Misanthropic Guide to Autumn

As the nights start to stretch longer and summer slinks under the sunset, my social media is starting to sneak in posts about Autumn. People are eager for the ‘Fall’. The Americans are awaiting Thanksgiving and sickly Pumpkin spiced lattes. Their anticipation for the season is starting the clog my Instagram; their optimism is starting to grind my teeth. I am by no means immune to Autumn’s charms, I cannot scroll past a wooded scene with burning carpet of leaves without leaving a like. In truth, I believe that Autumn is the most picturesque of the earth’s cycles. I think that the focus on the ghastly holiday Halloween and what hot milk a shop is passing as coffee detract from some of the more subtle beauties of the season.

The Weather

For three months it has been either too hot or devastating thunderstorms. Every weekend somebody wanted to make “the most of the weather”. By the end of summer day drinking, obligatory barbecues and cramming yourself around overcrowded public places has become boring. Autumn saves us from these torments. Your weekends are your own again. There is always a cloud in the sky: potential rain. So, if you don’t want to be social you’ve got “it looks like it’s going to pour down” as a template text. The summer guilt of no longer effectively using your weekends can be washed away with the first Autumn rain.

Clothes

The weather is great again and so are the wardrobe. You can begin the slow drift into hibernation shape. No more beach wear or tight tees you have to skip meals to look appealing in. Under two or three layers you’re snug and secure. Am I chunky or is the jumper? They’ll never know because it’s the season to wrap up and it’s too cold to be taking off your clothes.

Bonfire/Guy Fawkes Night

Halloween is dreadful. Who agreed that strangers and their children can knock on your door, demanding you’ve spent money on candy? If you wanted to see eight Spidermans in one evening you’d probably book tickets for comic con. Even if you choose not to participate the horde doesn’t stop knocking. Yes, you’ve turned off all the lights but you didn’t go out on any other Tuesday this year and they can see your television glow through the curtains.

November the Fifth has nothing but social benefits: Firstly,¬† firework displays ensure people keep their dogs at home, so you can frequent the public park without the usual fear of having your genitals smelt by a stranger’s Alsatian. Secondly, there’s the huge bonfires, which provide warmth and a purpose for unwanted flammable waste. Occasionally, a homeless person makes camp within them, reducing a social problem. Finally, the holiday glorifies the destruction of government. It’s not about peace or Jesus but about scaring people in power. If a small group of men can conspire to blow up parliament then how much destruction can all these people do with their giant fire festivals do? Remember, Remember, you can end up in the embers.

School Has Started

It’s quiet. So much quiet. Mothers look peaceful. During the day the public places are nice and quiet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Give all the Children Rocks

A few weeks ago I stumbled across an Instagram post, which compared the gun related deaths in Switzerland and Chicago. The picture employed statistics (from 2015) to highlight the devastation firearms are having on their communities. According to the post, Chicago experienced  deaths in excess of 42,000 whilst the whole of Switzerland had just over 4000. When you consider alongside this that Switzerland has a greater population it becomes clear that the gun situation in Chicago needs rectifying.

Naturally, there are several factors which separate Chicago and Switzerland and said factors will have influence over the number of gun related deaths. Firstly, the economic situation of the country and city must be considered. Poverty surely would have an influence upon the necessity for weapons and upbringing. To be crude: desperate times call for desperate measures. For some gun crime is a means of survival. Secondly, we must consider culture or more importantly subcultures. Of course I am referring to gang crime and the ever present fracture in U.S. society that is another symptom of extreme financial and intellectual poverty. The final obvious criticism that renders comparison between a country and a single city redundant is population density. It must be considered that the people of Switzerland will be much further displaced because it is a country. There will be less people living  close together and divided among towns, cities, villages and other various settlements.

Whilst it is futile to draw direct comparison a city and a country the fact remains that the statistic is still alarming. The approach of the U.S.A. towards their issues with gun violence is something of joke. There appears to be little movement towards correct control and defenders of the weapon shield behind The Second Amendment. Often they propose increased arming. This appears to promote an illusion that if both people have guns then the “good guys” will win and shoot the “baddie” first.

Yesterday I was discussing this approach to solving gun related deaths with a friend. He put forward an analogy his Father used and I’d like to share with you:

Timmy came home from school yesterday with a big cut on his forehead.

“Why Timmy! How on earth did you receive that cut upon your forehead?” exclaimed Papa.

“Johnny threw a rock and it hit me. It was an accident.”

“Be that as it may” said Mama. “We’re still going to have a talk with your teacher about Johnny and his rock throwing.”

Next morning, Mama and Papa went to school to talk to Timmy’s teacher.

“What is going on with all the pebble slinging in school?” inquired Mama.

“Oh!” said the Teacher. “It was an accident. Johnny has been told off and lost his snack yesterday. I’m sure he won’t do it again.”

“Hmmmm” mumbled Papa.

“Don’t worry.” explained the teacher. “We have given all the children rocks now. They cacn throw them back if they get hit.”