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February 2010



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Feb. 8th, 2010


Broken Britain

Is Britain Broken?

That was the headline the front of this week’s Economist magazine, and it got me wondering, is it broken, from my point of view?

Admittedly I am coming to this argument from a fairly sheltered location; quiet Devon in the south west of England, but despite that, almost because of that, it makes you more aware that there might be a degeneration of society.

Don’t get me wrong, I like to go out with my friends, I enjoy alcohol, but I was out recently while sober, and the town centre I was in, on a Saturday night was reduced to a zoo, with marauding packs of inebriated adults wandering around, shouting abuse at anyone who looked at them in a way that they didn’t like. The science is out there that explains why alcohol does this to us, but why do we Brits take it to the extreme? Why do we feel the need to drink ourselves to oblivion every Friday night? Are our lives that terrible that we need to forget, to unwind so much at the end of the week that alcohol provides the only escape? I understand the appeal alcohol has if you’re life is terrible, but many of the people I know who go out every weekend and get blindingly drunk don’t have bad lives, they have jobs, good families, and they’re bright. The reason they go out is boredom; because everyone else does it, and because it’s become such an integral part of our social makeup the government is now panicking and trying to sort it out. But why did we get to this stage in the first place? Why did we get to a Britain where everyone is turned into animals every seven days? I realise that these are fairly broad speculations, and that it is (for the moment) a minority that is giving a bad name to a majority, but it is a problem that can’t be allowed to grow. To think that there is a whole generation of youth that has no more interests in their lives that going out and getting drunk is an extremely worrying one.

Dec. 16th, 2009



I'm now single.

It's been on the cards for a while, so I'm not sure why I feel this bad. It's not a crushing kind of bad, where my world has fallen apart, but its a bad that creeps up on me when I least expect it. It normally hits when I automatically think, "I know, I'll call H****" and then I realise I can't...and it sucks.

At the moment I'm listening to Marilyn Manson's cover of Sweet Dreams by Eurythmics, and it sort of fits the mood. I found her dressing gown in my wardrobe, and a voice-mail from her on my phone. They're all little things that are quickly put to the back of my mind, but they still hurt.

However, mercenary as this may sound, I am looking forward to freedom. Lets face it...it wasn't going anywhere, I made her miserable, she made me miserable, its just sad that it had to end, but exciting because something new can begin. I'm not going to lie, there is someone else in mind, which is one of the reasons I didn't put up much resistance when crunch time came. Every once in a while though, this day dream kicks off in my head, where H**** and I see each other and realise it's all a mistake and try again. I know this is absurd. If it did,'t work this time it won't work again, but I am ever the optimist...

Dec. 14th, 2009


(no subject)

Yes, its that time of year again and love them or hate them, Christmas Parties are abound. I was at one yesterday and was sat on a sofa with a friend, who casually leaned over and said,
"How many people here do you reckon are going to end up Fucking?"
I looked around the pub, which was filled with Christmas party revelers,
"maybe thirty percent," was my guess.
I don't know whether I was right or not, but that seems to ne the familiar nightmare scenario, hooking up with someone from work, in full view of everyone and the boss. I'd bet a lot of money that happened at least once last night.

This leads to a question that is sort of the opposite to the above situation: what do you do if the girlfriend who you work with is just about to break up with you, and you really fancy another girl at work. It's a real dilemma, and one that I'm sure is the same in reverse. Is there a solution, as technically we have not broken up, (as you might have guessed, this does apply to me) but we all know that Christmas parties are THE place to initiate something under the mistletoe! It's an awkward problem that requires much thought, and maybe input from other people!

I have seen the results of similar events unfolding, and it is like the battle of the somme between two people, in which an entire generation of emotions are lost, never to be recovered, which is of course something I am desperate to avoid, for both our sakes. This is where everything hits a snag. I don't know if I do want to break up with her. When I'm not with her, I couldn't care less whether we are together or apart, but when she is near, she is all I want. Is it Love, or Lust? Tomorrow is crunch time, both for me and probably for quite a few other people out there staring down the barrel of a work Christmas party.

Dec. 10th, 2009


(no subject)

Bus journeys. They're crap, but yet they are fascinating.

Ask anyone whether they like to travel on a bus and i can pretty much guarantee that they will say no. People hate them. they sit on a bus, eyes shifting from side to side, praying silently that the strange looking man in the long coat and the eye that strays skyward who's just got on doesn't sit next to them. Everyday I sit on the bus, and never talk to anyone. Sure, there are some people I think I might like to talk to, but Bus Etiquette forbids it.

This Bus Etiquette is, I think, fascinating. Put a group of strangers in someones living room, or even just a room, and someone will say hi to someone else. Put them on a bus, and THIS IS NOT ALLOWED! If I catch a persons eye there is an embarrassed shuffle and a hasty glance elsewhere. so heaven forbid if I spoke to someone.

The other morning I was sat at the back of the double decker bus and a woman and her daughter came and sat nearby. The Bus Etiquette comes into effect and the mother sits with her eyes gazing listlessly to the front of the bus, every now and again fussing with the child. I admit I stared equally listlessly towards the front of the bus, and what should hove into view but an Audi R8. For those of you who don't know, this is a very nice, £90,000+ super car, and for those of you who do, you can imagine how my day was made just a little bit brighter. The listless looking mother also saw the Audi, and we both followed its path past the bus and followed it out of the back window until it passed out of sight. As I turned back we caught each others eye, and did the Rules of the Bus apply? No, they did not. Instead there was a rebellious grin shared between us, a flicker of shared Humanity, and envy of the lucky bastard in the R8...

This Bus Etiquette is a strange thing, and there are various forms of it in all types of public transport, most commonly the train, which operate the same rules. Is it the Brits who are guilty of this strange aversion to interaction with other people on public transport, or is it the world at large? Is it something to do with the privacy of the morning and evening commute, a time that everyone knows is very sacred for people, is this the reason? I for one get extremely annoyed if someone interrupts my thoughts while on my commute, even if I know there is no logical reason, so annoyed that once the interruption (normally a person) has disappeared, I dream for the rest of the commute about visiting horrible things on that person, especially if they're obnoxious. Admit it, you all do!

The other thing that fascinates me is the proliferation of MP3s on Buses, to the point where it seems that not only can people not function without them, they look as if they will die that little box of tunes in their pocket is absent. Perhaps its a global conspiracy began by Apple to quash the sense of humanity that people have with each other, to make them slaves to iPod's that hold strange instructions hidden in "Pod-casts." A bit scary if far fetched. All these factors have led, in my view, to the serious lack of interaction with fellow commuters, which is something I intend to change.

The revolution starts here. Lets get people chatting on the Bus, the Tube, the Train. Lets get them chatting, and laughing, and dating, and hating, anything but the bland lifeless spirit of nothingness that pervades public transport like the smell coming off the strange man with the long coat and the wonky eye who's just sat next to you...