The Flat Earth Society

Graphic showing the logo for the Flashback Track Friday prompt.

This is my response to this week’s Flashback Track Friday prompt, where we were challenged to:

Tell us an issue about which you care passionately.

You tell me ’bout your birthplace,
To integrate rebuffed,
But while you have my full accord,
I’m afraid that’s not enough.

You tell me ’bout your gender,
That women have it tough,
But while you have my full accord,
I’m afraid that’s not enough.

Or what if you’re disabled?
Instead of stride, you scuff?
But while you have my full accord,
I’m afraid that’s not enough.

You choose a different gender?
Do you think I give a stuff?
But while you have my full accord,
I’m afraid that’s not enough.

I see you suffer hardship,
Blackpool, not Magaluf,
But while you have my full accord,
I’m afraid that’s not enough.

Of all the isms mentioned,
Not one’s a piece of fluff,
When they all have our attention,
Then we’re closer to “enough”.

My co-host KK shared a superb poem on Saturday, which you can read here. Her poem really is excellent, about feminism, and it made me swerve from my original planned response..

I’m kind of agreeing/disagreeing with her. Feminism is a noble cause, but it’s not the only cause. I’m sorry, but to be a feminist is not enough.

My big issue (or one of them) is against discrimination as a whole.

In the UK and many other nations, there are defined “hate” crimes. We outlaw discrimination on the basis of

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Disability
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Gender

I don’t think that list is perfect. I don’t even think the list is enforced. Wealth is an obvious omission – we shouldn’t see people denied healthcare (say) because of poverty, but we do. One of the interesting nuggets to come out of the pandemic was that death rates here were higher in poorer areas.

But the list is a good start. We should be concerned about all these things, not just gender.

Anyway, KK, take this either as agreement or disagreement, it’s up to you.

Where I think we do agree, when you have the opportunity to make some kind of win, you have to take it. Carpe Diem. So, for example, the suffragettes were spot on – they held the public’s imagination at that time and they went for it. The world has so many problems that we’ll never solve them all at once. We need to tackle them one at a time, but as we crack each one, we must be aware that there are more.

Talking of Carpe Diem, I think I can say quite safely that the proudest achievement of my life will be when we finally destroyed apartheid. I was a part of that battle, but the fight didn’t stop there. We had to just look for the next injustice.

So this topic kinda gazumped my original idea, but very briefly:

the environment easily takes top spot, because it is existential. My own sacrifices include not flying, we (one car between wife and I) own an eco-car, and not eating much meat or dairy. I have solar panels on my roof to offset my electricity usage.

It concerns me that while I am making efforts, others aren’t. Including companies and countries. I can’t do anything to stop Germany developing huge, open-cast coal mines or prevent people from criss-crossing the Atlantic willy-nilly. and this makes me pessimistic about our future. I think we’re fighting to delay, not to stop, the inevitable.

In terms of the UK, I want to see electoral reform. I want to get to a point where a party which receives 51% of the vote carries 51% of the weight in our parliament, so the parliament is truly reflective. There is an obvious problem there, because no one party comes anywhere near 51% currently. So straight away, political “opponents” need to co-operate. Which probably requires a new breed of politician. But it can be done. We all worked with assholes, right? But we got the job done.

or email me directly


    • I think in some cases that’s true – like buying responsibly grown food. At the moment where I live, you can pay 3 times the price for organic meat in some places. It’s deranged. And I do also agree to the extent that some changes that need to be made should be made from higher up – it shouldn’t have to come from individuals. Like houses that are built properly with good aspect and insulation and double glazing are actually way way way cheaper to stay comfortable in than houses that aren’t (we have done all that (well it had a good aspect already) to our fairly modest house and it has made a huge difference). THat could become part of building regs. (btw I’m Australian. I don’t know where you’re from and maybe houses there are better built but here your “average” home is pretty crap in terms of those credentials). ATM electric cars have bigger price tags than their petrol counterparts. But they are way way cheaper to run (I know, we have 2). And I’m not advocating that everybody has to sell their current cars and buy an electric. Of course that’s not feasible and I doubt it would even be “eco friendly” just throwing out a billion cars. But not eating meat, not using fuel, trying to consume less plastics… these are not expensive choices. I think being eco aware requires stepping out of one way of thinking and into another. It’s not so much the price. It’s the habit that’s hard. I have heard that in Australia we can now recycle plastics that bounce back when you squash them. But I haven’t yet done anything about getting another bin and finding out where the depot is that performs this recycling. It’s hard to change.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree, and I am also Australian btw, so I see your point, but a lot of the people I know struggle to pay their rent. They can’t afford to instigate even small changes. We recycle, we grow our vegetables and fruit, we collect rain water, but I drive 60km a day to earn the money to do that little bit.

        Liked by 2 people

        • I think, in the end, it’s the wealthiest people who have the biggest footprints. They are the most likely to fly, the most likely to drive long distances, the most likely to consume a lot, the most likely to create more waste. That’s why the wealthy countries have a responsibility to act. Poor people in Africa and India (for example) aren’t going to change their lives much but they also probably don’t need to because they don’t have big footprints anyway. So I guess I’m saying I accept that some people do it really tough and I wouldn’t want to harass them. As I said, in an ideal world, this would have all come from the government. I have a lot of sympathy for coal miners. But if the government put in place transition plans for them, they wouldn’t end up jobless which I have no doubt they will if it’s left in the hands of private enterprise. Frankly, I think a lot of the problem is being victims of lack of leadership.

          Liked by 2 people

      • In the UK, we have kerbside pickups for recycling, which is good. B ut it often stops there. In many cases the waste can’t be recycled, because e.g. supermarkets are not yet pasckaging in recyclable materials.

        Plus the councils, who now “own” all this unrecyclable waste, are actually paying to export it to ther countries’ landfills. None of this is particularly transparent, though you can find info if you go looking. If the general public knew, there would doubtless be an uproar (just so long as they didn’t pay more taxes).

        Liked by 1 person

        • We used to send all our recycling to China. Then about 2 years ago, China told us to go away. No idea what happens now. For all I know there are huge warehouses dotted about with all the recycling that people carefully separate out just collecting and collecting.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yup, I posted on this. China was the first of what was many far Eastern countries which started to say “No”. Places like Indonesia were saying “yes” but even they are now refusing.
            I think you highlight the problem – that we don’t know. I suspect if we did, people would be up in arms.

            Liked by 1 person

  1. It is frustrating when we are all trying to do our own little bit to help in a very minimal sort of way but big corporations and governments seem to be driven by finance. Environmental issues should alway trump financial ones. We can print more money, we can’t make a second planet.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Feminism… never worried about it as I had to fight my own way up and through so I take care of my own. I have always fought for the underdog. I hate seeing the homeless and hungry in a country that should not have one person that has to go without nor should there be anyone who is denied healthcare.

    One of the things I want to see is all the perks taken away from the politicians, let them live on their wages only, pay taxes, and then you will see people who will go into politics because they want to help people and are in it for the enjoyment of the job they want. How can anyone, who is a millionaire,( they all are) ever understand what it is to go without food or any of the necessities of life?

    I know what it is to be poor and to make it up to a decent level of living. Believe me, it teaches you to appreciate so much of what you have in life. I am a vegetarian, and if I had money, I would be into animal rescue and building homeless shelters. Systematically destroying the balance on earth worries me the most, or how do you stop the
    hatred because someone looks and dresses or thinks differently?

    Sometimes I think there is not much hope for us, we will destroy ourselves because of our own prejudices and just plain lack of caring about other things in this world than ourselves and the money we can put our hands on. I agree,
    It is a rotten attitude to have, but somehow I think it is more realistic.

    Well, That certainly uplifted my day. < cough, cough>

    Liked by 2 people

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