We are in financial meltdown, our planet is revolting after we subjected it to decades of abuse and neglect, war is being waged and terrorists are threatening society.

I can’t help thinking we’re on the verge of something big.

Maybe it is time for the machines to rise up and take over the planet – or maybe they already have…?

I’ve decided not to dwell too much on such issues this week. Instead I went searching for other news, but frankly what I came up with did not exactly restore my confidence in mankind.

We’re in a right old state, but the really depressing point is that we’re doing it to ourselves.

One in ten of us are putting ourselves at risk of permanent hearing loss because we have the volume turned up too high.

The EU is now considering new safety standards and imposing technical improvements on manufacturers of MP3s and other electronic devices to minimise hearing damage.

Many users of such devices turn up the volume above harmful levels of over 89 decibels to block out noise from traffic or fellow passengers on public transport.

We lock ourselves in our own little world and are deaf to what is happening around us – both metaphorically and literally.

Scientists have discovered a genetic link to baldness that helps explain why some men may inherit their hairless heads from their fathers.

In the long term, this research could lead to genetic treatments for hair loss. In the short term it could be used to identify men who are likely to lose their hair prematurely.

Does it matter? Sometimes if I look at old photographs I will remember fondly those times when I had hair. But that quickly passes.

I like wearing glasses and have no desire to try contact lenses or undergo laser treatment to correct my sight. I like having a shaved head and think the scientists should spend their time researching something more important.

But the messages we keep getting bombarded with – from glossy ads to scientific research – tell us we should all be working towards perfection.

A new study suggests women in particular have been drawn in by this manufactured view of perfection, as epitomised by the cult of celebrity.

So while the world collapses around us and the machines take control (probably), we’re only really bothered about celeb gossip and looking like Barbie and Ken.

Oh well, so much for staying positive this week.

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2 responses »

  1. Nick S Donald says:

    I wanted to say something positive by way of response, but found myself unable to do so.

    I wouldn’t mind the cult of celebrity, but for the dearth of celebrities to really admire.

    I might suggest, though, that for Barbie’s 50th annniversary next year, Mattel should be brave and bring out an overweight Barbie and a bald Ken.

    Then again, perhaps not.

  2. […] Bald, deaf and craving the perfect body while the machines take over the world […]

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