Monday, 28 June 2010
On December 31st 2009, at approximately 23:58, I stared into the eyes of my beloved Mrs PM and said to her:
“My New Year’s Resolution is clear to me: I will not rant in 2010.”
Actually, to be honest, it was probably blurted out at high volume with a lot of slurring and a couple of I love you’s thrown in for good measure and punctuated by the odd belch and hiccup.
However it came out, the sentiment was there.
I was having a great time and I was sick and tired of climbing onto my soapbox. I had convinced myself that I could refrain from blowing my top I was absolutely certain that I would manage to spend 365 days in blissful harmony with the world around me, surrounded by whistling birds, butterflies flitting past my head. I would smile all the time, knowing that I had subdued my grumpiness.
I would adopt the great mantra sung by the legendary Louis Armstrong:
I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.
I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.
The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
They're really saying I love you.
I hear babies cry, I watch them grow
They'll learn much more than I'll never know
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself what a wonderful world.
My high hopes lasted approximately 365 minutes.
On New Year’s Day, I switched on my TV, watched the news and with seconds my soapbox was out, I had mounted it, and I was lecturing Mrs PM on everything that was wrong with the world.
I tried, dear reader; honestly I tried.
All of this proves that I have a problem; I am convinced that I am surrounded by petty minded imbeciles, bureaucratic morons, stubborn buffoons who refuse to budge and half-wits at every turn.
Some people may say that I am a half-wit and I would agree that sometimes I can be. But as I get older, the world to me seems to be descending into absolute farce at every conceivable opportunity in every single walk of life, from politics to sport, from music to entertainment, from work to travel.
There is breath-taking arrogance throughout the world; evil exists everywhere; stupidity is rife.
Everywhere I turn there is somebody or something determined to make my life difficult or determined to push the button that ignites the flame that converts me from a mild mannered human being into a psychotic ranting animal.
And I’m fed up of it.
Take today, for example.
My work colleagues absolutely love to push the rant button and do so at every opportunity. Most of the time, I breathe deeply and let their taunts ride over me. Occasionally, though, they catch me unawares and I lose control of my senses and rant like a madman. Today’s rant was an absolute belter and half the office stopped work to enjoy my blustering tirade. I entertained the office for a good ten minutes and had most of them falling on the floor with laughter.
You see, dear reader, although I rant, I do so in a light-hearted way that makes people laugh, hence the reason why they are so keen to do it.
WORK COLLEAGUE 1: There’s an email just come in from HR – another belter. Let’s wind Dave up.
WORK COLLEAGUE 2: Crikey – he’ll blow his top. Quick get the popcorn out.
WORK COLLEAGUE 1: Hey Dave. Have you seen the latest missive from HR?
PM (sighing): What now.
WORK COLLEAGUE 1: There are new rules about washing your hands.
And so it begins.
Normally I don’t particularly have a problem with HR at all but my work colleagues love to illustrate the most bizarre edicts that come out of the human resources office.
One thing I have a problem with is the name: “Human Resources”.
What on earth happened to “Personnel”? The name “Human Resources” makes me feel like I am a number and not a free man. I am a “resource” to be thrown at a job instead of the expert that will get the job done with maximum efficiency. I feel violated – it’s like I don’t matter at all.
I don’t want to pick on HR at all because ultimately they are victims as well. There is a dark cloud looming, dear reader, and I would love to know who or what is responsible for it. It is like something out of a horror novel – an almost physical entity that touches life as we used to know it and mutates it into absurdity.
Anybody who doubts me, please answer these questions:
What is so special about a person who happens to have won Big Brother? What talent do they possess? The person was unknown when he went into the house and while he was in there did nothing other than try to be controversial, failing miserably. Why on earth should anybody care about anything they ever do? Why are tabloids obsessed with these people?
Talking of tabloids, why do they insult my intelligence with stories about people who I don’t care about and are not worthy of even a passing thought? Why do they build people up and then shoot them down in an instant? Why do they invent terrible nicknames for people, for example, Wayne Rooney becomes Roo or Wazza and we are treated to “intelligent” attention grabbing headlines that substitute the word Roo for You – for example I Only Have Eyes For Roo and Roo Blew It and Rool Britannia – I HATE them. And why do tabloids just print lies? How can they get away with it? Am I alone?
And what about politicians? We have a general election here in England, a party gets elected and then fails to deliver their promises. How can they get away with lying? They should be held to account and punished. Imagine if it were my workplace? If I lied about something so important I would be sacked.
And then you have footballing cheats. Brazilian Kaka sent off because an Ivory Coast player ran into him and then pretended that he been pole-axed by a sniper’s bullet. And what of the goal that Frank Lampard scored against the Germans that was clearly over the line yet ignored despite the video evidence? And what about the goal scored by Carlos Tevez against Mexico that was clearly offside and seen by the entire crowd, all the players and officials and the teams, including Tevez himself and the linesman who didn’t see it? Did the referee watching the screen change his mind? Did he bugger! And what have FIFA got to say? No video technology and no video referee! The arrogance is breath-taking!
And then we have Katie Price and all other famous people who have an army of fans simply because we are privy to watching their exploits on reality TV shows. I take my hat off to Katie Price, Paris Hilton etc. because somehow they have managed to convince armies of fans that there is a point – I just cannot see why they are so fascinating. Am I alone?
Do people take their brains out when watching Saturday night prime time entertainment shows? How can people sit and watch shows like “The X Factor” without throwing a lump hammer through the television? The bulk of these people have no talent whatsoever – how and why do they and people like Simon Cowell get away with convincing us otherwise? It is beyond belief.
Talking of music, whatever happened to good decent music? From the bowels of X Factor we get “Jedward”, two totally talentless twins who destroyed everything they attempted to sing. Don’t take my word for it – watch this:
Even Simon Cowell hated it. What on earth is going on? Is Louis Walsh insane? Britain was obsessed with these talentless kids – they have balls but no talent whatsoever. How can they shine on prime time TV and how can they get a record deal? The world’s gone MAD!!
Still with the music scene – why should a rock singer tell me what to think? Bono makes me cringe every time he opens his mouth to speak. Great singer, great voice – STICK TO SINGING! A mate of mine went to see U2 once – they were his favourite band. When asked if he would see them again he said: “No! I didn’t want to pay all of that money to be bollocked by Bono!!”
I want to eat meat. I like meat. Meat is good for me and it tastes great. I do not want to be told by a vegetarian that I am some kind of homicidal maniac just because I like bacon. Vegetarians have their views – I respect that. But please do not tell me what to do! It is perfectly natural for human beings to eat meat – get over it. Am I the only carnivore in the world who thinks like this?
I could go on but I fear that this post will turn into a book so I will stop for the time being. I do worry though because such nonsense infuriates me, despite my best efforts to stay calm. I am getting better, honestly, but things catch my attention, catch me off guard and light the blue touch paper.
The world is insane.
And I’m not the only one who thinks so.
Here are a few choice rants from a friend of mine at work who, like me, despairs at the state of the world.
He was the inspiration for a blog post from 2008 called Radio Grump FM.
He despaired so much that I had to immortalise some of his frenzied and explosive outbursts for the world to see. I think they are funny – perhaps you agree. If you don’t agree, it doesn’t matter. But I am not alone.
A bit of background before I share his wisdom with you. He is a software engineer, like me, who has a particular gripe with Microsoft.
(1) Just how thick are these people? I think somebody opened up their heads when they were kids, scooped out their brains and then filled them full of shit!!
(2) I can’t believe they wrote Microsoft Word and then didn’t bloody test it. Maybe it was just tested by a blind man in a dark cellar.
(3) You like Lorraine Kelly? Well that’s 4000 million years of evolution pissed up against the wall!!!
(4) (When woken up by a massive thunderstorm) I looked out of the window and I’ve never seen rain and wind like it. I was beginning to wonder whether I should go out and find Jesus and let him into my life.
(5) You want me to carry on testing this afternoon? Hopefully by then I will have found a spoon to gouge out my eyeballs.
(6) If somebody came up to me and said “I can’t do that because my moon’s rising in Uranus” I’d just punch them!
(7) Yes, there's something controversial about the MacBook Air - It's overpriced SHIT!
(8) Money may not buy you happiness but it will buy you a much better class of misery.
(9) Talking is the only thing that keeps me sane. If I didn't talk I'd have to stand up, pull my zip down and piss on the keyboard.
(10) I think I'll have to phone the bus company lost property service. "Has anyone found a will to live? I had it when I was on the bus this morning but since being at work I've discovered it missing".
(11) I'm going so mental looking at this that I'm thinking of impaling my eyeballs with this Bic biro.
(12) Whoever came up with that idea can't even be fecking sentient.
(13) Is there such a thing as a book called "Idiots Guide To Java" or is that intrinsic to the language?
(14) You can learn to nail you knackers to the table from the internet if you want but that doesn't mean to say it's a good idea.
(15) I'd better get on with some other work before I kill somebody.
(16) This system works on a wing and a prayer – which is not good if you’re an atheist.
(17) Who let these people loose on the human race?
(18) Fecking wankers – the lot of ‘em! I wouldn’t trust them with an Etch-a-Sketch!
(19) These people have definitely been reading Dilbert too much and using it as a manual.
(20) Teaming is not a bloody word, you arses!!
Anyway, I’ve had enough of this nonsense.
Maybe if we all took stock and looked at the idiocy and arrogance in the world we could collectively do something about it. Until then any attempts by me to contain my furious frustration will be totally futile.
Please feel free to let me know what infuriates you. Have you got a soapbox? If so, what makes you stand on it and rant to the world?
I can see a book coming out of this. Maybe I should divert my frustration into something creative.
The problem is that people wouldn’t take any notice of it – until I become World Leader that is.
Then they’ll be sorry!