Decent People

March 8, 2008

In months where I have had few heart- warming thoughts there has been one: people are fundamentally decent.

I lie, there has been more than one heart warming thought but all the others are either pornographic or involve ideas for elaborate practical jokes- one in particular needing access to 1005 garden gnomes and a thermonuclear warhead.

But as far as sensible, heart-warming thoughts go (or sensible thoughts at all) it can be, pretty much, whittled down to just the one. In case you have already forgotten it is that people are fundamentally decent.

The proof is in Democracy. In order to get people in a democracy to support ideas that are not fundamentally decent you have to lie to them (or blackmail them, bribe them or offer them sex). The failings of modern democracies like the USA, the UK and some of the European countries comes down to information. The gathering of it, the access to it, the dissemination of it and how much it is valued by people. You and I are being lied to every day and most of the time we don’t realise it.

We are never taught, either by our parents or in school, how to value information. We are not shown how to look at and absorb information we find abhorrent and that conflicts with our world view. We are not shown how to look for jewels of information in sludge or great ideas from those we dislike or hate.

We are taught to reject ideas or thoughts based on the people who presented them to us rather than the merits of the ideas. It is possible that one day Paris Hilton will say something insightful- possibly off a cue card. It is possible that George Bush will be vindicated by history- possibly on mental grounds and it is possible that, one day, the world will look back on Donald Trump’s hair as the beginning of a fashion trend. Yet these are things I just cannot accept in my reality. It’s a bit too far beyond “The Matrix”. But I try to keep that mind open.

What school needs teach is a critical mind. Less regurgitation of the traditional national exports of Mongolia and more thought on whether what their tutor just said is utter bollocks.

People are basically decent. But we are also basically ignorant and the ignorant cannot choose a government because their “choice” isn’t theirs. It belongs to whoever fed them the information.

But, then again. Perhaps I am wrong.

Maybe there is someone out there willing to offer me money or sex to change my opinion… it’s worth a shot. I am a flexible guy.

Modern Consumer Technology

October 24, 2007

Every day the efficiency of capitalism brings us new, joyous innovations in it’s drive to take us to a future utopia where robots do all the washing up, we no longer have to go to work and have more time to devote to family violence, shopping, drinking and messing up the minds of the next generation.

My favourite all-new, brilliant, fantastic innovation is the all-new, brilliant, fantastic juice carton. Gone are the days when you had a vague dotted line with “tear here” loosely associated with some perforations designed to make the carton almost entirely impervious to any sort of tearing whatsoever. That is unless the person doing the tearing was a body builder or your mom in which case it gave quickly and unexpectedly leaving juice all over you, your mom and, when available, the body builder.

Then she gave you a couple of bucks to bog off and not tell your father that there had been a strange man in the house so you ran off and bought cola instead. Anyone short of a mom or a body builder eventually resorted to scissors or, if brave and co-ordinated, a knife.

Nowadays there are no such troubles. You unscrew a convenient plastic cap under which there is a convenient plastic ring-pull attached to a surgically clean, medically sound, save-the-children foil seal. A quick pull disconnects the ring lightly and easily from the foil, having no useful affect whatsoever, and is discarded in a bin before taking a knife and piercing a convenient hole in the top of the carton.

Which is good news as 30 years on your mother is now in a home and the body-builder is running California.

 

Utopia- not far now!

The most important issue about the latest Bin Laden tape has been skirted over and the world at large is just lucky to have such a prescient mind as mine at the ready to catch it: who does Osama Bin Laden’s beard- dye and trim job? It is so wonderfully stylish. He looks 20 years younger. Perhaps only 70… maybe 73.

The lack of hair salons and convenient chemists in the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan are legendary, leading to a tourist trade limited to Islamic fundamentalists, opium- questing hippies and Boris Johnson*. One is led to assume, therefore, that over the last 6 years or so Bin Laden has not only kitted out his cave with the necessary dialysis machine for his failing kidneys and video editing studio (running on linux to foil American Imperialism- ahaha ahaha hahahahahah!) but now, too, a hair salon.

Perhaps the US forces in Afghanistan on Bin Laden’s tail should start looking out for particularly well groomed shepherds and, with what one hears about shepherds, particularly well groomed sheep, too. They should consider, and investigate, the possibility that Bin Laden has brought in an image consultant to help with his new promotional idea of “one peaceful Iraq with every Islamic U.S.A. purchased.” It sounds like a television shopping idea to me. But wait… don’t buy now! Could Al Qaeda finally be tapping into the American market’s sensibilities and shopping patterns?

I expect to see the next video with him in a hot- tub with 12 virgins promoting the benefits of an Islamic martyr’s life or, more precisely, death**. Capitalism creeps in everywhere and, as things continue forward, Al Qaeda could allow the infidel to pay for their ignorance with VISA rather than, as is usual, their lifeblood and that of their families, their friends, their aunts, their dogs and chickens.

Look out Pat Robertson… here comes an Obama for the Whitehouse and an Osama for the lighthouse.***

*- running for mayor of London, has stupid hair… do catch up.
**- that, as always, would be in the small print which is read very quickly at the end of the advert and never discernible to anyone.
***- seeing the light: a dig a Christians. Yes, I know it’s lame and doesn’t really work terribly well. So what? It rhymes, it’s 1am in the morning and I, quite frankly, am beyond caring.

It’s an old phrase but I have, in my life, failed to find a better combination of just 3 experiences. These three most definitely add up to more than the whole.

Analysing it each of the things kick up one sure-fire flag that they are fun. Plenty of people disapprove of them. But it’s the combination that works incredibly well. Replace drugs, for instance, with yoghurt and it all kind of falls apart.

Or, alteratively, sex, drugs and Yanni… it would need to be a lot of drugs. Going to the Post Office, Drugs and Rock ‘n Roll lacks a certain something although it might make an amusing story later. Leaving sex out of the three is just ludicrous anyway.

Sex, Caring for the Elderly and Rock ‘n Roll somehow lacks some of the joi de vivre that drugs bring to the party and could get you in trouble if anyone filmed it… Although there is the possibility of stealing the drugs from the elderly but that just takes us back to Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n Roll, anyway.

Trying to knock up another three that more usually go together and offer the same level of excitement doesn’t seem to work either. Daytime TV, Ironing and Crisps, for instance, doesn’t compare terribly well. A movie, popcorn and loud people two rows back annoying you doesn’t come close either. Not even a little.

And let’s not forget that there are so many variables in Sex Drugs and Rock ‘n Roll that you are unlikely to run out and get bored before you die of an overdose, syphilis or a dislocated Tibia*. So, no loss there, then.

The only true leeway does appear to be in the selection of music although Enya or any one- man- band is always a mistake, especially live. He always stares. Enya would just send everyone to go into a coma, and that’s what the drugs are for. Funk would probably work, too, as would Latin but it would be important to match the music up to the right drugs.

Remember, sex between 2 people is a beautiful thing, sex between 3 is fantastic!

There is a reason what was promoted in the 70s has lasted through the test of over 30 years. Admittedly, we laid off the oily hair after a short while because it sucked but they couldn’t get everything right, could they? We owe a lot to a generation that reminded us, after all the crap of the Victorian era, what partying was all about.

*- a town in Sudan, I think.

Dave, 33

April 20, 2007

It had been a strange year. 33 years of skating over a frozen pond, skimming over the world, unaffected and always in command and then, in the 34th year two cracks formed. Two pieces gave way and twice I was plunged into cold, unforgiving waters.

The second was depression, the war of my life. Prone to madness, my family, and I got off lightly I suppose. One schizophrenic uncle, a gaggle of suicidal aunts and grandmothers, nutters perched on every branch of the tree. It was a fight I had always won. Sometimes a little too easily, perhaps. It is when you lose your fear, in my case my only remaining fear, that you might succumb. Fear is healthy, it exists for a reason.

I was never scared of dying. Never of pain. Never fazed by dislike or revulsion. Always happy to make the tough decision. Never afraid of never being loved by anything but a pet. Not scared of poverty. Never titllated by speed, wrenched by heights, nor threatened by the malicious and vicious. Afraid of only one thing and that was losing sanctuary. Everyone needs a place of sanctuary. A place of calm. Of control. Stability. Home.

I lost my mind.

The second crack. The ice gives way and down you go. It’s an odd thing, losing your mind. In my case, losing it to depression. When people talk about unhappiness, about grief, about that wailing, crying, sobbing, drizzy mess that comes with loss few realise that they are, at that point, nowhere near true depression. Crying is cathartic. Grieving is love.

Depression is empty.

That was the surprise as I dropped through the ice and sped down to the bottom of that world. How numb it all feels. How coldly logical everything seems. How detached you are from everything tactile. It is not like sorrow, don’t confuse it with sorrow because sorrow comes from yearning, as does melancholy. The smart, smarter than I, know to cherish those emotions. The depressed yearn for nothing. Cherish nothing. Air. Water. Fire. Tea. Sunshine. Friend. Oblivion. All are the same to the depressed.

With sorrow and grief and pain there is still you. There is still some driving force that can think of a better life. That can remember having one in the past and is desperate to have one in the future. To the depressed there is no sch thing, no reason to get out of bed, no reason to change the channel. There is no reason to turn on the television. You can’t anyway, there was no reason to pay the electricity bill…

The second crack. The second time drowning. Just enough of me left somewhere. Just a voice in the background not content to slip into oblivion without just one more final try. one more push. One more chance. A tiny voice had the sense to take control of the voice chords and scream “help”.

That was yesterday.

Enjoy a lower cost of living- because you’re not!
Guaranteed no suicidal tendencies if you fail a year!
No sports and, hence, no jocks to deal with.
Smell more, care less.
Discount clothes from ‘Zombies r Us’

A wide range of extra curricular activities…

Enrolment in the “Thriller Re-Enactments’ and the Neverland Ranch
Weekend ‘extras’ trips to Hollywood.
Scare-O-grams

Free eulogy with every enrolment. Urn of your choice with “don’t discriminate, hire post-cremate” sticker and complimentary dustbuster for those awkward family moments…

33 places already gone… apply soon.

I have been waiting for a psychological backlash to the most shallow generation in history: the tweeny label- whores from hell. What we may come to see as the “bling” generation.

Sucked into the advertising mire more than any generation in history. People have sought guidance and self- definition through the ages from Drugs, Religions, Warlords, Pacifists, Prophets, the Famous and the Fatuous. This was the first to start to look to possessions for guidance. The pendulum always swings back and forth and, as usual, at the tip of the conservative end of the swing was an annoying war that finally sends the pendulum back. It has been building, though, for quite some time and just needed (mixing my metaphors badly) a trigger.

I remember well this from fight club, Tyler Durden: Man, I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who’ve ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war… our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.

Born in the 70’s I have been through the swing away from the Love, Liberalism and Peace of the late 60s and early 70s to the money- orientated conservatism, large hair and bad pastel suits of the early 80s, through the grunge gender anonymity and unshaven women of the late 80s and early 90s and on to the vicious capitalist label feeding frenzy of the turn of the century.

This global warming thing we finally noticed (I did a school project on it in 1984- took the governments of the world 23 yrs to catch up to a student who spent less time in class than George W. does at work), of course, will not be stopped and I wonder how, at the tip of the green touchy- feely renaissance the other end of society will spin things and what they will place on the table to get society to start the swing back towards conservatism.

Will recreational space flight be it? Immersive computer games to get away from the mess when people get exhausted from over-caring? Or are they smart enough to have worked out enough ways to market the new green movement in such a way that they can profit from it? I think so. I take all 3 but in reverse order.

Looked at dispassionately neither side of the swing has any better claim to sanity. From the one side of rich warmongers and authority to the poor vegan touchy- feely side there is plenty of nonsense. But if there is nonsense to be had I prefer the pendulum at the point where we stop caring too much about possessions, allow dull people to take drugs to make them more interesting, stop caring too much about our jobs and start enjoying our sexuality more but women still shave their armpits.

Pools have a shallow end and a deep end. So, sometimes, do I.

how to lose more friends and alienate more people

This is a further reaction to all the touchy- feely crap on facebook that drives me up the frikkin wall. It’s worse than mutated sea-bass instead of sharks. Here is an alternative to the “If you have an ‘i’ in your name you are the best kisser” stuff that makes me want to hurl.

K- You beat up the aged.
E- You pop drugs and then get kindergarten kids to take your urine tests for you.
V- You like to eat babies.
I- You are self- centred.
N- You pick your nose and then eat the contents.
– You look stupid when you dance.
M- You do not wash your hands after masturbating.
A- You secretly film people when you have sex with them.
R- You have rabies.
S- You have misshapen genitalia.
H- You like it up the bum.
A- You secretly film people when you have sex with them.
L- You do shit to alienate people.
L- You do shit to alienate people.

– You look stupid when you dance.
A- You secretly film people when you have sex with them.
B- You are Bulimic but, thank God, also thin.
C- People call you names behind your back.
D- You have syphilis and you smell bad.
E- You pop drugs and then get kindergarten kids to take your urine tests for you.
F- People genuinely care about you.
G- You are more gullible than people with an ‘F’ in their name.
H- You like it up the bum.
I- You are self- centred.
J- You are adopted.
K- You beat up the aged.
L- You do shit to alienate people.
M- You do not wash your hands after masturbating.
N- You pick your nose and then eat the contents.
O- You only care about money, really.
P- Your parents never loved you.
Q- What the fuck do you have a ‘Q’ in your name for? Cunt!
R- You have rabies.
S- You have misshapen genitalia.
T- You dress badly, no matter what your friends say to your face.
U- You call that a hair style? Fuck off!
V- You are Dutch, German or Afrikaans and no-one likes you, not even your dog.
W- You are a computer engineer.
X- You are from Lichtenstein and your father was a goat.
Z- You are still a virgin and it shall always be thus.

Feeling Stupid

April 8, 2007

If you have a day where you are feeling a little dumb. A day, lets say, where you have written your first ever predictions column for a sports magazine and got everything, against all odds, horribly, terrifically and spectacularly wrong. To feel better and have restored to you some sense of intelligence and cognisance above that of a lemming, brick, politician or talent-show judge one need only to turn to the news.

Intelligence and stupidity are, after all, comparatives. So what is happening that I can compare myself and my various vagaries to out there in the world that will make me feel better?

Well, there are the people who think we can really do a damn thing about global warming: they’ve lost their minds. Even if we had acted when we first discovered the concept in the late 70’s the odds of reversing or controlling it were small. Only a nuclear winter could stop it now, maybe, possibly, probably not, actually… someone call George W. We need a decider!

Then there are the people who are convinced that we have a clue what the result of global warming will be. They’re gormless too. It could get hotter, it could get colder, it could cause the Alien Lizards controlling our world to finally bugger off because the climate no longer suits them leaving the world in a state of love, peace, harmony and skimpy bathing suits.

I feel a little better already.

Then there are people who think the war in Iraq had anything to do with anything other than money. The Americans that think George W. did the right thing when he invaded Iraq and, as well, the ones that think he did the wrong thing. Americans in general, in fact. With the exception of the ones who watch (and understand) The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. And a friend of mine who drinks too much and is fun. And some of his friends. Maybe.

Anyone who is reading the book “The Secret” right now and believes any of the words contained within with their tiny, little brains- except for the word “the” which is used in an entirely truthful context in the book.

Kissing in public is illegal in India and they haven’t made their government to overturn the law, so that’s a billion people being stupid over there. 90% of all people who trust any statistic given to them ever are completely retarded, so I feel much smarter than them, too.

Everyone ever who believes that planets revolving around the sun have anything to do with whether they “are going to have to make difficult personal decisions on Thursday” and, even worse, that believes that if this were true the person who knew the system would be writing a magazine column for minimum wage instead of ruling the entire planet or owning Starbucks. How thick.

So I might have been off a little in some fun predictions in a news column. So what? Look at the world out there. They are insane.

I feel so much better now.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article1624022.ece
http://english.pravda.ru/world/americas/88836-3/
http://www.badscience.net/?p=392

Save the Humans!!!

March 26, 2007

Maybe 0.5% of humans give a crap about endangered Bengal Tigers. Perhaps a few more know what a greenhouse gas is. Maybe, at a push, 2% of humans on the planet know about global warming and care. The fact is that in the large scale of things all of this doesn’t matter. The idea of “Save the Planet” is patently ridiculous. None of this is causing the actual planet irreparable harm.

It’s screwing it up for the average mammal, though. Including you. The earth does not need dolphins, polar bears, Bengal Tigers, gorillas or, indeed, humans. Extinctions on a massive scale are perfectly normal in our little backyard here on “the unfashionable outer spiral arm” of the Milky Way.

“Save the Planet” is meaningless. It makes you want to take the placard from the average dumbass protester and beat them repeatedly over the head with it. Sometimes violence is the answer, ask a Bengal Tiger.

Whether the planet gets hit with meteor strikes, nuclear war, global warming, industrial toxicity or famine the next time Oprah Winfrey is on an eating spree- so what? The planet doesn’t care and if it, or she, wipes out 99.99% of all species the planet will just have another equivalent of the Cambrian explosion with a whole lot of new, interesting species that can find another way entirely to fuck up their environment and become extinct.

So I am sick of idiot, goober do-gooders going on about the environment. They miss the point. I too, this human being, want dolphins, Bengal Tigers, polar bears and gorillas to survive. For me. For my friends. For the children I am still trying to avoid having. For the grand-children they might be able to avoid having if I am unsuccessful. And so-on.

We want to save the cuddly animals and the beautiful animals because we find them inspiring, because we find them endearing. They reflect us and what we used to be. They are fascinating to watch on a wildlife show- although are much more dull at a game reserve where someone has not cut down 9,284 minutes of footage to 30seconds of action narrated by Sir David Attenborough.

We want to save them for us. And we know the beautiful and cuddly animals cannot survive in an ecosystem without the slimy, gross or downright creepy creatures so, what the hell, we don’t mind them living too. Except for Republicans, we are starting to think America and, indeed, the world would be better off without them.

This is, in fact, a “Save the Humans” message. We are the ones that need the rainforests, the clean rivers, beautiful Bengal Tigers, elegant Kingfisher, domestic cats, majestic whales and, at a push, lawyers (hi, sis) and politicians to survive. Even the slimiest of creatures has a purpose in this world and in our ecosystem and we have to allow them to survive for our sake.

This is midnightjester saying: “Save the Humans!”