Saying "please" and "thank you"is not a universal custom - there are societies such, as the Inuit, where it is not the case. In fact it first took hold in Western society during the commercial revolution of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries as evidence of the democratization of society - our desire to view everyone as equals. Before that, saying please and thank you was a way to show deference to a lord or master. "Thank you" derives from "think," it originally meant, "I will remember what you did for me" - and "please" is short for "if you please," "if it pleases you to do this":
"Consider the custom, in American society, of constantly saying 'please' and 'thank you.' To do so is often treated as basic morality: we are constantly chiding children for forgetting to do it, just as the moral guardians of our society - teachers and ministers, for instance - do to everybody else. We often assume that the habit is universal, but as the Inuit hunter made clear, it is not. Like so many of our everyday courtesies, it is a kind of democratization of what was once a habit of feudal deference: the insistence on treating absolutely everyone the way that one used only to have to treat a lord or similar hierarchical superior.
"In fact, the English 'please' is short for 'if you please,' 'if it pleases you to do this' - it is the same in most European languages (French si il vous plait, Spanish por favor). Its literal meaning is 'you are under no obligation to do this.' 'Hand me the salt. Not that I am saying that you have to!' This is not true; there is a social obligation, and it would be almost impossible not to comply. But etiquette largely consists of the exchange of polite fictions (to use less polite language, lies). When you ask someone to pass the salt, you are also giving them an order; by attaching the word 'please,' you are saying that it is not an order. But, in fact, it is.
"In English, 'thank you' derives from 'think,' it originally meant, 'I will remember what you did for me' - which is usually not true either - but in other languages (the Portuguese obrigado is a good example) the standard term follows the form of the English 'much obliged' - it actually does means 'I am in your debt.' The French merci is even more graphic: it derives from 'mercy,' as in begging for mercy; by saying it you are symbolically placing yourself in your benefactor's power - since a debtor is, after all, a criminal. Saying 'you're welcome,' or 'it's nothing' (French de rien, Spanish de nada) - the latter has at least the advantage of often being literally true - is a way of reassuring the one to whom one has passed the salt that you are not actually inscribing a debit in your imaginary moral account book. So is saying 'my pleasure' - you are saying, 'No, actually, it's a credit, not a debit - you did me a favor because in asking me to pass the salt, you gave me the opportunity to do something I found rewarding in itself!' ...
"All of this is a relatively recent innovation. The habit of always saying 'please' and 'thank you' first began to take hold during the commercial revolution of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries - among those very middle classes who were largely responsible for it. It is the language of bureaus, shops, and offices, and over the course of the last five hundred years it has spread across the world along with them. It is also merely one token of a much larger philosophy, a set of assumptions of what humans are and what they owe one another, that have by now become so deeply ingrained that we cannot see them."
Author: David Graeber
Title: Debt: The First 5,000 Years
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
The Great Silence
by Juliet Nicolson
The carnage of World War I, and the prostitutes that were a moment of relief from that carnage. World War I, the Great War, had no precedent in its bloodshed - the mere boys who marched to war from Britain and elsewhere were witness to twenty-three million casualties:
"The [British] Government's morale-boosting propaganda had contributed in large part to the ignorance at home of the true state of affairs [in the war] abroad. Positive stories written by journalists who feared if they told the truth were designed to put the best possible slant on the news. Soldiers who longed to describe the dreadful reality of warfare had their letters censored. ...
"How were soldiers to find a way to describe to their isolated, sometimes disbelieving families what happened out there? ... Loneliness was constant. Men missed women. ...
"Just behind the battle lines only a mile or two from the front, girls waited to 'comfort' men, irrespective of whether they were German, British or French, waiting for them in abandoned chateaux, village houses, hay barns, caravans, farm buildings and the upper floors of inns. Different coloured lanterns indicated the rank of clientele allowed entry. Blue denoted a place reserved for officers, the light sometimes swinging from a pole that stood next to a sign declaring 'No Admittance for Dogs and Soldiers'. Common soldiers were directed towards the red light establishments. Sometimes the queues outside these places could number a hundred men or more, with three worn-out French women waiting inside. The price per slot varied from two and a half to ten francs or two to eight shillings, although a bartering system involving bread and sausages was also prevalent. One innocent young officer, hearing his turn called, made his way to room number six where in the bitter-sweet, dirt- smelling near darkness he could see the outline of a female figure who, turning towards him, hiked up her black nightdress to her waist and fell backwards on the edge of the bed. He realised that the highly anticipated delights of seduction were already over. She was ready.
"These women estimated that operating a strict schedule of ten minutes per man, they could service an entire battalion every seven days, a production rate that most were usually able to sustain for only three weeks before retiring exhausted, and invariably unwell, but proud of their staying power. This experience had been, for many of the prospectively syphilitic young men, their introduction to the 'joy' of physical love. Even the virginal Prince of Wales went in 1916 with some fellow officers to watch naked girls performing erotic poses in a brothel in Calais, concluding from his own 'first insight into such things' that it was a 'perfectly filthy and revolting sight'. ...
"The threat of venereal disease sometimes led soldiers to seek sexual relief with each other. The Field Almanac issued to Lieutenant Skelton cautioned men not to 'ease themselves promiscuously', although the detailed instructions on the necessity for cleanliness of the body at all times were impossible to implement in the filthy conditions of the camps. George V, hearing of the extent of homosexual activity in the army some two decades after the imprisonment of Oscar Wilde, had been heard to mutter: 'I thought men like that shot themselves.' There was also a belief that homosexuality might be infectious and Scotland Yard kept a register of known homosexuals. Recovery from prosecution was at best rare and in reality unknown. Two hundred and seventy soldiers and twenty officers were court-martialled for 'acts of gross indecency with another male person according to the Guidance notes in the Manual of Military Law'."
Author: Juliet Nicolson
Title: The Great Silence
Publisher: Grove Date: Copyright 2009 by Juliet Nicolson
I found this so interesting, especially having a history as a sex worker and knowing how hard it can be, but for these girls, wow, dangerous, hard long hours, the risk of desease, must have been so hard and these girls really are the ones who helped win the war - by keeping the young men happy - or at least as happy as 10 minutes getting fucked will allow. These girls should be considered some of the real heroes of war. But then, it is so true - that the very person who really does the most - if thought of as a low life - a whore - unworthy - and cast out to damnation by the church and by society when what they do and what they have done is good - kind and thoughtful work.
MAO'S GREAT FAMINE
During Chairman Mao Zedong's Great Leap Forward, which was an effort to use centralized Communist planning to vault China's economy past those of the Western European powers, China endured one of the greatest tragedies in human history - the death of over 45 million people:
"Between 1958 and 1962, China descended into hell. Mao Zedong, Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, threw his country into a frenzy with the Great Leap Forward, an attempt to catch up with and overtake Britain in less than fifteen years. By unleashing China's greatest asset, a labour force that was counted in the hundreds of millions, Mao thought that he could catapult his country past its competitors. Instead of following the Soviet model of development, which leaned heavily towards industry alone, China would 'walk on two legs': the peasant masses were mobilized to transform both agriculture and industry at the same time, converting a backward economy into a modern communist society of plenty for all.
"In the pursuit of a utopian paradise, everything was collectivized, as villagers were herded together in giant communes which heralded the advent of communism. People in the countryside were robbed of their work, their homes, their land, their belongings and their livelihood. Food, distributed by the spoonful in collective canteens according to merit, became a weapon to force people to follow the party's every dictate. Irrigation campaigns forced up to half the villagers to work for weeks on end on giant water-conservancy projects, often far from home, without adequate food and rest. The experiment ended in the greatest catastrophe the country had ever known, destroying tens of millions of lives. ...
"At least 45 million people died unnecessarily between 1958 and 1962. The term 'famine', or even 'Great Famine', is often used to describe these four to five years of the Maoist era, but the term fails to capture the many ways in which people died under radical collectivization. The blithe use of the term 'famine' also lends support to the widespread view that these deaths were the unintended consequence of half-baked and poorly executed economic programs. Mass killings are not usually associated with Mao and the Great Leap Forward, and China continues to benefit from a more favourable comparison with the devastation usually associated with Cambodia or the Soviet Union. But as the fresh evidence ... demonstrates, coercion, terror and systematic violence were the foundation of the Great Leap Forward.
"Thanks to the often meticulous reports compiled by the party itself, we can infer that between 1958 and 1962 by a rough approximation 6 to 8 per cent of the victims were tortured to death or summarily killed - amounting to at least 2.5 million people. Other victims were deliberately deprived of food and starved to death. Many more vanished because they were too old, weak or sick to work - and hence unable to earn their keep. People were killed selectively because they were rich, because they dragged their feet, because they spoke out or simply because they were not liked, for whatever reason, by the man who wielded the ladle in the canteen. Countless people were killed indirectly through neglect, as local cadres were under pressure to focus on figures rather than on people, making sure they fulfilled the targets they were handed by the top planners.
"A vision of promised abundance not onlv motivated one of the most deadly mass killings of human history, but also inflicted unprecedented damage on agriculture, trade, industry and transportation. Pots, pans and tools were thrown into backyard furnaces to increase the country's steel output, which was seen as one of the magic markers of progress. Livestock declined precipitously, not only because animals were slaughtered for the export market but also because they succumbed en masse to disease and hunger - despite extravagant schemes for giant piggeries that would bring meat to every table. Waste developed because raw resources and supplies were poorly allocated, and because factory bosses deliberately bent the rules to increase output. As everyone cut corners in the relentless pursuit of higher output, factories spewed out inferior goods that accumulated uncollected by railway sidings. Corruption seeped into the fabric of life, tainting everything from soy sauce to hydraulic dams. 'The transportation system creaked to a halt before collapsing altogether, unable to cope with the demands created by a command economy. Goods worth hundreds of millions of yuan accumulated in canteens, dormitories and even on the streets, a lot of the stock simply rotting or rusting away. It would have been difficult to design a more wasteful system, one in which grain was left uncollected by dusty roads in the countryside as people foraged for roots or ate mud."
Author: Frank Dikotter
Title: Mao's Great Famine
I found this a very powerful and hard read. I have read extensively about the Russian mass killing of its people with the 'Master Plan' but had no idea China had as much death from starvation and forced labour. The thought that this country is only great today because of the grief caused in such a manner, is dreadful, and I cried more than once with this. The horrors of what man will do to fellow man in order to become the greatest, is simply wrong.
The true story of Radical Islam
by Jason Burke
Alarmingly, the most accurate information about Islamic extremism is coming not from governments nor intelligence agencies, but from specialist journalists and scholars... To this list should be added Jason Burke. The most reliable and perceptive guide to the rise of militant Islam yet published... full of new and important information, much of it gathered on the ground. His obvious knowledge of, and affection for, the people of the region gives his grim message a credibility lacking in the ranting of so many other commentators on 'Islamic terror.'
'William Dalrymple' Observer
I thought it about time I knew a little about what the news is full of these days and so bought and plodded my way through this book and was glad that I did. To learn some of the basics and read about how these countries came to be the way they are today, and the hand that the west had in creating what we see today as terrorists, is amazing and frightening at the same time. The west has a great deal to answer for and we cannot be complacent in our arrogance that we are far away, for as the bombs in Madrid and London have shown, we MUST be responsible for what our government is doing and WE MUST respect and value other cultures or they will turn against us.
Created and financed by America, many f the organizations we now see as terrorists were puppets of the CIA for decades until just dumped and deserted to fend for themselves when their use was up... many turned against the very hand that had once fed them, and to be honest, understandable so. The west... and that means you and me ... have blood on our hands reaching back generations and it will take so much more than bully boy tactics like Bush and Blair are throwing around the world before we find a peaceful solution to the modern day terrorist. You do not teach a child at school to be a bully in order to make friends yet what role models do they have in modern day politicians and big business.
It's a sad world heading on a slippery slope to disaster.
FAST FOOD NATION
by Eric Schlosser
Britain eats more fast food than any other country in Europe. If it looks good tastes good and it's cheap. But the real costs never appear on the menu.
Eric Schlosser's explosive best selling book, turns from funny to terrifying as it tells the story
of the love affair with fast food.
I read this book with an open mouth from cover to cover as I had absolutely no idea that there was so much crap - literally - in the food chain and how bad the various chicken growers, cattle farmers and even potato farmers were being treated by big business and how they manipulate governments in order to allow unfit food stuff to be fed to children and the general population. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration)- like the UK's FSA - ( Food Standards Authority ) it would appear, are about as spineless as any organization dominated by the very companies they are suppose to be checking on. Believe me, read this book and you will think twice before eating meat again.
It's no use closing your eyes and pretending it doesn't effect you, because every time to put meat in your mouth you are eating chemicals, anti biotic and crap....by the ton and some from human waste. He tells how dead cats and dogs are collected from vets and converted into food for the cows, and if you think he is exaggerating
A very interesting book and one that MOST CERTAINLY is enlightening.
Please don't turn a blind eye as to what you are putting in your mouth
NOT ON THE LABEL
by Felicity Lawrence - Penguin Books
What really goes into the food on our plate ?
We no longer trust what we eat. We lurch instead from food scare to food scare while farming is in crisis around the world. A handful of retailers and food manufacturers exert unprecedented control over what we eat and where we buy it. We have come to depend on processed food that is routinely adulterated.
In a series of undercover investigations, tracking some of the most popular food stuff we eat at home, Felicity Lawrence travels from farms and factories to pack houses and lorry depots across the world. She discovers why beef waste ends up in chicken - why a third of apples are thrown away and why bread is full of water and air. She meets the hidden armies of migrant workers exploited throughout Britain on whom our supermarkets depend. And she shows how obesity, blighted town centres, motorways clogged with juggernauts, environmentally ravaged fields in Europe and starving small holders in Africa, are all intricately related aspects of our new globalized, industrialized system of twenty-first-century food production.
Like FAST FOOD NATION, this book will horrify and educate as to what has been going on and why companies like Wall Mart and Tesco's have so much to answer for. It's very easy and convenient for us to shop for global produce in just one air conditioned super-store with parking while the farmers, manufacturers, field workers and just about everyone else involved is SCREWED TO THE WALL AND ABUSED by the very system that aims to bring you and I cheap food.
When you read how much of what we eat is produced.
When you understand how big business works to dominate.
When we as people say 'enough is enough' and are prepared to pay a little more for our food and allow farmers - producers etc. to make a decent living without almost 90% of the profit going to the likes of Tesco and NOT the farmers, then maybe... just maybe... the mess that is our food industry will start to pay attention and maybe, we as consumers,
will value paying a decent pricefor our food and
not keep expecting to by the cheapest around.
We spend a fortune on designer labels, mobile phones and digital TV and yet feed ourselves and our children with cheap crap... and you know the adage...'You are what you eat.'
Well - aren't you fed up with eating crap... literally...
The government is toothless to do anything.
Read this book and tell your friends.
Change the way you shop and help save this planet.
THE ONLY PLANET OF CHOICE
Essential briefings from Deep Space
Transceiver - Phyllis V. Schlemmer GATEWAY BOOKS - BATH
This book represents over 20 years of work by a distinguished international research group whose members have been communicating through psychic transceiver Phyllis Schlemmer, with an enlightened circle of universal beings known as the Council of Nine.
It's underlying theme is free will and the power of the inhabitants of Planet earth to create a better, more harmonious world. Amongst the many themes covered in detail are the existance of ET civilisations and their interactions with Earth, the nature of the source of the universe, the ancient history of humanity, Jesus the Nazarene, environmental issues and humankind's as yet-unrealised potential for self-awareness. But above all, for those who are prepared to listen and heed its message, it offers a positive outcome for the future.
I personally read this book from cover to cover
and didn't want to put it down for a second.
INSIDE THE MIND OF GENE RODENBERRY
the creator of STAR TREK
ISBN 0 00 638429 3
Gene Rodenberry was a powerful and brilliant man who created Star Trek, which has changed the way many see 'sci fi' and many of the spiritual issues as play today. His enlightened visions of the future, as shown through his TV programmes, have now proven to be true and this enlightening little book is a personal journey behind the man and within his soul to expose who he was and about his spiritual journey.
Star Trek lovers will devour this book
Alice in Wonderland and the
World Trade Centre Disaster
Why the official story of 911
is a monumental lie
by David Icke
Bridge of Love Publications USA
Since that horrendous day of September 11, 2001, the people of the world have been told a big lie. The official story of what happened on 9/11 is a fantasy of untruth, manipulation, contradiction and anomaly.
David Icke has spent well over a decade uncovering the force that was really behind those attacks and has traveled to 40 countries in pursuit of the truth.
Many consider David Icke to be nuts without ever reading his books, and then throw the baby out with the bath water because there may be a few things they cannot register with, while the majority of what he writes is brilliant. Much misunderstood because of his turquoise jumpsuit time on the Wogan Show on TV - where he admits he made a mistake - many seem unable to move beyond this and appreciate his bravery in bringing us material that many are scared to approach.
Yes - some of what he says seems fantasy and the writings of a madman... but then ... who says all that you can see, hear, touch, smell and feel.... is all there is ? Maybe he really is connecting with another dimension and maybe he is right and we - sadly - are missing the point.
I first read his book 'The Biggest Secret' a number of years ago now and was somewhat confused as well as gob smacked. His research was phenomenal, and the longer I lived with his stuff - the longer I took note of things around me in every day life - the more I had time to register, appreciate and evaluate what I had read, and the more it - actually - all made sense.
Conspiracy Theory or not - we only have to look at what has happened since 911 to know that we have been blatantly lied to by our government and just about everyone in powerful positions who, for some conspiratorial reason, have seen fit to withhold the truth from us... so is this a conspiracy theory ? Maybe.
Alice in Wonderland is 'David the researcher' at his best, bringing you documented media coverage of the attacks and how these help to piece together the truths that have been withheld and the lies we have been fed.
If you ever had a thought that what we have been told was a monumental lie, then this book is definitely for you. Well documented, well put together and easy to read and follow.
Love him or hate him, David Icke is probably one of the most famous writers of our day.
'A Return To Love'
by Marianne Williamson
Marianne Williams writes about 'A Course In Miracles' through her own personal
experience of how this enigmatic book changed her life. It will change yours as well. I was given this book by a friend some 15 years ago and it was right at the best time for me, as I was
about to start the book below and this one 'set me on course' - to do 'the course.'
I love the way she writes and I met her once in London and she just oozed energy and love.
'A Course In Miracles'
If you have a lot of spare time and patience, this book is a master piece that many books since the late 1960's have based their information on. An absolute MUST for any serious spiritual journey for those with a Christian / Jewish background who feel they no ;longer wish for the clap trap of these organised religions. based on channelled information provided througha woman over a long seven year period, this book also has a 365 day workshop and you need to be dedicated and devoted to your spiritual journey if you are to complete this - then you need to sit back and take 6 months off anything spiritual - and just let it sit in your (sub) consciousness and 'settle in, as it is heavy - thought provoking stuff that can and will change the way you see life, death, God, and your own part in that journey.
This book has EVER SINGLE WORD copywrited and they are VERY strict how it is used in the public domain so nothing is changed - for as we know - the Bible has been MASSIVELY mistransated and edited and messed about with over the eons of time and most of the messages given by Christ have been utterly perverted and corrupted in order to gain power for the church and NOT to give the true message of jesus. A Course In Miracles has protected itself from this abuse by sealing every word in copyright, and I admire this hugely.
'Power of Kabbalah'
by Rabbi Yehuda Berg
Given to me by a friend, I found this book fascinating, in that it explains so much about the other religions without meaning to. Considering all the 4 main religions take the same source material for their writings, it is not surprising that they all have things in common. Here, the Kabala is explained in easy to follow terms for those, like me, who always thought it was just a Jewish thing. How wrong could I be.
The Kabbalah has undergone a bit of bad press over the years since being brought to the public eye by Madona and there has been some negative inout from some bad people within some of the Kabbasistic schools in London, but as usual, people love to dig up the dirt and love to damn and destroy something they do noit understand, and if you study and follow the writings on the Kabbalah and ignore the manipulation that can and is found in ALL religions and spiritual pathways - BY HUMANS - NOT THE TEACHINGS - then you can enjoy and find enlightenment.
Too many of the Christian religions, are controlled by manipulation and anything that feels wrong - then it usually is.
The Celestine Prophecy
by James Redfield
Like 'Conversations With God' this book became a run away best seller when it came out and in 1994 and has sicne become a movie. An easy to follow story about a mans search for 9 insights which change his life, and I hugely recommend this book. people were critical of the style of its writing at the time but then, the writer was not a professional writer. he was a part of this story - it happened to him, and he decided to share it with the world as he felt it too important to keep to himself. His writing may not be the most professional - but at the end of the day, it's what the message tells you that is important and if you feel it is not as sharp or as slick as some other writers, then you have missed the point.