What the horizon brings…

hmmmSo they say blogging is dead. I don’t know why, but they do. This is not a particularly good fact to learn when one is just starting out in the endeavour of blogging. Of course, if every blogger is like me then this fact is perfectly understandable. After strangely waking up at 8am on a Sunday, which is a very unusual occurrence, the  day has passed me by without little activity. Except for my continuous mental reminders that “I should probably write some more of my blog, since I haven’t written on it for a while and I have no excuse not to, now I’ve finished essays and am just blobbing around,” and the occasional cup of tea, snack and various other miscellaneous activities, I have done not much else, as usual. Basking in the feeling of relief that completed essays bring, it is only now, in my opinion, writing this blog post, that I am doing an important task. After all, it’s out there to be judged by people like yourself.

Yes, this one’s more life and times reflective drivel, I’m afraid, since life seems to be happily flowing forward quickly and easily without obstruction or particular phases of excitement, at the moment. Once again, it is nearly the end of the term, essays are finished early, Easter break is on it’s way, and I’m still longing for the long warm summer, in which I can finally shake off the noose of this marvellous student financial deprivation. But for this to happen, I have to work. Which is the cruel crushing irony. Rather than taking a well earned break (of course) over Easter I will – most likely – be working to pay for the overdraft I’ve delved into this term and to pay for the car insurance renewal, which, happily, is not bound to be quite so astronomical this time, just maybe atmospheric. It never bl*ody ends. My dreams for genuine prolonged periods of doing bugger-all seem to still be beyond the horizon yet… Even far off are the realisation of my dreams of attending music festivals for a weekend or so and adventurous UK road trips…

Sunset horizon

A sweet horizon at sunset. The only interesting and relevant image I could find for my blog.

It’s not all boring and arbitrary though. Fortunately this week I’ve had some sort of guidance about which direction I should head in to that vast, mysterious and bright horizon. For a long time I’ve been interested in a few main ‘fields,’ if you like, including motoring, aviation, and as you’d expect, writing. After only half an hour of official ‘careers advice,’ I had officially come to the conclusion that writing was the way forward to somehow indulge in all my interests, precisely how that indulgence will manifest itself is another thing. So, that’s good, I suppose.

Sigh. I realise how I’ve literally just typed out my memory recollection and endless thought streams, hammering my laptop keyboard mercilessly. How boring. But life goes on.

Well, since it is now pretty much official that I should take up writing in some form or another at some point in my life, I will say I haven’t forgotten about that short story I intended to finish five weeks ago. If I manage to bring myself to not do ‘nothing’ this week, I will have a modest crack at finishing it, at some point. Rest assured, you will know if I do, most likely.

So, my first lesson about writing learnt today: find some genuinely interesting material to write about.  Let’s hope I do for next time, hey? So much for keeping blogging alive.

Nevertheless, now to indulge in my passion for motoring. Bring on Top Gear, the only interesting event on my student Sunday nights.

Laters all.

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Excitement and apathy

Crikey, it’s been a while since I last wrote, a whole month in fact. Apologies to those who faithfully follow my blog (haha), I’m sure you’ve been eagerly pining for my return.

Well, this is only a quick one, I’m afraid. I won’t do you the injustice of not explaining my absence though. My reasons are fairly pathetic, ironic, or valid, depending on who you are. Basically it is that time of the term again where essays need to be written. Those arseholes of essays. The use of the not-so-harsh-as-one-that-might-have-been word ‘arseholes’ there might have been because I was seeking a word better tuned to my new found love-hate relationship with the relentlessly merciless intellectual enlightenment form. Yes, I did just imply I don’t actually have too great a problem with essay writing. Why? It isn’t just because the only thrills in my life at the moment are looking forward to the time when the central heating comes on, or when I discover a half-drunk stale Fosters buried in the fridge. Although I am currently writing two four-thousand word essays at a time, which might initially sound like an extraordinary act of insanity, I promise I haven’t resorted to jumping from a fifth storey window or drunkenly crashing my car into a lake yet. This is because I have worked out an ingenious and highly efficient system to in fact minimise the impact essay writing has on my life. Because after all, I’m so busy all the time, being a student and all.

I am going to bore you with the details, since I am ironically procrastinating writing essays today. Ha. According to my somewhat limited mathematical skills, I have calculated that if I start writing a month before the deadline I only need to write 133 words per essay per day. This means I can ramble and bullsh*t for all of about half an hour (it does take that long to write that many words thanks to having to sift through piles of text to try and find some random quote from some radical intellectual which instantly makes personal arguments completely valid, no matter how much other bullsh*t they contain) and then continue on with my life. As it happens, I normally average more than this per day, meaning I have nearly finished both essays, some twenty days before the deadline. Yesss.

Despite this, this time around I have picked questions which I actually find more stimulating than watching anti-climb paint dry. For one module, I am writing about people who write about writing itself, which, after five minutes or so, makes my head explode. For the other, I am writing about the butch-ness of Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) in the Alien films. At least with regards to her nearly being semi-naked and waltzing around shooting phallic sadistic aliens with massive guns in the first two films, nearly makes something else explode. Say no more.

I can see this is quickly becoming a not-quick post, but I’m not going to go back and edit it or delete bits, because, quite frankly, you should be interested in every aspect of my massively exciting life. With regards to the short story, I will admit it has rather taken a place on the back burner, writing 266 academic words of an essay a day takes a phenomenal toll on one. It will, inevitably be released, and it will, inevitably, no matter how much time I end up spending on it, be utter rubbish.

Anyways, there’s not much more to say… of course, having about -£500 in the bank, I don’t have much else going on, although last Friday night, of which I mostly cannot remember, must have been a particularly exciting night, because on Saturday  I awoke in an incredibly awkward contorted position and aching in places I never even knew could ache.

Perhaps I should go back to watching anti-climb paint dry after all.

When something next happens in my hectic and chaotic life, you’ll be the first to know.

Peace.

Same difference

Time-warpThat’s it. All done and dusted for another year. Well, almost.

I say this because I have just achieved the word limit on my essay, meaning, no matter how much of an irrelevant, pointless, unreadable, off-on-a-tangent laborious example of turd-quality drivel it is, it’s done. Yes. I am pleased with that. Chuffed, in fact. As I have stated before essays are the bane of my life at present. But how I ever thought I wouldn’t need to write at least one whilst at University studying for an English Literature degree I have no idea.  Probably because I’m a tad nuts.

All that’s left to do is polish it off and upload it, but using my previous description, you can’t polish a turd, so yes, I am done with University work this year. And according to the chronological order into which various periods of ‘parts’ of my life fall, this means I’m basically done with this year too. And what a year: I finished my first year at Uni’, and started my second; had some utter cretin write off my first car; nearly killed my cretin self and at the same time crashed my first car myself, bought my second car (which is exactly the same as the first one); landed myself a far better job than the completely cack one I had for three years from which I earnt almost £13.76 in total; started renting a house for the first time; learnt that those intriguing machines stuffed into walls of banks don’t actually give out an endless stream of free crumpled paper, and that month old sweet and sour sauce smells exactly like dark chocolate, but God it does not also taste like it. At all.

An eventful year then, I hear you state. Yes, I reply, yes indeed.

I also turned twenty years of age, which I guess is also vaguely important. Sometimes I remember that I’m no longer a teenager and when I randomly remember I think “oh yeah, I’m twenty.”  It may be a knackered-as-Grandad old cliché but you do really never know what’s around the corner, literally sometimes. If I was to be serious, though, one thing I have definitely been educated on this year, relevant above most other things (except that farting in the bath after a curry is basically suicidal) is that thing we call life really is what we make it, and the gap between life and death really is as thin as is short the story of Ann Widdecombe’s sex life.

Drunk Santa

Me. On January the 1st 2012, 2pm. Beautiful.

Well, all that aside, I am looking forward to acquiring a few stone over Christmas, loosing a few thousand brain-cells through getting “merry” and a few hundred-thousand more through the effects of being utterly gazeboed. In addition, although I’ve been enlightened by an almanacs’ worth of stuff this year, making me a wise old white-haired wizard compared to me a year ago, I intend to leave this year exactly the same way I entered it: very very out of my mind and very off my face.

What happened to opinions?

My free speech is not negotiable

First and foremost, it’s the first of December, so pinch punch and Merry Christmas in advance. Second and next foremost, if you say TLDR to this then so be it. It’s just another rant.

There are certain people who, no matter what, just make you feel good, make you laugh, and forget all the cantankerous deliberately obnoxious awkward twats who try their hardest to make you want to punch them right in the middle of the face. Then there are those pleasures in life that nothing else compares to. Except better pleasures. But those things that make you go ‘ahhhhh, this is the life’ when all that feel-good feeling bubbles up inside you and it’s akin to being wild and carefree when drunk, but you are in fact completely sober and still have all the mental stability that that brings… Unless of course, being drunk is your greatest pleasure, but I often find the humiliation during the aftermath – often comprised of an empty wallet and discovering terrifying images on Facebook – and the aftermath itself, makes this an expensive and less exciting pleasure pursuit.

Some of you might think it’s boring and dull and an ageing cliché but one of my greatest pleasures, ever since the dexterity in my hands allowed me to manipulate a Game Boy, is motoring (more-so since I was legally entitled to cause mayhem on the real-world roads). Yes, that metal rough-cuboid with four wheels at each corner and an internal combustion engine covered in oil and grease and lube and which can go like the clappers, pounding every track, and burn rubber like there’s no tomorrow is one of my greatest pleasures. (I did warn you I’d talk about cars). I have a Citroen Saxo, and no, I am not a chav, nor do I particularly enjoy most other things from France. It is a decent car – when not twatted about in or douched up so much it looks like a storm-troopers head – and when, at a time when a rare opportunity allows, I can slam my foot to the floor, even in a measly 1.1 with 60HP, I do get a little bit excited with myself.

Combine the two and you get Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear. Literally the greatest show on Earth. It combines the fresh air of free-spirit and free speech with the freedom and thrill of driving and the engineering that makes it happen. That is why I like it. And this is what leads me neatly on to my subject of topical discussion. So, I don’t know if anyone knows or cares about the comments Clarkson made about the  public sector protests on The One Show, and incidentally I don’t know if anyone cares about the whole public sector strikes thing anyway, but it seems to me all those people who are getting over-excited are rather missing the point entirely. They have completely taken it out of context. In actual fact Clarkson was making a fair and entirely uncontroversial point about the BBC being impartial and not being biased, and exploring both sides of the story, which is exactly what they do do, and exactly what Clarkson did. Watch the video here and see for yourself: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15977813

See what I mean? If you couldn’t be arsed to watch it, he specifically said – actually undermining what he says next more than anything – “we have to balance it though don’t we? ’cause this is the BBC.” Hmm… well isn’t funny how those who want to find any way of attacking him, like the 9/11 “de-bunkers,” miss vital information? Like for example him justifying his reasons for saying exactly what he was about to say beforehand, in opposition to what he said prior to that. He said it with a jokey demeanour: it was in jest for Christ’s sake.  Not only that, but he actually said it to make a point, that doesn’t mean it was his point. For those who conveniently lost thier hearing for part of the interview, he said something along the lines of “it’s fantastic,” talking about the fact that roads and airports were far less busy. Of course, some might say that he was saying it in a satirical manner, indeed, he was… so apply the last part of the comment to the correct context, and it will be realised that everything he said had no direct meaning at all; there is no need to go all shocked and surprised and condemning and saying “I am holier than thou always saying exactly what I mean and never having a joke because I’m too serious-grumpy-face all the time.” Also, I’m sorry, but isn’t one of the main reasons these protests are going ahead – which directly speak against government policy – our right to free speech? This is of course something many take for granted, otherwise, they would also see that Clarkson – if it was his actual opinion– is also exercising this right. As for that woman in Unison comparing him with Gadaffi… what? I’m not even going to go

Gadaffi and Clarkson

Hmm... I guess there might be a vague similarity in their hair?

there. If Clarkson had the same political power to casually carry out the punchline of a joke then I have the same power to gather all life-endangering mobility scooters, have them flown out to a remote mountain, and exploded into orbit by a 50 Megaton nuclear device.  Get real. He might have even been making the very point to highlight there isn’t just one side of this argument. It just seems quite hypocritical to me; all these people want financial freedom and such in retirement after working most of their lives, like everyone else, but I’m sure they don’t want the “oppression” some of them might suggest the government imposes. If Clarkson is sacked, this will only contribute to any further reputation of this country being “oppressive,” whilst they will call it the “right” to justice.

Don’t get me wrong, assuming he might believe in what he said, I don’t necessarily agree with Clarkson (although I can appreciate both sides of the argument), but I’m not shocked that he said it either, firstly because it’s Clarkson making his usual fatuous remarks, and secondly because it’s blindingly obvious that something like this is going to create fields of opinion poles apart. If the government got as angry with that lot about speaking out as they are with Clarkson there would be no room whatsoever for peaceful protest. Also, I am intelligent and not hate-filled enough to take and utterly fubar the context in which he said his oh-so-horrific comment.

That, people, is just my opinion, it doesn’t make it fact. It has just the same value and legitimacy as the next person’s different opinion. Get over it.

Essays can do one

So it’s been a while, just thought I’d post something quickly, since it’s 2:28am on a Friday night/Saturday morning and I should be out forgetting everything that makes any sense and getting off my/on someone else’s tits. But I am not. Because my student loan doesn’t quite cover it this year. Oh dear. Oh dear indeed.

Don’t worry, my silence doesn’t in fact mean I’m dead. Nope, the reality is I’ve been stuck doing essays since about two weeks ago, and boy had I forgotten how much I detest them, actually with a passion. Having to do four at the same time is a bigger pain in the arse than a telegraph pole. Not to worry, I’ve genuinely been sad and/or OCD enough to mathematically calculate precisely the minimum amount of words I can write per day and still finish all my essays before the deadline.

I far prefer writing in this ranting, pointless manner on a blog rather than in an organised structured manner which has to agree with other writers directly, and hence to me is equally pointless, but I’m not getting in to debt for nothing!

Anyways, any suggestions for something relevant/vaguely interesting to write about when it’s not stupid o’clock would be appreciated for next time around.

 

Laters all.

A world without is a world fulfilled

Imagine a world without religion - World Trade CenterRight, that’s it.

I’ve decided, I’m going to write about something that gets on my tits. I mean really gets on my tits. That’s right, I’m about to be opinionated, and a few people might object, but one thing I enjoy – and so should everyone else – in this country, and most of the world, is the right to free speech. There’s no question however, that it results in debate, but that’s the whole point, and debate is healthy.

Whilst you’re reading this just listen to this song – one of my favourites. Beautiful music, beautiful words. It says it all really:

…And for those who say that we are not ‘free’ (and the rant begins), ask yourself the following: does anyone tell you which political party to vote for and threaten you with arrest or worse? Does anyone tell you which religion to believe in and threaten you with imprisonment or worse? Does anyone tell where you are and where you are not entitled to go and threaten you with persecution, emasculation, or worse? Does anyone tell you you are not entitled to leave your life and emigrate in search of greater freedom? Does anyone tell you which jobs you should take and who you should marry or threaten you with disowning? Does anyone tell you you have a set destiny in life or you will be worthless? Have you ever even had the option to consider free financial support from the state?

Do you ever have the dread or burden of the effects of a life threatening incurable disease invading every moment of your life making you weary of the end because the technology for a cure is not available? Have you ever had so little money that you couldn’t afford even a blanket to keep you warm at night? Has anyone ever told you to stop expressing your opinions? I’ll stop horrendously regurgitating these worn out clichés now but if the answer to a vast majority if not all of these questions is a resounding ‘no’, then you, my friend, are one in a small percentage of the world who really are ‘free’. Free to live.  It really grinds my gears when certain ignorant people attempt to persuade other supposedly ‘naive’ and ‘sheltered’ people that we are part of an oppressed and controlled society. Get real. You don’t need to go far nowadays to see why these people are wrong, sometimes even the very fact you can turn on the TV and watch the news, broadcast from multiple channels, is enough to see why…

This leads me nicely to religion. If I were to talk about all my views on religion in one go I would probably be able to get away with not writing essays ever again, mainly because I would die of exhaustion and hunger, or from over excitement from the animated discussion and the phenomenal rage that would no doubt ensue in writing about such a thing. However, since I have already expressed my opinion on another matter, I will not blabber on too much about the dude with the beard in the sky/on the cross this time.

Specifically, what irritates me about religion versus science/atheism (I’m not debating now the precise definitions of the separate factions, I intend to sleep tonight), is the classic ‘all atheists are bad’, or ‘all religious people are ignorant’. How on Earth can this satisfy all beliefs of both sides? I know it’s crude and basic, and uses stereotypes, but the argument I have is – if a ‘bad’ atheist suddenly becomes religious, does that make them immediately ‘good’? And vice versa? Hard core religious nuts will of course argue that they have committed an unspeakable sin such that any attempts to join the ‘great and good’ of religion should mean damnation for the rest of their poor miserable lives, for ever doubting or ‘despairing’ in the faith of God. No. Go away. I ask those who are religious, did you ever have a choice whether or not to be religious? It’s all part of that good ol’ free world in which we are allowed independent beliefs and opinions, and permitted to make our own decisions. Chances are, yes you did have the choice and just as you took the decision to be faithful to a religion, others would have taken the decision to not believe in a religion. Is there any proof anywhere that either decision is the right one? Before you answer that just look at the picture below, and before you say ‘they weren’t really religious’, they believed in a god didn’t they; and that’s all you need to be religious, isn’t it? (I could go on to talk about what defines religion, but I won’t).

Religion and AtheismA picture paints a thousand words, and a picture with words makes a better picture, so I don’t really need to say anything other than it supports my point entirely.  At the end of the day, I am a philanthropist (some religious people might say, stereotyping again “you can’t be, you’re an Atheist. You’re therefore Satanist so how can you ever be a philanthropist?!”, for example), I believe all humans are animals and all animals should live in a fundamentally equal and free world as far as possible. But of course, as in the ‘animal world’, there are always going to be challenges and some unavoidable inequalities. Unfortunately it is the extremes of beliefs which have warped the views on what and what isn’t equality or freedom.

There is something, however, that we can never escape from – we are all born, we all live, we are all taxed, and we all die.

Now just imagine… If we all only believed in these indisputable existential facts the world would definitely be a far more equal place, and we would all be free to live it.

Just wait to see what I really have to say about religion. Have you read War and Peace?

Edited 6/2/2012

I’ll do it later

Garfield 'I don't do mornings' Morning all.

There, that says it all. That’s not intended to be a joke or sarcastic or even some light casual form of humour highlighting the improper usage of time specific greetings in any way. I genuinely thought it was morning when I wrote that, before suddenly realising ‘no, you’ve been asleep for what most other people call morning. Morning is from 12am till 11:59:59am, despite the fact a nuclear war couldn’t wake you, time and space doesn’t wait for you to wake up, because you are a lazy mofo.’ So here I am shocked that it’s already half past three and all I have done is eat some supermarket brand Shreddies, shower, made a cup of tea that would even put hairs on Chuck Norris’ chest, but which tastes like what I imagine stinging nettles to taste, half eaten a sausage roll, and crafted a pathetic excuse for a peanut butter sandwich using ancient bread that crumbles like my Mum’s pastry. That is genuinely all I have done.

On the odd occasion I miss being at work. Not only is this shocking and wrong, but it’s also ironic. When I am at work, the last thing I want is to be there. But I am occupied and doing something that might one day vaguely help mankind in some way, and I am getting paid for it. Still, I would quite like to not be there but somewhere where my relentlessly lazy existence doing whatever I want whenever might be noticed and result in some benefit. At Uni’, when I have exhausted literally every means of keeping oneself occupied (and I mean every means) , I am very occasionally drawn to wanting to be made to move my arse and go out and do something, and the first thing that comes off my head is to be at work. But this never happens. To be fair, I do write up lecture notes and do perhaps read a word or two of the reading I’m supposed to do, and ponder the difficulties of future essays, but overall a massive amount of the time is spent literally doing what some like to call ‘f*ck all.’

In a more polite – and accurate – sense, one might call it the practice of procrastination. For those of you not versed with the definitions of common studentisms, I will quote you the Oxford English Dictionary definition of procrastination, because I am an English student, and it makes me look like I do things properly, and the OED is boss:

procrastination

Pronunciation:/prə(ʊ)ˌkrastɪˈneɪʃ(ə)n/

noun
[mass noun]
the action of delaying or postponing something:
  your first tip is to avoid procrastination

Phrases
procrastination is the thief of time
proverb if you delay doing something, it will take longer to do later on:
 maybe TV and procrastination really are the thieves of time

And this, my friends, embodies the entirety of most students’ existences whilst at University. Like chlamydia, it’s an awkward disease that unknowingly infects a large majority of students. It’s a case of promising yourself that you will ‘write the introduction to that essay’ or ‘plan that assignment’ or ‘read some of that article I should have read last week’ or ‘go and make dinner because it’s 11:30 at night and you’ve been hungry for the last 7 hours.’ It suits every part of our lives to the letter… or is it just me? It gets really bad when one thinks ‘I should stop watching TV and go to bed in a minute.’ Mix procrastination with sleep, and, either way, you are destined to be chewed up and spat out by fail itself.

Indeed, I have deadlines looming on the distant but inevitable horizon and some 10,000 words to somehow spew out in a creative and professional manner before Christmas, and I am using my time procrastinating to write this blog, when I should really ‘write the introduction to that essay.’

I think I’ll stop now and procrastinate later…