"You may say that I am a dreamer/But I am not the only one" John Lennon: "Imagine"

"So come brothers and sisters/For the struggle carries on" Billy Bragg: "The Internationale"

Elizannie has a reading room at 'Clarice's Book Page' http://www.villiersroad.blogspot.com/

Thursday 29 December 2011


Prejudice (or foredeeming) is making a judgment or assumption about someone or something before having enough knowledge to be able to do so with guaranteed accuracy, or "judging a book by its cover". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prejudice

There I was, not minding my own business, but having a bit of a discussion on a blog which I had never visited before but which was up and running on a subject in which I was interested. Not politics for once [well it is the holiday season] and definitely nothing to do with religion [even though it is the holiday season]

OK, so in these sort of discussions participants can get very, shall we say, heated. After all as a wise man once said - over a hundred years ago - "it is difference of opinion that makes horse races"* And even on my favourite discussion site there are occasional flaming 'offences' and name calling.

But suddenly one of my comments was answered with one which went along the lines of 'well you would think that because you are a Lefty Christian'. I couldn't really see the relevance of my political and religious views to the subject under discussion - and said so - and added that if the term was meant as an insult I didn't take it as one. And since the commentator had obviously visited this blog site and looked at my profile to find out those facts, the 'problem' probably laid with him/her.

Thereafter whatever I said on the subject was dismissed with 'well you would say that wouldn't you', by more than one commentator. [We were discussing gender choices in children's toys on which I did some research years ago, see: http://rephidimstreet.blogspot.com/2011/11/danger-or-not-of-gender-stereotyping-in.html ]

The whole episode is laughable - BUT! There is an arrant prejudice displayed here. If my profile on here had displayed an ethnicity and my arguments were dismissed because of that ethnicity surely others would have deplored the racism displayed? If I had said 'God [or Marx!] wants me to tell you that.....' maybe that would have been a reason for others to say 'well you would say that wouldn't you?' But just because I happen to be a Socialist and a Christian does that make all my views inadmissible? Within political and religious gatherings does no-one think I never express my own views and never argue. OK so you don't all know me personally, but believe me I am just as argumentative in real life as in cyber life!

I have said before that probably the most prejudice that I have come across in my life is due to my avowed Pacifism. I am used to that and have defended it on here on more than one occasion [bit of an oxymoron there!]

So a bit of a rambling blog for the last one of the year. I would love to have some other views on this subject but will wish you all a Happy New Year and may all your hopes and dreams come true.

*Mark Twain: Pudd'nhead Wilson, 1894
Photograph courtesy of youthvoices.net

Monday 12 December 2011

Christmas Round Robin

Yes, it is that time of year again - the much derided ‘Round Robin’ Christmas letter time! Actually I love hearing everyone's news and hope others don’t mind getting mine that way. Each year we all promise to contact each other in the New Year in our 'Round Robins' but inevitably life intervenes and I at least find myself apologising yet again for letting time slip by. But at least once year many of us do manage to contact each other through this much maligned medium.

I am also saving money on postage again and will be sending some of mine by email to our lovely friends and relatives outside the UK. The money saved will be sent as usual to charity, although to a different one this year. We are still supporting the wonderful charity MAMAA in memory of a dear cousin but this Christmas we are sending money to the Special Care Baby Unit at St Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey. Thanks to the unit, Youngest Daughter and Fiance have a beautiful baby girl who was born at St Peter’s in April and YD wants to raise some money for the Unit. Thanks to St Peter’s too for restoring YD to health as she was very ill too.

The rest of my Round Robin just contains odd news about things which should interest old friends and family. No political rants, I save them for blogs and twitter! I eagerly await the Round Robins from the family and friends and love getting Christmas Cards and Holiday Greetings. To all those who say what is the point of remembering others just once a year - that is the point! We remember others often but once a year we show them that we care! Often when I am writing out the Christmas cards I will pick up the 'phone and call someone. Or I may glance at a name that has been crossed from the address book because that person has gone to a better place, but their memory is still fresh in my mind. So rather than dismiss the notion of 'Round Robins', cherish them. That is what this time of year is also about. Remembering friends and family. And giving thanks.

The picture of the [Round!] Robin is courtesy of the rspb.org.uk There are many Christmas legends about Robins: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Robin scroll down to: 'Cultural depictions'. However one of my favourite 'robin legends' is the notion that the robin is really a soul that has passed on who is returning to re-visit its earthly home/relatives. Another link with Christmas legends.