Friday, 26 March 2010

Crime of the Century...........

Hullo ma wee blog,

Supertramps 1974 album 'Crime of the Century'. For me, one of those seminal albums that perfectly framed a moment in time and space. Without a weak track on its playlist, it was a big part of me at that defining time in adolescence when music takes you away from childhood and points to greater things; a better understanding; a bigger world; departure from what is comfortable, known and safe into other possibilities and realities.

Deep stuff, but music does that when you're only fifteen and hormones and angst compete equally fervently for your attention. It made deep impressions and this album means a lot to me. Over the years I've spent lots of time in its company, often with earphones on, lights off and laid out horizontal on floor or bed. Usually its been at ear crushing volume, blocking out an outside world so I could lose myself in music and lyric, so I could think and come to terms with some problem or worry about who I was or where I might be going.

With that kind of connection it's not surprising then that I turn to its familiar comfort when things sometimes disturb my equilibrium, shake my world view or just really T me off.

I shook hands with it once again the other day coming home from stepping in to cover a colleague at a Childrens Hearing session he couldn't cover.

Prepping yourself familiar with the cases via social work background and school reports gives you a handle on the complexities of a case but you know you have something unusually chaotic when the family is accompanied by two big burly specimens of Her Majesties Lothian and Borders Constabulary who are there to protect the social work representative and the panel members.

No matter at the end of a case when right decisions have been made to secure and keep safe a child of only a few months, it stays with you how unjust life is to some children who are denied the birthright of a loving, nurturing family and who have to be protected against parents who not only consistently fail to put that completely vulnerable wee life's needs before their own selfish desires, but absolutely deny any responsibility or wrong doing as they do it and then scream the place down for THEIR human rights when someone steps in and does something about protecting the best interests of the child. For me that's the real crime of the century.

Bringing up a child is one of the most incredible responsibilities of life, bringing joy, fulfilment and fear in equal measures. Most people manage to do it incredibly well. Some don't. Some need help. Some need a kick in the arse. Some, perhaps should be prevented from being parents in the first place if they can't take simple, honest advice and offers of support.

I don't know what it's like to struggle to raise a family well, to lie awake and worry about making the right choices and to provide the best you can for your children. I don't have any.

I don't really know what it's like to be a parent, but I do know what it's like not to be.

On balance I think that helps sometimes.

see you later.

listening to The Cars 'Drive'


Scottish Nature Boy said...

Hi Al - very thoughtful piece - I wandered in all chuffed to see something about Supertramp. I was the other guy who admitted to liking them... but then I was really interested to see you take on being an outsider looking in on troubled lives. I have a few pals who are or were social workers. The profession takes so much stick but it is tough work.

Alistair said...

I've got every admiration for social workers - damned if they do, damned if they don't - and so committed to what they do even tied as they are by all the legal, political and professional constraints they have to work under.

I couldn't do their job for a pension. I'd not be able to disconnect. And the pay is rubbish for what they have to put up with.

Supertramp are possibly my favourite group of all time. Could I choose between 'crime of the century' and 'even in the quietest moments' though?


Scottish Nature Boy said...

Aye Supertramp are up there with ELO for me - bands I discovered for myself in the early days of my young teen musical exploration (when my contemporaries were kicking over the tumbrils in the name of punk)- and their music is still important to me - but especially ELO for me! Couldn't agree more about the role of social workers - I certainly couldn't do it...

Alistair said...

Jings SNB,

Have you sneaked round here and scoped out my record collection?

ELO would definitely be in my top 5 I think. G and I have been to see them several times over the years and I'm amazed at how the lyrics seem to be implanted on your brain even after all these years.

Mmmmn - must dig some out - haven't listened in a while.

Cheers for that SNB!

Rebecca S. said...

Hello! Finally found a moment to come on over and visit you here. We had that Supertramp album and listened to it often and at high volume (my parents were very tolerant of loud music) - it's one of those great complete albums, isn't it?
Enjoyed reading your thoughts. We must have been on the same wavelength somehow on Friday.

Alistair said...

Hello Rebecca,

Welcome to ma wee blog. I hope you enjoy it.

I think you're right about Friday too. Life can be amazing that way. Not just that two folk across the world can be thinking similar things but that somehow life also lets them make a connection to appreciate it.

My lovely G would say destiny!

I only admit to coincidence......


Anonymous said...

great album. including one of the coolest endings to a track EVER ..."'re coming along....trraaaaaa-da-da-da-daaaaoooooowaaaaaaahooooouuuuuuuuuuuuuuwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww....... .. .. ......" :0)

Alistair said...

Aye, absolutely, and well held on that last note by the way.

Thanks for the comment. Drop by anytime.


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