Ill Thought Out Ranting.

In theory, with education your life should follow this progression:

School – GCSEs – A levels – University – a reasonable job.

Or

School – GCSEs – An arguably less, but still reasonable job, but without the wasted 3 years and mountains of debt.

As it happens it actually seems to go like this.

School – GCSEs – A levels – University – Nothing, absolutely nothing you’re going to have to fight for a job in a pub which will work you 47 hours a week for very little money until you wish you were dead.

Universities are no longer educational establishments. They are graduate factories, built on an unsustainable economic model. They use fancy marketing, with huge open days and lovely catalogues that show beautiful nineteen year olds smiling giddy smiles as they joyfully expand their knowledge.

There’ll be a page of numbers that tries to bamboozle you into thinking that those with degrees are 120% more likely to get a great job when they leave with their degree. They’ll be so likely to have a great job that many will have a job without even realising it, some will have two, a few will have so many they won’t know what to do with them.

The government are in on this too. It was not so long ago that David Cameron, then Prime Minister, said he thought 50% of people should go to university. Primarily because it keeps the ‘unemployment’ figures down and lands people in debt and Western economies are reliant on people being in debt, but we’re not here to talk about that.

They then go on to drop random statistics saying n% of graduates are in employment, so the system works. The survey is often flawed at best, however taken at face value, the statistic is usually impressive. However, may statistics fail to take into account the capacity in which these people are employed.

We live in a world, where more people than ever are degree educated… and yet, we are not in a golden age of efficiency. With so many university graduates, surely the business world would be booming, the world of science should have discovered flying cars by now and there shouldn’t be a place on television for ‘Love Island’.

Instead we have history experts waiting on tables, English Literature nuts pulling pints, astrophysicists working in milkshake shops.

Why is this?

I do not know.

Perhaps it is just the very fact that so many people have degrees, devaluing the whole system. Unfortunately, we live in a time where unless you have the best degree, from the most prestigious of all universities, you will find yourself in employment limbo. Retail and hospitality won’t want you, they’ll see your degree as a sign that you’ll flee at the earliest chance. Companies looking for graduates won’t want you, because they want the best of the best.

With a 2:2 you’ll find yourself cast aside and left to flounder in mounting debt and lack of fulfilment. People’ll say ‘why not try teaching’, which in the current climate you’d be better off blowing your own legs off, you’ll earn more from your disability allowance.

Then there’s the issue of experience. Graduates will routinely get turned down for jobs based on their lack of experience. In order to get experience, you will need to get a job in your preferred sector, but in order to get a job in your preferred sector, you will need experience, and to get that experience…. Well shit.

One day, all the people with experience will die. Then where will we be?

Well, no worse off than we currently are.

Whilst there are jobs (much like the truth) ‘out there’ the number of people looking for them are much higher. Supply and demand comes into play and unfortunately, whilst you may show some of the desired attributes, employers will decide to go with candidates that better suit their criteria… though they will helpfully wish you luck with your job search.

You’ll need it.

 

Make me feel less like a failure and download my kindle book. It’s reverent, silly, playful, self aware and incredibly cheap.

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If Love Makes us Human, I Wish to be a Potato.

The majority of us will occasionally have day where we get punched in the heart. Depending on how attractive/charismatic you are (or in most cases the lack of such qualities) you may experience this on a number of occasions. I am of course referring to that oft mentioned feeling of unrequited love. If you have never felt this, then fuck you.

We’re obsessed with love and the loss of it, and the never having of it with particular persons. Just look at the history of song writing. Sorrowful love ballad after angry ‘why don’t you love me song.’ In order to understand this feeling it’s key to understand just what love is. Now the best minds throughout time have struggled with this one. It is in essence, what makes us human. There are infatuations, which can range from mild to severe, crushes, which are always mild… and there are the odd ones where you fall in love with an actress you’ll never meet and email her agent video clips of you weeping.

Then there is that feeling. The profound, inexplicable feeling that rests in your chest and drops down to your stomach and then shudders through you whole body. This is the real deal. This is love, and it’s scary and irritating and disrupts your sleep, and makes you late for work, then they say “why are you late for work?” And you say “I’m in love!” and they say “Well whatever, we’re docking your pay!”

There is no explanation from this. That is what makes it a truly human feeling. It is safe from the clinical eyes of the scientist who has a deep rooted obsession with trying to break things down into their constituent parts and give them long, sciencey sounding names. It is separate from lust. For when you get this feeling, sex is often far from your mind. In fact, you will be prepared to watch an entire season of that ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Shmidt’ sitcom with them, just to be in the same room. To give you an idea of just how profound that statement is, the ‘hit American sitcom’ is awful… it is, my flatmate watched the whole thing, and even when I wasn’t in the same room I was filled with the urge to smash some plates and use the shards to gouge out my own eyes. Words do not do this feeling justice, so to adequately describe it, I want you to start screaming. Not in a shrill way, nor a scared way an interrupted, disjointed scream that has no external cause.

Have you done it?

I’ll know if you’re lying… good.

Now there are two things you can do (technically three, but the third involves snapping and murdering everyone) when this intense feeling of love is not reciprocated by the unwitting vessel of your adoration.

  1. Act cooool it doesn’t really matter. It’s only feelings at the end of the day… nobody died (apart from you… on the inside) let’s continue with an amicable friendship. Push those feelings down, bottle them up until they mature like a fine wine.
  2. Go down fighting. List, in a reasonable way, all the reasons why loving you would be beneficial for everyone. Make sure they know just how you feel. Play them the above sound clip if needs be. Fight back against all their arguments. If they bring out the line ‘I just don’t like you in that way’ thinking that would be the end of it, grab a hold of their leg and scream “LOVE ME!” whilst oceans of tears leak from your besotted eyes.

Neither one does much to quell the potent brew of sorrow, regret and anger. Yes there is anger, anger directed at the world for being so cruel. Why give you these feelings if they will amount to nothing? Save to bolster record sales?

People will try to placate you, play down the tragedy that has befallen you.

“There’s plenty more fish in the sea.” Is what many like to say. Alas, this is an outdated phrase as, due to over fishing and pollution, our fish stocks are rapidly dwindling. The phrase should be “there ain’t many fish left! Fuck, what have we done?”

I get the point however; there are lots of people in the world (potentially incorrect use of the semi-colon there, please feel free to say so). The laws of probability dictate that no matter how unlovable you are, someone will be able to power through for the sake of killing loneliness.

When you are reeling from a shattered soul, a pulverised heart and a crushed mind this is not helpful, especially if it comes from the person you love.

There may be plenty of fish, but those stricken by love are taken by one fish. And, this phrase seems to forget the old adage: it’s quality, not quantity that matters. There is no helping at a time like this. The only course of action is to drink a lot and be alone with your self-pity.

In the weeks that follow, the outside world will become a terrible place. It’s filled with them. The happy people. The people that walk around holding hands with their significant other, desperate to show the world just how happy they are. Look! We’ve found love, isn’t that nice? They’ll parade this love before you, mocking you with it. Some will even go so far as to embrace – in public! Fuck them. They are bad people. Happy people are terrible people.

Every person you meet will somehow, unbidden, mention a boyfriend or a girlfriend. You, being bitter and twisted will enquire as to the quality. Hoping to pull at a thread that unravels their love, leaving it one ruined and smelly knitted love jumper. TAKE THAT LOVE!

But they’ll disappoint you ‘we love each other!’ of course they do, or worse – they’ll be in that content stage of a relationship, where they are effectively one person, their love doesn’t need to be spoken, it’s evident in the fact that they have week long arguments about washing powder. People who don’t love one another don’t waste time with such conflict.

Love is painful. It’s very very painful.

If love is what makes us human, I wish to be a potato.

TheFuzzyRambler.

Stupid Manhole.

Stupid manhole. It’s always there on the way to work, this irritating little manhole in the middle of a busy road and as I wait for an aeon (whatever one of those are) for the green man to allow me to cross, I have to listen as car after car clatters across this stupid manhole. Each time it emits a sharp noise that startles and enrages me. Clat-clat, it goes. Day in and day out. I hate it. I hate it so much. Not even sure it classes as a manhole, more a sort of square drain, but manhole sounds better.

This annoyance plagued me this week, no matter where I was I couldn’t stop thinking about this manhole. At my desk, tapping away at my keyboard. In meetings, in the shops, in the pub as I stare at my own gaunt reflection in the dregs of my beer. It followed me around, it wouldn’t let me sleep. I lay there, staring at the ceiling, all manners of grey hues creeping about. I lay there, heart pounding, and sweat sticking my neck to my pillow. I felt like some sort of giant slug excreting a coat of slime. Clat-clat… Clat-clat.

Stupid Manhole.

It was when I was staring at it on my way to the bus stop that I realised just why I hated it so much. This manhole represents all the annoyances, the constant irritations, the anger inducing scenarios that we have no control over. I can’t move the manhole, I can’t get the cars to stop running over it, can’t alter the laws of physics to prevent the noise that irks me so. That manhole, that stupid manhole is life.

Then, unbidden a tidal wave of things I hate and cannot seem to change crashed into the side of my brain, which hurt. It represented petty people in positions of authority. It represented those annoying people you see at the customer service counters in shops, shouting at a poor young girl because they bought an iron and it doesn’t work, and no they don’t have the receipt. Before you know it, they’re making casual comparisons between the customer service lady and Nazis.

Stupid manhole.

Represents the slow decline of the planet’s climate, which despite what the Green Party tell us, we are powerless in stopping. I read somewhere that all the recycling we are doing, all the measures we are putting in place to reduce CO2 emissions are primarily combatting pollutants sent up there in the 50s and 60s, so we have some way to go. Not to mention, that no matter how many tons of coke cans we flatten and reuse, how many jam jars we rinse out and put in our little red bins… America and China are still going mental.

Stupid crappy manhole.

That seemingly innocuous bit of infrastructure represents poverty, corruption and world hunger. We can’t do anything about it, we can’t. We’ve been trying for years and made no headway. It represents the endless stream of pointless shitty little wars that humanity seems intent on pursuing, displacing thousands.

It represents Donald Trump (cunt) and Boris Johnson (slightly less of a cunt, but still a cunt). It represents Isis and the ever present threat that some arrogant turd could blow you away in the name of some deity you don’t believe in, because no doubt they’ve been led astray by mad, petty men in positions of authority.

Fucking manhole!

It represents my own irrepressible anxiety and impotent anger. I’ve tried meditation, it’s a load of shit. I’ve tried breathing techniques and I just start hyperventilating. I’ve tried all manner of pseudo-psychological nonsense. I’ve even had counselling, but I was kicked out my last appointment for questioning her choice of career!

Stupid Fucking Poxy Manhole.

It represents our constant grappling with the notion of our own mortality. The rampaging advance of time, which we are powerless to stop. It represents the very idea that we are all rapidly decaying, charging to the point of expiration on a planet that is dying. On a planet we played our part in murdering.

Clat-clat. Clat-clat.

Stupid manhole.

 

So Many of Us Feel Lonely That it’s Probably Alright.

So many people seem to consider themselves lonely that it’s probably alright.

Talk to enough people and I wouldn’t be surprised if you found that a large number of them, at one point or another, start to lament their loneliness. They’ll decry their lack of social lives and apparently empty, meaningless existence. Even I occasionally glance back to my youth (at the age of 24 I suppose that’s a somewhat melodramatic start to a sentence), and think of all the friends I had and wonder what the hell happened to them? It would be satisfying to think that their sudden exit from my life was due to some dramatic world shaking event, like an intense and bloody war with invading, otherworldly creatures. ‘Remember Barry?’ I might ask, ‘what a great guy he was… shame he was decapitated by a Minotaur.’

Obviously, that’s silly; I would never befriend someone called Barry. Anyone called Barry tends to be really miserable, probably because their parents didn’t care about them enough to give them a decent name.

In reality, as I contemplate the complexities of life – usually on the toilet – Barry (the hypothetical Barry) is probably doing the same thing. He too, will be about to heat his beans for another bleak and isolated dinner. Then he might turn on the television to watch one of those popular sit-coms that, failing spectacularly to represent reality, shows a group of lovable idiots being sociable, and doing fun things and getting into a number of hilarious situations with their many friends. Countless people are doing this all over the country, all over the world even.

Or, if not doing this, their glassy eyes will be transfixed upon a screen, their faces bathed in their unnatural glows, as they scroll down page after endless page of Facebook, Twitter, or something else… something altogether more narcissistic and self-indulgent, like a blog or something. Because we live in a strange world, where we are all more interested (obsessed even) with other peoples’ lives. The lives of other people are infinitely more interesting than ours, even though, not to labour the point too much, everyone else is pretty much doing the same thing.

Even those who happen to be in one of those awfully insipid romantic relationship things are no doubt stuck within that inch or so beneath their skulls, which they cannot truly share with anyone else, try as they might. They probably sit there, wondering what happened. Why are they so dull? Why are they so lonely? I think I can safely say, without any doubt, that anyone in a relationship lies awake at night, looking at their sleeping partner, their chests rising and falling rhythmically and think ‘Why, why must it be like this?’ And when they wake in the morning their first thoughts will no doubt be ‘oh god! It’s happening again, why didn’t I just die in my sleep?’

I’m sure the above is true. If anyone argues with me, they’re obviously some sort of drugged up hippy. These are the thoughts that we have. This is adult life. It is completely incompatible with a social life. We have jobs and things, we have to get do the things to get paid, those really important things that if we didn’t spend 8 hours a day doing, the world would fall apart and we’d all fly into the sun (which wouldn’t bode well for me as I’m very fair skinned). By the time rent and bills have been paid and all that food that the government tells us we need to eat has been bought, we have no money to do anything on the weekend, other than sit on our lonesome wondering why we are so lazy.

I don’t quite know what my point is supposed to be here. I’ve had a bottle of wine. The issue is, we often live by the phrases, ‘you only live once’ and ‘life’s too short,’ two phrases that when combined put an awful lot of pressure on the individual to cram as much excitement into one day as possible. Problem is, excitement can be exhausting, difficult to work 40 hours a week and have fun and maintain friendships. Yet, we convince ourselves that everyone is living the high life, that everyone other than us is out every night rubbing shoulders with the cultural elite, or snorting exciting substances off the backs of beautiful courtesans. We feel, that if we don’t do something with our lives, that we’ll miss out, that we’ll fail life. Truth is, most of us don’t really know what we want to be doing. When pressed, we’ll probably panic and say sky-diving, but that will no doubt lose its appeal after a while.

I think the crux of my slightly disjointed, ill thought out rambling is that, on the rare occasion you do leave your house. On the odd night where you venture forth into the brightly lit outside world with other human beings, appreciate it. Enjoy it, really try your hardest to enjoy it. Immerse yourself in every moment, no matter how mundane. Really concentrate on the conversations you have, take in every detail and treasure it. Because you never know when Barry could meet his demise. Don’t do what we tend to do. Don’t spend the night desperately seeking out intercourse, because you’ll most likely go home alone and disappointed, or with someone, which just prolongs the moment you feel disappointed. We’re too obsessed with sex these days, we think sex gives us purpose. If we’re having sex we’re doing life right. It speaks of a certain level of shared insecurity, but that’s a ramble for another evening. Enjoy your rare moments of ‘unloneliness’ and remember, that when you are at home, feeling sorry for yourself and decrying your loneliness, remember that everyone else is just as lonely, so it’s probably alright.