Monday, 2 December 2013

Avoiding responsibility: or how I learned to stop worrying and love being a pain in the arse

Most of us, at some stage of our lives, have wanted nothing more (or less) than not to be in the firing line for something which, quite clearly, was our fault. 

When I was younger, this often masqueraded as a pseudo-sincere attempt to relate the unfortunate misadventures of my intrepid feline (read “blamed the cat”).  Alternatively – and what I believe to be the other mainstay of the guilty unjustly accused – deny everything.   I mean everything.  No matter what.  Even if that means refuting the very laws of physics:  That sneaky cigarette enjoyed from a friend’s bedroom window; that one relished when too young to legally buy a pack of fags; the one that dropped onto the garden furniture below, melting the plastic seat which was discovered by my compadre’s father the following morning and which led me to stand in the firing line for more than a few hours.  Did I break?  Did I fuck!  Did it mean denying the obvious trajectory of falling fag end?  Yes it did!  “It must’ve been flicked over the garden wall...”  Believe me, this was clearly bollocks.

But it worked . . . sort of.  I mean, everybody knew it was me.  There was no one else it really could have been.  Yet, my utter refusal to back down in the face of the blatantly obvious had stood me in good stead.  Incalcitrance flavoured with the merest hint of a garnish of wilful self-delusion – this was clearly the key to success.

Older now, I’ve learned that this isn’t necessarily so.  Until quite recently, I didn’t even have a cat.  Although, I seem to be coming across an increasing number of examples of people that don’t seem to have learned the same lesson.  Granted, their techniques and general approach may appear a little more well-honed but the same adolescent approach to divesting themselves of all responsibility nonetheless pervades.

What got me on to this train of thought was the recently reported story of a woman who complained about theHalloween decorations of a house she frequently passed with her son.  Her son who burst into tears each time he was confronted with the horrific display.  Well, I say horrific, but personally I think the whole thing’s rather tame.  High street Halloween decorations never seem to have the ability to strike mortal terror into the heart.  Then again, I guess I am – nominally at least – an adult.  And, some might say, a slightly skewed one at that – although I can’t help but think this is a prime example of raising insipidly wet children.

And, before I’m lambasted by a nappy-bag and burp-cloth wielding mob of irate dwarf herders, as a relatively recent inductee into the esteemed ranks of parenthood, I am, for some reason, allowed to say this, whereas the childless multitudes are apparently forbidden from uttering such statements.  Not entirely sure why this is, although I think the cause may be the same one that makes it acceptable to go to the supermarket wearing vomit stained PJ’s and mismatched shoes.  Then again, so does alcohol, so maybe the less said about that incident the better.

The whole absurd incident culminated in the police getting involved and telling the child-traumatising Halloween devotee to block the display from public view.  Now, there’s a few things going on here, even without bringing the whole ‘done for charity’ element into proceedings:  Firstly, for the amount of time we have to spend listening to how over-stretched our police force is, they seem more than willing to get embroiled in petit bugbears of people with nothing better to do than find something to be offended by.  Secondly, covering the display with a black tarpaulin is, in my opinion, far more sinister.  Who’s to say that beyond the visual barrier, instead of plastic skeletons and fake cobwebs, the lawn is piled high with dead hookers and missing children?  It’s like the forensics department getting into the seasonal mood!

So, what does this have to do with responsibility?  Well, since obtaining my dwarf herding licence, I’ve added to my mental resume:  Not only is it now filled with the aforementioned sure-fire tactics of blame avoidance but also the import of certain other duties and the wider responsibilities thereby entailed.  Particularly pertinent is the one that says “don’t let your sprog grow up to be unjustifiably scared of inanimate objects,” closely followed by the one that says “neither shall you let them think it acceptable to call local law enforcement because you happen not to like something perfectly legal.”

It comes down to penguins.  Well, one penguin in particular:  This particular penguin is of the plastic variety, has a face like a duck on crank and careens about the place in an unpredictable fashion while making unintelligible noises.  Perhaps it’s not surprising that my son reacted badly to this when it was first plonked in front of him.  But where was this going to end?  An irrational fear of plastic?  Existential terror at the sight of penguins?  Dreams haunted with a soundtrack featuring the lyrics “one, two :  Pingu’s coming for you,”?  Maybe he’s the future mayor of a small village and would be destined to establish the annual avian round-up where anything with feathers is grouped together and forced into a crusher?  Well, I guess it’d do wonders for any local bird-flu outbreaks, but I’m sure the potential backlash would be catastrophic.

Well, I wasn’t going to stand idly by and let my son face the end of his political career, just like that!  It took several attempts but, with a little perseverance, I managed to turn this fearsome figure into one of his favourite toys – at least until he found the remote for the TV.  Why?  Because it’s my responsibility to teach him that there’s nothing to be scared of – to make light of something that scared him while still offering the parental support that was necessary.  Now, maybe it’s me, but isn’t that all that was required by the woman above?  If it failed – take a different route!  If she really thought it necessary – speak to the chap in person! 

Maybe I’m wrong.  Maybe I had it right when I was younger.  Maybe what I should’ve done is prosecute the friend who purchased the penguin and sued them for damages – mental scarring, don’tyerknow?

In fact, it all makes sense:  I’ll sue the ISPs for sending me porn, the milkman for sending me a bottle which went off and made me ill when I left it in front of the fire, the office for the numerous paper-cuts, the movie studios and book publishers for everything I’ve read and seen that I didn’t like, put on the straightjacket, take the drugs and walk into the nearest padded cell where I can stick my head in the metaphorical sand and let someone else worry about my mental and physical welfare.

And if everything goes to shit?  The cat did it!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Loose ends and murky windows

So, everything's been a bit quiet over here for a while. That's not because, I hasten to add, that I've lost interest in this pursuit of bloggerising, but rather that thing . . . y'know, life . . . seems to be getting in the fucking way of everything, yet again.

After successfully managing to relocate to the gleaming (well, it was when it was covered in ice anyway) city of Manchester, I have successfully not been able to find a job, my band's lost its drummer (last seen somewhere around Yorkshire) and I have been forced to return, cap in hand to the Job Centre. Something I vowed never to do, but unfortunatley, have no choice.

Now I'm not going to get into a rant about the uselessness of the organisation . . . that's going to be a much longer rant and therefore it will be kept in reserve for another day. Rather, this is a time to rediscover old pursuits and see if any of them can actually be made to pay.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of my talents aren't ones which are easily transformed into pay-cheques. Short stories, for example, are back on the list and while there are various competitions offering the flash car and big money prizes, what's already been written isn't necessarily going to fit with the prerequisites of said competitions.

So, I come to the point: any ideas of good literary publications that aren't completely pretentious? Ideally that pay, but you can't have everything!

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Hordes of Hypocrites: Going it alone

First of all, I apologise for the lack of updates recently. I've had a load of shit kicking off in the last few weeks which has resulted in the decision of an exodus from Sheffield to the greener lands of Mancunia.

Coming to the point however - and if I go off on a drunken ramble, please forgive me - it has become clear today that certain alliances which I chose to take over the last few years or so have been wrong. I have been blinkered, manipulated with good popaganda before finally coming to the realisation that certain parties, like many before them, are charlatans. Quick to jump on certain anti-authoritarian band-wagons, but far less so at extending their supposed views of liberty and freedom to those who don't fit the desired mold.

Hardly surprising though is it? I mean, fuck, it's not like this shit hasn't happened before. The difference is, when you subscribe to an ideal and consequently ally yourself with those who proclaim a similar outlook only to be shown a short way down the line that those individuals in whom you'd placed trust and belief are in reality no different from the hordes of hypocrites already pulling the puppet strings. . . well: it's fucking sad.

The only way we'll ever see any difference is a true act of opposition. Unfortunately, the majority of the British population are too pussy-whipped by the govt, themselves, colleagues and co-workers to ever do this until shit gets really nasty. What do I say?

Let it fucking come!

With a little bit of luck I'll be off this shit-stinking peice of rock by then anyway. But what a nation we could've been, eh?

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Piss-taking Authoritarian Cunt-wits

Right – in an attempt to manage all my little projects, I was going to leave my rant till Friday but is too fucking much!

Not only are people being penalised – fucking hugely – because the servitors admin drones HMRC have totally, royally, completely and utterly fucked up, but there are plans afoot not only to rob the fuck out of us as usual but to actually make us – to an even greater extent – servants of the fucking state.
Not only will we be watched, nannied, arrested for sleeping in a place
they don't like, but we'll be at their behest for the money that is supposed to be ours. You know, the money that you and I work for – many of us in jobs we fucking hate – to feed ourselves, feed our families . . . fuck; I could soak it in petrol, shove it up my arse and set the fucker alight if it took my fancy and do you know why? Because it's MINE!

This is a fucking dire situation.

This is a true dystopia.

There is no justification for the state to take our money. They have no right to it. None. I just wonder how many of my fellow cuntrymen can actually see that. And how many would be willing to do something more than say “uhm, yeah, it's shit.”

How long are we really going to let them pull this shit?!

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Cuboards & Colanders - Prepare for the worst

Sometimes things hit me with such force that I am generally overcome: An apoplectic fit of anger reduces me to a twitching mass on the kitchen floor (generally smoke at the back door, in case your wondering about the kitchen), foaming at the mouth and gnashing teeth in a vague attempt to communicate my ire about whatever has not only got my goat but well and truly carted the poor little fucker off, got it addicted to crack in some dingy basement and has forced it on to the streets, complete with fish-nets and specially designed hoof-accommodating stilettos to earn its keep. Either that or the subject matter or the shear overload of such fits becomes too much and I’m once again reduced, though this time with a whole new kind of twitch, climb into the nearest cupboard with a colander balanced precariously on my head for the additional protection, nervously looking over my shoulder and wondering if the spider attempting to scale the wall behind me is a government agent while sorting through the toothpicks to see which is the sharpest and wishing I’d grabbed the meat knife for protection instead before padlocking the door and swallowing the key.

Paranoiac hyperbole aside, there is a serious point to this. The increasing tendency for people’s incredible stupidity to be legitimised and, something which is at least in part a consequence of this; the lengths to which we are inhabiting a state-controlled dystopia in which a eugenical agenda of curbing deviations from the norm is itself the norm.

The thing which finally caved my mind in and left me dribbling in disbelief at peoples’ stupidity was the Dawkins documentary of BBC Four last night on alternative therapies. Now, I knew that there are these lunatics out there who eschew science for mysticism – after all, the romanticism of ancient wisdom is more appealing to a know-nothing majority than the annoying realities of ‘fact’ and ‘truth’. Added to which, the ability to assert personal revelation as opposed to studying something critically, weighing up evidence and then explaining the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of things is so much fucking easier. All you need to do to have this kind of ‘knowledge’ is the ability to dull-witted and doggedly assert your position no matter what evidence is supplied to the contrary.

This is all fine and dandy – we’ve always had nut-jobs ranting and raving about the ‘old ways’ and ‘divine revelation’, what isn’t so fine and dandy is that tax-payers are actually funding homeopathic ‘treatments’. I mean, doesn’t the NHS have enough fucking problems without proscribing a saline solution for the alleviations of symptoms? Doesn’t it have enough to contend with without doling out placebos with such an infinitesimal amount of the supposed ‘active ingredient’ as to be Pure. Fucking. Water. ?

Apparently not. Here’s an idea – why don’t we spend that fucking money on curing some fucking people?

Mebbe that’s just too fucking easy though . . .

It’s absurd that this kind of thing is being legitimised when it flies in the face of all accumulated knowledge and the scientific process.

While practitioners of the so-called ‘occult’ in times past were an arguable necessity in the development of science (in the early modern era there is literally no separation between wizard and ‘scientist’) the method that the plethora of all seekers after knowledge and understanding developed – i.e. the Scientific Method is basically being trampled on by fuckwits who want to set us back 500 years . . . more, in some cases.

People sacrificed their lives at the hands of the superstitious societies in which they lived in order to benefit mankind, to further human understanding. And an increasing number of so-called ‘enlightened’ cunts are throwing it out, far happier with their crystals and dream-catchers.

And so, if that is the current climate, then is it surprising that we now see the setting up of organisations like WASH. Yep. Salt, something vital for the body to function is apparently so fucking dangerous the whole fucking world needs to take ‘action’ on it.


This is the consequence of indoctrination of and by the supposedly ‘healthy living’ brigade who cling to their belief in much the same way as the religious and the ‘spiritual’ do – denying scientific evidence in favour of unsubstantiated ascertains.

The same lot of self-congratulatory fuckwits were responsible for the 'Ciggy-Busters' which saw the a school and local law-enforcement actively encouraging the idea of vigilante attacks – including theft, assault and harassment – against law-abiding citizens indulging in a legal activity in a place where it is condoned (don’t even get me started there – I’ll lose track) just because said citizens and said activists had a difference of opinion.

This kind of state-sanctioned harassment and violence is the natural continuation of what happens when you employ the kind of segregation based on beliefs – a kind of segregation not seen since the yanks decided to do away with separate water fountains (summat to do with the plumbing bills, mebbe?) – is that which we in Good Ol’ Blighty are living with every fucking day.

It’s not just us tar-lunged misanthropes either.

The uninformed majority have happily ignored the facts and willingly given the state increasing powers with which to fuck with us. It’s obviously the government’s fault if you’re fat because they didn’t protect you. Can’t be yours and all them pies, eh? So it’s infuriating but not surprising that institutions of indoctrination are now vetting the food that kids are bringing in to school and stealing it if it doesn’t conform to their warped idea of healthy and not healthy. vetting the food that kids are bringing in to school and stealing it if it doesn’t conform to their warped idea of healthy and non-healthy.

Moses would’ve lapped it up: “Neither shalt thou drink of the juice of sugary fruits!” Marvellous.

We are giving more and more power away. We are letting the imbeciles in charge dictate what we eat/drink/smoke, how/what/where we do it, infringe our privacy on a whim and - what’s more - the vast majority of us fucking love it.

Sure, occasionally bemoan the fact that a pint’s a bit pricey or that you liked it when you could smoke, but don’t you dare have the balls to actually run your own life – it’s not your responsibility, is it?

I’m going back to the cupboard. Colander, anyone?

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

The Absence of Morality

This was supposed to be a comment adding to a discussion on morality being had over here but I think technology is rebelling against me forcing me to reword it slightly and post it here instead. Forgive anything I missed, like I said, it was supposed to be a comment:

Each generation’s attempt to convince itself that it has distanced itself from the previous is ultimately proven to be nothing more than self delusion. Sure some things are done differently and some attitudes change, but ultimately people remain the same. But the nature vs nurture argument goes far more deeply than the individual and his parent/guardian/custodian/mentor. We’re talking about learned behaviours on macroscopic scale where an entire society has grown up thinking that x is bad and y is good. This is reinforced with each generation. Irrespective of the tool with which this is enforced, these laws begin, over time and in cultural memory to gain some manner of ‘higher authority’. That authority, however, is perceived.

In utilising the term 'ethereal morality', while probably not the best choice of words, I was merely pointing towards this perceived ‘higher authority’. As an atheist myself, I see any kind of ‘morality’, when couched in such terms, to be counter-intuitive. More than that, I see them as a dangerous beginning towards a path to theism. Once x has been generally been admitted to be morally unsound then there’s nothing to keep y and z from quickly drifting into that same category as well. Just add a bit of religious dogma to grease the wheels . . .

I terms of evolution as well – it’s no surprise that we are actually less likely to rush headlong into all-out war than ‘societies of old’, this actually supports the idea that anything that could be referred to as ‘morality’ has evolved through a need for continued survival. While human culture has changed drastically over thousands of years, human beings have not evolved. We are still homo sapiens. We are still the same species.

Societies developed from the need for continued existence – chances of which were far greater when individuals dwelt together in packs. Like any pack with any species, ‘laws’ have to be followed in order for the pack’s survival. It will soon become apparent in any primitive pack anywhere in the world that arbitrary killing is going to be detrimental to the pack’s survival. That, I believe is why we have what could possibly be interpreted as a ‘shared moral outlook’, at least on certain issues in many parts of the world.

There have been many explanations as to the benefits of altruism in an evolutionary erspective. I don’t profess to be particularly knowledgeable on this and I don’t really have the time to brush up right now, but a quick glance here will give an overview of some of the main arguments.

Ultimately, I see nothing special or superior in altruism to signify a greater morality. If ‘morality’ is something more than an aide to living in an aggrandised pack, then where does it come from? In my opinion you’d have to either concede to some kind of higher power – not something that I’m willing to do and I’m sure that you’re not either – or to concede that it is a fallacy to attribute certain types of behaviour or lack there of, to something other than an evolved common sense.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

State Funded Religious Indoctrination

Time and time again, when I think about it, I realise that most of my gripes, rants, hatreds etc all have one common denominator: Stupidity. I’m not talking like acting like a bit of a tit because it’s a laugh, being a ditzy fuckwit on the odd occasion or acting like an over-excited child once in a while until reaching the point where you need a bit of a lay down with a cold flannel on your head. No. I’m talking about genuine, down to earth retarditude. Pillockliness. Fucknuttery.

Not knowing something is not stupidity. What defines stupidity in my estimation is not mere ignorance but wilful ignorance. If you’ve never seen, heard, or been presented with the evidence of a thing then you’re not going to have knowledge, or indeed a justified belief about that thing. If you are shown, told about or been presented with evidence for the existence of that thing and your view of the world remains completely unchanged, then you’re an idiot. You are stupid. Even if the evidence of/argument for said thing is tenuous; if it is justified and logical it should at least make you want to look into the matter. If for no other reason than to disprove the argument!

So why another rant about stupidity? Why am I once again on the logical vs illogical? Why am I beating this drum so hard I’ve had to flip it over because the other side’s got a hole in it?

Well, it’s down to Richard Dawkins’ programme Faith Schools Menace? Or rather it’s down to something that it highlighted in passing.

It’s not surprising that at some point the usual arguments about evolution were going to be brought up. Not only because this was a programme about faith oriented education, but rather because Dawkins is a biologist whose scientific work has largely been focused on evolution and natural selection. This may come as a surprise to some who would like Dawkins to be a pastiche of a militant atheist, baselessly raging against religion. This is a characterisation, incidentally, that I keep coming across when listening to various, increasingly left-wing BBC radio comedy series extolling the classically British ‘virtues’ of “don’t speak too loud, don’t rock the boat, don’t stir up trouble and everything will be okay, really.”

Dragging myself, kicking and screaming, back to the point:

The particular item within the programme that had me ranting until my gerbils tried to eat each other (no it’s not a bizarre euphemism – had to separate the furry little cunts . . . again) was during Dawkins’ visit to Madani High School; an Islamic, state funded school in Leicester. What he was particularly looking at during this segment was whether the pupils were properly informed about evolution and why, if so, did the school’s science teacher claim – not without some pride, I thought – that every student comes out of her classroom believing in intelligent design.

Recap: Students coming out of a science class opt for intelligent fucking design as the most logical explanation for the existence of the plethora of life on the planet. That is not a science class!

Dawkins was then asked by one of the pupils why, if humans evolved from chimpanzees then why did chimps still exit.

Hopefully, you’ll all see the obvious flaw in this question.

Dawkins first put the question to the science teacher who, after some awkward silence, had to admit she didn’t know. A science teacher, teaching evolution couldn’t answer this simple question! How the fuck is this bitch a teacher?!

Dawkins then went on to explain that we didn’t evolve from chimps but from a common ancestor and the programme moved on.

But this fucking stuck with me. I mean, despite the whole philosophical issue of faith-based education, despite the fact that if even a single school is indoctrinating children to believe a holy book as evidence above actual scientific fact*, what is really fucking worrying is that a science teacher obviously has a weaker grasp of the theory of evolution than a man on a three-day bender does on his pint pot!

How is this fucking possible? Seriously? People like this should only be allowed to cook for themselves under supervision let alone ‘educate’ someone in their formative years by filling their head with fucking detritus!

I can’t help wondering how many students attend this school and others like it. Whether mulsim, christian, jewish – I couldn’t give a fuck – any educational institution that claims to instruct pupils and let them make up their own mind but where 100% of the students come out of the class claiming to ‘know’ that intelligent design is correct needs to be fucking abolished. Then hopefully, in the same way that people are ‘de-programmed’ when saved from some crackpot cult, we can save some of these poor little bastards.

I can only hope that the reason these kids come out professing to believe in intelligent design is because they know there’d be dire consequences from these ‘teachers’ who claim to let them make up their own minds.

* For those uneducated and yet argumentative: Yes it is fact. Evolution is proven. The Theory of Evolution is natural selection. In other words; the theory that attempts to explain how evolution works.