Tuesday, 1 February 2005

… and a time to hate.

 (Ecclesiastes 3.8)
Usually I sit down and try and think of something nice to write in the parish magazine but today I think I'll do the opposite and join the grumpy old men club.  Things I hate …
I hate it when people do not clear up after their dogs.  I hate not being able to enjoy the view when walking the kids to school because I have to keep pointing at the pavement and saying "mind the poo, mind the poo."  It's only a very short walk but it appears with great frequency.  If it's yours then please clean it up.  The worst one was when I took the girls on the sledge across Ward Green Playing Field.  Of course the snow hid the poo which then got on the runners and when I picked the sledge up and carried it over my shoulder …(it's awful when you can smell it but can't locate it at first) anyway, I hate it and I hate having to waste time in the unpleasant task of cleaning it off where it shouldn't be.
I hate it when people think that everything is someone else's fault.
I hate the number of cars that there are on the roads.  I hate it when you drive (yes I'm a bit of a hypocrite) into a lovely country village with a green in the middle surrounded by quaint old shops only you can't see the square let alone the shops because the whole place is jam packed and lined with parked cars and no one can find a space and everyone is getting irate.  And I hate it when people leave cars, lorries and vans running when they don't need to and the air is getting more and more infested with choking fumes.  I hate it when people think cars are impressive and symbols of status.  They are perhaps a necessary evil but we should play them down as much as possible.
I hate it when I see fruit and veg for sale wrapped in layers of plastic and packaging.  I mean, God has given bananas a perfectly adequate wrapper already - it's called the banana skin.  What do we think all that plastic is doing - making it fresher?  Making it sweat more like.  I hate the thought of all the unnecessary waste that we are giving birth to and almost straight away burying in what used to be the good earth.  I hate to see plastic bag trees and multitudes of plastic bags caught in bushes and fences and the banks of rivers.  I hate it that when I go to the supermarket I always forget to take old plastic bags with me and end up using new ones.
I hate the plastic smell of toyshops.
I hate shopping and especially I hate the way people's choices are manipulated by 'bargains'.
I hate the orange glow over towns and cities - in fact over the vast majority of our country.  I hate all outdoor lighting that is not absolutely necessary.  I hate it when you can't see the stars in all their glory.
I hate buying oranges that aren't juicy, onions that aren't fresh and potent enough to make your eyes water and any food which I don't know where it has come from or how long it is since it was alive.
I hate the increasing triviality of the newspapers and I hate it that people are willing to buy them and keep people in business who spin half truths into lies and dissect peoples lives and promote sensationalism and scandal.
I hate the thought that in the next generation or two the world might be a terrible place to live, that we might have spoiled it by our greed and immediate demands without thought or sensitivity to the wonder that we are destroying and those who will suffer the results.
I hate it when people say 'God bless America'.
I hate all kinds and forms of religious intolerance and fundamentalism.
I hate to think that there are children who are not loved and valued within their families and have no security and stability in their lives.
I hate the thought that some lives end in loneliness and anxiety.
I hate it when people smoke when I am eating.
I hate it when you look forward to a meal out only to realise too late that the food is no better than a ready meal that you could have heated up in your own microwave at a fraction of the cost.  I hate ordering a hot chocolate and find that it is made from hot water and powder or a cream tea and find that the cream has been served out of an aerosol.
I hate the way that everything good is eventually commercialised simply so that people can get to our money.
I hate the fact that I still see so many people using mobile phones while they are driving and I hate it when people overtake in ridiculous situations.  I hate the fact that they think a few moments of their time are more precious than other people's whole lives.
I hate it when people think that violence is an appropriate response to violence.
So there you are!  I'm now going back to bed so I can try getting out of the other side.  But I hope also that the things I hate reveal the things I love - just like the darkness between the stars