Saturday, December 10, 2005

On the 9:19 I saw someone die in front of me.

What a poor start to the day it was on Friday 9th December 2005. I boarded my train to head to the office. I moved towards my seat ready to take my coat off. Then suddenly behind me, I and the rest of the passengers heard a loud clunk. A man had fallen down and hit is head. He lay on the floor shaking with blood starting to ooz from his head. He looked like he was approximately sixty years old. The train guard emerged from his cabin in shock and quickly got onto the internal phone to ensure that the driver would not shut the doors and move on. He also called for an ambulance (that in the end took 15minutes to arrive). We saw the man’s face turn read and as blood continue to seep from his skull, a few of us, a girl and two plain cloths police men (they told us at the end of the unfortunate episode), a Doctor lay the gentleman into the recovery position.

Things got worse. The bravery of the girl was outstanding as she ran to the side of the fallen gentleman and tried to raise his head. Blood then smothered her hand. She was wearing a sky white woollen coat staining it was the last thing on her mind, her focus along with the others was to help. The police searched the man’s trousers for any sign identity, for example a wallet or medical card. An identity chain/ bracelet was also not located. There was a thought at one time that he maybe epileptic but no information was found to lead anyone to this conclusion. The gentleman continue to shake and would occasionally let out a burst of blood and air from his mouth. His head was kept by the girl and I raised slightly. For a moment I wondered how much people knew about first aid.

The guard then reappeared with a full size first aid kit that appeared to have never been opened before. The situation then worsened. Although the fallen man’s jumper, shirt and tie was loosened he was gurgling and his face turned purple. He occasionally made a groaning noise and gasped for air. After five minutes it appeared that his pulse stopped together with visible signs of not breathing.. Collectively he was pulled into the resuscitation position and given CPR. He didn’t make it…

As he lay there motionless, somebody placed a newspaper over his face, although one could argue there was nothing else available.

Passengers were asked to leave, the train was going no where for a while. The only thing that had gone anywhere was the dead man’s soul. I hope to a place of peace.

Imagine, he had got ready to go the office/wherever in the morning and knew nothing of his fate or as one of the policemen put it, ‘when your time is up, it is up’. During the day the event started to sink in. Life is precious and in our day to day interaction with its bustle we can forget that it can be over in an instance. We may occasionally remember the importance of life but this thought has the potential to be superseded / clouded by distractions of materialism and selfish actions.

When you get this close to seeing a death it makes you wonder that all you take with you is what you did in life. One of my favourite films is Phenomenon. The movie is atmospheric but more importantly at the end of the movie John Travolta suggests that after he has eaten an apple he will take the energy with him when he dies. What this implies to me is life experiences, knowledge gained and the good that you do enhances your soul - it is these items that will travel with you.

It is not too late to do good and be good.

Read more!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Where are the Ethnics? Where is religious tolerance?

Ever wondered when watching - Have I got news for you, Never mind the Buzzcocks, QI or lets face it any topical comical or quiz show there is an established set of guests. These guests often are described either as celebs or those that have come to fame through different routes to show business. Or, is there a more sinister aspect to this? Is there an secret agenda that allows only the select few to appear to comment – Why do the same faces appear on Newsnight (BBC) or World News (BBC)…!? Is it favouritism or is this another example of media management of telling us (the people) what they (the media) want us to hear and then repeat?

I thought we all paid our taxes not to watch reality TV but to be educated with commentary based on real life events. History tells us that during World War II and the bombing of selective cities in the UK by the Germans the UK media was extensively controlling (by the Government of the day) the release of information to ensure that sprits would be kept high, panic low and a spirit of defiance to the enemy (this was in a way a ‘spin’).

On another note, recently, the BBC were accused of disrespecting the importance of religion and although they produce a wide a varied set of programmes, it is the content of programmes that are not labelled as religious that need to be monitored. For example, who is checking what is being said about religious groups or mis-guided storylines in plays?

In recent years programmes such as ‘Heaven and Earth’ are shown to feature different religions and occasionally their customs. This is a move in the right direction but mainstream scheduling is not allowed to be interfered with. The BBC appears to slot religious programmes in the early Sunday morning or early Sunday evening broadcast slots. You are lucky if you get to see any religious programmes during the week, unless there is a late night daily broadcast to coincide with a religious period for example Ramadan for the Muslims.

In summary, although some ethnicity has entered the broadcasting world, for example you only have to look at the excellent presenters on CNN (from Atlanta USA) or both the BBC and ITV channels, the broadcasting agenda has not changed for either general entertainment or religious observance. A lot may also be connected to who is in power in terms of the ‘heads’ of media corporations, links to marketing and political positioning.

Unfortunately, I also fear for the Blogging world – Recent articles reveal to me that it is also about to become commercialised - with organisations establishing themselves as outlets of so called independence or independent thought!

One way to help get a ‘clearer picture’ (sorry about the pun) is to use the mechanisms that exist at media corporations. They need to know that many are not happy about the way some aspects of license fee are used. If we want value we need to ‘keep the faith’, work hard to write and fight for a greater presence of true reality not ratings.

Read more!