Sunday 11 August 2013

I Just Don't Get It

Regular readers will know that I have a soapbox that I get out occasionally to air my views and rant about things that I find disturbing, objectionable or just simply wrong. However, for this post, I don’t want to get my soapbox out. I want to understand. And I am hoping that there are readers out there who will help me.

I will try not to rant, I promise.

There are certain things in life that I just don’t get. I am fifty years old and I reckon I have a reasonably sensible and well-balanced view on the world. Nevertheless, I find myself looking at certain aspects of life on this planet and shake my head in disbelief at why they are so popular or why they even exist at all.

Am I stupid? Don’t answer that question.

I am going to offer you, dear reader, ten things that make me wonder whether the human race is devolving rather than evolving. And if you are one of those people who champion the things I am about to discuss, please, please, PLEASE tell me why I shouldn’t get on my soapbox and start bellowing about them in future posts.

I will try to be brief.

Sex Addiction

I am a man and I know that over the years I have thought about sex an awful lot – almost constantly in fact. Men do that – they can’t help it. Yet I have to chuckle when certain celebrities have had to undergo therapy for a condition called sex addiction simply because they are so famous that they cannot control the voice of their little fella when his brain alerts him to a woman who has breasts, legs and a pretty face.

Most men look at women and their little fella offers an opinion about whether she is worthy as a mate. To the majority of men, such thoughts are lost in an ocean of other external stimulae and warrant only a verbal exclamation, particularly those men who have a woman already.

“She’s nice,” you hear guys say. The more outspoken ones will suggest a more lurid scenario and single guys may even act on their urges, driven by the need to procreate, by actually trying to chat them up. Yet we find celebrities who simply cannot control their urges and whose little fella is the boss, complaining after having been caught out, that they suffer from sex addiction and, in order to save face, go into therapy to explain why they can’t keep their little fella in his place.

Do me a favour! I think it is an excuse to make people feel sorry for them after been unfaithful. Obviously a celebrity will attract members of the opposite sex.

Just keep your pecker in his cage!

Train Spotting

Why on earth would anybody have an urge to stand on a rainy railway platform with a little book and a pen and mark off the numbers of locomotives as they trundle past? Why would they do it for hours on end? I wouldn’t mind if each locomotive was unique – they aren’t. Most of them are the bloody same!

“Wow – I saw a train!”

How bloody interesting!

Cult of Celebrity

Why are people interested in celebrity gossip, particularly when the so-called celebrity in question is famous for nothing more than being outrageous on television. If you ask me, this obsession with celebrities who deserve no more than a passing thought is damaging people.

You see it whenever a reality show appears on television.  An absolute nobody is instantly turned into an overnight celebrity because they did something disgraceful and acquired an army of fans who are so shallow that they live vicariously through these sad attention seekers.

I just don’t get it. I can’t understand why I should be bothered about a young idiot who gets drunk and makes an arse of himself on a programme like Geordie Shore.

I have been tempted to write a post about the cult of Scientology and I may still do this in future. I was once
almost enrolled in this cult as a young impressionable student (read about it here). When you look into Scientology you can forgive yourself for thinking “WHAT THE PHARRRRKKK?” 
Famous celebrities like Tom Cruise have paid a fortune to rise up the hierarchy and it is all based on the imagination of science fiction writer L.Ron Hubbard a controversial character at best. 
Why would anyone with wealth even consider joining this cult? You may as well just set fire to your cash.

Modern Jazz
Modern Jazz musicians are extremely good at playing their chosen musical instruments. The problem for me is that when they get together to play a song, while they all play their own self-indulgent parts brilliantly, it appears as if they are all playing totally different tunes. 
The result is a total dirge.
Readers of my last post will recall that I love progressive rock. However, one of my favourite champions of the genre, Steven Wilson, has introduced a touch of jazz into his latest solo albums (mainly because his band, like me, can’t stand jazz). 
I don’t play those songs – they are not my cup of tea at all.

Contemporary Art
Regular readers will know about my hatred for modern art. I simply do not get it. I do not understand how random slops of paint on a canvas with the title “My Alien Colostomy Bag” can drive anybody to say anything other than “Let’s burn this piece of excrement!”
The best justification I heard for the bizarre way in which art has migrated straight down the toilet made me rant mercilessly for days.
I said: “Why doesn’t anybody paint pictures any longer instead of gluing bits of metal together and calling it something like “Living Vomit”?"
The lady in question said: “It’s been done – that’s so last century!”
Rant? You would not believe how that poor woman suffered for her art.

When I recently saw a photo of David Beckham my first thought was “What the pharrk has he done to his body?”.
Why would anybody deface their own body with tattoos? They are so permanent and, certainly in the UK on a canvas of pale white skin like mine, they look awful. It’s like a form of modern art (see above). Are you going to tell me that anybody who has covered body in shocking blue colours isn’t going to examine their sagging skin when they are older and say “I wish I hadn’t had a picture of a dragon eating a huge banana scrawled on my belly!”

I love it when people use their imagination to put words on paper in a way that is beautiful and thought provoking.; yet poetry can be utterly ridiculous. I’m not talking about song lyrics, rhymes and funny limerick style pieces – I’m talking about the artistic pretentious rubbish where people put together  random words and the reader has to make sense out of it. In many ways it’s like modern art – appealing to pseudo intellectuals and nobody else. 
Here’s a poem, written by me, that is shit! Some people may read this and say "genius” – please don’t tell them I ate a dictionary, spat out words in random order and put them together to produce this utter mess:
I contemplated the torso of a despondent galactic masterpiece
And my heart thanked my voracious sight.
I hastened my swiftness, disoriented by my awareness
Yet somehow did not submit to fright.
I call it The Loquacious Figment.
And I say to you now, dear reader – if you think it is brilliant then I have to break it to you that you are indeed a pseudo intellectual and I look forward to your explanation of why it is so good as well as the philosophical quotes that support your argument.
Rest assured that this is a one off and I won't be filling this blog with crap poetry.

Outrageous Fashion
Why? Who on earth wears clothes that, at best, can be described as utterly ridiculous? And why are these people willing to pay a bloody fortune for it?

Justin Bieber
Where do I begin with this … this … (careful Dave!) pop star? It seems to me that a fair percentage of the female population have taken leave of their senses and been mesmerised by this young lad. I wouldn’t mind if he were modest about his success. 
He’s not.
He’s one of the most arrogant egotistical celebrities out there. What does he call his fans? Beliebers? I am not a violent person but the more I hear about his escapades, the more I want to give him a hearty slap.

And his music is shit too!

And finally…
Please understand, dear reader, that when it comes to certain topics, I am totally thick. If anybody can explain why any of the ten things above are worthy of my attention in anyway, I will be most grateful.
And I apologise – my soapbox did make an appearance (or ten)!


H2B said...

Outrageous Fashion: No one buys and wears the really outrageous design (such as the 3 headded teddy bear) off the catwalk. They are just headlines grabbers to promote the designer.

Poetry: That was good - sight rhymes with fright, at least some efforts were put into it. ;-)

Contemporary Art: Painting a portraits or still life is easy, especially if you attended classes. Skills can be learnt but creativity can't. The jist of contemporary art is CREATIVITY - producing something that no one has thought off but can resonant with. Not all contemporart art is great, time will distil the essence, only great pieces will survive the law of selection. When you look at a piece of contemporary art, you may think,"HA! I can do that too." Yes, you could do it AFTER you have seen it, you did NOT create the concept, you would just be merely COPYING it.

River said...

I agree with almost everything you've said here. Especially the outrageous fashion and the sex addiction. For heaven's sake! Learn a little (or a lot) self control! I can't speak about tattoos because three of my kids have them.
Now about your poem. I won't say genius and rave enthusiastically over it, but you have strung words together that make sense, which is far better than I could ever do. Much of the highly praised modern poetry doesn't make any sense at all. Poetry and me do not get on.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi H2B,

I can think of totally ridiculous art pieces but I simply haven't the courage to stand up in front of a crowd of people to try to convince them it is art.

I have to disagree. People who think that some of the crap I've seen is "art" are deluded or just jumping on a pseudo intellectual bandwagon.

Glad you liked the poem - I might start a new blog called Plastic Poetry.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

I reckon you should have a go at poetry. It's easy. It doesn't have to make sense - most poems don't.




H2B said...

Hey Mr PM, you SHOULD have a go at your ridiculous ideas/designs!!! You could be a multimillionaire if someone who has more money tahn sense loves the creation!
You never know if you never never try.

I always remember that I did my brother's sculpture homework in 2 mins. He was 7 and was panicking because he only remembered the homework 2 min before my dad would chauffuer him to sochool. I stuck 3 pieces of electrical wires twisted into springs on a cardboard and named it "Vine". He got 95% for it. :-)

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi H2B,

To be perfectly honest I have considered it because I think it would be easy.

My work would be utter garbage and if some realist said "WHAT THE BLOODY HELL IS THIS LOAD OF OLD CRAP????" It wouldn't hurt one little bit.

Because they would be totally correct.

Your "Vine" story doesn't surprise me. I reckon I could get my cats to produce a work of art that would sell.




Jackie K said...

Hi PM,
I agree with all of these except modern art (and sometimes poetry). There's crap in every type of creation but I still love how art makes you think!
Sex addiction - gimme a break. Wealthy famous attractive people with fewer constraints on their behavior than the rest of us, I say.
Your poetry needs editing but shows promise ;)

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Jackie,

Some art makes me think - but contemporary bilge makes me rant!

Same with poetry (though I am tempted to have a go at that - really weirdly so I can bait pseudo intellectuals).




Rum-Punch Drunk said...

Oh my days, once again you gave me a fit of laughter. Man, it must be grim up north.

Outrageous Fashion
How can you say that picture is ridiculous. You've missed the point with that coat she's wearing. Can't you see she can put her 3 children in there and keep safe and warm, marsupial style? Just like a kangaroo. It's what I would say is practical. Or she can use those heads to store all the things that go in her handbag including some light shopping. I know you're getting it now, go on, admit it.

Modern Jazz
Well, this whole weekend is Jazz Festival at Canary Wharf in East London, and I'll be there mate. But I fully understand what you're saying. Last night was a brilliant jazz band but at one point and for at least 2 minutes, the music sounded like they were calling whales, yes whales. When I awoke this morning I expected to see the River Thames filled with a pod of whales, looking for that call. But I do like my jazz though but not the crazy stuff, as it makes me feel like I'm going mad.

Comtemporary Art
I just love the weird stuff they call abstract art. It does look as if someone spilt paint everyone or threw it all over the place but have you tried to do it yourself? Like a mug, I thought it would be easy because it looks easy. I started well, but things went drastically wrong and I ended up with a completely black canvass. It's hard work mate. As for art like Damien Hurst and that famous cow thing, I don't call it art when you cut something in half or when folk decide to pee on the floor mate. But you truly made my day with laughter.

I better stop, this is too funny :)
Sorry my comments so long.

Plastic Mancunian said...


The Teddy Bear coat - I see your point. Maybe I'll try inventing something that actually LOOKS like a kangaroo pouch. Pleasing to the eye AND useful eh?

Jazz attracting whales? It doesn't surprise me. Mind you certain people say similar things about heavy metal - or does that scare whales away?

You could have sold your black canvas as a work of art. You could have called it "A Picture of Failure". Somebody would have bought it I'm sure.


Great comment.




jeremy north said...

Agree with all your well observed comments, though I think you are a bit harsh on Train Spotters, at least they do their own thing without inflicting it on the rest of us.

I'd go to town on the 'celebrity cult' thing. Did it all start with Hurley in 'that dress'? After a while, I asked myself, what the hell does she do?

I detest that whole scene which props up several weekly magazines, and lots of crap TV. Why is anyone interested in these needy, fake characters?
Napoleon said we were a country of shop keepers, what would he say now? Seriously, we are in deep sh*t because of these idiots and their acolytes.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Jeremy,

Yes - agreed about trainspotters. I don't hate them; I just don't get why they do what they do. You are quite correct about their closed shop mentality.

I fear for the future with the cult of celebrity because it is not just a UK phenomenon. It seems like the whole world is suffering from the same disease.

It makes me rant more than most things do.