Posts Tagged ‘KFC’

Give us back our Country

March 14, 2017

 

IMG_0829The Salvia

It is so heartening hearing that South Australia is now trying to nationalize the Electricity industry. Remember Australia had a Commonwealth Bank, the GIO, the PMG and above all we owned our resources. It was all owned by Australia and its people, us. We were rich. Australia was a country who had it all. The envy of the world.

And then, the ugliness of capitalism reared its head. It started with lowering taxation. Government after government  got in by waxing and manuring greed by promising to lower taxation. The inevitable shortfall of revenue was fixed by  selling everything under the sun. Leases on vast areas of our resources were sold to individuals who started  companies specialising in selling our previously owned coal, iron ore, uranium, silver, gold, oil and much  more to the highest bidders. Enormous profits were distributed to shareholders but not to the people who previously owned it all.

And then after selling off the resources that Australia has almost unlimited ownership off to private individuals, our Government owned bank,  The Commonwealth Bank, was sold off, followed by our own insurance company , The GIO, followed hot on the heels by Post Master General, morphing into the present Telstra. The Government had once again some more  revenue, enough to prop up creaking infrastructures, health, schools, roads, public transport.

But when all that money  went, poverty crept in once again. It became harder and harder to find the money. Increasing revenue through taxation  was electoral suicide. It was easier to allow poverty to creep into the masses. Pensions were cut, social services were cut, queues at hospitals became longer. The divide between the haves and have nots became wider. Educational levels lowered, students are now struggling to get basic language and numeracy skills. Skilled jobs were filled by importing overseas workers and so the list goes on.

The States too, got onto selling stuff. Water was privatised, and electricity. Poles and Wires with both water and electricity prices going through the roof. Shareholders are rubbing their hands in glee. Riches are made but only to the few. The money made out of selling public utilities are only short term solutions. It should never have happened. Australia should have kept control of its country. Why are French companies now running and determining the electricity prices in South Australia? It is crazy.

Is it time to take it back? Nationalise what previously was owned by us, the people. South Australia is on the way of doing that. We should applaud that. Did anyone watch the ABC’s Four Corners program on the state of the US. People earning such low wages, whole families living in tents or single rooms. Kids being fed packets of chips or stale pizzas. All those glittering advertisement, miles of MacDonald’s signs and the insane grinning Colonel Kentucky chickens running amok.  They are now the largest employers of people who get payed so little they are reduced to dismal poverty. They try and smile so heroically; what would you like with your chicken/ hamburger sir, they say while wearing a cap?

Surely proof of terminal capitalism in its death throes.

Another week-end in the past.

October 24, 2016
During the late sixties.

During the late sixties.

Week-ends were always looked forward to. The main part was the sleeping in, especially on Saturday. How I loved it. The Sunday church used to be a problem. But growing up realizing that no water ever changed into wine, nor did water allow to be walked upon, I took charge of that issue around the year sixteen and stopped going. It also coincided by taking up smoking. Graven A, ten cigarettes to a packet, and eating potato scallops from the local Fish & Chips shop, wrapped in The Daily telegraph! Till this day, whenever I smell Rupert’s Telegraph I smell more fish than chips.

Of course, Saturday night was movie night. I am not sure if cinemas were actually open on Sundays in Australia during the fifties. I do know that Sundays were pretty dead. It used to be the major complaint by European migrants. The first movie that I can remember apart from a few Don Camillo movies watched when still in Holland, were the climbing of MT Everest and King Salomon’s Mines. In Holland my mother was forever urging us to see movies featuring the priest, Don Camillo. A character who was forever falling out with local communist mayors in Italian or French villages. She must have been hoping I could be saved from decadence and resulting hell-fire and brimstones. They were very funny movies and I remember them fondly. But alas, I was not to be saved.

The Drive-in also needs to be dug up. They were popular between the fifties  and seventies, well before KFC and MacDonald’s started to tentatively test the waters. The Drive-in had speaker boxes on posts which by a lead you attached inside the car. It wasn’t unusual to drive off after the movie with the speaker box still inside the car. Some Drive-ins had buttons on the post to order Mars bars, snacks or Cokes which would be delivered by furiously pedalling boys on bicycles. Whole families used to go in pyjamas and I remember seeing women with hair curlers queuing at the milk bar waiting for their malted milkshakes at the Drive- in during a break.

Boys and (hopefully) some girls would of course take the opportunity to slip a hand here and there and many a muffled shout or sharp slap used to do the rounds. I don’t know if the hair curlers would inspire any romance. But who knows? Cupid’s arrow has mysterious targets. There was an enormous uptick in pregnancies when John Travolta and Grease were released in the late seventies. It was also the beginning of the end of Drive-Ins. Helvi and I went just once and there were no slaps or muffled sounds. It was a boring movie. Helvi did not think that sitting in car watching a movie was a good night out at all.

Now, in my galloping years, the week-end has lost some of its lustre. In fact, all of its lustre. I am always happiest when the Monday gets around. There is still some of that earlier Sunday deadness about. Have you noticed that in the centre of towns or cities, the Sunday goes in rapid retreat or decline between 2.45- 3.15 pm. All of a sudden the streets empty themselves of people, dogs start scratching and shops looking so forlorn. A paleness is creeping in. Perhaps the towns and cities still lack people living in them. People live mainly around but not within cities. Sunday afternoons are probably used to top up the Opal Card or with summer knocking, a late afternoon lawn mower. I believe many now also go to Sunday Gym and do push-ups. I must say that men and women over sixty, and especially when pear-shaped, should resist wearing those black tights on their way to the gym. It is really an unsettling sight, even on a Sunday afternoon.

The Art of avoiding bad dietary Habits

January 12, 2012

Nestle
The latest news to alarm us is that obesity is threatening to outperform malnutrition. The numbers of overweight in this world are overtaking the underfed and hungry. How can that be? At the same time I read an article whereby it was suggested that at cinemas there ought to be healthier snacks available. The suggestion seems well intentioned but would it not be better to avoid snacking altogether? It can’t be that hard going without eating for just a couple of hours. Is it true and a fact that eating has become part of all our physical activities? We can now only walk, drive, catch buses and trains, talk, read, watch TV and movies and even lose weight, but only if we continue lifting our arm to mouth to put something in it. We are as yet not eating while sleeping but I am sure the Multi National Sugar & Fat and Salt (SFS) merchants have their best scientists working on it.

Go to the chemist and the window display will have dietary advice that mainly advises buying more food from them. Sure, it is food the chemist (on his podium) claims slims, but this can’t be as effective as refraining from taking food altogether. They are not there to tell you not to buy anything from them, are they? This is the problem; obesity is so much part of our well oiled and lubricated economic machinery. The giants of Coca Cola, Cadbury, Nestle, Mars, PepsiCo, Big M, KFC and many others would take a dim view if fingers were pointed at them being responsible for one of the most serious health issues of all times. Tinker with those boys and next you’ll have an ‘OECD Spring revolution’ as well. It is not all that farfetched to envisage thousands of the very large bodied on the streets, yielding petrol loaded Cokes and giant Chico rolls rioting, causing mayhem and destruction. They are now totally addicted to eating, chewing, masticating and getting larger and larger. Both the SFS Multi Nationals and their addicted disciples have a vested interest to keep the status quoi.

It will be one of the most interesting future events to watch. How will health organizations tackle this perplexing dilemma? It will be a fiercely contested battle with the western world already fighting a severe economic wilting; it will take brave politicians standing for health above economic growth risking further shrinkage of their voters consuming habits. The problem is that those consuming habits are so consuming it is killing them. At some stage we might have to consider the possibility that our lifestyle of consuming endless SFS products can’t be beneficial if many die as a consequence. What’s the point of economic growth if the country is littered with the dead or premature dying of millions from the effect of a booming economy that approves known deadly foods?

Of course, there are some signs of brave politicians emerging from the cauldron of indecisiveness and loathsome neglect, willing to take action. Was it Denmark who was first of the block cunningly raising revenue on fat, and lowering obesity? The Danish SFS merchants screamed blue murder, enraged with the imposition on eating habits. This is a censorship of some kind, they shouted. Where is the freedom, our freedom to eat what we like? No, said the sage Government, not if it kills.

On the train yesterday was a large man whose stomach was rolling over his shorts. He seemed in a deep sleep while resting his left hand on a bottle of Coke which was balanced upright on his enormous knee. Every now and then he would wake up somewhat startled take a sip out of his drink but promptly went back to his slumbering state again. I couldn’t help but feel but feel that the sugary drink was his umbilical cord keeping him still alive. At the railway platforms the machines that sell those drinks charge $3.20 for a coke and an astonishing same amount for plain water. What would happen if the Coke was $ 6.40 and the water free? The extra $ 3.20 raised could go to those thousands in hospitals with the results of Coke poisoning. The wiser ones would quench their thirst on the free water and be so much the healthier for it, having beaten their addiction. Those pernicious tuck shops at school, the bane of my mother’s discontent when we all went to schools. What’s wrong with my cut sandwiches, she asked? If we were really brave, surely those tuck shops would have disappeared by now. They are nothing but a stepping stone to obesity. Why, have those at all? Is snacking in between meals not one of those physical habits that have become so entrenched? In no time at all, does the snacking school kid turn into a full blown victim of bad dietary habits.

If we are serious about good eating habits, let’s get rid of snacking, just for starters mind you!