Monday, 19 April 2010

Ray Mears: Accidental Philosopher

I reckon this is a good place to curl one off

I've never watched one of Ray Mears's shows, I've never heard him speak before, and I'm sure, now that I have, that he would never have realised how philosophically astute he was on Radio 5 this afternoon.

In conversation with lefty, risk-averse, Comrade Beeb-cowed, tedious, righteous Richard Bacon, he came out with an unintentionally profound response to a quite lily-livered question (paraphrased).

Bacon: It must be awful for wild animals, living constantly with the threat of death. They could be eaten alive on any day, couldn't they?

Mears: They don't think like that, they just enjoy living.
Indeed they do. Encumbered by worrying every day that they might be set upon by a pack of hyenas, wildlife would cease to be, err, wild. They'd just stand in a circle watching each other's back and fall asleep with their eyes open.

We're supposed to be more evolved than animals, yet daily we see wild scare stories in the press exhorting us to introvert our lives yet more to eradicate the mere whiff of a health threat. And the more we are hectored, the more absurd the threats to life become.

When we see legislation being tabled by homo sapiens to restrict the use of salt in cooking, you know we are reaching quite ridiculous levels of paranoia. We've already experienced alarmism on a grand scale, with innocuous substances being elevated to the level of mustard gas, with ancient brews being targeted as killers, with food we have eaten for billions of years being held up as evil, with simply seeing something unhealthy being a death sentence, with the world stopping over a disputed threat, crikey I could go on, but you get the idea.

No, sod it, just a few more.

Kids being deprived of play as it's too dangerous, lollipop signs being banned if they carry dangerous tinsel, life-threatening flowers, lethal 40 year old books, and when you're dead, you're still a threat to the living.

There is a saying. Oh, how does it go again?

Got it ... shit happens.

When and where did we forget this? At which point in time did we cease taking negligible risks and start merely existing? What event, specifically, transformed us from a species who would suck the marrow out of life, into one which has had the life sucked out of us by fear and hysteria?

And when can we go back to just enjoying living?


Constantly Furious said...

Excellent point, well made.

timbone said...

This gives me an opportunity to mention something I saw recently. My wife won a carbon monoxide alarm online, which I duly put up. In the information pack it says that if it shows 50 units or less this is no threat but one should have appliances checked just in case. The average smoker has 3 units of carbon monoxide in their blood, yes, and?...

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Puddlecote

Too many public servants, too little to do.

The devil makes work for idle hands and there are none so idle as several million public servants all developing compulsive obsessive disorder with the deep pockets of the public to support their multiple compulsions and obsessions

Time we starved them of their funds perhaps?

Why do we pay taxes?


Man with Many Chins said...

I enjoy life, I smoke, drink (but not a huge amount), ride a fast motorbike and love being in the open country. Guess what I even use salt and sugar.

If anyone doesn't like that then my message is simply "get a fucking life"

That's my philosophy:-)

Bill Sticker said...

Bacon suffers from acute Anthropomorphism. This is a condition where the sufferers understanding of life has become so narrow they seem to think that the whole world shares their views, including animals.

Sad really. There's no real cure apart from leaving them alone in the wilderness with the Bears and Cougars. Permanently.

Uncle Marvo said...


"why do we pay taxes?"


Anonymous said...

I've been practicing empty, futile gestures for some time now.

For example I always add a little salt to my salted peanuts just in case the nazis have intimidated the peanut suppliers into cutting salt levels. I also make a point of eating all the skin off the top of every chicken that I roast as soon as it comes out of the oven while it is still crispy.

James Dean could have learned a trick or two off me.

Anonymous said...

Meat is definitely being targeted by the Righteous. Just yesterday, we had another scare about dioxins, which are allegedly produced by bonfires (only if you throw plastics into them). So might we expect barbies to be targeted next?

I might add, that my next barbie will be fuelled by a goodly amount of household waste.

This nannying came into being via the NHS. We can be bullied into submission by being told that our 'selfishness' negatively affects others. They own our bodies, evidently. Do you recall Brown's attempt at making us unwitting organ donors if we did not explicitly opt out of the scheme?

The truth is, we'd all be healthier if we were able to purchase fresh, organic produce from our farmers, rather than the nutrient-free, toxic cr*p (replete with GM abominations, pesticides, growth hormones and antibiotics) we're forced to buy from Tesco, because it has driven local producers out of business. Lack of nutrients in food means it's more difficult for our bodies to recover from the vagaries of modern living.

But will government take heed of that? No, because big agribusiness likes the status quo.

Chuckles said...

Seat belts, bicycle helmets etc etc

Anonymous said...

@Fausty - I think that the public must bear some responsibility. How many of us have ignored local shops until they packed in because it's easier to get everything at the supermarket?

I think you're right about the nutritional value of our food - how can there be any in food that's been travelling for days?


Anonymous said...

True, Jay, but on the 15th of every month (at least), we can all make a difference by refusing to buy from corporations.

I now buy all my veggies at farm shops. They're tastier!

Anonymous said...

Just shows what a cock Bacon is, most animals are dead by the time they get eaten.

Fivelive is much the poorer withoyt Simon Mayo.

Anonymous said...

But fivelive in the evening is far better with Tony Livesey rather than Richard Bacon.