The internet is a wondrous thing. Not only has it completely transformed communication but it has managed to shrink geographical proximity to irrelevance. Alas, like all good things it doesn’t come without a health warning. It takes the human mind approximately 7 seconds to make a judgement or a decision and a further 11.7 seconds to write something unpleasant or abusive.
The strangest thing is that many people feel as if the anonymity offered by the Internet protects them from the human rules that govern our interactions. It doesn’t. All a predilection to attacking people online under the cover of anonymity proves is that you, in fact, are a massive arse.
The fact is that science has proven that it takes a great deal more time to write something unpleasant than to make a judgement based on information. This means that the unpleasant vitriol spewed by many online has nothing to do with human emotion and everything to do with callousness.
There are some things in life that are deserving of our wrath. Not the person whose perspective or sexuality differs from yours. Nor the person that looks differently. But for those actions that cause misery and suffering for the assorted creatures that are stuck on our floating rock.
Have you ever noticed how the truly arrogant souls amongst us do not suffer from vertigo? It’s a miracle of science, or perhaps the omnipotent omnipresent deity that nobody who isn’t mental has ever met. I’m quite amazed that they can see anything but darkness, considering their heads are so far up their own arses that they can taste yesterdays dinner.
You may be wondering what’s got my goat. Nothing. I don’t have a goat. What I do have is a chip on my shoulder. But then I’ve always been a messy eater. Truly I am angry. I hardly notice the difference anymore because I feel exactly the same way every single day. I am angry at what our world has become, about what people have become and most of all I am angry about the way in which we admire others.
To borrow a phrase from another writer, we are the Pepsi generation. The generation of brands before bands, of product before integrity, we have fully embraced the concept of manyana to match the death of human ambition. And yet still we raise people up on pedestals and worship at their feet. All the while we are waiting for them to fall. When they do, we cause a stampede as we run over their bodies, each footfall carefully aimed and we tear at their carcasses without every stopping to ask ourselves what the fuck are we doing? Never once do we ask ourselves why we need heroes? Deep down we know that by proving that our heroes are fallible, we somehow excuse our own shortcomings. That if someone more intelligent, attractive and/or richer than you can’t resist stumbling down the local park and performing sex acts on homeless vagrants how could anyone expect you to? If some middle-aged actor can’t turn down a big mac, how could you? If some talented musician ends their own life because they were unhappy, how unhappy must you be with your lot in life.
We embrace weakness. We celebrate it. It comforts us, and wraps us in a warm blanket of our own shortcomings, where we can lay immobile without ever feeling the compulsion to try. We have become obsessed with protecting our children from failure. Failure has become a dirty word, one which we all do our level best to avoid. And we are all well aware of what the best strategy is, after all, how could anyone fail at anything, if they never ever try…
Recently I posted the following tweet on Twitter
The reason I wrote such a thought was not because of a linguistic question. It was because right now I am waiting on a number of things. My waiting list is longer than an Orangutan’s arms. I hope the waiting ends soon so I can shout from the rooftops. Instead I am just bubbling with frustration.
This waiting experience, made me think about waiting in general. As I turned on my computer and waited for it to load, and then waited for chrome to open, and then waited for the webpage to load and then waited for the words to form in my brain and waited for my fingers to get to work I realised that waiting is unavoidable. We wait for thousands of different things each and every day. Whether it be traffic lights, phone calls, food to cook, dogs to crap, snow to melt, to get paid and to get laid. It is impossible to go twenty-four hours without having to wait for anything.
The veracity of this truth is unyielding. And yet when people show the tiniest hint of impatience, rather than sympathize, we throw meaningless expressions at them. We push this fantasy that a man of action can do anything he wants. Carpe diem unless someone is walking on the pedestrian crossing, or they have to pick up the kids from school, or if it’s the day before payday. Time and tide wait for no man, but man waits for just about everything else.
The cold truth of the matter is that destiny is not in our hands. Destiny is the result of many other factors. I challenge each and every one of you to time how long you spend waiting for things for a whole day. Or even count the number of times you will find yourself waiting for something. You will be unpleasantly surprised. Next time someone says to you that patience is the virtue of a saint, punch them in the face. Or if you are not of violent disposition lean close to them and whisper ‘Merda taurorum animas conturbit’.
Those of you that have been stopping by my blog for over a year may well remember that I am not a big fan of New Year’s Eve. In fact I detest it. It’s almost certainly the one party each year which is inevitably shit, that’s why this year I shall be avoiding New Year’s Eve parties like pandas avoid sex. I don’t wish to waffle on too much about the matter as I laid out my position last year in a post entitled ‘New Year’s Evil’. Instead I wish to share a few thoughts on New Year’s resolutions.
A resolution by definition, is a decision taken to do, or not to do something over the next calendar year. The vast majority of unimaginative cretins are convinced that the only path to self-improvement is to disallow themselves from doing something they enjoy. The usual suspects almost always relate to giving something up. Usually smoking, drinking, eating, self-fellating, being irritating, breathing, wheezing, sneezing and stranger pleasing. It’s as if the world has mistaken New Year’s resolutions for the entry requirements to a monastery. And that dear friends is why the vast majority of people fail miserably in their quest for pointless self-improvement.
What most resolution makers fail to realise is that at heart the vast majority of human beings are hedonists, which means that the hardest things to stop doing are things which bring you pleasure. By choosing such opus dei-like resolutions you are choosing the path to failure. It’s like going to the casino and gambling to lose. The most frustrating thing of all is the fact that people are so often blind to the fact that a resolution is something that you can decide to do. It does not have to involve quitting something, it can involve starting something. Common sense dictates that the most succesful resolutions are made by those people who actually choose to do something they will enjoy.
It’s with those thoughts in mind that I have decided to join in and make a few resolutions for myself:
- Every time I exit an occupied lift I will try to leave a fart behind.
- Every time I receive poor service, I shall complain. Not only that, I shall enjoy complaining.
- In 2013 I will finish my next book, receive suitable acclaim for my new project, and try something so brave that I will require bollocks the size of Saturn’s moons to pull it off.
- And lastly. Over the next year, I shall have more fun that I did in the last one.
P.S. If anyone has their own resolutions feel free to share them in the comments below. That way we can check back in a years time and see how we fared. Good luck to you all. Oh and Happy New Year.
thefreedictionary.com defines ignorance as ‘The condition of being uneducated, unaware, or uninformed’ As the children of the information age, it’s pretty bloody difficult to be all three. Yet some of us inevitably are. And mostly it has one root cause. Plain stupidity.
This may well be the understatement of the decade, but war habitually brings out the arsehole in people. I am not talking about the people out on the killing fields, instead I am talking about those sitting home behind their computer screens that like to frequently enlighten the masses by sharing their opinion on which side holds the moral high ground. It both amuses me and infuriates as me as I can not think of a better way to demonstrate how fucking stupid a person can be. A war involves two groups firing bullets and projectiles in an effort to kill each other. In a sense it is legislated murder. Murder is in all cultures, the most abhorrent sin you can commit. Any set of circumstances which involves a human trying to murder another human is devoid of moral high ground. There is no right side.
Another example, which I have also touched upon in my post entitled ‘Ignorami’, is the belief in objective reporting. It does not exist in the journalistic stratosphere. It also affects business and scientific reports, product and film reviews and even your friends opinions about you. It is only possible to be truly objective about an issue if you really don’t care about it. The reality is that we only accept this when it suits us.
So many of the problems which our civilisation has faced have been brought about by one idiotic idea, absolute truth. The idea that there is only one truth out there which is correct. One God, one explanation, one reality. The fact is that our belief in an absolute truth frequently exposes us as lunatics. Truth is only ever subjective, truth is only formed following an assessment of what you know, and you never know everything about anything.
In essence what I am trying to say to you is that in my opinion, one of the greatest causes of ignorance is a lack of common sense. I am nor better educated, more aware or better informed than the vast majority of the people on this planet. Nor am I completely objective, nor am I writing the absolute truth. After all, I have an agenda. I want every person on the planet to think more.