An Alternative Interpretation

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The Frozen North (2014) – Photo by Montag

My digital SLR is at the manufacturers for repair, so while there are beautiful, snowy Christmas scenes beyond my window (such as the above, taken with my mobile phone), I’m unable to go out and fill my SD card with clichéd images of the UK under snow.

The snow added a little more festivity to Christmas 2014 – and for me personally, it was an interesting one. I spent it with my ageing parents and other members of my family, and in quiet periods read Kierkegaard and pondered life and the meaning thereof. Meanwhile the media theme for this holiday period seemed to be the centenary of what they now choose to call the great war. These labels are odd. Firstly this war was not great in either sense of the word (the second world war was bigger, and war ain’t great). Even the other moniker for this conflict the first world war also misses the mark because it was more of a European rather than a world war.

Anyway, enough of my carping. Let’s get on shall we.

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The value of meaning; or, the meaning of value

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Noël à Honfleur – Photo by Montag

It’s that time of year again.

I’m on auto-pilot. I’m launching into a familiar routine of buying presents, arranging who I’m going to stay with, and the parties I’ll be going to. Sadly as I get older, wild soirees are becoming less of a feature of the festive season. There are exceptions – my gatecrashing of a New Years Eve houseparty last year after perhaps one too many glasses of Sauvignon Blanc at an earlier formal do, was a welcome return to youthful irresponsibility.

Already I digress. What I want to say is that occasionally, during this orgy of consumerism and increasingly forced bonhomie, I stop to think of what it’s all about. When I do that I am struck at how alien our present society can sometimes be to even those like me, who grew up in the third quarter of the twentieth century.

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