Posted by: The Pick Man | June 4, 2013

. . . a song for angry men

Sometimes I am taken unawares by the power of my response to something. On those occasions I have to screw up my eyes and swallow before I can speak. There’s no knowing what will be the cause; it varies  so much.

Art is about life, it’s about things that move you, it’s about getting over a message in an emotional as well as an intellectual manner. Books can be moving, music can be moving; almost anything can reach out, grab you by the throat and bring tears to your eyes. For me it doesn’t necessarily have to be something that is designed to have that effect. At times it’s an item on the television news that moves me in this way.

There is one thing that always does it for me. I cannot listen to, see or read the story of Les Misérables without being moved. It began when friends bought us tickets for the West End show. The singing was magnificent and never to be forgotten. The staging and characterisation were masterful. Before the show we met people who were seeing the performance for a fourth or fifth time. After the show we knew why.



Whilst it was a great experience, for people such as us coming to it afresh knowing nothing of the story, it was difficult to gain a full appreciation of the story line. The recently released film follows the stage show very closely but has the added advantage of being able to present stunning scenery and was able to make the story much clearer for me. We now own the DVD – is that obsessive? – and can opt into it at leisure. Oh yes, and I’m currently reading Victor Hugo’s original book on my iPad. I couldn’t resist the free download from iTunes.

As I have said, sometime it is art, sometime it is a news story but sometimes they can come together. The news this week is of riots in Turkey and protests against the rise of an Islamic government. The spirit of Attaturk, the founder of modern Turkey, lives on and the idea that Turkey should be secular is still strong.



The day the people of Turkey rose up — in pictures.


Struggle on, brave people, say I. Turkey is a progressive nation and has benefited immensely by it’s secular stance. No country based on a fundamentalist religious constitution has succeeded. Despite protestations from ‘moderates’ modern day Islam is heading for the dark ages. It is worth fighting for something that ensures your children and youth will grow up in a world where they will be guaranteed real education and a future that is not plagued by people who’s first thoughts are whether a god would be angry by their actions rather than will people benefit from what they do.


“We must liberate our concepts of justice, our laws and our legal institutions from the bonds which, even though they are incompatible with the needs of our century, still hold a tight grip on us.”  Mustafa Kemal Atatürk 1926


  1. You said “plagued by people who’s first thoughts are whether a god would be angry by their actions rather than will people benefit from what they do” as if these two methods are opposed. I believe both goals come to the same answer, and I regularly make decisions this way. I don’t think I’ve heard of anyone being “plagued” by my actions.

  2. You speak as an individual; I speak of governments. The struggle of the French people, as described by Victor Hugo, was against the ruling regime. The present struggle in Turkey is against the ruling regime also.

    The point that I was making is that in a theocratic regime the first consideration will be to please a notional being rather than to give first importance to the needs and welfare of those who are governed. If that happens, and it does, regularly, it is my opinion that it may be truly described as a plague upon the people.

    Sometimes plague may even be too mild a term, for around the world people are dying, in fact being killed deliberately, as a result of their rulers obeisance to their god. It is unlikely that satisfying the demands of irrational beliefs will lead to policies arrived at rationally to benefit the governed population.

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