• Call me Mister Rogers!

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    One of the things that irritate me is the almost universal use by businesses when communicating with one is to use one’s first name. I object to people with whom I have had NO PREVIOUS CONTACT calling me “Peter”. That is for those who:
    #1: Know me.
    #2: Are on friendly terms with me.
    Others should address me as Mr Rogers.

    At this time during the “Great Plague of 2020” many of us reflect upon our situation and how things have changed over the years. Many will reflect on how the Plague has changed our lives – and it is not for the better! We are coping with a series of restrictions on our civil liberty that we would never have anticipated a couple of years back. At the same time we are aware that the world continues both good and bad. I was reminded of the bad when I performed my regular “cybersurf” here - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk to check on what the taxpayer funded state broadcaster is putting out, the dreadful news of Miss Sarah Everard being prominent.

    I am not going to speculate upon the details of this dreadful case save to state that it has resulted in a discussion about women’s safety, their fears when walking – especially alone and at night – and that some members of the commentariat are suggesting that men should begin making changes to their behaviour. Apart from stating the obvious – don’t abuse, attack or in any way intimidate and/or threaten women and therefore always behave like a gentleman should – it is difficult to see what any decent law abiding man could do – apart from the obvious of accompanying a woman if she requests it.
    Of course, those in the WEP would probably wish to draw my attention to the earlier blog-post - http://www.british-gazette.co.uk/2021/03/08/in-the-feminist-dog-house-again/ - and would suggest that my “politically incorrect” and “sexist attitude” towards women contributes to the threat women face as it contributes to a corrosive social environment which tolerates attitudes that give rise to dreadful occurrences such as that experienced by Miss Everard.

    I would suggest that they are talking nonsense.

    What the earlier blog-post did (and was intended to) do was to highlight some of the fundamental differences between men and women.

    It happens to be a FACT that a woman’s physical attractiveness is hugely important factor in her life and one which is many many times more important to her than a man’s physical attractiveness is to him.

    It is also a FACT that the basic physical and facial features are beyond a person’s control and although appearances can – and are – changed, one always has a pre-provided base on which to start.

    This state of affairs might or might not always be the case however. The likelihood is this: In the future, if people cannot change completely their appearance, gender and bodily age, then it will be because it is forbidden by law and NOT because the technology will not exist because it will!

    Now I admit, this sounds utterly fantastical and doubtless many BG readers will state that “lockdown” has clearly proved to much of a mental strain and I have finally lost all my marbles!

    I can best illustrate what I mean by recalling an incident in the early 1970s. I was a passenger on a Comet airliner flying over the Alps when the aircraft was struck by severe turbulence. The notice to fasten our seat belts had come on before the turbulence hit and the Captain had made an announcement to alert us to the fact that we were about to experience what we experienced. Shortly after I had fastened the belt around my then 32 inch waist the aircraft was thrown violently up and down. It was a bit like being seated on a cakewalk but at an altitude of thousands of feet up in the air! Many passengers – of both genders – were screaming and several were crying. The person behind me was praying out loud. I was looking determinedly out of the window. I was grasping hold of the armrests like Dear Life!

    At this point Dear Reader I have to tell you of a particular requirement I have of any airline which wishes to have me as a fare paying passenger – I MUST have a window seat! On this flight I had.

    I cannot say I actually prayed because I didn’t. However, all of a sudden a thought came into my mind. As I stared out of the window at the cloudscape that was charged – literally – with an electric storm below me this thought had an incredibly calming effect! The thought was this:

    “Here am I in the 1970s sitting several thousands of feet up looking down on the Earth below me and those clouds and the electrical storm. This was a view which hundreds of generations before me could only fantasise about!”

    This was a view which hundreds of generations before me could not have experienced. Not because most were poor but because the technology was not available! The most mighty sovereigns, the most powerful Field Marshals and Admirals of the Fleet could not experience what I was experiencing. Neither could the magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt due to the simple FACT that Mr Vanderbilt had died on 4th January 1877 – although of course he could have gone up in a hot air balloon had he wished.

    So, how could people change so much?

    By DNA resequencing. A treatment which WILL enable people to change their appearance, enhance their abilities, change their gender, stop and even reverse ageing – and of course eliminate all physical diseases.

    At this point I will have incurred the wrath NOT of the WEP but of some of those with strong religious convictions who will state that by suggesting this I am being very sinful! And that if I do not repent – immediately – I will end up being char-grilled in a sulphur fired furnace for eternity!

    All of which brings us to the image of the actor Sir Sidney Poitier, KBE above!

    Although like most men who are not “devilishly handsome”, I am not in fact bothered by this. I look like what I look like and that is that. End of. However, one can indulge in a short daydream – fantasy is too strong a description – about being the good looking youthful Mr Poitier, walking into a room where there are several beautiful women and observe in them a reaction that they would most definitely NOT have were I to walk into the said room!
    PS: The title of today’s blog-post is of course derived from “They Call Me Mister Tibbs!” – the famous 1970 crime movie that was the second instalment in a trilogy, being preceded by “In the Heat of the Night” (1967) and followed by “The Organization” (1971). The movie’s title was taken from a line in the first film. Sidney Poitier reprised his role of police detective Virgil Tibbs, though in this sequel, Tibbs is working for the San Francisco Police rather than the Philadelphia Police (as in the original movie) or the Pasadena Police (as in the novels).

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