I have a weekly chat with Merseyside singer/songwriter, Don Woods. I make a podcast which is then updated to my website. This week Don and I talked about the way figures are being bandied about and how billions and trillions don’t really help the average punter.

As Don explained, “ to put it into context…..A pound coin is 7/8” in diameter (or 2.3 cm). A million of these placed side by side on the floor would stretch just under 14 miles and a BILLION of these would stretch 14000 miles…..as the circumference of the earth is approximately 25000 miles…a billion pound coins side by side would stretch more than half way round the world…THAT’s a billion! “
I really believe that these figures are being used to confuse us and to confuse the real issues in this global recession. The population of the world is around 7 billion…and there was a sheik on the television worth 13 billion. Does this man really have this wealth and couldn’t he help us lessen the pain of the recession?
There is an advert on the television asking for a donation of £2 which would save a life in the third world. This is how ludicrous the situation is. According to the Internet the 200 wealthiest families in the world are worth a collective 1,708 billion. Don’t these people see the same pictures on their TV sets? Don’t they have any compassion in their wallets? Why are people starving when such wealth exists?

Wouldn’t it be better to put any money that is collected to better purpose? Is it not feasible to create pipelines carrying surplus water from point a to point b? We do it with oil. We have tankers going from country to country with oil so why is there never the wherewithal to do the same for these poor suffering souls in Africa. The water could also be used to grow crops and perform similar miracles to those achieved in California and Israel. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we stopped fighting on this planet and started helping each other with the same vigour?

Instead of pictures of poor little starving souls we could have pictures of happy children playing in the same place where they would have been so miserable. Come the day……Howard Zinn says it all

What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places -- and there are so many -- where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don't have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.
- Howard Zinn

Don went to see Ben Elton’s work at the Liverpool Empire. It is a futuristic story based around Queen’s music. Don is a musician and saw things from his notes and dots point of view. Don liked the music but then Queen’s music was fabulous. However, as Don observed, he thought the cast were singing to backing tracks until they lifted the screen at the back at the end of the show and there is a great band. They should have been on the stage all the way through. Now I agree with Don as I have seen this in various works. Why are the musicians, who do such brilliant work, kept hidden as though they are superfluous to requirements?

Part of my podcasting work is to highlight the work of the songwriter, the producer, the sound-mixer and the musicians and backing singers who are part of a team effort to often present one person as the star. Let’s give credit where credit is due.

Does anyone else see the new Simon Cowell offering Black or Red in the same light as we see it? Hundreds of people at the start by all betting on red or black and there is a series of tasks performed by celebrities involving a 50/50 bet whether they will get it right. The crowd then get eliminated until there is one left and he or she then has to spin a roulette wheel and go for red or black. Millionaires have been created overnight on the spin of a roulette wheel.

Ant and Dec, as ever, create a very good atmosphere and there is the excitement of winning the jackpot. In times of recession there is always, it would seem, pots of money to give away as prizes but surely all this is really doing is eroding the work ethic. I know it’s a boring point of view but the trouble with a recession is that it takes hard work to get out of recession and this isn’t really helping the majority. The subconscious mind is looking for the next opportunity to become the big winner,

Apparently “scientists” have proved that booze is now good for you. We will quickly recall the amount of TV shows which depict Binge Britain. The adverse publicity has affected sales in the alcohol industry and hey presto we’ll commission a new piece of research!

Don has always flown the flag for Merseyside in his song-writing and he has just reached a grand final of people writing a song for the City of Bath. There is a new CD in which Don’s song sits proudly and he deserves a pat on the back. I have written this article based on our weekly chat so please join Don Woods and myself at http://www.vincetracy.com/donwoods2010.html

Author's Bio: 

Vince is a Podcaster and Broadcaster with roots in the music industry and a career in Teaching and, earlier, Sales and Marketing.
Throughout his life he has moved within Music, Broadcasting and Education improving himself by studying in his 30s and 40s for degrees in the study of Recreation and the Community and then Philosophy in Education.He still regularly entertains with his guitar and his cabaret shows and is very motivated by the chance to make an audience laugh and feel happy.