Life of extremes

Life has got to the point where all I seem to do is speak to this guy about the most exciting way he could end his life to end the shame of his general lack of success. This is despite the fact that his blog is getting more views than mine recently. My money is on him launching himself from a trapeze and landing anus first on a metal spike.

I’ve often professed that the world is a dull place. If I haven’t I’ll do it now. The world is a dull place. It is an incredibly mundane planet we inhabit, but one we seem to treat purely in extremes. Things are either awesome or awful. It is as simple as that, there is very little occupying that vast chasm in between those two words. Everything is profound, or it is nothing.

People never have days where they feel a bit blue. People no longer feel sad. It is depression. That’s not to do people’s feelings down. Maybe we are all truly depressed. In outsourcing all our responsibilities to technology and living in a climate that allows us to live a life of plenty we have given ourselves time to feel the natural state of being.

If we have a few nights of poor sleep, we say we have insomnia. A party is amazing or it is a disaster.

Is our insistence upon extremes because of this dull world?

Even I am not exempt from this inclination towards exaggeration. I currently need a haircut. If I thought about it reasonably, I’d be able to say it’s fifteen minutes (in an ideal world) of someone snipping your hair, which is the most useless part of our biology. It doesn’t cover enough of our body in such away as to provide any reasonable protection against the elements, but keeps growing nonetheless.

But I don’t get my haircut because it’s awful. Getting a haircut, not my haircut, which is a matter of opinion. I hate getting a haircut so much that for a year I used a pair of clippers under the idea that it can’t be that difficult to trim some hair.

As it turns out I was misinformed and it’s incredibly difficult to trim hair, so naturally had to go bald for a time. I hate it so much, that I’d much rather someone break into my house whilst I slept and gave me a haircut. I wouldn’t even mind if they stole some stuff on their way out, or even let the door open, inviting more less haircut focussed people in to have their violent way with me. Maybe I’ll get lucky and wake up dead… I’ll never have to get another haircut. Unless that weird myth that your hair continues to grow after you’re dead (it doesn’t) turns out to be true, then I’ll have to employ the services of a dead barber.

I just can’t stand it. It’s the worst thing in the world. First you have to go to the hair cutting place which is packed with other people wanting to get their hair cut. Endless bodies topped with hair. Men with their hundreds of children who also need their child hair cutting. Your whole day wasted, sitting in silence as others get their hair removed.

Then you finally get called up and asked that most cryptic of questions, ‘what would you like?’

Obviously from context they mean with your hair. Not just, what would you like in general. They haven’t got the time for that. Even so, it’s a difficult one to answer. A haircut is what I’d like. If you ask for that though they look at you as though you’ve shat yourself.

It’s at this stage the realisation dawns that everyone’s watching you with great expectations. What do you want? Answer the question! WHAT DO YOU WANT!

I tend to panic and start throwing out strings of sentences that make barely a modicum of sense. ‘Shape it round the ears, then even it out?’

‘What?’

‘I want to be able to see my ears, then just, make everything match that.’

‘What do you usually do with your hair?’

‘Do with it? It’s hair I let it sit on my head!’

Eventually, they work their magic and you leave with an itchy shirt.

Then, the after a month or so, the ritual starts all over again.

I know… my heart just wasn’t in it tonight.

 

 

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The Beard of Failure

It’s hot today and set to get hotter as the week goes on. I would talk about how this thoroughly displeases me, but I’ve done so in the past and no one seems to have done anything about it. Usually, I try to keep my blogs informative and offer an analysis of a particular aspect of modern life. If not that, I tend to offer newly found works of Hubert J Watergipridget. I try to refrain from talking about myself on a specific level. I do so for several reasons. One is that I’m not prone to vanity like everyone else on the interwebs, posting inane drivel about their trips to the shop or sticking up selfies of them walking through town, slurping a drink that’s far too colourful to be the drink of an adult.

What happened before smartphones? Were we more modest and more focused on the outside world? I honestly can’t remember. It could be that we all secretly harboured thoughts that we would love a platform to post the same picture of our heads over and over again, and it was the world’s loss that the technology for us to do so just didn’t exist.

Alas, we’re in an age of self-obsession. Some time ago, society fought for the noble cause of freedom of speech. Inevitably, this gave way to people thinking they had to speak their mind, not thinking for a second whether their mind had anything worthwhile to say. I can fight against this. Or I can give in.

As I decide this, I shall talk about my beard.

 

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This is my beard, there are many other beards like it…you know the rest.

 

I have a complicated relationship with facial hair. Having grown up reading books about wizards and watching Star Wars, I associated the beard with wise and complicated old men. In the many books I read, if a man with a beard turned up you could be damned sure that some exciting shit was going to kick off. Unless the exciting shit kicker offer was female, in which case she’d be stern and thin-lipped, but kindly and clever. The beard was the mark of wonder. It spoke of an experienced man who had seen much of the world and been on many adventures. He would never express such in simple words. He would allude to it. He would guide the younger generation on their own adventures, only ever stepping in when absolutely necessary (unless it’s Dumbledore, in which case he turns out to be a massive bellend).

Then, there were a number of years (quite recently) when everyone went mad for the beard. Beards of all ‘quirky’ styles adorned the faces of young, generally well-groomed men. Men who were not wise nor kindly, but vain and prickish. Men who had beards because apparently, that’s what men did. Men who thought a mass of facial hair was an adequate stand-in for a personality. The beard became another fad, another branded jacket that everyone must wear. The bigger the better.

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Like this man, sporting the timeless look that says ‘I don’t care what others think, as long as they think that I don’t care.’

Fortunately, that fad has died a death, like all fads. We’ve woken up from a mad and bewildering dream and returned to reality, where a beard is just hair sprouting from a face.

I currently have a beard… sort of.

The main reason for this beard is one of laziness. Just like the main reason for WWII was Hitler and his band of merry Nazis. But also, like WWII there are a number of other contributing factors that allowed Hitler and his merry band of Nazis to gain power in the first place.

Am I still talking about my beard? Yes, I believe so. Like the world-wide atrocity that was WWII, there are many contributing factors to my facial hair.

I have always been a somewhat ambitious person. I have always striven for greatness beyond measure yet have accrued nothing but failure. Since I was about 8 years of age, I have wanted to write a book. I would forever start things, but they would never take off distracted as I was by other things, like pigeons or small pieces of string. Then at the age of 11… ish. After forcing my imagination to work overdrive and instilling an iron discipline in myself, I sat down and typed. I typed and typed and then typed some more. I got type fingers and had to undergo a strenuous period of physiotherapy. Then I typed some more. After years of endless typing, I finished my first novel.

This turned out to be Lord of the Rings. Very soon after realising this, I remembered the Lord of the Rings already existed and was much better than my shameless knock off The Crystal of Doom. I still remember the adventures of the Chain Knights, Lord Syndus and Blakemere setting off with Martin, Keeper of the Dragon Pearls to acquire that damned crystal. So, I threw it aside – figuratively speaking of course, it was on the family desktop. Had I thrown that I would have been in serious trouble. But I had to accept I was a talentless hack. A plagiarist. A copycat, a smelly fat copycat!

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The original copycat, copying everything that cats had previously done. The uninspired hack!

I briefly had the idea that I could be an actor and got no further than an extra role in The Theory of Everything, which to this day I still have not watched. I assume Hawking has a theory regarding all things at one point.  At university, I got the delusion that maybe I could a comedian. After 5 fairly successful gigs and one disastrous one, I concluded that spending £24 on a railcard and then travelling 50+ minutes on various trains and getting lost in London for 5 minutes of stage time was probably not a good career choice.

But, throughout all of this, I have been writing. I have written a multitude of novels across numerous genres for various audiences. The one thing this diverse collection of works has in common is that they are all shit and remain unpublished. For my latest novel, I have thus far received 4 rejection letters from literary agents, the shrivelled leeches of the world of books. It’s their continued existence that makes me question these alarmist reports like this one that suggests that the publishing industry is dying. For starters that was written 2 years ago, and they are still going, so if they are it’s a laboured death Shakespeare would be proud of.  If these odd middlepeople earning their 10% on each author can afford to reject me, it either means the industry is alive and well, or I’m just a terrible terrible writer. I’ve invested far too much time to accept the latter.

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For my next novel ‘The Big Book of Meaningless Shite’

Beards.

Yes. So, a friend of mine also harbours ambition. We regularly communicate electronically. We’re like the modern-day Tolkien and C.S Lewis, just minus the Christianity bollox… and the Oxford education and writing ability. In frustration of our lack of critical acclaim, we declared that neither of us would shave until we become successful. The logic being twisting and numerous, like the roots of an old oak. For starters, seeing our increasingly hairy faces in the mirror each morning will inspire us to work harder, or remove our mirrors. Secondly, all good writers have a writer beard. They can stroke it whilst looking stoic and thoughtful. Thirdly, shaving it off will come with such a relief when the event comes with hard-earned success. The faces lurking underneath will be renewed with a lust for life and the smiles of satisfied men.

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The Portrait of the Artist When Doing a Poo

My friend has already shaved. Not because he’s successful, but because he’s a fickle shit who wastes words like a rich man throwing pennies hard into the face of an old blind woman. Though his blog is getting more views than mine on a daily basis, so he has more right to shave than I do.

I, however, am a man of my word. If we do not do as we say, then words will start to lose all meaning and this blog will just be a handful of indecipherable shapes, typed out by someone with too much time on his hands. Despite the obvious bald patches and its ginger colouring, I will continue to sport my face fuzz in the hope that I soon may be rid of it. The alternative is I die with knee-length beard, moistened and matted by the bitter tears of failure.

But at least I’ll die looking a bit like this guy…

long beard

Which makes me think… maybe the bearded men of those old books weren’t that wise. Maybe they were all failures too.

 

Stop with your ceaseless innovation!

I have lived without internet for over a week. This happened to coincide with the force of gravity making itself known upon my phone, smashing it to buggery, which meant I couldn’t even use mobile data. The romantic in me thought that being disconnected from the Internet would allow me to reconnect with the real world, to human beings. However, the romantic in me is a dick. It’s the reason it’s surrounded by an angry cynic. Alas, I had no life-changing epiphany. It didn’t make me appreciate the joy of reading or the wonder of making conversation. I certainly didn’t feel liberated from the oppressive glare of a screen.

In fact, the opposite occurred if anything. Cut off from technology (internet and phoneless) I was unable to communicate with anyone, save for going directly to their house or writing a letter and I wasn’t about to expend the effort of setting pen to paper, cover the expense of a stamp and then post a letter to say, ‘imagine if your head fell off, that’d be funny wouldn’t it?’

Now armed with a new phone and having paid my mum’s internet bill (yes, I currently have to live with my mum, what of it?), I am free to send people all the inane bollox I want.

Speaking of inane bollox, here is a blog. It’s not a very well thought out blog, I tried that with my Trump and knives blog, but that didn’t get nearly enough views to warrant the time and effort spent on it… well, time anyway.

In getting a new phone I had to decide what new phone I wanted. We like to think we enjoy the notion of choice, but in many ways, it just creates more problems. The question ‘what should I have for dinner?’ would be easy if the only option was some sort of tasteless gruel. As it is, we can select from thousands of ingredients to create dishes inspired by all nations. It’s almost impossible to make a decision. Even if you try and keep it simple and go with soup, the possibilities are seemingly endless. Tomato and basil soup, cream of tomato soup, gazpacho, there’s three right there and that’s just the tomato- based ones.

With phones, the choice is even harder, owing to the fact that there are approximately fifteen billion models, all of which consist of a small rectangle that lights up.

Sales assistant: What sort of thing are you looking for in a phone sir?

Me: One that makes phone calls really.

Sales assistant: Oh, very good, very funny. What model have you currently got?

Me: A small rectangular one that lights up.

Sales assistant: Well, that’s quite an outdated one if you don’t mind me saying so. There are numerous small rectangles that light up that are far superior. Why don’t you try this small rectangle?

Me: Does it light up?

Sales assistant: you can even choose the noise it makes when it lights up.

There’s a scene from a play I started to write based on my experience, it doesn’t really go anywhere, but neither has any play I’ve gone to see. Point is, phones have got about as good as they’re going to get, there’s nothing else they can conceivably add. I would say a toaster, but then, that would make it a toaster with an inbuilt phone rather than a phone with an inbuilt toaster… unless it made really small pieces of toast, which would beg the question: why bother?

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A small rectangle showing it’s remarkable ability to light up

Many things have reached the point where any attempts at innovation are likely to have a detrimental effect. I’m not against innovation as someone once chided me for. In fact, I’m all for it, just only in certain areas.

Coke. Coca-cola does not need to innovate; they make coke. They perfected coke when they put it in a can. Canned Coke is the best Coke and anyone who says otherwise is a fucking inbred cretin. They now have the market, there’s simply no need to make anything else. Everyone will always drink coke, unless the place in question only has Pepsi, in which case they’ll have that. Coke makes approximately a shit ton of money from Coke. Anything they’ve done to Coke since canned Coke has been to its detriment. Cherry Coke, Vanilla Coke, Coke with lime. I’ve accepted all those things despite their inferiority; they’d gone mad with success and were trying to hold onto it. Then recently, I saw someone guzzling noisily from a can of Coke with mango.

How the hell did they think that would work? Just because you like two things doesn’t mean that smashing them together is going to work out.

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The very best way to have coke shown alongside the very worst way to serve coke.

Then there are toothbrushes. They became about as good as they’re going to get when they put bristles on the end of a stick. There’s a number of adverts stating that the only way to brush our teeth is to have a round head that can rotate six-hundred times a minute, which a few years ago would have been considered a medical disadvantage.

(Pause for laughs)

I am well aware that my caveman ancestor probably had similar feelings with the invention of the wheel. No doubt he said “oh, too good for legs are we? What’s wrong with feet, transport has got about as good as it’s ever going to get.” Before he was hailed as a genius for the invention of the English language.

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He was a handsome devil though.

Anyway, conclusion is. Only innovate where absolutely necessary. Once we have flying cars that can fly themselves, then we can stop altogether.

You shouldn’t worry about what others think

It only affects every aspect of your life.

Often, we are told not to spend so much time worrying what others think about us. It only matters what you (the person in question) thinks. Unfortunately, this is yet another thing that doesn’t hold up to much scrutiny. You should definitely worry what others think of you. What others think will decide how you progress in your chosen career (or more likely the career that you tripped and fell face first into and now have to live with forever). What others think of you will determine your relationships and subsequently your family life. Every aspect of your future is reliant on the whims and thoughts of others.

Which brings me onto my point.

We spend our entire lives forced to prove ourselves. First, it’s fairly easy, we must learn to control our bladders. Strangely, we’re the only creature on the planet that does this except for maybe the domesticated dog, but that’s only because we’ve forced it on them. Around the same time, it’s walking and talking.

Then comes school. This is the first of an endless string of proving grounds. You must prove your academic prowess…

*Side note* for those that are interested, the following paragraph is very much a message in one of the amazing short stories written by the great Watergipridget.

You must constantly prove your ability to read words and then to write words. Then you must prove you can grasp the arbitrary rules that surround the notion of words. Let’s be frank. Grammar is shit. For any self-confessed Grammar Nazis out there: not only are you a twat, but the very thing you hold dear was laid down by old dead men and subject to the whims of humanity. The rules of grammar are dictated by use. If we all decided the semi-colon belonged after an ‘n’, then by god this blog would look preposterous.

As you strive to prove you’ve obtained the basics of pedantry, you must simultaneously prove you’ve grasped the deliberately confusing world of numbers and their relationships. “A stall at the fair is selling punnets of strawberries containing 15 strawberries for £2.40 each. How much is each individual strawberry?” – What kind of fair is this? If they’re being sold by the punnet, what’s the point in knowing how much each individual strawberry is? No one’s going to try and by three strawberries.

You must prove yourselves in high pressured exams where you are awarded with letters that follow you around for the rest of your days.

But it doesn’t stop there. If your letters are good you can’t relax after losing your childhood to school. Then it’s the real world’s turn to run you through the ringer and then take a steaming hot turd on your chest. You must constantly prove that you are worthy of those letters against other people with similar or better letters.

You must prove yourself through job applications and then prove yourself in an interview. You must sit opposite strangers as they evaluate your life choices, your looks and your personality. What they think about those will determine whether you’re allowed the job. If you can prove you are better than others, then you can finally become a valued member of society and start earning money.

But it doesn’t stop there.

You can’t relax and think, ‘finally, I can let go of this anxiety and start enjoying life.’ No, then you must constantly prove that it was not a mistake that the powers that be employed you. You have to prove that you deserve to be paid over the thousands of other humans and fairly intelligent lemurs that can do your job. You must work hard. Put the effort in. Put the hours in. You must succeed. It’s not enough to just turn up, which in itself is a challenge.

At this particularly gruelling stage, the fatigue starts to kick in. Your muscles burn (figuratively if it’s an office job, literally if your job is laborious) and your soul starts to weep (always figuratively, otherwise I recommend seeing a doctor). It’s here you start to realise the futility of it all. The criteria on which you are judged becomes arbitrary or downright insane.

Then there’s that weird quirk of humanity. Often, we dwell upon and remember the negative events of our pasts and lightly skim the positive. In the world of work this is turned up to the n;th degree, by which I mean to the point of absurdity. One day you could leap out the window and fall several stories in order to provide a soft landing for a baby dropped from a slightly higher floor. You’ll receive barely more than a nod of approval before receiving an email stating that the time spent saving babies will be taken out of your lunch break. A few weeks later you might fall foul of simple human error and you’re pulled into a disciplinary. ‘but I saved a baby?’ you will cry. ‘We can all save babies!’ they’ll respond.

You’ll start to question why you bother. There’s no benefit to this endless proving. You’ll be unable to explain why the people ahead of are ahead of you. They’re no less deserving than you, but nor are they calculably less competent. You’ll become despondent and even be tempted to slack. But you can’t. The minute you slow down you’ll be overtaken by those behind you.

At the end of these endless trials, when we have eventually ‘proven’ ourselves (with varying degrees of success) as much as we can, we are rewarded with death. It’s at this point you stop wondering if it’s worth all the fuss and realise that it definitely isn’t.

I’m a simple man. I’d quite like to spend my life sitting on a chair in contemplative silence (and the occasional scream of existential despair), every so often, I’d like to look out a window and maybe see a pigeon, though I could happily live without. I am denied that life as that would be too simple. No, I have to go out and ‘try my best’ as the television shows I watched as a child would tell me. You can do no more than your best. We’re all just trying our best and sometimes, our best just ain’t good enough.

I often wonder if I could be one of those people who reject modern life. Who gives up all material things and lives a life of quiet meditation. Then I realise that that’s impossible and the only people that truly manage it are eccentric rich men and odd monks who live in remote locations anyway, so they may as well reject the material because the nearest Apple shop is an expensive flight away.

We humans struggled with evolution. Really, we’re stuck in the tribal phase where ‘survival of the fittest’ meant just that. Those intent on proving themselves would charge around waving spears and bringing death and destruction to those that couldn’t prove anything. I’d have let them get on with it. I’d say ‘no more of this madness’ and sit down and look out a window. Those that could prove themselves did, and those that couldn’t died.

On the surface, we’re civilised now. Those that can’t don’t die. Instead, we linger on.

We keep going,

Hoping for the best

Think not too deeply on these words

I say them just in jest

Don’t let them tell you, you ain’t worth spit

because you failed their test,

After all, we’re all the same

Just some are better dressed.

Note: I have no internet, so had to tether to my phone. To save precious data I didn’t go looking for funny pictures.

Trump is right again.

Britain needs guns

Recently, President Trump (the healthiest ever president that ever did live) compared London hospitals to a war zone. He was, of course, referring to the rampant knife crime that goes unchecked throughout the city. Once again, he has been rather astute and hasn’t been cowed into avoiding telling the truth like most politicians are.

Living in a London overspill town, I spend a lot of time in England’s capital city or the front lines as it were. Stepping off the train, the true extent of knife crime is instantly evident. Bodies lay strewn along the platform with medics risking their lives in a vain attempt to save those of young men cut to ribbons.

Words of wisdom

True to President Trump’s (the healthiest ever president) words, the hospitals are awash with blood. One prominent doctor even compared it to that one scene from The Shining. The unchallenged thugs that prowl London’s streets fear not the law or any sort of recompense. Just look at the arrogance of the typical Londoner, proudly brandishing their blade of choice.

 

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I feel threatened just typing this

 

Government figures show that knife crime has got so bad that even the charts used to illustrate them look quite scary.

graph 1

As you can see, the number of deaths due to knife crime has inclined steadily over the years, before levelling out in the early naughties for some unknown reason, before rocketing off the chart (literally). There’s no telling how high the number is because there is yet to be a sheet of paper large enough to record it.

UK Government failing us yet again

Alas, the government does nothing. This is partially due to the fact that Britain’s elected MPs are currently stuck inside the Houses of Parliament because there’s a shady looking ethnic fellow standing outside, and he almost certainly has a knife.

It’s simply not a case of isolated gang violence stemming from various economic and social issues. The native Londoner has become a bloodthirsty beast who thinks they can do what they wish. Slashing up innocent civilians left, right and centre, and even slightly left of centre.

 

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Yet another couple of knife-crazed millennials celebrating their latest kill with a balanced meal.

 

The solution

It’s becoming increasingly obvious that the only solution to this terrible state of affairs comes in the form of a gun. Why we Brits fear the gun is a mystery that baffles all intelligent men. Thanks to the gun, Britain forged the greatest empire the world had ever seen. The gun helped us keep our green and pleasant land’s most vicious predator (the fox) in check. Now the gun can liberate us from the tyranny of the knife.

If we stopped listening to all these cowardly liberals and embraced the return of the gun, knife crime would all but disappear. All this violence would end if these knife-wielding maniacs knew they had a righteous man with a gun to fear. The bloodshed will cease if everyone who looks like they might be carrying a knife was shot.

The hard truth

The incredibly healthy Donald Trump isn’t afraid to state the hard facts. Facts that may offend all you many snowflakes. Of course it’s true that had everyone present at the Bataclan had a gun and immediately started opening fire upon sighting a terrorist, the death toll would have probably been in minus numbers.  It’s as true as had President Kennedy (a less healthy president than the immensely healthy Donald Trump) been waving a gun when sat in that car, he’d not have been assassinated.

‘But what if the criminals get guns?’ you disgusting, whiny liberals cry. Well, they’re not going to use them if they know that everyone else has a gun. It’s mutually assured destruction. If every man, woman and child has a gun, they’ll outnumber the criminals tenfold.

Compare the stats

Just take a look at the official statistics coming from America, where everyone’s allowed a gun and even teachers are being urged to arm themselves lest a crazed maniac with a gun comes in.

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You’ll notice that the number of deaths has always been low (under a thousand). As the number of guns increases, the number of knife related deaths decrease, until we get to 2018, where nobody has yet died at all. This is no doubt partially influenced by citizens following the healthy example of their elected leader.

Now let’s look at the UK and American statistics side by side (or underneath). graph 2

As you can see, the graphs are completely different. One’s a bar chart, the other is a line chart. We can all agree that when information is displayed via lines, it’s a lot more of a pressing issue than the nice, friendly bars.

Now compare this to the number of knife related deaths that occur in rural locations where it’s known that the farmer down the road owns a shotgun. The number is so low, that there’s no point in showing it in chart form.

There has only been one recorded knife related death and that was because he was cutting an onion and slipped, severing an artery. Plus, he had past convictions of knife-related crime anyway, so good riddance to the bastard.

The facts are clear. Guns will solve London’s knife crime and make our country great again. Donald Trump didn’t get as healthy as he is today by not embracing guns.

 

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A brave young boy standing up for the little person. (metaphorically, not dwarves. Though he’d stand up for them too)

 

Rose tinted spectacles

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I was going to complain about how hot it is today, but I realised I have already posted about how much I don’t like the heat. In fact, I think I’ve done that at least twice. I worry I often come across as a grumpy old man, and this fear was reinforced by the fact that I just had to yell out my mum’s window to tell off some damn kids that were buzzing the flats and running away. Other people’s kids; I hate ‘em. Especially when they’re allowed to run riot, unchecked and undisciplined. I played knock down ginger once when I was a kid. The neighbour chased me, yelled at me for half an hour and then told my mum, who proceeded to wallop me and yell at me for a further hour. If I had my way no one under the age of 18 would be allowed outside and, even then, they’d have to pass a test first.

I went to see two houses today in the hope of solving my homelessness problem (which is not as bad as the homelessness problem. In fact if I were to complain about it I’d have to burn my privledged arse with an iron. One was only a house by a technicality. There were stairs, which led to a bed sized platform with enough space for a bed. From there, you could peer down to the living area, which is something I never realised I wanted to do until then. The second was a two-bed house, I saw it with a human being I can tolerate… just.

For context, I have recently returned to my hometown as my former flatmate decided she’d rather live with the man she loved and her daughter instead of me in a bit to live a happy and fulfilled life. The selfishness of people these days astounds me. Anyway, I couldn’t afford the flat on my own so asked my dad if I could live with him for a while. He laughed and hung up.

My mother was more charitable, but apparently, even her patience has limits and I have been given a deadline to find a place… I don’t really know what happens after that. Maybe she and my ten-year-old sister will bludgeon me to death with a frying pan. A fate I’d welcome in this heat.

Anyway, back in my hometown… seeing houses… I walked through a wood that I hadn’t walked through in some time. I got a powerful hit of nostalgia. It’s a painfully heavy thing nostalgia that pulls on your very soul. The phrase rose tinted glasses is often associated with viewing the past or reminiscing on one’s childhood. I tend to view the past in shit tinted glasses. Not because my past was bad, on the contrary, it was very good.  Just, the feeling that can only be described as ‘nostalgic’ twists my innards. Nostalgia is a dangerous thing for many, people often get lost there. My dad once started an anecdote concerning the 80s, we lost him about half way through a Genesis concert. We haven’t seen him since.

I don’t like nostalgia. It makes me feel very uncomfortable, much like thinking about the future. I tend to live in the moment. Not out of some cool life affirming way, but out of belligerence the past makes me feel uncomfortable and the future terrifies me. I refuse to be anywhere but the moment and have to be dragged into the future kicking and screaming.

The problem with that is, moments are fleeting. Future moments are transformed into the present with the previous moment being hurled into the junk pile of the past. The older you get the taller this pile rises until it’s a veritable mountain and casts an oppressive shadow over you. All these moments have now gone, never to be lived again. The future pile is growing smaller and smaller and most of the moments there seem to be best avoided and filled with death and the realisation that I will never fulfil my dreams of being a legitimately published author, or musician… or just rich. Forget the books, the music or the success, just give me money.

What was I saying?

Ah yes. The houses were quite nice, I’ll probably go with one.

You Next Day Delivering Arse

After finishing a hard day of staring at a screen and wondering what to write, I find myself sitting staring at a screen and wondering what to write. There’s a fleeting moment upon finishing a day at work where you’re filled with a vague sense of accomplishment mixed with relief. You think ‘I can now go home and do whatever I want.’ And then you get home and realise you have no idea what you want to do, before succumbing to the realisation that there isn’t anything to do that doesn’t involve a screen of any kind. Go on, think of something to do that doesn’t involve a screen. I’ll wait…

How many things did you think of? If you said meet up with friends, think how many people actually have friends these days. There aren’t many and those that do don’t meet up with them because they’re all looking at screens. If you said go for a walk, then I can only assume you are from the 19th century.  I live in the centre of Stevenage, there is nowhere worth walking to. Not to mention the level of homelessness seems to have risen of late and for some unfathomable reason, they all seem to think I have lots of money and will be the one to pull them up the social ladder. I don’t have any money, and the social ladder’s been locked inside a shed for some time now.

Yet still, I am bombarded with requests for loose change. If I believe the stories thrown in my direction, I do try and help. But rarely do I believe and it’s a very complicated, multi-layered issue that requires more thought than just ‘here’s 50p’. The outermost layer being the already mentioned: I have no money. I would get into some of the other layers, but better people than I have tried to solve the problem of poverty and social inequality and it’s apparently still a problem. So, like most people, I will ignore the issue altogether and focus on my own trivial existence. I’m sure it will sort itself out. Like global warming and this Syria issue.

Global catastrophe and potential war crimes aside, someone in my office ordered some new headphones today. What’s notable about this event is that he ordered them and, two hours later, they were delivered to the office. I’m not prone to over reacting, but I feel this is poultry up the anus insane.

The idea of next day delivery annoys me for a myriad of reasons, let alone same day delivery. For one, before the age of internet shopping, you could get things on the same day you bought them, it just required going to a shop. Historians reckon there used to be loads of them and archaeologists have recently uncovered what they believe to be the foundations of an old [insert defunct store here and wait for the hilarity to settle down].

Furthermore, next day delivery has led to an influx of delivery vans on the road, which we all know leads to more pollution. It has also led to the exploitation of many hard workers being paid a pittance to deliver approximately one bazillion parcels. There have been reports of drivers not being permitted bathroom breaks and being paid well under minimum wage. Which is outrageous because cumulatively, I spend at least two hours a week on the toilet and get slightly above the national average for my age, which means I’m probably earning more per hour doing a shit than a driver does delivering shit to impatient shits.

Sure, you all take to the internet to say, ‘that’s outrageous, that’s like modern slavery!’ (although it’s a difficult one to compare. On the one hand, drivers do get paid, but on the other, slaves probably got to go to the toilet when they wanted), but you’re also the first ones to be on the phone complaining that your Superman graphic novel wasn’t delivered, leading to some poor driver getting reprimanded. I fucking hate you! You next day delivering arse!

There are even apps that allow you to track your delivery in real time. Which is terrifyingly dystopian, you, watching over these poor delivery drivers to make sure they’re keeping to the exact minute promised by corporations earning billions in profits. Soon, they’ll add the option to shock your driver if you don’t think they’re going fast enough and the slowest driver of the week will be beheaded for all to see.

But you don’t care about any of this do you? As long as you get your things and get them now! You’ll be demanding your latest video game release get blasted down from space the exact second you hit order!

Why are you so desperate for your things? Even various sofa shops are doing next day delivery now. How has anyone found themselves in the position that they’re that desperate for a sofa? Even if your sofa is inexplicably stolen by the world’s most impractical thief (the resale value on a sofa can’t be worth the effort of lugging it out your living room), just sit on the floor for a couple of days.

‘It’s efficient though. It’s good to have things quick. We want the things and we want it now, it’s instant gratification, we don’t like waiting. No sooner than we get the thing delivered THE SAME DAY, we’ll be ordering the next thing. Chip chip driver, no time for sleep, I don’t care if your bladder has just exploded and your crying urine.’ That’s you that is.

Why bother waiting to order the thing? Why bother waiting until you know you even want the thing? Don’t even wait until the thing has been invented yet. Don’t wait for anything, just press the cease existing button and never wait again.emergency stop

…well that got out of hand.