I planned to limit myself to an hour to write this – and I have managed to do so in the past – but not really feeling it today.  It’s 17:24 now.  Who’s to know whether I stop at 18:24?  The answer is, of course, nobody but me.  However, the ‘but me’ is what matters.  Personal standards.  Consigned to the past, really.  Doing one’s best, regardless?  Don’t be ridiculous!  Today, it’s a case of the bare minimum; how little can I get away with?  What’s in it for me?  Moreover, if in doubt, lie …  I don’t lie; can’t lie.  Of course, there has been many a time when I’ve wanted to – perhaps, would have benefitted from doing so – but, always, there is that little voice in my head.  I believe it’s called a conscience.  Look it up or, should I say, google it.  God forbid, one open a book!

Books.  Printed and bound, tangible pages filled with facts to stimulate or, more creatively, thoughts and stories borne of imagination.  Words with the power to transport one to another world, far from reality.  A means to escape.  Never more crucial but, sadly, never more under-valued.  For life, now, is a screen and, from that, there is no release.  Magnetic in its lure, the cull of personal communication has been resolute, the brain-numbing, profound.  The desired effect?   The inevitable isolation, of course, cripplng in so many ways.  Crippling, as in broken.  For social interaction is fundamental to society and its very existence; to the family.  Sever that line of communication between parent and child, alone, and the effects are incredibly damaging – and far-reaching.  Look around.  That hand-held computer to which we are, all, attached – and by which we are monitored – has usurped life, full stop!  The spoken word?  Only when absolutely necessary.  The written word, as in hand-written?  Virtually obsolete.  Computers are compulsory in schools, dispensing with the need for grammar, spelling or punctuation.  The basics of literacy are, now, considered superfluous.  This is no longer a case of brain-numbing, this is brain-dead!   Not only terrifying but such is the success of the brain-numbing that apathy abounds and most just cannot be bothered to do anything about it.

Along with the family, the traditional parent/child relationship no longer exists.  In an ego-driven, materialistic world, offspring are mere appendages whose care and education is to be out-sourced until they are old enough to be deemed ‘friends’.  Parental responsibility?  There is none.  The school must bear that load as it does the necessity to ensure the little darlings achieve top academic grades worthy of boasting!  My point?  What led me down this path?  I suppose, listening to my two – as adults – bemoaning the lack of manners and consideration of their peers.  I have long thought we did them a dis-service, bringing them up to be – above all else – kind, caring, respectful adults.  To the mantra of ‘No man is an island’ (John Donne, for first-time readers), it was no accident that they, also, grew up with impeccable manners and the ability to read and write!  We took our responsibility as parents extremely seriously – and, yes, the alert amongst you will notice the use of the plural ‘we’.  Whilst it irks me greatly, he did have a certain amount of input in their formative years … a certain amount!  Anyway, historic times, now, but I do appreciate how hard it is to be surrounded by mannerless, entitled egomaniacs who may well be in possession of a burgeoning bank balance but lack both the ability to pen a grammatical sentence and the presence of the word ‘Thank You’ in their everyday vocabulary!  That does demand an exclamation mark.  Always been one for a strong ending.  Tempted …

My goodness, I could go on to talk about the infiltration of evil, courtesy of technology – teenagers killing teenagers for pleasure? – and that’s before the latest terrifying developments in AI.  The far-reaching consequences of ChatGPT aside, only this week came the report that Elon Musk’s company, Neuralink, has implanted a microchip into its first human brain.  Surprised?  All roads lead to Rome.  Guess what, though, the apathy is such that most do not even register.  That is the most terrifying thing of all.

Elon Musk.  He, of the 2018 £56 billion bonus from Tesla.  As CEO, the directors, originally, awarded him a pay package of the aforementioned amount until challenged by the investors.  Subject to appeal, a Delaware judge has, now, ruled in favour of the investors, deeming said amount excessive.  Excessive?  Welcome to a world in self-destruct.  Comedic, were it not so tragic.

Now Saturday, almost 6pm, that’s dedication for you.  Slightly over the hour, I’ll admit, but … giving of my best at all times.  To the highlight of my week, about which I had intended to devote this entire post: of course, the acting ‘prowess’ of the loathsome Nicola Sturgeon.  Oh, joy!  Admittedly, arriving late to the spectacle, I spent more than five hours, enthralled, as she was outclassed – annihilated – by Jamie Dawson KC, a tad over-weight version of Hugh Grant!  Adorned in the random, obligatory white stilettos, it beggars belief that she pledged to’ tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth ‘before proceeding to lie through her teeth.  Classic Sturgeon!  I have, of late, wondered where she had gone?  Why she was not, as yet, behind bars?  Who knew?  Turns out, she’s been having acting lessons!  Her repeated attempts, under duresse, at the waterworks and the faltering voice, however …  In the words of the late Eric Morecambe?  Rubbish!  Too late for a refund?  Not one to squander cash …

I didn’t believe it for a minute …  She could cry from one eye, if she wanted to.’

Alister Jack, Scottish Secretary

Wednesday was an exposé of the real Nicola Sturgeon.  Outclassed in every way by Jamie Dawson KC, whose line of questioning was not only adept but skilfully precisioned, her answers were ridiculously verbose in a bid to disguise her guilt.  Did she use the pandemic to progress independence?  One hundred percent, and every question sought to expose her.  ‘I fully expected the Prime Minister to do exactly the same’ was her explanation as to why she had pre-empted any decision from Westminster.  Sorry?  Part of a union, was she in charge?!  Then, repeatedly, ‘I had a duty, as First Minister, to the people of Scotland’.  Altruistic, as ever!  As for the deleted WhatsApp messages?  Mere confirmation that she had something to hide …  This woman and her select, chip-ridden posse, has brought Scotland to its knees.  Driven by hatred, she has spent her political life trying to undermine the Union.  The pandemic, she believed, was a gift.  No thought for human life, it was her opportunity to further her cause in pursuit of her dream.  Perhaps, she, too, would have done better to heed the words of John Donne.  As it was, consumed by hatred, inadvertently, she engineered her own downfall and, in doing so – one can only hope – Scotland’s re-birth.  Worthy of a Shakespearean tragedy, methinks.

‘A truth that’s told with bad intent
Beats all the lies you can invent.’

William Blake

This is Trish, signing off – exposed: Saturday, 20.34!