Egomania

I’ve been having some difficulty writing anything of late. I guess my head’s too full of stuff close to home. The media log-jam of Trump and Brexit still dominates the airwaves, and browsing through old posts recently I came across a near-perfect example of media/political inanity from February 2015. Four years on the news items may be old-hat, but the madness continues.

Originally entitled, “One Human Trait Too Many,” this time I’ve called it simply, “Egomania.”

ego

There’s a problem with the human species. It affects us all, and for most of us it sits simmering under the surface of our characters like a quietly bubbling volcano. There are those, however, from whom it will inevitably break free and erupt with disastrous consequences. The catalyst for this reaction is money, power, and the inevitable, accompanying, arrogance.

The problem is Egotism. It’s the bane of politicians, media personalities, and tycoons the world over, often resulting in their downfall. It’s particularly prevalent among the not-so-bright politicians of our time. They may have scholared at Harvard, or Oxbridge, but success relies more heavily on ‘Daddy’s money’ than anything resembling intelligence. Common sense, once considered a prerequisite for success, has no abode in the brains of these individuals.

Perhaps one of the most famous political figures of late to fall foul of their ego, was 2008 presidential hopeful, Hilary Clinton.

hillary

Her account of being ‘under fire’ while on a visit to war-torn Iraq was rapidly discovered to be false.[1]

In just the last few days, NBC news anchor Brian Williams has been forced to eat humble pie after “mis-remembering” his flight in a helicopter he told the world was hit by RPG fire over Iraq.

brian-williams-fake-story

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The chopper he was in was a full hour behind the one that was hit.[2]

Of course, there are psychologists and psychiatrists only too ready to tell us such ‘mis-remembrances’ are perfectly normal, and we can’t be blamed when we get it wrong.[3] Or, is that merely a way of suggesting that no-one ever lies, they simply ‘mis-remember’? If so, then Brian Williams is a true mis-rememberer. In 2006, after reporting for NBC from New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, Williams said in an interview:

“When you look out of your hotel window in the French Quarter and watch a man float by face down, when you see bodies that you last saw in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, and swore to yourself that you would never see in your country.”[4]

He went on to relate how he’d accidentally ingested some of the floodwater and contracted dysentery. Apparently, there was no flooding in the French Quarter (so no body floating past) and no known outbreak of dysentery resulting from the Katrina catastrophe.

‘Mis-remembering’ could be something of a handicap for a news reporter. Does this mean NBC might not be telling us the truth during their news broadcasts? Surely not?

Today’s politicians are not only known for mis-remembering, they’re also easily recognized by acts or statements of gross stupidity. Here, the egotistical are caught out because they try to think – a function of the brain they’re not well practiced at.

Take Republican Senator Thom Tillis, of North Carolina.

Tillis

He’s just stated that restaurants shouldn’t insist employees wash their hands after using the toilet. Actually, they don’t. Restaurant owners stick a notice in the restroom and leave compliance entirely up to the employee. Even that’s not sufficient for Tillis. His argument is simply that if sufficient customers became sick, then the restaurant would cease to be patronized, and go out of business.[5]

Across the pond, in my UK homeland, the ego reigns supreme among certain politicians who might do well to keep their mouths under firmer control. The present Mayor of London, for instance, Boris de Pfeffel Johnson.

boris-yawn1

A distant relative of George II, and hence a cousin to the British prime minister, David Cameron, (yes, these bloody aristocrats keep popping up where they’re least expected) he was educated at Eton and Oxford. Does that make him intelligent? Well, not necessarily, in these days of top jobs having more to do with who you know (and are) rather than acquired qualifications, but it does allow the ego to trip one up rather easily when one’s trying hard to be clever, and failing dismally.

Only last week Johnson described members of the Islamic extremist group, ISIS, as “porn watching wankers”.

According to the Guardian newspaper:

Citing a report from MI5 on the profile of jihadis, the mayor of London said: “If you look at all the psychological profiling about bombers, they typically will look at porn. They are literally wankers. Severe onanists.”

Johnson described British jihadis as “tortured” and “very badly adjusted in their relations with women”, something he said was a symptom of “their feeling of being a failure and that the world is against them”.

“They are not making it with girls and so they turn to other forms of spiritual comfort – which of course is no comfort.”

He continued: “They are just young men in desperate need of self-esteem who do not have a particular mission in life, who feel that they are losers and this thing makes them feel strong – like winners.”

Johnson, who is one of the leading candidates to be the next Tory leader, made the comments in an interview with the Sun newspaper a week after he visited the Kurdish regional capital of Irbil to see the Peshmerga fighters who are pushing back against the Isis insurgency in Iraq. The visit, during which he posed for pictures with an AK47, was interpreted as an attempt to demonstrate his credentials as an international statesman…”[6]

Being photographed holding an AK47 is now a prerequisite for statesmanship. Presumably, this would explain where Winston Churchill went wrong.

Johnson’s outburst against ISIS says more about him than it does about the Islamic extremist organization he criticizes. He’s in the running to be the next prime minister of the UK, and probably considers such base language a vote-catcher among the poor, ill-educated, British masses he imagines tip their forelocks to him as he passes. As a sop to his ego, this Eton pseudo-intellectual threw in the noun, “onanist”, just to prove he knows a word the peasants don’t. Etonians would readily recognize it, of course, given that the college is full of them.

Meanwhile, his cousin, British Prime Minister David Cameron, is endeavoring to bolster a flagging ego, not just among British voters but throughout the political landscape of Europe. Notable this week was his lack of invitation to peace talks taking place in Germany, between France, Germany, and Russia, over the future of Ukraine. Mister Cameron has taken pains to deny he was jilted over the affair, though observers have been quick to note a slight quivering of the proverbial stiff upper lip, precariously poised above his somewhat weak and flabby chin.[7]

cameron

Ukraine has been a godsend to politicians in the United States. They’ve taken every opportunity to spout egotistical rhetoric designed to quash their political opposition and win votes in 2016. Such are the political stakes that a full-blown war with Russia has already been hinted at, as good old American arrogance and bluster blast commonsense from the playing field.

Only today, according to the BBC, Germany’s Chancellor Merkel upset NATO’s top military ego, US Air Force General Philip Breedlove, by stating her opposition to Washington sending weapons to Ukraine:

The US is considering pleas to send weapons to Ukraine but Mrs Merkel said she could not “imagine any situation in which improved equipment for the Ukrainian army leads to President Putin being so impressed that he believes he will lose militarily”.

The statement put her in opposition to Nato’s top military commander, US Air Force general Philip Breedlove, who told reporters that Western allies should not “preclude out of hand the possibility of the military option”.[8]

All of this leaves one with an impression of today’s world controlled, not by wisdom and commonsense, but solely by the egotism of those in power. Unfortunately, the ego has no commonsense and merely flounders around making one bad judgement after another, its purpose to bolster the macho image of its owner, much as a cockerel struts with puffed out chest around the chickens in his farmyard.

I began this article by stating that the human species has a problem that affects us all. It’s not just politicians and people with power that suffer from the affliction. It’s all of us. Instead of standing up and telling our leaders how stupidly they’re behaving, our egos force us to take sides. We assume positions, usually along political lines, that bolster our own egos, and happily go along with the most ridiculous of ideas because, in some strange way, it makes us feel better and more powerful to do so.

One perfect example of this is American talk radio. The best known ‘radio-jock’ in the nation, Rush Limbaugh, can spout the most ludicrous statements, secure in the knowledge that his many listeners will cling resolutely to his words, without ever attempting to decipher whether they’re utter nonsense, or not.

Perhaps this is merely evolution in action. It seems we have a stark choice. Either, learn to control our egotism, or flounder to inevitable extinction while proudly waving our national flags and singing our anthems, as we sink into the bottomless quicksands of our own arrogance.

[1] “Clinton under fire: Video contradicts Hillary’s claim she ran from sniper shots in Bosnia” Daily Mail, March 26th 2008

[2] “US anchor Brian Williams apology for Iraq helicopter story” BBC, February 5th 2015

[3] “The science behind Brian Williams’s mortifying memory flub” Washington Post, February 5th 2015

[4] “NBC News anchor Brian Williams’ comments about dead bodies, Hurricane Katrina starting to gain attention, draw scrutiny” New Orleans Advocate, February 7th 2015

[5] “US senator questions forcing food workers to wash hands” BBC, February 4th 2015

[6] “Boris Johnson: jihadis are porn-watching ‘wankers'” Guardian, January 30th 2015

[7] “Cameron under fire in UK for not joining Merkel & Hollande in Moscow, Kiev talks” RT, February 7th 2015

[8] “Ukraine crisis: ‘Last chance’ for peace says Hollande” BBC, February 7th 2015

Exposing The Lies…

Click on any image for full size

So Why Isn’t She Acting in the Nation’s Interest?

Ignorant, Stupid, or Just a Bare-Faced Liar?

Ignorant, Stupid, or Just a Bare-Faced Liar?

Ignorant, Stupid, or Just a Bare-Faced Liar?

Just Ignorant! He was Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union when he said it!

Dyson’s now moving his operation to Singapore

Four ordinary British men doing their best to fight the lies and deceit that have festered at the heart of the UK Tory Party over BREXIT.

“Led By Donkeys,” Read their full story at the Guardian link below:

[1] “Four men with a ladder: the billboard campaigners battling Brexit” Guardian, 7th February 2019

I Confess I Sexually Assaulted Wendy Plummer

Moreton Shore ~ Circa 1940-1950

Writing recently of pressure groups in general, and the #MeToo social networking group in particular, I began to consider whether I had, at some time in my relatively long life, committed any sort of unwanted sexual assault on a female who had made no advances towards me to warrant such an intrusion.

Throughout my early formative years I have little recollection of my parents. My father worked for a telephone company after the war and would leave home early. My mother worked in a steam laundry and would cover the ten or so miles to her workplace by bicycle. She would be gone before dawn and not return home until seven or eight o’clock in the evening.

My grandmother, on my father’s side, lived with us in our little bungalow on a quiet suburban street in a small town called Moreton, on the Wirral peninsular, just across the Mersey from the city of Liverpool. In those days that great city seemed far away, for all I knew it could have been on Mars. Like most working class families in post-war Britain we had not yet risen to the dizzy heights of motor car owners.

I never liked my grandmother. She seemed a surly individual who spent most of her time in bed reading the Bible. Of course, at the tender age of three or four I had no idea she was dying of cancer. Then, one day, I was playing in the front garden and risked a peek into the window of grandmother’s bedroom. To my surprise the bed was not only empty, but all the linen had been removed and only the frame and springs remained. Later, I asked my mother, “Where’s Grandmother?”

“Gone to Jesus,” was the reply, in a tone that brooked no further questioning. I’d not even heard of Jesus, but accepted that she’d probably gone to live with some distant relative.

I went back into the garden, peered once more through the bedroom window, then danced a jig on the front lawn, happy that at long last the old woman I disliked so much was finally out of my life.

I worshiped my sister. Her name was Mary and she was five years my senior. (Somewhat later in life we gigglingly decided Mary was the product of the last thing my father did before going to war, and I resulted from the first thing he did on arriving back home – probably before he took his boots off!)

After Grandmother went to live with the relative, my sister took on the job of looking after me while our parents were at work. She had a gang. It was hardly the Bloods or the Crips. For one thing they were all girls, apart from me, that is. My Sis was the leader and Margaret Banks, who lived down the road, was her deputy. My sister was nine, which made her the oldest, and Margaret was seven and wore a pink eye patch because she had a ‘lazy eye’. Mary said it made her look mean, and she wanted one, but my Mum told her, “Certainly not!” which upset her for a while until Margaret Banks agreed to lend her hers, in exchange for borrowing one of my sister’s dolls.

There were two other members of the gang, sisters Jennifer and Wendy Plummer. Jennifer was six and her sister, three. They lived opposite to us in a bungalow with a long front garden and a fish pond. I was really jealous of the fishpond and would find excuses to play in their garden at every opportunity.

We got up to all sorts of mischief during the long hot summer holidays. Apart from me and Wendy Plummer all the other gang members were of school age, so the holidays were a great time for adventures of all sorts. Often, my sister would make sandwiches and buy Tizer lemonade with our lunch money, and we’d all head off across the railway and down a long, winding lane that led to the seashore. I loved it down there. I could do what I liked. There was an old derelict lighthouse to explore, and ponds, and a concrete bunker with slit-like holes for soldiers to aim their guns through if Hitler ever invaded Moreton. He never did. It was a great place to hide in and pretend the Nazi hordes were landing on the beach, though it smelled of stale urine and there were old and rather shrivelled rubbery tube-like things lying around that my sister told me I mustn’t touch. Later, when I found out what they were, I was glad I hadn’t!

It was one of those hot summer mornings at the start of school holidays. The two older girls decided we weren’t going to the beach that day and I wasn’t privy to what we were to do, but it entailed us meeting up outside our house and heading up the street in the general direction of the local sweet shop.

The three older girls and I were wearing T-shirts and shorts, but Wendy Plummer, who was still only three, wore only a pair of white cotton panties. The pavement was quite narrow and Jennifer and her sister were in front, while Margaret Banks, my sister and I walked at the rear. I was suddenly conscious of being close behind a small pair of buttocks gyrating violently inside Wendy Plummer’s white knickers. At the tender age of four my hormones were undoubtedly absent, but for some reason I was riveted by this mass of pulsating flesh before my eyes. What on earth was going on behind that veil of white cotton? It was a question that demanded an answer. Without a moment’s hesitation, I reached forward, grabbed the offending linen, and swiftly yanked it down to the little girl’s knees.

Wendy Plummer was a well-rounded child and gaining a glimpse of those pink buttocks bouncing around was, I thought, well worth the slap around the head I received from my big sister. Wendy, without missing a stride, just hauled up her panties and continued on her way without a backward glance, as though exposing her bottom to the world wasn’t worth another thought. Within five minutes the whole incident was forgotten by everyone, too busy consuming ice cream and butterscotch from the emporium of Mrs Sowerby, the local vicar’s wife.

Forgotten, that is, by all except me. I wasn’t sure why I was so elated by my little adventure into the workings of the female anatomy, but the gyrations of those little pink orbs of flesh just continued to fascinate me.

Later, in those harsh post-pubescent years that lay ahead of me, when schoolboys whispered behind bike sheds of forbidden things like ladies’ breasts and shapely legs, I too longed shyly for those forbidden fruits that only female teenage beauties might, though never did, provide. But when a pretty girl passed by and other boys flirted with hidden lusts for breast or leg, my thoughts and eyes would stray to just one particular aspect, the pleasing rise of shapely buttock through skirt or skin-tight jeans, and I would remember a hot summer’s day in 1950, when Wendy Plummer was three year’s old and I was barely four.

My dear sister died, in London, under the wheels of a lorry as she rode her bicycle to work. She was fifty-one year’s old. The other members of our gang have long been lost to me as the mists of time have rolled on. But I’ll be forever grateful to them all. Spending my formative years in their company taught me to respect all womankind and hold them in high regard.

Yet, in these days of #MeToo, and the witchhunt by those rampant feminists who have hijacked an otherwise worthy movement, I must hold up my hand, admit to being guilty of a sexual assault on an unsuspecting female. Wendy Plummer will be over seventy years old now. I doubt she’d even remember the day her gyrating buttocks had such a dramatic effect on my life.

It’s unlikely she’ll be scouring Facebook for me, intent on naming and shaming me as another Harvey Weinstein. Hopefully, for those Madame Defarge’s who roam the #MeToo campaign, I’ll be the one that got away.