I Read The News Today….Oh Boy.


I have been trying to avoid newspapers and the news on television these last couple of years. But you can’t get away from it. Headlines are splashed across screens at train stations, in restaurants and on social media. And, to be honest, I can’t resist, from time to time, checking in to see what’s up. I’m never glad I did.

The media….pick any type you like….has a mandate to shock us by reporting and sensationalising bad news. They know, psychologically, that we like it. Bad news from elsewhere makes us feel safe where we are. It also sobers us into a view of reality that, quite frankly, is media driven. Marshall McLuhan was right. Media is the message.

And the sobering fact is, we’re told that the world is going to hell in a handcart and there’s nothing we can do about it. Some try. Lives are lost when the populace goes up against what we used to call The Establishment in the 1960s. But for people to rise up and change things, it would take such a determination of will. And even then, whose will would prevail in the aftermath? Whose philosophy of life? Anarchists have no plan after the destruction of society. But they would probably say there is no plan because plans by definition are flawed from the outset. Anarchists exist to destroy anything that is built….like kids who knock down a Lego house for the fun of it.

No one seems truly happy and content these days. Tragedy in so many peoples’ lives, many of whom I know personally. Maybe a few are truly happy, but there isn’t much to get excited about in the world if you watch or read about in the news. We grab moments of joy. They are fleeting. Lots of people have to take some kind of substance to dull or enhance the senses in order to feel something, experience anything beyond the ordinary or just plain escape our reality. We have gurus and psychics, priests, psychiatrists, agony aunts (remember Ann Landers and Deirdre?), self-help books and groups all so that we can hear that our present and future are bright. Now with the advance of Quantum Physics, some question the validity of anything we call reality. Again, if you buy into all that stuff.

Problem is, there is so much media and so many messages bombarding us from all sides that it is vitually impossible to sift through it all and get a coherent message. And who is telling the truth about anything anyway? I used to be a preacher. Thought for years that I was spreading the truth. Turns out it isn’t. Only to some and they hang on to it like a talisman. I suppose the truth is that we all have or need some sort of talisman to make sense of this crazy old world. Mine has become my music and my writing. Just bringing these few thoughts and others like them into existance make life worthwhile for me. That and hoping my three kids (all grown up) back in Canada are healthy and as fulfilled as possible.

I also have my best friend who makes sense of this life to me. I know she’ll read this, so I won’t say any more. Thanks, mate, for the insights, the patience and the caring. Small circle really. Friends, most of them, come and go. In the end, we have a very small circle of people in our lives who we trust and who care who we are for, well, who we are. The rest would sell us down the river to save their own lives. I hope I wouldn’t, but I’m not that sure even of me. Never been tested to the max.

So, I read the news today….oh boy. Some military General in the United States has all but predicted the inevitability of a third world war, one that will be quick and nasty. The usual suspects are paraded out….Russia, China and so on….except for the United States. But there’s no guarantee there either. I shouldn’t have, but I went to the internet and punched in ‘predictions for world war three’. An endless stream of old and new material came up discussing this and that event occurring in the world that could trigger a global war. And it doesn’t help that the media reports Putin’s Russia is deploying nuclear missiles close to the Polish and Lithuanian borders and is thinking once again of being a military presence in Cuba.

Posturing? Blustering? Media hype? Probably much of that, with the old kernel of truth thrown in. My dad read a lot of books on and by Winston Churchill. War fascinated my dad. He passed that curiosity on to his two sons. Fascinated but fearful. That’s us. Dad would say that no one wanted to believe a second world war was inevitable. Churchill was seen as an anacronym in his day. A war monger. The years 1939-1945 were supposed to teach the world a lesson. Vladimir Putin was born just over a year after me and 7 years after WWII. What does he know about global war? Nothing. He is the Russian Trump. Just my estimation. How true that is remains to be seen.

Taking a deep breath. Can’t read or listen to any more. I’m sitting on my narrowboat in our little marina in Apsley (Hemel Hempstead), Hertfordshire. At this moment, the sky is mostly clear, the air is cool. A vintage war plane from the second world war flew over earlier. Some see that as a sign of freedom, others a destructive machine that is a reminder of part of humanity’s failure to overcome its lust for violence. It reminded me of what my dad did in that last global conflict. He fixed those machines and kept them flying. Nostalgia. Ought to remain as such.

Not much humour in this Blog. In one of those moods and I had to say my piece. Hope you understand. Not sure I do entirely. This is what happens when I come out of my little boat world and dare to look at the big picture. So, back to my distractions and the things I do in my small acre. There is now, more than ever, deeper meaning in just being, breathing and gazing at the stars. May your skies ever be clear and bright, but in a safe and peaceful way.


About geezerbluesoflondon

Writing and Music are my passions. I have been honing both for over six decades now. I was born in London, England but spent most of my life growing up and being educated in Canada. In 2006 I moved back to London, England where I worked at a music shop then taught music from my studio in Kent. I then sold the house and studio and moved on to a narrowboat on the canals of England. I presently live on the boat in a marina in Worcestershire, England. I have 2 published books available from Amazon and Kindle and am about to self-publish my 3rd. I have three grown children. I hope you enjoy what you read in my Blogs.

5 responses »

  1. Hi Larry,

    Read your recent blog and this brought to mind the question I had for U awhile back concerned my observation of the apparent `loss’ of faith in the saving grace of our Creator, Redeemer and Lord.. Jesus Christ(?!).. which at the time, U never responded to(?) From comments made in this letter – your cynicism is glaringly obvious – makes those of us who DO believe and will till we stand before Christ when we see Him again, be it at the time of death or at the Rapture.. to be needy, incapable of making it on our own. Children, who need to grow up.. U clearly by your words look down on us… but for me that doesn’t matter… I think no less of U! just very concerned for you and the happiness and joy that only God can and does provide as we submit to the indwelling Holy Spirit that inhabits ALL true believers! If U have yet to experience that unlimited control that is only possible with true submission with your WHOLE BEING then God will leads U into not only ALL truth but to a way of life that is meant to bring out the BEST not only IN U but FOR U! not always easy…. Please humour me and pick up to read some of Corrie ten Boom’s books and see what a God controlled life can do even in old age! miraculous!

    U seem to hold to an `existentialist’ view – fatalistically saying that nothing good will come from being in this world(?) and in your case U live an Epicurean lifestyle, content in your music and writing, floating down the river in your boat with your significant other and some casual friends U meet on the way, some for longer, some for a shorter periods of time but few (if any?) U say U can really count on… My question to U, is how and why did U get so cynical??? When did belief in Jesus Christ no longer, qualify as TRUTH? U went from Pastor to Atheist(?) (certainly an agnostic!) in what period of time(?) and WHY?? .. Truly I really am interested in knowing!

    What happened in your life to cause U to deny the truth of the Bible? – that the ONLY true hope for humanity rests only in accepting by Faith the act of Grace God provided through Jesus Christ when he shed His sinless blood at Calvary to wash away ALL of mankind’s sins (including yours and mine!) forever! U now sound as if this is a fairy tale(?) Have U never experienced God’s moving in your life(?) … Accepting Christ as Lord and Saviour U know is also an act of Will! U have the free will to chose.. U risk your future on what NOW! do U believe in an afterlife?? or do U simply think that death means heart stops and no more consciousness or any animate movement in ANY form! is what will happen!?! allot to count on! if U are wrong, U R doomed to total and complete consciousness but DEAD to God forever – a state we were NEVER created to be in! and the result will be eternal suffering in a place FULL of equally lost souls who well give no care or concern for ANYONE else there – they will be too involved in self misery and anguish to care what any one else feels! full of others who have done nothing or have rejected the truth but not at ALL caring about them… this is what U can expect if U R wrong \, Larry… I feel compelled not only for the sake of your parents whom I loved dearly and I KNOW, if they were AWARE of this current view of yours, as U did quit the ministry I believe prior to both their deaths – they surely died greatly disappointed, in the knowledge that U had forsaken what they KNEW/KNOW to be the truth and that unless U repent and return to Christ..or truly ACCEPT Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour for the FIRST time.. they will not see U again in Heaven! I read a passage in Proverbs shortly after I read your letter below (see Prov 24:11) and that too convinced me to write to U! Please ask God for insight and wisdom and Seek Him again, perhaps for the real 1st time, Larry for I want us to paddle again in the Jordon in the New Earth, my old friend…

    Hopefully U will simply dismiss this plea as from a child..to be ignored… for child like faith is what we really need! for they go `all in’ without reservation or hesitation!

    that is what we need do!

    Love in me `talisman’, Jesus Christ!

    Greg aka Gronk!

    Hope to hear from U by email




    • Hi Gronk. I think I did answer you way back when I told you I wrote everything I believe now in my book ‘Living In The Sky’. I tell it in a fictional way, but it is my story. I think, in response to other parts of your note, that we are all needy in one way or another. Each one’s neds may be slightly different, but the way we respond to life reflects how needy and what, in essence, scares us about life and ourselves and what we need to feel safe and secure. My needs no longer reflect the need for an outside or personal saviour. We save ourselves. Only the baggage of life and our own personal weaknesses cause us to look for saviours outside of ourselves. I put Jesus (not his real name by the way) right up there with Superman, benevolent aliens, doctors and the lot. None of these are bad in and of themselves. It’s what we do with them that shows us what we are.

      If it sounds like I’m belittling people of religious faith, it’s only because I believe established religions (from ancient times) have had their day. And, in most cases, not many very good days. I have often said that life is a complex and complicated thing. None of us knows for sure what will happen after this one. We can speculate all we like but no one knows for sure. You can know in yourself by faith, but it’s only faith, not any kind of reality we deal with on a day to day basis. If it were, believers couldn’t live as they do. And telling me we’re only human after all only supports my view.

      Once we have bought into a particular view of life and the world, we tend to stick to it and defend it against all comers. I don’t really care what you believe. I take you as a fellow human sojourner on this planet tring to find our way. You say you’ve found yours. But all you’re really doing is putting all your eggs into one basket. That works for you. When I woke up, that worldview no longer made sense to me. I grew up with an arrogance of thinking that I had the corner on truth. Silly me.

      Faith in a being outside ourselves is one thing. The institutions that support it are another. I have and shall continue to have nothing to do with any form of Christian church. I don’t like what it does to people and the way they think. Doctrines and Dogma stifle creativity and open thinking. Personalising deities gets us into more problems and arguments than it is worth. Life is too short my friend.

      Live in peace


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