That’s a huge piece of bread if you ask me…
…and I don’t make much of the hipster vitamins but at least no rabbits were harmed.
I just had an air guitar moment. It was to In Motion Pt 2 by The Gathering. Thing is I was really enjoying myself and then I thought “OMG! Someone might see” so I stopped. Thing is I didn’t think “OMG! Someone might see” because I’m sat somewhere public with millions of people passing by. Nor did I think “OMG! Someone might see” because I’m sat in a place someone might catch me in the act. No! I thought “OMG! Someone might see me” because after 30 odd years I still think there might be a hidden camera somewhere.
Historically, for me, this began before CCTV became as wide spread as it is in the UK. Longer term readers might recall my telling of what my eldest brother said to me on my first day in school that being “You had best be on your best behaviour because I have hidden cameras about”.
That really set me up for life.
Followed by bumping into Mrs Thingie (friend of my nans) on the Isle of Man at the age of 10 and often having my mum confront me about things and events that there was no way that she could have witnessed (only later to find out one of her spies had seen me and told her everything).
This all proved to be the grounds of my really good behaviour. I’ve never stabbed anyone, never robbed anything (apart from that little ring of rubber that you attach face masks to snorkels with from a Hypermarché in France) , even when picking my nose I make sure nobody can see me. So not being an exhibitionist as such I conform and do as little to embarrass, offend or upset as I can incase somebody is watching or sees.
Totally unfounded I know. I know that people have got better things to do with their time than scrutinise my every move and laugh at (note…I said at not with) me doing air guitar or whatever. I know that really nobody could careless and I won’t end up plastered all over the Sunday tabloids as being “That wanker that did the air guitar” or whatever it is I’m doing. But in the UK today, what seemed like an unlikely event in the 1970’s, CCTV and hidden cameras are everywhere. I’m not being paranoid or weird or owt…THEY ARE!! Just cos you can’t see them doesn’t mean they’re not there.
Ok they might not be there. But there is always the chance that they might be, so I adapt my behaviour accordingly. Likewise, being the person that monitors the internet and computer usage of the students here makes me more paranoid. WHO IS WATCHING ME? Probably you or the CIA. Not that I care….
So I thought am I alone in thinking this….
For some time now I have been fascinated by the origins of surnames (or last names if you want to be all modern and right on). My own surname Gnomepants stems from the Greek Gnomos Pantalonkikos which is a trade that was popular in ancient Greece. People would flock to ancient Athens and Crete to visit the numerous Gnomos Pantalonkikos and inspect their handicrafts. I think Plato said “My Gods! The Gnomos Pantalonkikos in my street is the best!”. At one time one of my ancestors would have been a Gnomos Pantalonkikos and we all know how important they were to the development of civilisation.
So likewise when I come across unusual names I like to look them up (on google & wikipedia) in an effort to locate their origins. Today, I was dealing with a person that goes by the name of Spink. Now Spink is an unusual name from my perspective. I don’t know you might know lots of Spinks, in which case it won’t be all that unusual to you. I know several people called Grobinglops which is quite common though some would argue that they don’t know anyone called Grobinglops and they might find the name Grobinglops unusual. But anyway….that’s by the by. So I look them up and I think “oooh I wonder what their ancestors must have done. So for example someone called Colin Computersalesman would obviously have descended from a prominent Barrel maker. Likewise David Butcher would have been descended from a butcher, Barry Bumscrape – a tramp and Simon Quantumphysicist would most likely have been a quantity surveyor. You get the idea don’t you. Maybe you have a occupational surname too….I know that the likes of Sean Bean would be descended from a bean (maybe he was planted and grew) and Gordon Honeycomb would more than likely have been related to some ancient piece of a bee hive or something.
You get what I’m on about. So I looked up Spink on Wikipedia and I learnt a new thing. So I thought I would share that with you. According to Wikipedia (and yes I know that contrary to popular belief Wikipedia is not 100% reliable) a spink is the formal name for human meat! So at one time this Spink person would have come from a family of food. I can imagine them sitting in the tribal village during the harsh winter months.
Mr Chieftan – We’re so cold. All the meat and food has been eaten. What shall we do?
Mr Advisor – Well why not have a reserve of meat in the village. Fresh meat. How about that family over there? They worked hard in the fields this summer so they’re all nice and muscley. No sinew or fat on them. We could eat them!
Mr Chieftan – Who the Spinks? Well yes! I don’t like the way they look at me anyway
And so it happened, the villagers were eaten and a name gained a meaning.
So I’m driving home from work and I’m listening to the wireless and the Home service Radio 4.
The programme being broadcast was about a newspaper editor from Zimbabwe and how he is adapting to life as an asylum seeker in the UK. One of the main differences, he pointed out, between Harare and the UK was how people didn’t seem to talk to each other on public transport.
Now surprisingly, this guy lives in Leeds which is a good deal away from London where I believe such practices as ignoring ones fellow passengers is common place. It kind of shocked me and my Northern mind set because I’d always thought of the south as being a bit….well you know….”insular” when it comes to talking to complete strangers. Indeed, I’m quite happy to sit there with my earphones in (sometimes without anything attached at the other end) to avoid the weirdo on the bus or being assailed by some elderly person wanting to tell me about their gout.
And that got me thinking.
Sometimes I don’t mind talking to complete strangers on the bus or in the pub or where ever. Sometimes it’s nice to get chatting about things. Why don’t we do it more often? What stops us? Fear of a stabbing? Fear of being converted into some mind numbed zombie from a Nigel Kneale story? Wasps?
I think the main reason for our inherent phobia of talking to people on public transport is fear of extreme views. Nobody likes to be trapped by someone spouting vitriolic hate or outlandish views. A case in point could be the time when Jim and I went to the Brewery Tap at the Cains Brewery in Liverpool.
We got chatting to a seemingly jovial chap at the bar. He seemed ok, typical of the populace of the city. Friendly banter, John Lennon anecdotes, Billy Butleresque memories. However, the chat swiftly switched from idle scouse chit chatty banter to a strong antisemitic nationalist rant where one would have expected the gentleman to start waving his arm about a la Hitler at the Nuremberg Rally.
Then another case in point is the guy who once cornered me on the 78 and started talking about how the government controls the populace through the covert use of prescription medication.
So yeah, I can understand that people don’t really want to talk to each other on the bus for those reasons in illustration. But surely not everyone is like that. It seems people’s first reaction to someone talking to them on the bus or train or in the pub is one of suspicion and distrust.
Who is this weird person? How dare they talk to me? Are they going to knife me? Might they not try to bum me? Or maybe stick me in a dark cellar where I will be forced to eat marmite and parsnips until the day I die?
I know I’m not likely to force anyone into eating parsnips or marmite. I don’t even have a cellar. I suppose that coupled with the fear of being attacked by marmite wielding weirdos comes the fear that they themselves would be labelled a weirdo. Fear, as they say in Dune, is the mind killer.
Then I thought, what is needed is a kind of badge system. Like say a green badge for “I’m happy to talk to anyone” and a red badge for “Fuck off weirdo”. So those with green badges can sit and yatter away to their hearts content and the red badge wearers can scowl and frown and listen to their music or whatever without interruption. It could even be a registered thing so that should you like talking to someone then you take down the number on the badge and look them up on the internet when you get home or what ever.
There could also be a voting system like say badge wearer #473083 is very interesting and like prawns so people who like to talk about prawns (there are a lot of people that do) can look out for #473083 on their travels. Furthermore, one might get talking to #23932 and find out they are one of those religious zealot types that want to turn everything into some discussion about Jesus or whatever. You know, like :-
Person #48909823 – “So do you like tea?”
Person #23932 – “I do. In fact in the book of Ba’at chapter 30 it says ‘And the lord didst partake in tea and verily there was much rejoicing’. I like tea almost as much as I like Jesus. Jesus can be your friend. Oh yes he can. Do you know Jesus? He is your friend. He is you know.”
So the person #48909823 could go and say person #23932 likes to turn everything you talk about into something about Jesus and then people who prefer to talk about Jesus all the time can talk happily to #23932 while those that don’t can talk to whoever else.
What do you think?
Of course such a scheme would require some more thinking out. But I reckon it would work well. Especially with the technology of the day.
This is, of course a giant leap to make in a society which we need to make happier and better. I suppose we can make a start by chatting, at least once a day, to a complete stranger. Just be nice. Don’t say anything controversial or boring. Just something brief, engaging and relevant to your situation. Say it with a smile rather than a frown. Or perhaps just say “Hey, Do you know Stegzy Gnomepants? He writes on the intarwebz”
Next time I will tell you more about how we can make the world a better place.
Bloody hippies. Sitting there in their kaftans with their long hair and beards, weaving yogurts and floating vaginas. Why can’t they be pissed off and angry like everyone else.
Yes. Why not? I mean its such a lovely world isn’t it. People hating each other, blaming each other, being nasty to each other and complaining about anything to anybody who will listen and then complaining further when people don’t listen.
We have just had elections. Elections where every person who is angry with the current state of affairs in Europe and the UK took out their frustrations on the government by either not voting or by voting for far right loons. Great job! I’m sure we’ll laugh about it when jackbooted fucktards come a knocking to evict us from our homes for none compliance.
Of course there is a saying. Empty vessels make the most noise. Indeed, this saying when applied to the current political landscape seems to ring true. Furthermore, this saying applies across all aspects of society. Just look at any newspaper (or news website) and you’ll read about how bad things are. How people in power are horrid. How people who do things do things selfishly or for the rubbing of their own ego, gain and gratification.
But what’s the one thing you don’t read about?
People doing good things.
Years ago, and I think I’ve already written about this before, people with lots and lots of money would look about and say:
“Fuck me, I have so much money from building railways/transporting slaves/eating jam <delete as applicable> I don’t know what to do with it!”
Then, armed with wads of cash they would do good things like building churches, hospitals, libraries, club houses or starting mutual societies and cooperatives. Benevolence. Generosity. All for eternal recognition.
In the UK at least, one only has to take a trip into their nearest town and find monuments to people who have donated or sacrificed something for the benefit of others. Did people moan about that then I wonder? Did the newspapers of the time bemoan the fact that some great benefactor donated land for use as a municipal park? Did people tut and mutter about it? Surely that land would be better used as a factory? Maybe? Who knows? I can’t be arsed to do the research but I imagine it wasn’t like that.
These days, being nasty gets you fame. Being awful and frightful gets you instant celebrity status, or so it seems. To me it seems that being awful and frightful is de rigueur . Think about it, companies don’t have compliments departments do they? Why is this? It is because there is more benefit in providing a shit service and employing people who spend all their day depleting their self-worth levels by listening to people blame them personally for the lack of service or whatever. I know, I used to be one of those employees.
So how can we turn the world into a better place? How can I get people to be nicer to each other? How can I get recognition for good deeds done to humanity?
You’ll just have to come back later and read all about it.
Sometimes I can’t help feeling singled out.
Of course I know it’s nonsense but I like to think that the reason some things happen is because of a greater conspiracy. One involving the “Powers that be” be that the illuminati, the Government, MI5, Tescos, the man in the post office that looked like Elvis or whom-so-ever is in favour this week and Me. Of course, if you know me well you’ll know I really dont believe half the shit I spout but I gain great pleasure from trying to convince people that the fruits of my overactive imagination are real. Again those that know me well join in and make even more outlandish suggestions. Those that don’t look at me bewildered, confused and even concerned for my mental well being. But I assure you as I said, most of the conspiracy stuff is utter bollocks and I know it.
Anyway, today I mentioned in a comment on one of poggs‘ posts about buses how whenever I’m waiting for a bus none will show yet when Im not you cant move for the buggers. Which made me think. I’ve never really written about this side to me. Ok some people love it. Of course others hate it (probably because they think I really do believe the shite I spout) some even become hostile, which I find sad.
So. After that windfilled explanation on with the show….Here for your delight and mind to chew over, are how they are trying to undermine me….why? I haven’t a clue….possibly because Im the real heir to the throne….
1. When I’m waiting for a bus or train :-
2. I’ll find some food/hair product I really like. Then mysteriously (like almost over night) it will disappear from the shop shelves. An example of this is Heinz Pepperoni Pizza. Yumtastic. Now you cant find them for love nor money.
3. I’ll find a restaurant that does really good quality food with really excellent service. When I take others to impress them the service is shite, the food substandard or its closed or changed management.
4. When in a rush I’ll always end up behind Mr “Slow and considerate” and in front of Mr “Im in a rush get a move on you twat”
5. Some fucker will go into my bag and discharge the battery on my MP3 Player the day I need to listen to it. The same fucker will do the same to my mobile phone when I’ve not got my charger.
6. Whenever I’m waiting for an important piece of mail. The postman (who is in the employ of the “sinister” organisation behind my persecution) will hold on to the post or accidently lose it on purpose.
7. If I get excited over a particular TV listing, like so excited I cant wait and am bubbling with anticipation like a bottle of Grand Prix Mumm
8. If I get into a TV serial:-
9. When I really fancy a cup of tea, a bowl of cornflakes or something milk involved, sinister agents raid my fridge or turn any milk in it sour.
10. The expensive electrical gadget I covet for months turns out to be a turkey when I finally get the thing. Either that or I’ll buy it and a week later it’ll be like 50p for 3.
There are more….but they’ve turned the brain rays onto me again and I can’t remember what they are….
This post originally appeared in May 2005 on Livejournal. It has been reposted here for new audiences. When they arrive. One day….perhaps….
Well, the day is at hand. Tomorrow is election day and I am still to receive any form of communication (other than the tweets from Emma Collins) from any of the candidates running tomorrow.
I was unable to write profiles on the Liberal Democrat candidate or the Trade Unionist. Purely because I couldn’t find anything out about them. They too, like the Labour candidate, appear to not want to be elected and are happy to fritter away their deposit on a whim.
I suppose it’s like betting on horses or entering the National Lottery. Only with a higher stake.
It’s a sorry state of affairs when the candidates in the local area just aren’t bothered about promoting their cause. It’s a sorry state of affairs when potentially good candidates give up before they’ve even started the race.
Tomorrow I will vote in two elections. The local and the European. I know nothing about any of the candidates other than bold brags about how they are going to stand up. Well I’ve got news. I’m going to stand up.
None of you candidates are worth the lives of the thousands of soldiers who died in the Great War 100 years ago. Not one of you. You should be ashamed and you are an affront to democracy. No wonder that the youth are disconnected from politics. No wonder fascist groups are on the rise in the UK and EU. It is even no wonder great minds and thinkers are leaving this country for other more enlightened parts of the world. When people like you are all the people have to select as their voice once every few years. Prove me wrong. Come canvassing in Norton tomorrow. I’m in all day. Come and tell me why I should vote for you. Contact me via this blog, twitter or where ever. I’ll meet you. Convince me you are doing this for your own beliefs and not some misguided attempt at getting your name on a park bench when you die.
And so, to you dear reader, all I can urge you to do tomorrow is vote. Vote for the candidate you feel is worthy of the job of representing you in the European parliament. Vote for the candidate who you feel will do the best for your local area. Remember their promises and, if they default on them, use your greatest weapon against them to bring shame upon them. Your democratic vote and your freedom of speech.
While, of course, you still have them.
Florida women take on culture and stuff.
Walks with a Westie in a beautiful county
Going undercover to investigate the Lynchian Mysteries.
Emotions as messy as my hair.