At school I, along with my fellow pupils was encouraged to create a mini dictionary. Each time I discovered an unfamiliar word I would look it up in the dictionary and enter it into my little book. This practice kindled in me a love of words and to this day I still make a habit of looking up unfamiliar ones.
Yesterday I came across the word demythology. Turning to The Fontana Dictionary Of Modern Thought I found the following definition of demythologize, (a meaning for demythology isn’t rendered):
“Demythologize. To confess disbelief in the legends and mythological ideas present in the Bible, while translating the Bible’s message into a religious understanding compatible with modern science and philosophy …”. Yet another word to add to my vocabulary although not one I can envisage utilising any time soon.
The following stories written by yours truly will be free to download from the 2nd to the 6th of September 2014:
Samantha tells a story of a young girl forced into prostitution in the city of Liverpool. Can Sam’s love for Peter, a man she meets in a nightclub, save her? Or will Sam end her life in the murky waters of Liverpool’s Albert Dock?
In this collection of flash fiction we meet a variety of characters, many of whom have been deeply damaged by life. The stories range from a young prostitute who walks the dangerous streets of London to tales of vengeance and comeuppance. Serious issues of abuse of power are touched upon. Anyone who is looking for a comfortable read should avoid this book.
In a recent interview the author, Ian Mcewin argued that very few novels earn their length. Mcewinn states that he likes to read novels in one sitting and many longer works would benefit from being considerably shorter. Personally I believe that both short and more lengthy works have their place. A good long novel which holds my attention is well worth the effort while a shorter work which fails to engross me receives the thumbs down.
Mcewin makes a number of other interesting observations including his statement that several Amazons competing against one another would be good for the book industry, (I am inclined to agree with him).
As I walked my guide dog, Trigger this morning, in The LawnsI heard the familiar chatter of a magpie, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXoTUS5I_ks. I am fortunate in living close to The Lawns, historic parkland in Upper Norwood which attracts a wide variety of wildlife. Sometimes in the wee small hours I hear the sharp bark of a fox or the mournful hooting of an owl as he prowls? (can an owl prowl, probably not)! In search of his prey.
Upper Norwood is, as it’s name suggests high above sea level. When going into central London for work I certainly notice the difference in the air quality, Upper Norwood being far less polluted than London itself.
Scientist and author Professor Richard Dawkins has caused considerable controversy by stating that it is immoral not to abort a foetus with Down’s Syndrome, http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/aug/21/richard-dawkins-immoral-not-to-abort-a-downs-syndrome-foetus. I have scant knowledge of Down’s Syndrome. I am, however disabled so have a highly personal interest in Dawkin’s comments. Having been born fully sighted I lost the majority of my vision at around 18-months-old as a result of a blood clot on the brain. I have gained a MA in Political Theory and live independently although I must confess to employing a cleaner which stems from my dislike of cleaning rather than the inability to perform household tasks.
As stated earlier, I have scant knowledge of Down’s Syndrome. Due to my lack of understanding I wouldn’t dream of advising women carrying a foetus with Down’s regarding whether the pregnancy should proceed. I most certainly wouldn’t advise a lady facing such a difficult and highly personal decision that they should opt for an abortion as to carry the foetus to term would, in the words of Dawkin’s be “immoral”. The fact is that many parents with Down’s Syndrome children love and cherish them and the danger with Professor Dawkin’s comments is that they can be construed as devaluing people with Down’s Syndrome.
A civilised society should value all people irrespective of disability. Individuals with Down’s will not become leading scientists or world leaders but they are non the less human because of this.
As a disabled person I am used to people making erroneous assumptions regarding my life. I well recollect passing by 2 elderly ladies and hearing one remark “He’s blind” to which I aught to have responded, had I been on the ball “but he isn’t deaf”.
The above comment demonstrates the “pity” which many in society feel towards people with disabilities. In effect such people are putting their own fear of becoming disabled onto people with disabilities. I have, on several occasions had individuals say words to the effect of “I admire you. I don’t know how I would cope in your situation”, failing to realise that I and many other disabled people cope extremely well.
The fear of disability causes people to believe that the lives of Down’s Syndrome individuals and other disabled persons are a constant trial rather than realising that, in many instances our lives are fulfilling.
As stated above I am not an expert on Down’s Syndrome and I am sure that parents of children with Down’s face many issues. However I wouldn’t be arrogant enough to presume to tell potential parents of a Down’s child that they aught (or aught not) to give birth to a baby with the condition. I most certainly wouldn’t tell potential parents that they should abort a foetus with Down’s on the grounds that to carry the pregnancy to term would be “immoral”. Professor Dawkins is a great scientist but ethics and science do not necessarily meet.