today, as a dysfunctional society. We wanted our taste of freedom.. To taste the golden apple!
But alas, I guess some of us may not remember the 60’s and 70’s all that well these days. The years have taken their toll. The ‘Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll’ have influenced many of our generation. A lot are no longer here to tell the wonderful tales, to reminisce about those precious days filled with a banquet of decadent indulgences. Sadly, we see more and more wonderful influencers of modern music going to prepare for that mighty gig in the sky. There is not a month that passes, where at some point I’m sure we wonder who might be next? It could be a favourite song or special memory that may trigger it.
Now, I must say that being a ‘Roadie’ was far from glamorous. There was nothing luxurious about it. It was a hard graft. Yep, it kept me awake at night, sleeping on a cockroach-infested floor, did not serve as a comfortable bed. More like a penance! Still I persevered. I loved what I did. Met loads of talented people from many different bands. Most today, would have no idea who I was.. I learned a hard lesson in life. One I’ve carried with me all these years…
Sometimes the grass appears greener on the other side, because it has been fertilized by bullshit!
As Victor Hugo said “Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”

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