Last days of Rome – the remake

last days of rome

The Beeb’s latest: “Children’s services in Cornwall are expected to be heavily criticised by Ofsted inspectors,” and the BNP thing last night are signs, along with this: “Jail for man who let 3 year old smoke,” and so on and so on, of a deep malaise in society.

The blame’s not solely with the hijacking of education in the late 60s nor with the deliberate attempts at destabilizing and prostituting society by various malcontents in high places, as Senator Jenner mentioned in 1952, not even with the people acting like this today.

It’s the old dilemma of the criminal, isn’t it?  Do we blame the crim or do we blame the system?  I’ve always been one for the person taking responsibility for himself and for his own choices but there’s veracity in the other point of view too – that a person can’t grow up normal in a sick situation.  He can overcome it but the damage has already been done inside.

Last evening, I crashed at about 20:00 and watched a youtube on Poirot called Appointment with Death, before dropping off.  It was about a horrible woman, not unlike that recent child molester in Britain and this one would get the nanny she employed to beat the children throughout their childhood because they had transgressed [and she wasn’t even religious].

It was all about betrayal, including a nun who kept doing the rosary thing and at the same time, was colluding with white slave traffickers to prey on the girls in this dysfunctional family.  It was about comeuppance as well.  Poirot, speaking to the last victim standing, after a particularly gory show, gave a crucifix to the girl [presumably taken from the evil nun who got hers in the desert] and mentioned that very point about overcoming one’s circumstances and that there was Help available to do it.

I never knew Christie was that religious but her source material was the times she was living through – the 30s and its own particular dislocation.  History is good in that it reminds us that our situation is not unique – it’s tended this way at different points in history and one of the ways society falls away is that people take leave of what was once held to be civilized and normal.

Certain readers will no doubt click out of this post at this point.

This was what Golding’s Lord of the Flies was about.  Why do people, unfettered by a moral code, descend to bestiality, rather than aspire to greater heights?  Why do people fall away, rather than improve?  You can list it all – ASBOs, children doing sex and no one bats an eyelid but even justifies it, children drunk at 10 or 11, pensioners having pensions stolen from them, people everywhere not saving and expecting the state to support them and so on and so on.

I was at a school not all that long ago [British] where a teacher had had it away with a 14 year old and they made jokes about it in the staffroom, I kid you not.

What characterizes these days we’re in is what people see as normal or acceptable or at the least, don’t get upset about.  And the media presenting a horror story of a rape and beside it, some exhortation to see some celebrity naked – the titillation and condemnation technique, the double standard, this also is indicative.  The whole of society is looking for, the media is lasciviously presenting and others are providing the proof of betrayal of trust, hypocrisy, rampant greed and dishonesty, all of which existed throughout history but are now reaching a fervour.

People crying “paedophile” or “racist” then accessing hardcore porn of the type not even Rodox presented decades ago, children accessing it with little parental control and then taking it into their own relations – a party today is a very different thing to what it was two decades ago, not only in its perverseness now but in the sheer numbers at it.  People in fear for their livelihoods and even for the roofs over their heads.  Parents fearful for their children, throwing up their hands, feeling disempowered because their children are now beyond their control, as Bob Dylan predicted.

And the times of signs and miracles.

These things are the signs of a sick society on its last legs.  It happened in Rome, it’s happened all over the world, it’s happening to us now.  Perhaps the best indicator of the societal barometer is when a society stops protecting its children and starts preying on them and when that society stops caring for and protecting its old people.

A perfect example is in Russia, where there was the strongest of traditions of respect for grandparents, particularly that of the babushka.  I was once stopped in the street by one of these supergrans who told me that my cheek was showing signs of frostbite and to get indoors right now.  It was not a suggestion – it was an order from someone used to being obeyed.  When I told my gf about this, she asked, “And what?  You were lucky.”

During those twelve years, I saw it fall away, to the point where grandmothers were actually being attacked in the street if they dared to interfere or offer an opinion and where the strict education system just fell away to western standards, children who once prided themselves on their achievements now wanting the “5” [the highest mark] to be given for no effort and who would organize parents to complain if it wasn’t.

The tail wagging the dog.

Russia is a good place to see the demise in sharp relief, as distinct from the west, where it’s taken two generations.  Even today, I received an email from Russia and I hope it’s not betraying a confidence to quote:

Situation in Russia is  “nobody cares” or “give a f—- about”.  People are trying to survive in conditions which they can not change. I met some interesting  characters through Uni – American guys who married [our] women, got babies and now are having fun shopping in Adoratskoi Market,  quarrelling with GAI and learning to drink  vodka with their neighbours … Uni is going through very troubled times- losing its brand name … can you imagine??? Moscow decided to merge the major unis into one monster and change its name… We are all shocked in disbelief …

And so on.  Major changes round the world and not for the better.  A complete generation now having grown up in this and seeing nothing wrong with it, standing by watching these horrors – the new Eloi, not even emoting.

And it’s global – it’s the same culture, with local variations, in every nation.

Not trying to be hypocritical here because I’m no role model [see my novel for confirmation] but I wonder how you’d reply if I asked you if you thought sex before marriage was wrong, the greatest pleasure at school is in learning and old people should be revered or at least respected?

How would you reply if I suggested that the modern music [trance and the trends following it] and artists like, say, Rihhana and Kanye West, are part of the new shallow, jingoistic, ignorant and zombyistic lifestyle which says “F— you, personally but let’s be all-inclusive and loving, in a general sort of way and be kind to animals and trees while we’re at it”?

Do reality TV shows promote wholesome values?

It’s not just the rule of law which will reverse this – these kneejerk reactions have gone on all the time [remember Lord T‘s canal boat careering down the river, crashing into one bank, wallowing across and crashing into the other bank?].  It’s not just a political solution like that which is needed.

As has been said – it needs common sense.  Hell, I don’t want to live in some new theocracy with its bans on every pleasure and the chairs even wearing skirts to cover their naked legs.  No one wants that.  But common sense – yes.

It’s the soaking into the ordinary person’s mind of the old code of values once more, not overreacting into draconian measures but regaining this common sense in society which will stem the insanity we’re now seeing and stymie the highplaced malcontents – Them.

We could choose the Christian code, we could choose the Buddhist.  We need a code which urges respect, decency in our own dealings and a classic liberalism which recognizes that reality is not perfect but does what it can to contain it.  We need men and women of high moral integrity to present and keep presenting this to society, so that a rudderless people don’t go off following some false messiah in America but follow what is sound and solid in their hearts.

There are such people but they’re either marginalized, in shock or inarticulate at this time.  A voice crying in the wilderness though can soon become the voice for a new generation which cries, “Enough of this madness.”


Look, I suppose what I’m trying to say, in a long winded way, is what my mate came out with yesterday and I paraphrase:

There was a time when you could call someone you knew names and it meant nothing special, when there was a sense of humour in how we went about things, we’d say the most terrible things and they were never meant seriously – there was a sense of proportion.  I’d call you a bald geriatric and it was something you just took.  Nobody expected you’d call me a racist and sue me for my life’s earnings over it.

That was the general idea of what he was getting at but the language was a bit fruitier.  There was a post somewhere yesterday about the new “right to be offended”.  Let’s just cool it, OK and stop all this hysteria.

3 comments for “Last days of Rome – the remake

  1. The Underdoug
    October 23, 2009 at 09:39

    I remember Bill Hicks remakring on how ‘They’ kept control of all presidents since JFK.

    i.e. on the first day of work after being inaugurated, ‘they’ get POTUS into nice room with a film projector (v. old fashioned, I know), black out the windows and then show him the film of what really happened to JFK.

    I suspect that Obama has ‘got with the program’ because he loves his wife and kids too much…

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