“rejected after failing”

First one of these in ages. What to say?

I’ve done things.

I do things now.

I thought it about time considering I’m older than Évariste Galois ever was. Dead at 20. The only mathematician I’ve ever known who’s died in a duel.

I didn’t know him really to be honest. Just his Wikipedia page, which his pretty eventful. Suicidal father; a stormant of the the Bastille; a child genius at numbers and doing things with them; dying in romantic contest with a comrade in revolution.

By 20, I think I’d realised I’d never even play for Stenhousemuir.

 

The last few months have been better though. I got a trial at Stirling Albion (rejected after failing a medical) and so started running a comedy night and things. It’s been fun. I’ll try recount some more things soon.

I’m mainly writing this to fill some time before Would I Lie To You with Rob Brydon. Words haven’t come from my hands in a while, and it was about time. An urge, before some hilarious comedy panel banter. Possibly with some Fern woman or something.

I’ll enjoy myself.

 

 

 


“vomited on a situation”

This will be a short blog post raising a point about certain, specific coverage of a certain, specific situation, yet has relevance in a wider context as the what both the media see as newsworthy, and what the media thinks the public sees as newsworthy. And in turn, what how I perceive these perceptions, disagree with them, and then try to raise a hopefully valid point that will cause agreement hums of around 1.2 on the richter scale. Agreed? OK, let’s begin.

Watch this video.

And read this story from the BBC.

“A so called ‘polite robber’, has been filmed on CCTV holding up a petrol station in Seattle.

The robber, who appears to be armed with a gun, asks the cashier, “Could you do me a favour? Empty the till for me please and put it right here. I am robbing you sir.”

A man is currently being questioned about the offence by the police.”

Can you see some misplaced priorities here?

Of course you can, because you’re not an unfeeling zombie of a journalist out to create a story suitable for liking and linking and tweeting and lolling.

You’re a compassionate human being who, though of course entirely unaware of the full situation, can at least begin to not only observe, but perhaps even comprehend, the desperation of this frail, pathetic man, who, in his own words, has children to feed.

You may notice his unusual manner in approaching the situation – in that his words and tone are not aggressive, and he engages in some amount of pleasantries whilst he takes part in an action during the course of which every shake and stutter he makes indicates he regrets to the the fullest.

This is not ‘politeness’ though. What the BBC have done is, like a fly, vomited on a situation of some substance, to dissolve it down to a pathetic, but digestable, lump of laughable shit.

What would be the point in expanding the article to remark upon an awful situation that represents the human impact of wealth inequality and the horror of mass unemployment in a country where ‘social welfare’ makes half its population’s blood run cold with the thought that everyone has the most basic of rights to food, shelter and healthcare.

No, let’s keep our words short and free of empathy or relevance, and create some hilarious internet meme, where everyone can laugh about how nice that old man was, as he probably awaits sentence to spend time being polite in some miserable jail while his family carry on in poverty.

He was funny when he forced those words about feeding his children from his terrified mouth though? Wasn’t he?


“like Walt Disney leading the Borg”

I’ve failed miserably in keeping this daily (like a Christian), mainly as I have nothing interesting to write about. I’m a bore that way. Other people write my thoughts far more articulately than I do, so why bother?

As it is, I ended up in Dudley today.

I got there by train – a journey fraught with worry and fear concerning the train ticket I purchased last night, which happened to be a non-peak fare one for a Young Person. My journey was at 7.23am. A PEAK TIME!

What was I going to do if they didn’t let me on the train?

I’d miss my important meeting and not be able to write my report and be left with the £40 bill for the train journey to pay myself when I have fuck all money as it and then I’d have to explain to my boss I made a mistake and I’m awful at my job and and shouldn’t be allowed to go visit places like Dudley on my own, or indeed at all, and she’d explain to her boss how I’ve ruined a good product and pissed off potential clients and she’d tell the MD who’d look at a history of failure, mistakes and incompetence and have no choice but to fire me.

They let me on the train.

I liked the journey. I had been awake since 5.45am (I plan for things in the future thinking I’ll likely be dead by then so i won’t have to get up early – no such like) so I closed my eyes and let the Midlands roll past without a care.

I was talking to people in an NHS Direct institution about telehealth – which is quite a simple, nice idea of installing machines in people’s homes than can monitor the important health signs like blood pressure, heart-rate et al in people with chronic conditions so they don’t have to continually visit a GP, or not realise how they’re own health is looking, leading to an increased risk of being admitted to hospital.

I like this idea. I approve.

I was shown around by polished PR people, shined up to the eyeballs with glee and a passion to assimilate, like Walt Disney leading the Borg.

They offered biscuits and tea and egg wraps (egg wraps!?!?!). I accepted.

I talked to a man with COPD and diabetes who was attached to oxygen 24/7, and had been so for three years. He couldn’t walk or hear without aid. He loved his grandchildren.

I don’t really have a point there. Or in any of this. I’ve written it now though. And you’ve read it. We can’t change the fact. deal with it.

The realisation that a lot of people in this game are just as clueless as me also filled me with some joy today. Of my fellow journo sorts on this outing, only two looked above 25 (including the health editor of The Times, who looked at me like I was on idiot when I made a joke about a mound – “ooooh, look at me stuck behind my ivory paywall”) and none seemed any more clued up than I was on the rise of generic competition over the next few years, and the complete dismantling and building back together of a UK health system.

The only thing that gives me confidence is other people’s lack of knowledge.

That is what I learned today.


“shit hot diseases like breast cancer”

I had some leaves, lettuce, croutons, cheese and sauce for lunch today. It cost €15 ($22ish?). It was okay. It was the only meat-free thing on the menu.

I dined at the Hotel something something in Paris. Paid for by some business people who deal with healthcare professional databases and research, with a view to selling specified information to pharmaceutical companies so they can market their products to the most influential clinicians who can then be ‘brand ambassadors’ for dimazaponeova or whatever it’s called, leading to other (lesser?) clinicians wanting to use it too (and then maybe media organisations getting wind of it and demanding “WHY ARN@T OUR DOC SCUM USING IT TO GIVE THIS WOMAN EXTRA 2 MONTHS SHITTING IN A BED!!!” pressurising government organisations to with fast-track approval processes, with drugs coming to market before full-effectiveness is determined, or money is prioritised to purchase new mega-expensive treatments for shit hot diseases like breast cancer over treatment (and care/support!!!!) for other diseases, including those horrible chronic ones like Alzheimer’s and diabetes that can take decades of constant support, but no-one really seems to die from them all the time in films and things so nobody cares).

That was written for myself so I could understand it. And how pointless and amoral it is. I’ll never get over profiting off basic human rights. But that’s me!

And only me it seems in the world of smart suits, fast talk, engorged brains, €30 hamburgers with no chips and a menu with ONE vegetarian option, as I mumble my questions and shake hands that must somehow feel I’m a idiot out of my depth and hypocritically indignant in my moral outlook.

I looked good though. Tie, sweater vest, blue shirt. The works.

It was my first time on a Eurostar train too. The St Pancras departure lounger reminded me of Rigsby in 2001: A Space Odyssey, all low, modern seats with curves and patternless surfaces. My coffee was on expenses. It tasted the same.

Paris was not mine to explore though. By time and budget, I was confined to the Metro, the Gare du Nord and the hotel.

In a state of extreme cold and confusion though, desperately searching for an elusive rue (a bluffing boulevard?), I stumbled on my old friend General Koenig. We first met as I exited a bus two and a half years ago wondering what Paris was all about. He was a safe guide then. Shit now though. Making me 30 minutes late and blustered by wind. He’s changed.

It was a happy encounter in any case, as memories of the loveliest times of all came back, involving people and art and talking and 30 cent baguettes and things you know. Not indulging in sorbet in a glass while literally being told the biggest deals in pharma are made on a golf course.


“obese gentlemen are more prone to dying”

Juno in the background, concentrating on a screen.

The days are getting away from me like sanity from Charlie Sheen. Can’t keep track of them, not particularly wanting them around.

The world seems to be collapsing around me as well though as people take to the streets (those streets, eh, where would we be without them? Venice. That’s where. Question answered, problem solved) marching, shouting and standing still against unjust and ill-judged authority. All engaged with from a cold room on a bright screen.

I’ll try tomorrow though. My anger and outrage with Tory plans for NHS reform (entirely undemocratic and universally criticised as risky, unnecessary, too expensive and too vast by any medical association or authority worth a damn in the UK) is usurping most emotions at the moment. Approval goes up, here come the cuts. And the private firms driven by profits rather than any true sense that freedom from sickness and disability is a universal right.

And this flawed ideal that patient choice is the most important thing in healthcare, not making sure every health practice gives the same equally valid, quality care.  If I want a nice meal in a restaurant, I’ll let the chef fucking decide how best to cook it thank you.

Anyway, I bought some trousers today, from a charity shop. And again went through that thought process I always do of wondering why anyone would bother getting clothes from anywhere else. Anything affordable is inevitably sweat-shop produce, coming with the associated blood and guilt, and anything more expensive is, well, expensive. And worn by tossers who actually think fashion is somehow important.

I got some trousers that fitted though after the charity shop rigmarole – trying the 4 or 5 shops inevitably places next to each other (from British Heart Foundation to Scope to Cancer Research) – with an opener of the door for an elderly clientele in each location; a polite nod and smile to the assistant; then to the back of the shops where men’s things are. Men have to travel an extra 10ft minimum in each charity shop to find clothes. Is this what you wanted Pankurst? Is it?!?! Fucking bitch.

A flicking through of what’s on offer, approving the style, contemplating the size, holding next to my waist, being disappointed 4 stores in a row. I’ve lost weight in recent months and am down to a 34. You’d think this would be a nice normal size with lots of items available, but no. It seems the larger plus 40 sizes are most common in such stores – I assume because obese gentlemen are more prone to dying, and thus, their leftover belongings are quicker, more abundant turnaround. Come on normal sized people – get dying! I need me some clothes.

I got the trousers eventually. They are nice, and were under £4. I was happy.

That’s the end of my story.


Yet more factors

I’m watching X Factor again. The results this time. I won’t talk about it though. You can form your own opinions of the various haircuts on offer if you really care enough. Don’t let me do it for you.

However, I do ask that you recognise, understand and choose to follow my thoughts on the following.

You are now reading ‘the following’. Take notes.

Adverts. They have their uses – letting people know when what indie sensation’s album Edith Bowman would consider ‘stunning’; repeatedly encouraging the idea that attractive women are just great; and allowing quality artistic efforts to be distributed for some level of ‘no-cost’ to the end user.

But they are consistently something of a deadening evil, promoting consumption and mediocrity at both insane and inane levels – something I won’t go into as several hundred books and documentaries and articles have been made/written/recorded on the matter and my thoughts would be for nought.

Several recent examples have brought out some terrible, extra repugnance I did not know I had however, and I feel an urge to share a grievance.

I don’t mean Amanda Holden’s further explorations of all that is turgid, plastic, artless and vile – her career has been nothing but.

For it is John Goodman – star of the properly wonderful sitcom analysis of the dysfunctional US working-class, Roseanne, and other similarly excellent productions as Big Lebowski, Barton Fink and Monsters, Inc. (it’s great!) – who has shown an ugly side in recent project choices.

I of course mean Sky’s promotion for its HD Box (a magic box that makes everything look a little bit nicer I think, like a viewfinder) which can be viewed in all its monstrous (LOL!) glory below:

If you don’t want to watch it (I wouldn’t blame you) a suitable summary would be ‘John Goodman taking two fantastic previous works – the family sitcom father, and the hirsuit amiable monster – and combining both into a derivative tale of an alien family who find themselves on earth with the perception that SKY products are an essential part of a happy human life.

Not only content with needling all the value out of honed, beloved characters – attaching all merit and character traits associated with such roles to an alien being who has the power to travel through space, yet is impressed by a slightly clearer picture on a screen – he is doing so for SKY!

SKY!

A company, 38 per cent of which is owned by News International, a wholly owned subsidiary of News Corporation. As in Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation! The company at the forefront of commercial bias, and free market search for profits ABOVE ALL ELSE.

And millionaire Goodman is taking money to promote such a company, whilst simultaneously turning characters he did not even create into alien incompetents.

I was also surprised to hear well-known post-punk political protagonists Gang of Four’s Natural’s Not In It in an advert for something associated with video games – I forget what.

This is a song which opens with the lines “The problem of leisure/ What to do for pleasure/ Ideal love a new purchase/ A market of the senses” before extolling a set of verses and choruses that many would describe as anti-consumerist.

Yet it’s promoting an entirely unnecessary product.

I don’t really know how song rights are managed with regards to use in advertisements, so can’t comment too much further on a band allowing its work to be used in such a fashion.

This blog post has an interesting take on how the band may have come to such a conclusion to allow their work to be used in such a way – attracting new fans who like what they hear who then go on to listen to the song in full and appreciate the message and throw all Sony/Microsoft related products out their windows.

At least I think that’s what is meant to happen.

In any case, it’s nice to hear one of the greatest bands ever get a bit more exposure. And I’ll just assume if I ever spoke to whose decision it was, they’d still have integrity after some light questioning.

I’ll leave you with one more advert – and one that is just amusing in its influence.

It is for discount clothes shack, Matalan (the Cheryl Cole to Cher Lloyd’s Primark) and involves two young children, of unspecified but clearly awkward relationship, in a snow-covered yard, all the time clearly defining themselves as separate from a local population that one can only assume neither appreciates or trusts them.

Basically, it’s Let The Right One In but with a less extortionate costume budget. And less death. The same amount of people who should die though. Enjoy!


Factors

X Factor’s taking a commercial break right now. Matt Cardle’s just done whatever he does and made Dannii Minogue cry, or leak or something. Her ducts are exploding.

It’s compulsive viewing though. There are four fireworks displays fully viewable from the 14th floor of this tower block. I know this as I live there. I’m here at this moment in fact.

And while I could indulge in such free, if fleeting entertainment, taking joy in the novelty of such firey delights in the relative comfort of this living room, complete with cardboard furniture and aromas of a party now two weeks’ old, I choose not to.

For I prefer the extravagant, ridiculousness of this singing show, now so subversively enjoyed, my Twitter stream becomes a highlight of the week.

And it’s mainly because of Wagner. Seriously, just watch him. He’s a Brazilian marv! A cross between Blanka, Andy Kaufman and a lion. And more terrifying than all three. Together. Coming at you with their special attacks.

He’s better than any rocket or banger.

I now want Wagner’s face to be materialised in the decaying sparks visible in the black night sky. It won’t happen. Someone photoshop it!

But yes, Wagner makes it all worthwhile. Though there is one act I take genuine delight in, in a way that they are talented and exciting in a purely musical sense.

I’m speaking about Cher of course (not that one). For she’s 17 and ‘of the moment’ and all so shiney in the eyes of execs, but she can sing and she’s interesting and she clearly knows that Dannii Minogue is a moron, which is wonderful. I’ve only recently come across her audition footage too (after missing out on all the introductory stages) where you can see a spark devoid from the non-faces of Matt Cardle, that Rebecca person and the rest of the tedious ones I forget so easily. Treyk. Is that one?

I didn’t mean to write about X Factor. I was going to discuss important things like the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence having its powers for deciding what drugs are available on the NHS taken away by a moronic coalition government and other things about work and life and comedy and music.

I’ve lived here for over a month. I said I’d read so much more and write so much more when I was in a place where I was comfortable and happy, but it’s struggling to come out so far. I blame having the internet back in my life after a few months absence. There’s been a lot to catch up on – mainly videos of cats flushing toilets, and googling Mae Whitman. Definitely not cut out for NaNoWriMo anyhow. I’ll work out something.

Also, Battersea Park is a bloody nice place to go too on a weekend when I should be advancing my mental capacities. The swimbling pool distracts too.

Anyway, I was meant to complain about a couple of advertisements too. Mainly ones that involve beloved figures selling their dignity. I’ll save that for tomorrow though. Be excited!