Sunday, 28 August 2011

The many me's...

This blog is titled 'The World According to Suze' but so far you’ve only really met a limited amount of 'me's'. I think people are fascinatingly complex and we all have many sides of ourselves; some of which we may be more familiar with than others. This may be because one of two shout louder and so drown out our more sensitive sides. In a blog, which is essentially a two-dimensional space it is hard to give equal ‘air time’ to the other facets of my personality that make me the 3D person typing this. So I’ve made a conscious decision to at least introduce the many different Suze’s that make up my world in the hope that, in time, the shier aspects of myself will contribute to future posts.

You have already met:

Soap box Suze – this Suze keeps up to date with the current affairs and consults with both her head and heart to form opinions. This Suze thinks quite deeply and considers all sides so welcomes alternative stances but is frustrated by people who make sweeping statements without backing it up. Soapbox Suze will debate with you, if you’re game, but respects your informed point of view as equally valid, even if she doesn't agree with it.

Now please let me introduce:

Hopeful Suze – this person’s glass is not just half full - she’s glad to have a glass in the first place! She's optimistic but not totally carefree, her head may sometimes be in the clouds but never so far as she can’t see her feet on the ground. She knows when she has a poo hand but finds satisfaction in playing it to the best of her ability.

Morning Suze – you won’t often see her. She should be sponsored by WWF as she’s extremely rare. But, if you wake her up, you can consider yourself an endangered species!

Late night Suze – bright eyed and bushy tailed as soon as the moon comes out. She’s the Suze found reading by a bedside light, watching questionable tv (see dopey Suze) or BBC4 (see geeky Suze) from under a blanket, trying to sleep but failing and wondering if she’s the only one left on the planet awake. But then remembers Australia and smiles.

Geeky Suze – if this Suze watches TV it’s a BBC4 documentary; usually on space or some other juicy bit of physics or history. This Suze has been guilty of setting too high expectations for herself and for being too-dominant a personality trait in the past. Motivated by her love of learning she studies hard and reads fiendishly but generally use up a lot brain power. This means that statistically geeky Suze is followed by a dopey Suze – well, at least until the moon comes up.

Dopey Suze – comes into her own when the lights are on but none of the other Suzes are home. Not grumbley but dosey and not nearly as bright as geeky Suze would like. Dopey Suze is clumsy, giggly and more than a little bit spacey. When geeky Suze is resting this Suze enjoys ‘questionable’ television such as daytime TV soaps, TOWIE... I would go on but geeky Suze is shaking her head in despair.

Nosey Suze – or friendly Suze if you prefer (I prefer!). You’ll know when you’ve met this Suze as you’ll feel like you’ve just been interviewed, or psychoanalysed, and not be quite sure how it happened. This Suze asks many questions and loves to learn about people but gets a bit flummoxed when she receives questions about herself, not because she’s cagey but because she doesn’t find her own answers nearly as interesting as yours.

Caring Suze – happily puts her loved ones before anyone or anything else. Loyal and steadfast, loves nothing more than being with and there for those she adores <3

Funny Suze – is mischievous, loves smilies :D and anything and everything random, immature and remotely humorous. Funny Suze has been known to improvise with a variety of household objects for props. Not big on being serious, and therefore the perfect antidote to geeky Suze, funny Suze will whole heartedly laugh at her own jokes. Even if she is the only one.

Cynical Suze – is a crony of funny Suze and looks at life with a wry smile embracing all that is ironic. If sarcasm is the lowest form of wit then this Suze is below sea level.

Feisty Suze – when justified, and therefore backed up by Soap Box Suze, this Suze will stand up for what she thinks is right. Much rarer and with more roar than a rudely awoken morning Suze, this Suze will voice her concerns, make them heard and boy will she stand her ground.

Spiritual Suze – a rather new addition to the Suze family, this Suze is open to the possibility that there is more to this world than we know and is eager to work out what that may be. This Suze keeps an ear open to her inner voice and finds time and time again that it is wise to follow her instincts.  A little bit creative, learning to embrace going with the flow; a Suze in cultivation.

So that’s – or rather they’re – me.

I was aware that I have these different, quite contradictory, traits but never thought about how they related to each other to make up my whole self in the way that this little exercise has given me the opportunity to do so tonight. To have all the ‘inhabitants’ ‘meet’ on the page makes my world seem a little less flat and fragmented. I’m not sure if the reader or indeed the blog has gained anything from this but oddly enough I really have.  And me.  Oh and me.  Don’t forget me... ;)

Thursday, 25 August 2011

If you lie down with dogs, you'll wake up with fleas...

Obviously playing one sided paint ball with an unsuspecting other isn't really on but I cannot help but react with a wry smile to the following article: 

'He has often been accused of showing his true colours since joining the Tories in a coalition government, but Nick Clegg really did turn blue after being doused with paint on a visit to Scotland.

The attack happened while the deputy prime minister was meeting Liberal Democrat supporters in Glasgow.
Police said one man had been arrested in connection with the incident at Woodside Hall.

Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie, who was also splattered in the attack, said two men entered a closed meeting and threw the paint.

Clegg shrugged off the incident, telling Real Radio Scotland: "These things happen. It's not a big deal."
Carol Shedden, from the radio station, told Sky News, the paint was on Clegg's face and clothing.'

 If the shade fits, wear it.

Taken from: accessed 25/08/2011

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

We are not alone...

Fascinating that we are so enthralled with searching for life on other planets when we have yet to discover all that our own world has to offer...

'Planet Earth is home to 8.7 million species, scientists estimate.  Latest bid to count and catalogue the living world is billed as the most accurate yet, but only a tiny proportion is known to science.

'"We know we are losing species because of human activity, but we can't really appreciate the magnitude of species lost until we know what species are there," he said.

'An astonishing 86% of all plants and animals on land and 91% of those in the seas have yet to be named and catalogued, the study said.

'"It's not that we just don't know the names in the phone book. We don't know how big the phone book is," said Derek Tittensor, a co-author who works for the UN Environment Programme.'

From accessed 24/08/2011

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

What do you call a rioter in a suit ? A politician...

As the fires of last week’s riots burn out, political debate is hotting up.  And this is set to be one helluva fight.  Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, in the blue corner, weighing in at 306 seats, we give you David ‘Call me Dave’ Cameron and his opponent in the red corner is new kid on the block Ed ‘New Generation’ Miliband.  The eyes of the nation are watching the ring so let the showdown commence!! LET’S GET READY TO RUMMMBLE!!


Because this what the political scene is looking like this week and call me crazy but is more fighting the best way to solve an already volatile situation?  

Now, take a look at the pictures below and mentally replace the suits with hoodies and I think you might be able to see where I'm going with this...

Cameron claims that what is needed now is strong leadership but all we seem to be getting is tit-for-tat point scoring, hasty clutching-at-straws policy making and as such an even more unstable political outlook.  This is not only a waste of resources but of society's time.

On an average week I despair when watching the verbal slanging match that is Prime Minister's question time as it reminds me that ultimately our leadership comes down to two booing and jeering pantomime audiences facing each other for a thirty minute matinĂ©e each Wednesday.  Cameron calls for personal responsibly, mutual respect and discipline but I fear that he is so short sighted as to believe that these values need only be cultivated in the unemployed or those dwelling in council houses!  If this is the real answer to society's problems (and I doubt it even scratches the surface) then it applies across the board and surely must first be demonstrated at the top.  And so I write the following, with hope that can only be likened with sending a letter to Santa:

Dear Powers That Be, you need to consider your own personal responsibility to a distrusting and quite frankly disillusioned nation.  We know that there are deep rooted social problems, a speech on such merely gives the impression that this is news to you.  We are also very much aware that things cannot be rectified over night, but change will come about a lot sooner if you put the big speeches away and let us see mutual respect in action by settling your difference amicably.  Please show us that you have the discipline needed to rise above using the current situation as a PR opportunity.  Now is not the time to promote your own political agenda but to set an example of how to behave in times of crisis by working together to make lives better for the people who put you in your suits in the first place.
Yours no-longer-faithfully,

Friday, 12 August 2011

Some rather unexpected 'heroes'...

Well, never did I expect myself to be overly impressed by John Prescott, Russel Brand and an Archbishop all on the same night!  However whilst catching up with Question Time:
and reading the Guardian online: (both links accessed 12/08/2011)
I found myself nodding along to many of the points raised. 

So tonight let's not just focus on my own thoughts but quote others who are thinking along the same lines...

Brand states that; 'However "unacceptable" and "unjustifiable" it might be, it has happened so we better accept it and, whilst we can't justify it, we should kick around a few neurons and work out why so many people feel utterly disconnected from the cities they live in....I remember Cameron saying "hug a hoodie" but I haven't seen him doing it. Why would he? Hoodies don't vote, they've realised it's pointless, that whoever gets elected will just be a different shade of the "we don't give a toss about you" party...These young people have no sense of community because they haven't been given one.' (R. Brand, Big Brother isn't watching you)

Archbishop John Sentamu, of the Question Time panel made the sensible point that when faced with water running down the stairs the best solution is not to constantly mop up the downpour but to find the location of the tap and turn it off.  This analogy resonates with my fear that soley punishing the offenders is not the most effective way to deal with the issue and instead there needs to be a greater focus on the roots of the problems in society that , when left unchecked, esculate in the manner we have seen over the past week.  I believe that the benefit gained from an investigation into vunerable parts of society, with the aim of understanding the changes that need to be implimented to prevent repetition and making those changes, is a far better use of public resources than making examples of those who have acted out, preventing them from gaining future employment.  Proactive community work would greatly reduces the chances of this vicious circle and hopefully integrate the offenders with society, restoring a sense of comunity and self worth.

As for Prescott, I admired his passion and maybe I would have gone on to quote some cabinet ministers here but they didn't have the guts to show up for QT.  Funny that.

On a brighter note to end the night, just because I'm kind like that, kudos to panelist Camila Batmanghelidjh excentric-beyond-belief fashion sense:


Tuesday, 9 August 2011

A thought provoking quote...

'The irony of all this [rioting] is that outside Britain, Europe and the US, the great story of 2011 has been the Arab spring, as the people of Syria, Yemen and beyond have taken to the streets. It seems that just as those nations demand the tools of democracy, we are finding them rusting and blunt in our hands.'   

Quote sourced from:  Jonathan Freedland,,The year we realised our democratically elected leaders can no longer protect us, 9/8/2011,

R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Find out what it means to me...

'They rob your EMA, tell you your degree's gonna cost £50K, that you'll never own a car or own your own pad,then they sack your dad' - Ryan 14 (tweet via suzannahreeves - *not blog author)

The police are again calling for tighter parental control as groups of youths gather for what looks to be another night of riots and violence.  While of course it is a worry that parents are losing control of their children, I find it profoundly more alarming that the value of morality has all but disappeared in the minds of the ill intent out on the streets of Britain tonight.  I fear that at the heart of this situation is a lack of respect; respect for property, others, morality and ultimately the law.  But let me elaborate on this a little...

Various individuals being interviewed on the news today have hammered across the message that some youth groups have no boundaries and so behave however they see fit.  This got me thinking and wondering how the 'boundries' of regular morality look for those in depraved, under privileged conditions.  I would suggest that the boundaries some young people are most aware of today are the divisions in society and, as history suggests; the more marginalised a social group feels, the more tensions rise.  It would appear that as some individuals have felt increasingly more alienated from general society and as such their regard for the laws implemented by governing bodies, for that society, has also weakened.

The powers that be have not had the best press lately (government's proximity with Murdoch, expenses scandal, debt, cuts, cuts, cuts...) and so I wonder if the consequence of all this is a message filtering down that there is little motivation to respect the law makers who, themselves, are found to behave immorally.  And from this point it is no great leap to disrespect the law itself.  This is not an excuse for what we are witnessing but, perhaps, an explanation of how morality has degenerated for some people, followed by a 'us and them'  mentality as the police endeavour to enforce something which has become meaningless in the eyes of the perpetrators.  This is a dangerous situation for a society to be in.

Fundamental changes need to be made by both 'us' and 'them'.  Power can not be respected in its own right and a Prime Minister who 'won' his seat without a majority vote is shaky footing on which to implement solid social/government cooperation.  For the unrest to ease, respect has to be earned and won by all until, as a society, we learn to trust that we are all on the same side.

There is a long way to go until we reach this point and unfortunately I don't think we have seen the last of this current wave of public disorder.

Cleaning up our act...

Finally.  An image Britain can take pride in again.

Desperate times...

I'm currently watching BBC news, along with the rest of the awake world and the buzz word tonight is 'looting'. Now I have a couple of questions: when does stealing turn into looting and why is it happening now?

In my opinion mass stealing turns to looting when large enough groups can be formed to overthrow police resistance. This isn't 'opportunist' - this is collective action driven by common thought. A woman tweets tonight: 'I saw 3 or 4 young women looting Tesco Express for nappies and milk tonight. Difficult and serious problems beneath this mess #londonriots' and I can only agree. Yes, stealing is wrong but when widespread looting occurs we have to be asking where it is coming from. What levels of deprivation must be driving this extreme illegal activity? It all stems down to one thing; money. In my lifetime I have never seen the UK in such a state of inequality and marginalisation. Ultimately human beings are programmed to do what they can to survive and I fear that civilised behaviour has smashed straight out of the high street shop window because times have become so desperate.

Punishing the offenders for their crimes will not, on its own, solve the underlying social issues here. Much, much more needs to be done to understand and help the overall situation. People are desperate for a reason.

Well at least the Kaiser Chiefs saw it coming...

Today hasn't been the day of civil unrest in Great Britain. Oh no. It's been the third day. Or night, rather.

The thing with us British is that by day we are the type of citizens who will queue endlessly and even let another push into said queue with barely a murmur or sly look. We say sorry to the person who steps on our foot. We inform the spotty waiter who half-heartedly asks 'is everything ok' with our lukewarm rubbery meal (that, quite frankly, we could have microwaved better ourselves) that everything is indeed ok. In fact everything is delicious! So convincing are we in our pretence that all is well and content with internalising our discomfort that we, as a nation, are guilty of what any shrink worth his salt would say is a very bad idea: bottling it up. And so it comes as no great surprise that eventually something quite alarming happens...Great Britain snaps. And when she blows, oh does she blow.

Now, I'm not condemning anybody here; the mobs or the yobs (use your own judgement as to which term refers to the Government and which to the rioters, as ever there is little in it). The arson and violence in London and other cities is poor form and my heart goes out to those who have lost their homes and businesses. However, I expect when the powers that be jet back from their holidays (how nice of them to join us) they will all too easily dismiss the occurrences as acts of thuggery and by doing this they will skirt around the critical issue facing us all; that this is yet more evidence of the shift in national attitude. I sense that there is now a pandemic (forgive me, I know the news bulletins bat this term about like it's going out of fashion) of disillusionment beyond a point of containment. By day that stiff upper lip we pride ourselves on is turning into a grimace and by night Jekyll is fast becoming Hyde.