Ankles, teeth and the nuclear threat

Image courtesy of Les Haines, Creative Commons


I’ve been musing on the question of priorities. Just think of what we’re faced with.

The newspapers are full of North Korea and the public posturing by TweedleTrump and TweedleKim. Bluster and bragging seem to have replaced reason and diplomacy. Threats serve to escalate the crisis and China, who could bring pressure to bear on the North Korean side, seem incapable of rising above domestic policy issues. Nobody comes out of this with any credit.

At the same time, the longer term threats posed by climate change are downgraded by the US and given insufficient attention closer to home. We have an inept government determined to make the worst of a bad job in implementing the results of a referendum which should never have been held. I could go on.

So, what has been exercising my mind? Broken ankles and chipped teeth. My mate Mark plays organ at church and keyboards in the Greensand Band. Keyboards with pedals, I should add. And he’s broken his ankle. Now, clearly the first thing to focus on is sympathy, support and gentle enquiries about the incident itself. A wet manhole cover and slippage, since you ask. Drink had not been taken.  In the scheme of things, this is less of a disaster than Nuclear tests, or the Americans putting an idiot in the White House, but its more immediately painful (for Mark) and has more immediate consequences in terms of changes to gigs, rehearsal dates, ticket sales and so on. Stuff needs doing and we can get on and do it.


On a different scale again, last week I visited my local Cote, bit into my Half Chargrilled Breton Chicken and half a tooth fell out. It was a week before I could get to my dentist and have the rest removed. A week of eating on one side, of worrying about disturbing the rest of the tooth, of swallowing tooth. Worse, of not swallowing tooth and choking on it. Not earth shattering, but an anxiety that’s easier to cope with. More immediate.

Sweating the small stuff

So, are we programmed to only sweat the small stuff? And is that a good thing, helpful to our mental health? Probably. But also a bad thing, leaving the big stuff to the delusional and the incompetent. I don’t know where the balance is but I do know that I can’t influence nuclear posturing by Korea or the US but I can rearrange a band gig, get a tooth fixed, listen to an injured colleague. So that makes me feel better. And maybe now I can revert to lending my support to the more sensible and progressive elements of our domestic polity.

Tony Earnshaw

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