In the thousands of years of Man’s existence, his essentially selfish nature has been kept in check by a variety of belief systems. Most usually organised religion, I guess. So, it’s hardly surprising that the demise of religion has been accompanied by a growth in self-centredness. The Me-Me society, if you like. Personally, I regard the progressive liberals – liberal progressives? – as pretty complicit in this over the last fifty to a hundred years, with their emphasis on individual rights and liberties at the expense of anything else. Duties, for example. So it’s pretty ironic that the pressure building up to compel young Britons to undertake a period of compulsory “civic service” is coming from the Left. Witness this article from the left-of-centre, [still?] Blairist magazine, Prospect. It’s an idea which is already being tried out in both the USA and Germany, it seems. Well, this may be cynicism on my part but I’m not optimistic it will do much to reverse the trend. Though straitened economic circumstances might force a few people to query what they can – or ever could – afford. And whether it’s time again to think of others as well as oneself. Even before parenthood forces it on you.
Incidentally, the avarice associated with an obsession with oneself appears to be a prime cause of the financial mess we’re now in – and in which the not-so-greedy and downright frugal appear to be being hit harder than anyone. So it’s rather ironic - if my thesis holds any water - that the Left sees it all as the result of rampant capitalism. Which is partly right; unrestrained capitalism plus individual greed is a toxic mixture. Is it time for religion to make a comeback, given that Communism and Socialism surely won’t? Or is civic service actually the new religion? This year.
After that bit of homespun philosophy, here’s a more prosaic final paragraph which will only be of interest to owners of dogs with bowel problems. It’s been inspired by my waking up this morning in the middle of a dream about dog turds on my front lawn . . . If your pet is suffering seriously-liquid motions and is going in for a lot of fruitless squatting and straining, it’s possible it’s got coccidiosis. If you’re in Spain, it’s also possible your vet will give it useless – but expensive – blood tests and then prescribe equally useless modern antibiotics. However, what has finally worked on my dog is an old quinolone antibiotic usually prescribed only for humans. The generic name in Spain is ciprofloxacino [ciprofloxacin elsewhere] and there are many brands. The max dose for dogs is 15mg per kilo, against 20mg for humans. So you might want to ignore what the pharmacist says, if you say it’s for a dog and they just read the leaflet and recommend 20.
Of course, I’m only relating my experience and not personally recommending anything. So I take no responsibility for whatever happens. It’s a strong chemical and it would still be best to find a vet who knows what he/she is doing. Or, like me, research the web and then talk to a good vet.