I grew up in Wales, where you are supposed to think that Wales is the best. I moved to Yorkshire, where you are supposed to think Yorkshire is best. If I was a Double Positive I’d have gone along with both, but in this case I’ve been more of a Double Negative.
Wales and Yorkshire
I think Wales and Yorkshire are both very nice places with some beautiful countryside. But they are only the best to those who want them to be so; usually people who’ve always lived in them, or also just been to places that don’t have the same amount of countryside.
Life and memories make places, and if you’ve spent all your life in a place, having all your good memories in them then those places become special to you. Somebody who’s always walked in the Yorkshire Dales (which includes part of Cumbria and even Lancashire) will think it’s the best, while somebody who’s only walked in the Cambrian Mountains will think they’re the best.
The more you spend somewhere, the more you notice there, and the more you get to feel like you know it. Physically, Scotland has bigger mountains and more lakes/lochs than Wales, while Cumbria’s Lake District has bigger mountains and more lakes than Yorkshire. But big isn’t always best, and I don’t know where is more beautiful, and if any are.
It’s usually down to the weather conditions and the sky any way, with any countryside looking better on a clear day than an overcast one, although some kinds of inclement weather can provide inspiring landscapes, as loved by the Romantic artists.
Main Point of Above: Critical Writing
While I believe the above, the main point was to show that I criticise everything, and always have. That’s one of the reasons I’ve always been a bit of an outsider and loner. In Wales I always felt different because I’d been born in Jersey, but didn’t remember it. I could have played being a passionate Welshman, but didn’t feel like it, so didn’t.
Ironically, when I left Wales I’ve felt more like a Welshman, because people hear my accent, and because I grew up there and still have a tie (not a wearing around the neck Welsh one!) there.
So I then widened my identity to British, while criticising the British conflicts myths and propaganda, because I didn’t think they should be used to excuse war. I was popular in the ICS then.
However, then I began criticising New Labour, and its multiculturalism at all costs policy, which seemed to include ignoring mass immigration and a grooming/rape epidemic. I became less popular in the ICS.
Similarly, I declared the dominant landscape of Blighty, mostly inspired by travels within Wales and Yorkshire, greenygrey, because that’s what I saw, although greenyblue would have been a better spin (New Labour’s spin doctoring was what I was mainly criticising during my PhD).
I find it funny that many people consider me some kind of establishment patsy, because I don’t support I.S. or Irish Nationalists! I’m more like a British Sinead O’ Conner with regard to the latter!!
Criticism Mirrored Elsewhere
Having rebelled against Wales in my youth, I’ve found Yorkshire, within England, to have the same amount of faults and advantages. I’ve found they’re quite similar in many ways, both sharing a lot of countryside and coast, a couple of big cities, football and rugby, mining, steel and farming working traditions and a mostly working-class population.
Most places you go there are the same mixture of loyalists and critics. When I went to socialist countries on my travels I never found a utopia, and always met people who were either critical or looked despondent. In capitalist countries people criticise greed and the rich-poor gap, while in the socialist they criticise lack of opportunity and ambition stimulation.
Most people who aren’t already content are looking for somewhere special. Many people want to come to Britain, and many want to leave. Some have gone to other places for religious or ideological reasons, but found they are not the ideal places they imagined when they got there… or been told about in brainwashing videos!
British Media Past and Present
While I think the British media was too patriotic in my youth, I think that since New Labour it is often too critical of ourselves, and too respectful of other countries and cultures, which often have a poorer human rights record than ourselves.
This is dangerous for us both in creating discord amongst our own people, and providing our enemies with the upper hand in a propaganda war. Would the Black Lives Matter UK movement have emerged if the white American cops killing black people news stories have been balanced by news about crimes being committed the other way in the USA, or the truth under the ‘Rainbow Nation’ media image in South Africa; or I.S. and their affiliated cells/gangs in Europe had the support they had if their crimes against humanity were shown regularly on the news.
Most people seem to rely on headline news, if any news at all, but many people just consider any news against their interests propaganda now anyway; while never considering the news about their enemies (such as the U.K.) enough.
There is no ideal country or culture. Scandinavia scores highly on most human quality of life indexes, such as media freedom and gender equality (Rwanda has one of the best for that, after women were given top positions because so many men were killed in the genocide); but when it comes to animal welfare and hunting, Buddhist and Hindu countries like Nepal and India seem to be better. However, they also have some traditional festivals where a lot of animals are killed.
All in the Mind
There’s always something to criticise, and the only way to escape it really is to travel; and then you’re only out of it because you don’t understand or care about the society you’re travelling in. Once you settle a little, you’ll soon hear unhappiness and criticism; from the people if not the media.
Accepting life’s not perfect and never will be is a good place to start to create a better mindset for yourself. I’ve been campaigning for a decade and it’s been tough, and I’ve avoided most of the horrible stuff on the web. I know I’m never going to solve the world’s problems, and there’s always going to be suffering somewhere; human or animal.
I advise you do what you can, but don’t destroy yourself over things you can’t control, and have no part in; an enlightened world depends on everybody being enlightened, rather than most being told how to act enlightened. Criticise all you can, but accept the wonder of every day, on this planet we call home, circling our star in seemingly infinite space. There will always be times of POP (PinkyOrangePurple)…