Wednesday, 4 May 2011

A dose of self-pity...

Like with everything else this year, things have changed so much, and yet I feel like I haven't actually moved anywhere. In the three or so months since my last post, I've been turned away from every application I've submitted (job wise and PhD wise) and I feel like I've spent all my time in a hospital waiting room.

Why? Well, you never realize how much you value your health, or indeed someone else's until something happens. Somebody close to me in my family was diagnosed with angina, as well as having a repeat of labryinthitis. Two things that really do not work well together. Many hospital tests, medications, Doctors appointments, operational procedures on the horizon and what looks to be a lifetime of continuing in such a manner, I suddenly realized how fragile life is and how much I take for granted. The idea of losing this person is horrifying to me, and I never realized before exactly how much I depend upon them for the support that they provide me, no matter how large or small it may be at the time. I know that such a condition (indeed, conditions) can be treated and managed all without issue, but there is the irrational part of myself that sits here and can only ponder as to whether the reason that I have not been able to secure a job or any other form of work related attachment is down to the fact that I will be needed far more urgently, and for much more serious an issue, than simply paid work.

I try to stay positive; I try to look around and value what I have - the endless opportunity to be with this person and bask in their presence, but at the end of the day I still find myself frustrated at the uncertainties and the non-progression that seems to be happening in my life. It could be worse - I tell myself - there are so many more that have so much less than I do, yet this never seems to quite fulfil the empty feeling deep within.

Bitterness is never a pleasant emotion or feeling to have, nor one that is particularly attractive in the eyes of others, and yet I fear that I am being swamped by such things.

Hope; Belief; Faith; Trust - amicable traits that I wish I could channel more of at this moment...

Thursday, 3 February 2011

The Price of Life

So I've reached the point in my life where I want to go and be more independent and earn my own money, and have the time whilst I try and figure out where exactly I want my life to lead and what I want to do to make my mark on the world. Sounds good, right? So why is it that in this modern day, and in an economy that is trying to recover I cannot get a job?

One would have thought that in order for companies to provide a better service to their customers and ensure that they can stay open longer to serve them that they would like more staff. And indeed there are adverts out there. But it appears that there is a contradiction in what we are being told. Despite it sounding like some companies are desparate for new staff, there is also the issue that there are far more people unemployed than there are positions availiable. In five months of job hunting and filling in applications for everything and anything, I have only had one interview. For most things, I appear to be either too qualified or not qualified enough. What is more, the number of advertisments that ask for a full driver's license is astonishing. The conundrum comes however, when you realise that I do not have said drivers license, would love to get one, but do not have the money with which to have lessons and take the tests. For that, I need a job, but to get a job, I seem to need a license. Troublesome? Infuriating? Yup.

But that's really a separate matter. It's just one of those things that will work itself out eventually, and I just have to wait for the day when I can afford to do such a thing. What really REALLY confuses me, is that the government said last month that we were, in fact, potentially heading for yet another economic downturn, but still brought VAT back up making everything more expensive even though there is still large numbers of unemployment. Not only that, but the energy company, EDF, have said that from March they will increase gas prices by 6.5% and electricity prices by 7.5%, and the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has said that world food prices are at an all time high. This graph (taken from the BBC - shows the cost of corn in US cents/bushel.

Can we really see an end to the difficulties and true economic recovery when it seems that there is nothing being done to help us out? It seems that the government seem to want us to work longer and pay more to try and sort the economy out, but what makes me laugh at the stupidity is this news report headline that caught my eye:

"The average age at which men and women retire has increased in recent years, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS)."

Of course retirement age is increasing - the pension plans that those working signed onto have reduced to practically nothing either through the decrease of money being paid into such things, or the need for money to pay for increasing food and fuel prices in order to keep us alive and well. Don't get me wrong, I'm by no means saying that those that are past the retirement age shouldn't work - if they want to, then by all means they should! What is ridiculous is the assumption that this is why most older workers are there. It couldn't possibly be out of neccessity for survival due to lack of money. But of course, it's more than acceptable for the big bosses in the banks and those in the government to take big bonuses, or  to claim expenses for things that most of us would (potentially) give our left arm to have. Add to that the increase in student tuition fees and things and we really have to wonder who exactly is benefitting from such a system.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Ponderings of a manner unidentifiable

Ladies, gentlemen, hermaphrodites, and non-identifiables, welcome! One hopes that this blog may be of interest to some of you, and if not then I should imagine that you shall find your interests elsewhere.

So, there are many things in life that intrigue me. Most of all, perhaps, is anything relating to anthropology. The number of books that I own that ponder the way in which people act/do/think certain things will require a small truck should I ever decide to move them. One thing that caught my interest recently is that of the realm of the different status awarded to males and females. In the modern, twentieth-century Western society we often think that there is no differential between a man and a woman, save for the obvious biological things and some smaller concepts (talking on a broad scale here). However, if we travel further east, or even back in time, we realize just how segregated life can be.

It has been something which in my studies has cropped up a lot - the status and 'value' of boys versus girls. It was actually a radio talk show that highlighted an area which I had never heard of before - the devadasi. In India, the culture suggests that there is more value placed upon males - they are the ones that generally go and work, support their parents and provide for the family. In this Southern Indian society, the females are not quite so valued. Here they become devadasis - slaves to the goddess of fertility, Yellama. From childhood they are sworn to serve the goddess, to serve in rituals and dance for the goddess. So far, it doesn't sound quite that bad. But when these girls reach puberty, this seemingly idyllic life is changed. It doesn't take a genius to work out how these girls are made to bring in money to the families. Auctioned out to the highest bidders, these girls are refused 'normal' lives where they marry and have a family.

But is it really that different to our way of life in the Western world? We think nothing really of those that go and sell themselves to get by in life, and if you think of it, exploitation of females is somewhat of an everyday occurrance. It is, perhaps, only our desire to not recognize the undesireable aspects of life in what we see everyday, that makes us so shocked at the occurrance of something like this. Which begs the question, what will become of humanity?