Physiology.

December 14, 2012

A week or so ago, my family and I had a bit of a Christmas gathering as it was the only time a lot of us were going to be all together. It was so lovely because it was a rare collection of loved ones who were all able to make it on that day only.

One of our dear family friends said a very elderly neighbour had recently passed away and that his children had finally gotten around to sorting out his belongings – some of which they kept and some, thrown out.

This friend rescued a full set of Children’s Encyclopaedia Britannicas and asked if I wanted them. To say I was chuffed was an understatement. They were published in 1970 – the year of my birth. I also got a four volumed set of The Cycle of Life – looking at the birds and the bees and titles such as, ‘How do you know it’s love?’ and all from the 60s.

Encyclopedia Britannica

They are truly wonderful and a treasure. and the smell of them – old and musty – is just divine.

A few friends had asked why I would want them as all the information would be outdated. Well some would be, but not all of it. Picasso is Picasso; the basic information would be the same.

I – or more importantly – my daughters can pick up a volume and read through some bits and pieces. I did that today, when I picked the volume with ‘Paintings’. There are beautiful, colour, glossy pictures of famous paintings – I found a beautiful, hand drawn illustration of the Pied Piper of Hamelin…it just goes on.

See, the stuff you get off the net is what you look for specifically and there are generally millions of pages presented to you – that flash up when you’ve typed in your search engine term. Millions. So most go with the top couple and that’s it.

But these books have intriguing, snippets of information – some information hasn’t changed and the areas that have, have you looking on with wonder at how much our society has progressed over the last 40 years or so – especially (obviously) in the area of technology and engineering. In other areas, however…

Basically I keep stumbling upon things that, more than likely, you can’t find on the net.

As I was flicking through, I found Physiology (the study of how our body works, like a machine) – which inspired this post. One part reads:

Everyone is born with the power to do these [automatic] reflexes without thinking, but people can learn other reflexes, such as riding a bicycle and feeling hungry as a mealtime draws near. These are called conditioned reflexes. Much of what a person does – that is, their physiology – is made up of automatic and conditioned reflexes.

Fascinating…and sobering.

Why? Because I think society is allowing businesses to feed on our automatic reflexes to make money – but are in turn creating conditioned ones. Bad conditioned ones…and there appears to be no end in sight because most people think ‘everything’s fine’.

Example? The recent discussion on the net over the Playboy Bunny bedspreads in the arts and craft shop Spotlight, had many people, of both genders, saying to relax – you just tell your young child that it’s a regular, ol’ bunny. Yes, you can, until it’s everywhere and the association of what it really stands for becomes quickly embedded and comes at a much, much earlier age.

At this moment I realised how little we go to the past anymore.

Noone looks back. Just forward.

Just more.

Pushing that line with an ever growing army.

While we stand idly by.

Let’s look back to our youth and its artists.

I looooved Duran Duran. I may have mentioned this before, but I was convinced that Simon Le Bon need only look at me (with my braces aged 14) and know he had found the one. But even though I was surrounded by posters of Duran Duran, I still knew of older artists and their contribution to music:

The Doors (another love), The Beatles, Elvis, The Stones, The Eagles, The Clash, The Sex Pistols, The Easybeats, The Monkees, The Style Council, Bob Marley, Simon & Garfunkle, Christopher Cross (don’t laugh), Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra…etc.etc. etc. I could go on.

Question #121: Who are our youth listening to today? And what are the messages in their songs?

Because there seem to be a lot of similar looking videos – hyper-sexualising girls and young women all wearing the ‘gagging-for-it’ uniform, as they writhe around the screen…and who can forget the famous lyrics:

Man: It’s getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes.

Woman: I am getting so hot, I’m gonna take my clothes off.

As well as the plethora of references to being nasty, freaky, hot, sexy and many more delightful terms. I heard a new song from Kanye West and the chorus goes like this:

Ain’t nobody f*ckin’ with my
Clique, clique, clique, clique, clique
Ain’t nobody fresher than my muthaf*ckin’
Clique, clique, clique, clique, clique
As I look around, they don’t do it like my
Clique, clique, clique, clique, clique
And all these bad bitches, man, they want the…
They want the…They want the….

(Insert the word dick)

Your kids may be listening to this song. It’s Kanye West.

Question #122: Is our youth’s conditioned reflexes changing their physiology for the worse?

Deep Scientific Breath.

x

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