This afternoon I watched My Fair Lady on TV. That's not really a sensation, but the fact that is was made 45 years ago is! It's a historical document, like so many of the movies made through the decades, recording the state of society even when they are singing about it! A bit pristine, maybe, but wonderful sets and costumes. You get a good idea of the conditions in those days: the gap between the rich and poor, the struggle the lower classes had to survive. George Bernhard Shaw wrote the original play. He was a sharp social critic in his day, with his fair share of vitriolic. Has anything really changed in society, despite all the technical progress? This winter quite a few people will die among us - the "first" world: the economic leaders - because they can't afford to heat their homes (if indeed they have one). Poverty has struck many because the economic crisis has widened the gap between the rich and the poor once again. Society is getting feudal - a few at the top of the tree and the rest at the bottom. One could claim that those who have money (bonuses, inflated salaries, corruption?) have often lost contact with reality. We see it all the time in the media. And then we have a politician in the EU who claims to be the most persecuted man in the whole of the history of the world. He happens to be the president of his country, to control newspapers and other media, and to be on the list of the richest men! He certainly hasn't done his homework as far as society is concerned. What about the 6 million Jews who perished? Is he suffering more? What about the children on the Gaza strip who have never seen a zebra? This morning a UK newspaper carried that story. The owner of the tiny zoo there has painted 2 donkeys with black and white stripes to make up for not having zebras. Those children are suffering from being caught up in a gigantic political mess that no one seems able to untangle. And they have it good compared with the millions of innocent children who are today still being held in slavery and even prison.
I've come to the conclusion that our much-lauded human nature is basically evil. though born innocent, with evil there for the taking, we have to work hard to rise above it and remain free of the base instincts that - though the idea of the survival of the fittest is not in itself corrupt - lead to persecution and all the other shameful things of which the human being seems capable. No animal kills for any reason other than to survive.
I'm organizing myself ready for 6 weeks of solid painting, starting on Monday.
Here's an old canvas to fill in the gap. Appropriately for today's entry, it's called "pain". I don't know why it got that name, but I think something must have been troubling me!