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UK_Widowmaker

Cotton Wool Life

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Yup..it's that Saturday night feeling again....and my latest musings on middle age, and dullness have raised their ugly heads over the parapet.

 

Just playing Racedriver GRID (a racing car game for those who don't know)...and I've had five bottles of Bombadier too..so my driving is slightly under par!

 

Got me to thinking though.

 

I would never drive a car under the influence...I am a staunch believer in a mandatory prison sentence, for those that do.

 

but.... Have we also become too removed from what makes us feel 'alive?' in the 21st century?

 

I mean...zapping around a Racetrack at breakneck speed...ok, so a virtual one...certainly gives you a bit of a buzz...and indeed, flying a virtual Sopwith Camel, can also have the same effect.

 

But people have, and continue to do such, in reality even as I speak.

 

What makes them different to me?...are they lucky?....is risking your life, in reality..a big buzz?...or a spectacular death, waiting to happen?

 

Let's take Warfare as an example.

 

My Dad, fought in the last war.

He fought for many reasons...but his main one, was so future generations wouldn't have to.

 

Certainly, in the UK...every generation, prior to the end of WW2, has had to take up arms..and fight against some mad bastard..or indeed..to ruin the lives, of an indigenous population somewhere in the World...god forgive us.

Iv'e never had to do that!...and yet...I feel almost biologically programmed to do such.

 

I must do..as I need a quick fix, of violence, speed and fear. (only virtual now..but craved that sh*t when I was a young man in reality)

 

Is there a danger, in becoming sanitised these days?.... I sometimes see, young, feral lads, in their mid to late teens, strolling around where I live...and I have to say...they are quite scary!...like young Lions.... full of testosterone...biologically charged up to fight and kill, and f*ck...but nowhere to go! (and that's the reality...let's not kid ourselves)

 

We expect them to control themselves...to act as model citizens...when, that's not what nature has built them to do.

 

For hundreds...indeed thousands of years, these young lads, would have fought, and died on the battlefields of the world...they were called 'Heroes' in those times.

Maybe, that's pretty much all the Human race is good for!...hell, when it comes to killing...ain't no other animal on the planet, dare f*ck with us!!...we are Numero Uno!

 

Now..They are just Thugs...Hoodies, Chavs...and Criminals.

 

And yes..I hear the gruntings of Daily Mail readers... "These are not the same people as the last generation"

"Put a gun in their hands..they'd blow their own heads off"

 

"They're undisciplined yobs, who beat up old ladies, and don't know what work is"

 

Ive spoken to many WW2 veterans...and all have told me, that is utter bulls**t!...media driven hype, designed to drive a wedge!

 

Of course these young men, would take up arms, and fight (though possibly, not for a Country that treats them like pieces of sh*t of course!)

 

I am fast approaching 50...my Youthful exhuberance is behind me... I watch with fascination, as my testosterone charged Teenage son, growls, and snarls his way towards adulthood....hoping to dear god..that he never has to become a blob, in the gunsight of an enemy...or fall victim, to another hormone charged Lion, on his journey to becoming a silly old fart, like his father.

 

Seems to me..the only difference between them...and heroes...are some bleached white crosses...and a field of Poppies.

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Sorry for my ramblings...I have just started my own Blog *finally got with the party*

 

I shall trouble you no more, with stuff like this :drinks:

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Some interesting thoughts Widow. Testosterone is like a drug and I can relate to how good and powerful it can make one feel. There were times in my life when playing sports or while engaged in a fight when no man could get the best of me - at least so I thought. I could feel it surge through me and I felt invincible. It can be amazing and destructive at the same time.

 

Those days are past for me as I just hit the 40 mark but sometimes the testosterone gets coursing through my veins - especially when I get really mad - and surprises me each and every time. It's why I think there is and always will be war. It's a chemical component in men's bodies that always lurks beneath the surface ready to come out if something triggers it. Anger and fear are the two things that are most likely to trigger it and when it comes, there is no doubt about it. I've heard stories of people lifting cars off of injured people when getting a rush of this stuff - amazing.

 

And it is in us and our sons, and will be in theirs. Perhaps it is left over from a time when men had to scrap and fight against animals and each other just to survive. Yet times have changed and it's important that our young men are taught by their fathers what to do with it and how to control it. I will teach my son this because I know the power behind it - amazing and destructive. Sports can channel this for young men and women and in essence, sports has replaced war for many. It's a way to fight in being somewhat true to our nature with the exception that everyone makes it out alive.

Edited by Shiloh

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I remember seeing one of those science programmes a few years back which explored the theory we (mankind) were descended from Chimps, which can be particularly brutal, so that far from human nature being predominantly benign by nature, it contains a strong strain of nastiness or brutality, which has perhaps been an important evolutionary advantage in our becoming the dominant species, which we arguably didn't do by being preponderantly nice and/or clever, but involved a good deal of nastiness. That's not to say we can't aspire to 'better' things -according to whoever's programming us to believe what's 'better', since that's arguably value-system dependent, tho social engineering can't easily deprogramme millions of years of evolution (or experience, if you don't believe in the former).

 

I remember that was also theme expounded by the late Gene Roddenbury - you may remember the episide in Star Trek (famous for tackling serious themes beneath the sci-fi) where Cap'n Kirk became 'separated' into 'good Kirk' and 'bad Kirk' and while the latter was indeed pretty bad, 'good Kirk' was ineffective without his alter ego. Same idea as Jeykyll and Hyde probably.

 

Yes I think you're quite right WM, there is a certain tendency to violence and brutality beneath the veneer of civilisation and legality. But that's just how we're wired, and tho it's all very macho, sweaty and distasteful to Guardian readers, sometimes the lawyers, bless their cotton socks, can't sort it out and we still need some of those rough men who stand ready to do violence on our behalf, so we can sleep safely a-bed, as Kipling put it.

Edited by 33LIMA

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Some interesting thoughts Widow. Testosterone is like a drug and I can relate to how good and powerful it can make one feel. There were times in my life when playing sports or while engaged in a fight when no man could get the best of me - at least so I thought. I could feel it surge through me and I felt invincible. It can be amazing and destructive at the same time.

 

Those days are past for me as I just hit the 40 mark but sometimes the testosterone gets coursing through my veins - especially when I get really mad - and surprises me each and every time. It's why I think there is and always will be war. It's a chemical component in men's bodies that always lurks beneath the surface ready to come out if something triggers it. Anger and fear are the two things that are most likely to trigger it and when it comes, there is no doubt about it. I've heard stories of people lifting cars off of injured people when getting a rush of this stuff - amazing.

 

And it is in us and our sons, and will be in theirs. Perhaps it is left over from a time when men had to scrap and fight against animals and each other just to survive. Yet times have changed and it's important that our young men are taught by their fathers what to do with it and how to control it. I will teach my son this because I know the power behind it - amazing and destructive. Sports can channel this for young men and women and in essence, sports has replaced war for many. It's a way to fight in being somewhat true to our nature with the exception that everyone makes it out alive.

 

I concur with Shiloh. Interesting thoughts indeed. I see the same thing stateside - young men with more testosterone than brains - all looking for a good time / trouble wherever they can find it. Youth is wasted on the young.

Mine was stunted. I was in a horrendous traffic accident at 17. I was hit head on by a mini-van doing 60+ mph while I sat at a traffic light. Truthfully, I was lucky to survive. I broke my wrist, suffered 2nd degree burns on my legs, broke my nose, etc. It was my wake up call that - yes - I am mortal and - yes - I can die. That shook the impulsive urges right out of me. If you have any doubts, here's a few pictures of what was left of my car. I've been cautious and reserved ever since...

 

gallery_45879_697_117072.jpg gallery_45879_697_69482.jpg

Edited by CaptSopwith

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Good points there Widow old chap...

 

For me I have served in the military and I have wandered into a couple of civil wars along the way Bosnia and Kosovo to be honest at one point I made the comment on who where we protecting today, not the right one but hey someone had to ask. Also I spent my 20's living as an adrenaline junkie skydiving racing motorbikes both on the track and off, in fact the motorbiking never stopped. I had a bad day with a parachute I have also be on the receiving end of a clip of 7.62mm from an AK-47 (Still wonder how he missed, guy was drunk slipped and pulled the trigger letting the clip go fecking idiot didn't have the safety on) anyhew I made it to 40. I will say there are days when I feel everyone of those years and even when I ride I still have moments where its interesting shall we say thankfully though I have slowed down, but that flight or fight feeling is still there when the adrenaline and testosterone kick in thankfully now its tempered by knowledge... my payment for this was I never got round to getting married children etc would I pay it again not sure...

 

As to the youth of today there are some who are brilliant like the men and women who go out there everyday and do their job without wrecking others lifes and as to the scum of work shy feckwits they should be in a federal program to clean the countryside etc... but remember that for all the rioters out there there are also the ones who go out and do their job provide for their family etc and the last I looked they outnumber the scumbags...

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There is something in what you say, but it isn't enough to explain the modern 'youth'.

 

Yes, our history is littered with battles, adventures and life enriching experiences, but our history spans a long, long time, with many decades being very dull an uneventful. Many people would be born in poverty, live a mundane life, perhaps even dying in the same house they were born in. The exotic has always been exotic, and many tales from history are remembered because they were so different from the norm.

 

Our views are perhaps coloured by two generations where the majory rather than minority were directly affected by war. Prior to that, it was very untypical for armies to count their ranks in millions. Were these generations lucky to see and survive the spectacle? Or were they unlucky to die or have their lives blighted by nightmares? I suspect it's a little of both, - correction, a lot of both. It's like the expression "the only thing worse than bad publicity is no publicity". Strike out publicity and insert experience.

 

The bottom line is throughout history, generations of young men have been able to restrain the same primal urges which appear to so test our modern 'young bucks'.

 

It isn't opportunity either. If these young men really fancied a real fight and life changing experience, they have never had such a prime opportunity to do it - with the British Army at least. Not sure about the numbers issue for everybody, but in recent years at least, if any young man had the compelling urge in him to taste war, he could have done it in Iraq and Afghanistan. Lack of opportunity for a more thrilling adventure doesn't quite wash.

 

I would agree wholeheartedly that young lads don't have the appetite for adventure, but I put it down to the welfare state. Life is too easy. They have somewhere to live, they don't starve, and have a minimum standard of life guaranteed. The opportunities to rise above any accident of birth are still there for most of us one way or another, and at the end on the day, if a young man doesn't make the best of his time, at the end of the day, he's made a significant contribution to that decision himself.

 

Another problem is there's no stigma attached to being a sponger of the state who doesn't work for a living. For some life on benefits is even preferred to a working life, and that attitude is an infectious disease eating away our society. I might be kept up all night by benefit junkies having a party til 3am. It's my tax which pays their rent and utilities and buys their drink. Is that fair? Course not, but the politicians who might change things don't give a monkeys because they have their snout in the very same trough.

 

I had my days as an adrenalin junkie, and I have memories in my head that can still put a smile on my face all these years later. I love the line in Bladerunner, "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe". - It just doesn't matter what those things were.

 

Another factor is modern TV. I utterly detest the mind numbing banality of soap operas and property shows. To my mind, they create a population which feels under pressure to get on in life, get a good job that can support a mortgage. We're not quite in the George Orwells 1984 where free thought is a crime, but we're getting to the stage where free thought, if not yet actively discouraged, certainly isn't encouraged.

 

'Risk' is too expensive. If you want to do anything with your life, there's some parasitic insurance company trying to exploit your enthusiam and rip you off for daring to do it. Even sport is runied by commercialism.

 

Our population doesn't aspire to have a fascinating or heroic life. Our young men and women seem content to live their life by proxy through the lives of TV or PC game character. Seems to me they forfeit their life enriching opportunities incase they somehow lose momentum on the the treadmill of trying to own a house or pay for satellite TV or whatever....

 

Thankfully, I was both cursed and blessed by having no time for money. I feel cursed if I can't do something because I haven't enough money to do it, but blessed and tremendously rewarded when I experience some thrill that money can't buy. I was born poor, but I've tried very hard not to let it hold me back, and can honestly say I've rarely been motivated solely to aquire wealth.

 

What is the saying? "I was born with nothing, and I still have most of it left". That's ok for money. But in terms of life experience, I wouldn't have missed a thing, or changed a thing, good or bad.

Edited by Flyby PC

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............I still want to try out the next life as a trust puppy....just to see if it's as emasculating as purported.........

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Not everyone uses/blames testosterone to drive foolishly, fight, etc. I never did any of that stuff; I used mine to nail chicks. :dntknw:

 

As far as war, I'll bring it down to base level: As long as we have politics and religion and finite space, there will always be war.

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Former Special Forces (USAF Tactical Air Control Team and Combat Control Team), former skydiver and recreational downhill skier (former because each costs more $$ than I have to devote to either). If I ever hit the lottery I'll start both again even though I'm closer to 60 than 50, so you might call me an adrenaline junkie. I sometimes wonder if some of the people who hear my anecdotes believe them. Hell, sometimes I wonder if they're real myself or just a dream, because that person seems a polar opposite to the person at this keyboard today. Then, once in a while, something happens...whether it's coming upon the scene of an accident before the paramedics, a loved one gets injured or in some kind of trouble, or just a "crisis" at work...and the training and experience kick in and you realize you still got it. Anyway, I left the Air Force because my career field was deleted from those ranks and due to poor eyesight I was unable to cross-train and stay in them. Was that a bad thing? If I'd stayed in I wouldn't have been at JR's Cowboy Palace on February 10th, 1990 when I met my then-future wife, our son James (being a unique combination of her DNA and temperament and mine) would never have been born and all the good things he's done and will do in the future would never have happened. The bottom line is, we don't change, our circumstances do.

 

As to the youth of today, I think their actions are the result of a combination of opportunity and the age-old feeling of having to out-do the previous generation to feel or prove yourself worthy of the inheritance you've received from them. My previous generation set the bar impossibly high in the 1940's, which may be why we tried so hard in such less glorious circumstances as Viet Nam. My successors, IMO and without wanting to start a political flameup, have accquitted our species rather well in answering the call and standing up to the Hitleresque characters around the world today. Maybe my generation's real calling was to maintain and train, I don't know.

 

That's the good side of the out-do the previous generation. Unfortunately, for every good side there's a bad. And on the bad side you have Son of Sam wants to surpass Charles Manson wanted to surpass Bonnie and Clyde wanted to surpass..... I realize each of those peoples' crimes were different, but the point is that if you have a bent toward negative activities then the drive to outdo will follow that path, too. They want to be more infamous than those who went before. Alexander the Great wanted to conquer more territory than his father had,as did Xerxes, and so on and so forth.

 

Opportunity? Technological advances provide a means of a person doing something he wouldn't have been able to a hundred years ago. Why is vandalism so much more prevalent these days? Try tagging with a paint brush. Carrying around a gallon can of paint and a brush or a roller at midnight alone will increase your window of vulnerability, let alone the increased time it would take to actually do the deed. Who ever heard of a drive-by on horseback? They happened, of course, but not everyone even owned horses, which means that most people would have to do a walk-by, again increasing the chances that you'll get caught. And with a single shot pistol you're vulnerable to counter-attack by overwhelming numbers, while today's firearms are both more easily concealed and allow you to provide your own suppressing fire for the escape.

 

Last, there are more people in the world and by extension more people misbehaving. And they're the ones who usually make the news. As has been noted, for every one who makes the news for his evil deeds a thousand don't because they're doing what they're supposed to and treating others decently isn't considered newsworthy. Which brings us back to my first point, that each news outlet is trying to out-do the other. So we hear more about these things these days. Overall, I think we'll be ok. We just have to keep our spirits up.

 

 

To echo Flyby's closing statements (and not to elicit a lot of sympathetic replies), Garth Brooks had a song called "The Dance", the refrain of which was:

"And now, I'm glad I didn't kow

the way it all would end, the way it all would go.

Our lives are better left to chance.

I could have missed the pain, but I'd have had to miss

the dance."

 

My beautiful wife, Nancie, passed away this past Valentine's Day. We met when I asked her to dance with me at a bar 21 years ago. I would do anything to avoid the pain I've felt for the last eight months.

 

 

Except missing all the dances that we shared.

 

 

Dance, my friends. Dance.

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wow!...

 

I Find myself quite moved by that post too Von Baur.

 

Have to say..the reason I post many of the weird stuff I do...is to read what other people's life experiences are...which fascinates me greatly.

 

Thanks to all the Contributors on this thread everyone.

Your experiences and opinions are greatly valued by me :drinks:

Edited by UK_Widowmaker

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VB......nicely said....sorry for your loss. It's a black hole we all would rather not look in...and know we must eventually....kids, parents, spouse...take your pick...all bad. Give our nippers a lifestyle that works...they'll get it.....and in thier own time achieve par and then some if they've any juice. If we're amoral gangsters then there's every likelihood our kids'll be the same or worse and if we're middle-class pluggers with a decent home life... they might wind up playing OFF P12 and keeping the faith....just like us!

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Due to a tumour I'm on testosterone replacement...something I have been lacking for years...I've noticed I'm alot quicker to temper and even rage at times...probably no more then other men but it's taken me by surprise. I had a famle hormone count at 175,000 instead of 150 to 300 and zero testosterone...now my female count is at 4,500 still way to high but it's getting there.

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