Aspiring to Mediocrity

Morning one and all.

I thought I’d try something a bit different for this post. I have difficulty sleeping, have been unemployed for some time and university has ceased to be, due to a summer apparently. So, needless to say I’m bored, and I’m trying to find all sorts of ways to entertain myself. Like dying on my arse attempting comedy, or failing to record a song that doesn’t offend people’s ears.

I live in a permanent state of dissatisfaction. Any form of entertainment media, seems to me, to be saturated with a vast amount of mediocrity, even worse mediocrity that’s propelled to insane heights. I watch things and think… why is this so popular? I can do/write/eat something better than that. But what has become frustratingly  clear to me, is I can’t!

I am a strange oddity, compelled to attempt something ‘different’ or ‘outstanding’ driven by some overwhelming urge that cannot fully be sated, and yet, I lack the ability, not just the ability, but any kind of ability. It seems the troubled genius in me shall never flourish, primarily because I’m neither troubled nor a genius.  It seems at best, all I can aspire to be is average. I’ll have to join the ranks of the every day man and aspire to mediocrity and try to get a proper job… boring as that is.  I’ll get to my thirties, gain a beer belly and cry about my wasted life.

The Fuzzy Rambler.

Stay Positive.

I have been told that my previous posts haven’t necessarily been particularly uplifting. Which is odd, because I always thought I was quite an upbeat sort of person, I manage to get out of bed and everything. However, I’m nothing if not a people pleaser. I will endeavour to make this waffle as uplifting and as positive as I can. So without further ado…

….. erm… crumpets are nice aren’t they?

Aren’t kittens all cute and lovely….

Oh I can’t do it! Mindless positivity: I hate it.  How can I write a lengthy blog entry about something I enjoy, or something I find life affirming? Optimism drains me, if I find myself engaging in it and feel an uninvited smile start to cross my face I have to listen to a medley of Radiohead songs just to feel sane again. As soon as you find yourself content, you should realise that you’ve given up on trying. Though trying at what I’ll never know.

Bear with me, this entry is going to come to some valid point. This is what happens when you set yourself a weekly task of writing about something, eventually you’ll just run out of things to say.

So… it has become apparent recently that (especially in America) ordinary citizens may be under surveillance  by sinister corporations, backed by their own government. I have many issues with that. The most pressing issue I have is, why the hell is anyone surprised? I thought it was obvious in the age of the internet that everything we do is monitored by dodgy looking men lurking in the shadows, or more likely, behind another computer. I have long accepted that every strange bit of porn that anyone so happens to click on is monitored, every transaction, every email, every bowel movement that occurs within the sight of a webcam, of course it’s all being watched by someone. You’d be an idiot not to instantly suspect this.

More to the point, anyone who is annoyed about the possibility of being monitored  who operates a Facebook/Twitter page or even a weekly blog entry, hasn’t really got a right to complain. I say this because millions of people all around the world, are voluntarily posting personal things on the web. My biggest gripe, pictures of their children. You put a picture online and it’s very difficult to get it off again. Anyone else can have some form of access to it. I’m not against pictures of people’s children being posted because I assume everyone is sinister, but because maybe said children don’t want their pictures pasted about the world wide web. Furthermore, if you look at the advertisements on your Facebook page, you will see that they are strangely tailored to you, based on information you have given and things you have liked. Advertisers have been watching you for a long long time and nobody seems to care.

I should make it clear, I’m a cynic, not a crack pot conspiracy theorist, (all hail the lizard men).

Another issue I have (other than the obvious invasion of privacy) is a statement made by Barack Obama, and I quote “We can’t have 100% security, 100% privacy; and 0% inconvenience.”  Now I will concede this statement primarily affects the U.S of A and some lowly fellow like me shouldn’t be butting in, but I can’t help but think, people never expect 100% security. I certainly wouldn’t want 100% security if the cost was not having 100% privacy and varying percentages of inconvenience. 100% security is unobtainable, and if we accept constantly being monitored as necessary to even try to achieve 100% security we are going down a dangerous path. Again I say, I am not paranoid, I’m just saying trying to achieve the impossible will only make life difficult.

Another statement often made in defence of this is ‘if you are abiding by the law, you have nothing to fear.’ or something to that effect. That sounds all well and good, but what if various governments start sending men to search your house once a week, and get postmen to intercept your mail, using that defence… should we accept that?

Either way you could say, I know nothing about anything and all the above was just a pitiful attempt to say something meaningful, when really I just wanted to talk about Game of Thrones. You may be right, but I have to try.

Stay Positive.

The Fuzzy Rambler.

A Humanities Degree: You Don’t Need to Know A Thing.

Right, I am a student of English Literature, I apologise profusely for that. I have recently finished my second year, and against all odds, I passed it. Now, let this not seem like a self-deprecating ‘oh, how did I pass, I thought I did terribly on the day’ sort of statement. I know I shouldn’t have passed, shouldn’t. Let me tell you why.

After several pieces of mediocre coursework, often written and completed on the day they were due, came the dreaded exams. For one module (and I do not recommend this) I sat the exam whilst drunk.  After one decidedly terrible essay, I concluded with the following (this, to my unending shame, is true):

In conclusion, you might say I have no idea what I’m talking about. Although there is some truth in this, I feel it must be noted that I do make a rather wonderful Caesar Salad so it all sort of works out.’ Now, that should have been enough to sabotage that exam, but just in case it wasn’t for the second section I wrote: ‘I don’t know how to answer this question, but here is a drawing of a dog wearing a party hat that I value at a 2:1.’

I then proceeded to draw said dog… I passed that module.

Another exam, I had to answer 6 questions, I answered three and a half, before writing a message to the unfortunate examiner who was destined to mark my poorly written tripe. The message was as follows:

Dear Mr. Examiner, as you can probably tell, I’ve not really read all the books I was supposed to. Let that be a secret between us two, mark what I have written generously and there is a packet of Fruit Pastels in it for you.’

I passed that module.

Now, from this several conclusions can be drawn.

1) My natural genius shined through, and the examiners thought me so clever for my witty remarks and that all the tutors love me so much that they thought I may as well continue the course.

2) The drawing of the dog was superb and I owe someone somewhere a packet of Fruit Pastels.

3) A Humanities degree isn’t worth shit.

I’ll go for the 3rd option. I genuinely feel bad for the people who put hours of revision and hard work into their exams and came out with either okay marks or near misses, just to hear that some prick like me thought he’d try to be funny and coast through.  Why are so many people throughout the world paying astronomical fees to study a subject where it is apparently completely acceptable to just draw a dog in the exam?  This follows on with my recurring theme of everything being fairly pointless. A humanities degree is worth nothing. When I finish and try to enter the world of employment what have I got? I have a qualification in wasting three years of my life and being a smart arse. I used to feel offended when people ridiculed my degree, with those condescending sneers (usually physics students) ‘Oh, some of us actually have to do some work.’

‘Some people have more than four hours a week contact time.’

‘You’re a dick and I hate you, if I ever so much as see you again I’m going to peel your face off with a vegetable peeler.’

… Okay maybe that last one was aimed specifically at me rather than my degree, but they annoyed me… now I completely understand.

This year I didn’t read any of the 17+ novels I was supposed to, I didn’t even read the synopsis  on Wikipedia, I just shrugged my shoulders, drank several Southern Comforts and Cokes (now known as the drink of despair, ’tis fun to ask for in bars and receive odd looks) and went in and drew a dog.

Passing me was an affront to justice, how can anyone say to people ‘work hard at life and you’ll achieve what you want,’ when I am living proof that you don’t need to give a shit and can just do as you please?

‘Perhaps, your coursework was so good that it didn’t matter.’

Nope, judging by the feedback I received I can tell you that that too was poor. ‘This is a frustratingly poor essay… that at some points appears to be pure waffle’ are a couple of quotes in regards to my Shakespeare essay. ‘This is an impressively ill prepared response… I can’t believe that you even admitted that you didn’t know the title of the book you were analysing.’ are a couple from my American Literature module. So all in all, I definitely shouldn’t have passed if the realms of academia has any respect for itself.

So there you have it, those currently applying to university for September, remember that a degree in English Literature, can amount to a three year holiday, it’s the one place you’ll get rewarded for acting like a pretentious, arrogant knob.

Yours,

The Fuzzy Rambler.

Beauty Vs Intellect – yes that ridiculous question.

Now, I was at a social gathering of sorts, and the question ‘is it better to be beautiful or intelligent?’ was posed. This inspired a surprising amount of debate. I say surprising because the answer is obvious. It is of course better to be beautiful. That sounds very shallow you say, well yes it is, but unfortunately the natural way of the world is incredibly shallow. Here is my reasoning.

People are naturally drawn to those that are attractive, it is just an inevitability. A good looking person naturally has the advantage in any given situation. This I’m afraid is fact, it is simply a psychological matter, for some bizarre reason people warm to and trust a more attractive person far more than a balding overweight, toothless fellow. If said attractive person happens to have a certain amount of charm too, that will probably win over far more than say experience or any of that unnecessary shit. I would of course cite my research, but that is arduous and referencing makes me cry (Google some of this stuff, studies show that more attractive con-artists had a higher success rate.)

There is the obvious sexual matter, attractive people do better in that area obviously. We can spend all the time we want debating the quality of ‘inner’ beauty or other traits, ‘oh he/she is funny and whimsical and whatever’ they are only bonuses in this world if someone finds you attractive to begin with. I have never heard some one say ‘Well he/she had such interesting views on modern sociology that I just had to shag his/her brains out there and then.’ Or ‘That joke she/he told was so funny I came upon hearing the punch line.’

I have also noticed, people react differently to similar situations depending on how attractive the people involved are. For example, man makes crude sexual remark. If he has rugged good looks, it will be said ‘oh he’s just flirtatious and funny.’ An unattractive man however will be branded a pervert and people will reel back in horror, throwing whatever blunt object they have at hand in their general direction. Quick anecdote now, I remember in school, we were all sat in a circle, someone thought it rather funny to start a game that involved pinching the leg of the person directly next to them, then that person must continue and so on. It wasn’t a particularly complex game I’ll say that much, but it was a slow geography lesson and anything would have made it more entertaining. The game went on, boys pinched the legs of girls and it was in no way deemed sinister. Until of course the tubby/smelly unpopular kid had to pass it on to one of the more attractive members of the female sex. Then all hell broke loose. The girl (within her rights obviously) raised an immense fuss, teachers treated it with the upmost severity and the unpopular lad was sent out the class never to return. Now… notice how no one complained when the more popular, more attractive members of the male sex did this and vice versa. Just something to think about.

Attractive people will have sexual and romantic attention regardless of how dull, vindictive or disgusting their personalities are. This is fact. I have seen it. I am not bitter, I simply observe, I don’t blame people for following impulses that are only natural, I am simply answering the above debate.

[‘Your primary point Mr. Rambler, seems to revolve around sexual matters. There is more to life than sex is there not? — in response to that possible interjection you might want to make…. NO THERE IS NOT! IT’S ALL WE CARE ABOUT.]

The bonuses of being intelligent however are very limited. In fact… they are non-existent. If you prove to have a higher than average mental capacity, things are expected of you. Sure, perhaps you have a better chance at getting into university but that just means you have to do more work. I’m not saying attractive people don’t have to work, and that they have lower intelligence (in fact studies show the opposite — pointless studies that is) but I am approaching this in a vague, general way for the  question itself is just that.

Intelligence, is what makes you feel like shit. It’s what makes you look in the mirror and say, ‘well, comparatively I’m lucky if anyone will so much as look at me.’ It’s the thing that makes you think, ‘are these social interactions which I so dearly crave all simply, shallow and fickle, do we really care about anyone else or are we all here simply to self-serve and attempt to boost are own failing egos? Yes I’ll have another Campari and Gin please.’ or alternatively ‘oh what’s the fucking point in anything?’ Intelligence is what makes you think ‘am I living to my full potential, am I being selfish or should I be committing every essence of my being into bettering the world for all mankind?’

Even I look at intelligent people and expect them to save us all. Global warming, rising sea levels, global food shortages, I look blindly towards these intellectual types with wide despairing eyes that demand they ‘solve it’ and yet… I wouldn’t want to have sex with any of them… no that urge is reserved for attractive people.

I’m not saying there isn’t a blend of intellectual and attractive people, or that other characteristics aren’t important. I’m just saying, if you have a certain level of attractiveness on your side, you have an advantage over the people that don’t. Perhaps I’m just shallow, and insecure, in which case I apologise for wasting your time, but the question asked angered me enough to have to say all of this, which has subsequently led to me never being invited to a party again (I did sort of kill the mood with this rant).

All in all, this is a fairly pointless rant, as all these matters are infuriatingly subjective. I just felt the urge to do something to stop my brain from talking its inane babble. I do apologise.

The Fuzzy Rambler.