Scottish Independence

There’s less than a week to go before the people of Scotland go to the polls and the country is very much split even on its fate, which does seem pretty worrying on the face of it.  The cry for independence isn’t as one-sided as it was in the former Yugoslav and Soviet republics 20-30 years ago or in Ireland 70 years before that, a lot of the ‘yes’ camp don’t actually have a problem with being part the UK and are only speaking out because they have been given this opportunity.

More Scots will be disappointed with independence than if the campaign falters, many people who are voting ‘yes’ are doing it to stick two fingers up at the current Westminster government or seem to be overzealous Braveheart-loving bigots  The entire referendum has been set up because of the former; waiting as long as possible for the contrasting coalition parties to implode before the next general election in eight months’ time, lowering the voting age to appeal to those who are more naive and anti-English than those much mature than them, and not allowing Scots living elsewhere in the UK (and abroad) to have a say, who are more likely to vote ‘no’.

The Better Together campaign are panicking and are playing in the hands of the nationalists as the gap between ‘yes’ and ‘no’ get ever-so tighter and slightly swing the other way, promising to throw more power at an already-devolved Scottish Parliament, something which was initially planned as a compromise called devo-max.  They’re opening a can of worms for England by doing this, who are just as divisive on Westminster as Scotland is.  If they keep their promises if the union is maintained, the English will cry for more power for themselves instead of it being centralised by a disillusioned government out of touch with the vast majority of the country.  The UK should become a federal country, with England further divided into its regions so English politicians would better represent its people.

Gain power from one union to lose it to another.

Gain power from one union to lose it to another, if it was that easy…

Beyond having greater power, the biggest critiques the Scottish National Party and its supporters have with maintaining the union is that the ‘no’ camp are “negative”, “patronising” and “scaremongering” — talk about being fallacious.  Of course those against Scotland being independent aren’t optimistic, they’re being realistic.  The status quo has been successful for all its 307-year history, they fear what such a radical change would do to their country.  Some ‘yes’ voters have been aggressive towards ‘no’ voters, brandishing them as traitors for wanting what’s best for their country.  They are just as Scottish now as they would have been in the pre-union days, that is an aptly-named fallacy known as ‘no true Scotsman’.

All what the SNP have is blind optimism and predictions of the country’s wealth, which they’re passing off as credible statistics but they still don’t know what currency their hypothetical riches will be in.  Now compare that to 300+ years of rock-solid evidence, the big Scottish institutions have made great headway in the British market and have threatened to move south in the event of a ‘yes’ vote, where the population is 11x bigger (by 55 million) and will definitely use the same currency they currently operate in.

Scotland’s apparent wealth lies in the North Sea, quite literally, in the form of oil.  These oil reserves lie off the shore of Shetland, which have similar problems with the Scottish parliament as the Scottish parliament do with the British parliament.  The SNP have promised they would grant the Northern Isles greater autonomy within Scotland, so it could be possible that they can opt out of independence and rejoin the union, a la Northern Ireland in 1922 or be an Isle of Man-style dependency, whom they share a Norse-Gael heritage with.

They love Scotland so much, they decided to move away.

They love Scotland so much, they decided to move away.

The archipelagos of Shetland and Orkney feel more Nordic than Gaelic; they were part of the Kalmar Union, encompassing the three Scandinavian kingdoms, until the 15th century when they were pawned to the Kingdom of Scotland. They have been a Liberal Democrat stronghold ever since the party first stood for election, with the preceding Liberal Party taking the seats before them.  Whilst most of Scotland revolted against the three main Westminster parties in the Scottish election one year after the last UK-wide general election, Shetland and Orkney remained faithful to the LibDems after the rest of the mainland thought they sold out to the Tory boys in 2010.

The independence referendum will be Alex Salmond’s swansong, he is the Nick Clegg of Scotland; everyone loved him before the general elections with all his policies made in a TV debate but when he got into power, it all went to his head and threw his pledges out of the window.  I feel the same will happen if Scotland does break away from the United Kingdom, some ‘yes’-voting Scots despise him already and see him as a one-trick pony with half-baked ideas and no plan B.  The SNP are only in power in Scotland because the Scots don’t trust the three main Westminster parties and have this fourth option, that’s exactly why UKIP are on the rise in England, everyone in the UK is singing from the same hymn sheet.

If his wish doesn’t come true by the 19th, it could be the last we hear of him politically but he will probably cry for more referenda until one eventually goes his way.  Salmond just wants the perks of being in the UK but without being part of it, but he hasn’t thought through the implications of leaving.  He thinks all the benefits Scotland have been given by the United Kingdom, on behalf of their involvement in the international community, can be snapped up like that straight after independence but nothing is ever that simple, is it?

July the 11th

2014.  That Friday was the shittest day in my recent history, at least, but what made it significant was that it had its roots to four weeks prior.  My birthday is in the middle of June but that weekend clashed with my mates going to Poland, I assumed they went for the week but found out it was just for a few days as one of them was using Twitter on Sunday night and had geotagging enabled.  Then there was the small matter of the World Cup, which rendered every single weekend for the next few weeks otherwise engaged.

With the wallchart at hand and a hypothetical list of potential knockout ties, the best day would be the Friday on the eve of the final, when there were no games on.  Being the disorganised fuckers my pals are, I was relatively pestering them because it was the first time we would be doing anything for my birthday since 2008.  After finalising a time and a meeting point with four of them, that should have been that.

The 11th beckoned and the events started after organising an online swap with my World Cup stickers, I signed and sealed the envelope and the moment I stepped out of the door, I clocked that I have forgotten my keys.  Why did I need them?  Postbox is only round the corner and I’ve walked to it barefoot once before or after, forgot when that was.  This was at just after 2pm so I can timestamp proceedings.

To find a way in, I tried to climb in through the top living room window which I left open because it was humid as Hell, that didn’t work as it was too high up and I didn’t want to risk breaking my few week old TV if I did fit through.  I rolled the wheelie bin to the porch and try and climb up to its roof and open the big bedroom window via the open top one, but I pussied out of that situation in fear of ruining my belated birthday bash.

Being me, I used my intuition and got the wooden washing prop in an attempt to drag my phone from the middle of the living room floor next to my laptop, which is where I sit so I can keep everything plugged in.  That didn’t work as the prop was taller than the living room itself, there were a few old detachable parasol poles in the shed and so I put 1 and 1 together, and what happened?  It fell apart inside the house.

There was a third part to this pole thingy and that miraculously worked, I found a shorter wooden rod to try and chopstick my phone out of the window, with me having one foot on the window ledge and another on the neighbour’s wall separating our gardens.  Not too reminiscent of a situation at school, where my critical thinking got the ball from the top of the cloister roof; I used the Morrisons bag lying there in next door’s garden and got a newspaper from the blue recycling bin — my only saving grace, the blue bin not going out that day as the binmen come each Friday.

I used the pages from newspaper and line it around the rim of the bag to keep it wide open, which was my idea to save the stranded ball and hoist it up into our classroom above.  The key difference this time was that I didn’t have any sellotape to hold the paper in place, I had to use more paper to reinforce the structure and it just about held.  After an hour of struggling and an additional one locked out, I salvaged my phone albeit with a small scratch across the top of the screen.

I tried calling my dad but it wouldn’t let me, despite having the full 100 free minutes remaining.  Texting is effectively ineffective with him as he gets back to them two hours later, I messaged my sister over Facebook to tell him to call me.  He did call me but with the reception being shit, I couldn’t grasp what he was saying so I waited for another hour for him to come round.

In the sweltering heat, I took my frustration on the ants running amok on the garden wall and began to kick out on them in my steel-tipped boots.  Little did I know, it was that day of the year when the flying ants come out to play.  Not knowing it was that day, the ants evacuated from the cracks in the wall.  I thought it was me who caused this mass exodus that caused tremors on all the nooks and crannies in the other walls down the street, I felt worse than God for a bit.

After another hour waiting for my dad, I got fed up and texted him knowing he’d be close to his phone this time, he told me that he’s been drinking since he got home from work and so couldn’t let me in.  I was left with no choice other than to walk round to his house, which took 40 minutes and had to do part of it barefoot because I was starting to develop blisters in those boots.

I finally made it, dad gave me his keys, I asked for a pair of socks to cope with those blisters and he also gave me £3.90 bus fare, 10p short for a Stagecoach DayRider yet would still mean walking some of it home.  That was another 40-odd minutes walking back as I took a longer route via the tram stop in Didsbury, saving that bus fare to get the bus to town later.  It was just after 7pm that I tasted confinement again, five hours sweating my balls off in the outdoors.

I told everyone to meet up at Deansgate at 9:30, despite knowing that Sam had to drop out; giving me just over an hour to have my tea, shower and get dressed.  Being more or less on schedule, I got on the £1 MagicBus to town and WhatsApp’d Adam on the way there for a sitrep, he said Luke has gone camping for the weekend but he’ll be there at half 10, giving me an extra hour of fuck allery.  Luckily, Matt was coming in from Preston and would arrive at the same time as him.

I tried to use this time to get in a few pre-drinks but no, I wasn’t allowed in anywhere — despite only trying one place — because I was wearing shorts.  Sorry it was fucking boiling, you allow girls in who have their meatflaps hanging out.  Wasting time at Deansgate Station, I overheard that a nearby James concert in Castlefield was reaching its climax and the station will be filling up.  I told everyone about this hopped on the next train to Oxford Road, oblivious to Adam getting off where I got on.

When I got off at the next station, he called me which made me aware of this fact so we agreed to meet up outside Sainsbury’s near my end, closer to town.  As Oxford Road station has ticket gates installed, I couldn’t exit freely and so had to pay £1.50 to buy myself out of the station.  We finally met up at Sainsbury’s just the next block along, he told me to go back home and put on some proper trousers.

With a total of around £28 down the drain, I could finally meet up with everyone else and celebrate what was supposed to be joyous occasion, sweating my balls off even more.  The highlight of the of the entire day was when I got back into town and on my way to the Printworks, a foreign tramp called me a faggot for snubbing him.  I’m not sure what the Daily Mail would think of that, a foreigner serving no purpose to British society but ineligible to scrounge off the state.

Following the infamous FA Cup semi-final weekend of 2013, I pledged to stick to English-looking drinks from then on.  I had a few pints of Carlsberg and two shots of Jägermeister as the English people descended from Germans.  Lots of lager just gives me a headache and Jägerbombs don’t seem to have any effect on me but because of those two measly shots, I felt like shit the morning after and threw up four times, don’t think I touched the Devil’s nectar since.

So what all this was a month ago?  I leave this shit fashionably late because it’s in my nature.

Palestine

The shit is really hitting the fan there, as usual, again, nothing that hasn’t happened before.  Everyone is making out Israel are the ones to blame here because their rockets are killing Palestinians, whilst Gaza’s shitty missiles are being intercepted by the Iron Dome defence system.  If Gaza had the Iron Dome whilst Israel didn’t, would the finger be pointed the other direction?  I’m not sure, it’s easy to be anti-Zionist than anti-Islam because the Israelis are the big boys here, they’re the ones bombing hospitals and killing kids, we know what Muslims are like when you say something bad about their beliefs or draw a lovely picture of Mohammed.

Hamas can’t attack populated places because Israel can defend their civilians and take out strategic targets, whilst Hamas store their artillery in public buildings and aimlessly fire anywhere into the country.  If you throw stones at a brickmaker, don’t be shocked if they hurl a tonne of bricks at you so stop crying about it.  Gaza is under the auspices of Hamas, which almost every western country list as a terrorist organisation and in their charter, seek the death of every single Jew.  The countries that don’t see them that way are, unsurprisingly, other Muslim countries that absolutely despise the Jewish state.  Some of those countries’ relations with Israel range from not acknowledging their sovereignty to international sanctions preventing them from bombarding them with nuclear arms.

You only need to know the reaction of those countries towards the Munich Massacre for their true colours to shine through, they’re absolutely disgusted at the thought of commemorating the attacks whilst smirking at the death of 11 athletes and coaches.  Israel wouldn’t need to use the Iron Dome if they could trust those around them, they would be wiped off the map if it couldn’t fend for itself.  Egypt and Jordan, who border the Palestinian territories, buck the trend and see Hamas for who they really are and the former have even closed the border crossing with Gaza.

Satire tells us that terrorism is justified when you have a shit arsenal.

Satire tells us that terrorism is justified when you have a shit arsenal.

Pretty much every single Muslim on the planet side with Palestine because they are biased, they think their opinions on the place are valid despite very few of them can call it home.  Muslims love each other so much, that’s why Iraq is being retorn a new one because its people adhere to different shoots of the same branch.  That sort of blinkered religious solidarity doesn’t really exist outside the Islamic world, the conflicts in Europe in the past 20-30 years which had any religious connotations were really based on nationalism, although religion can be an important part of identifying yourself with a certain nationality or ethnic group.

Take the former Yugoslavia; the Serbs are Orthodox Christians, Croats are Roman Catholic and the Bosniaks are Muslims.  In Northern Ireland, the Brits are Protestant and the Irish are Catholic — both lots there may be culturally related to each other, same language and that, but it’s their religious beliefs which makes them distance themselves from each other.  The Sunnis and Shiites are currently killing each other in Iraq identify themselves as Iraqis, meaning it’s a religious issue and not a nationalistic one — where’s the international condemnation there?  Oh yeah, they’re Muslims.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is made up of two subdivisions; the predominantly-Bosniak Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the predominantly-Serb Republika Srpska — they have gotten on relatively harmoniously since the war ended in 1995.  Why can’t they do that in Palestine?  A neutral state comprising of two federal entities for both parties with Jerusalem being “neutral”, much like how Brussels and the Brčko District are in similarly-composed countries.  Doubt the solution will be that simple, bring back the British Mandate.

Palestine back when the enemy of your enemy was also your friend.

Palestine back when the enemy of your enemy was also your friend.

Lebanon was a predominantly Christian country last century (84% in the 1920s) but an Islamic offensive caused a civil war, where the Christians either fled or were killed and reduced the figure to a third of the population.  The Lebanese situation has parallels to the Arab-Israeli conflict but no one outside the Middle Eastern sphere is supporting them.  Judaism predates Islam by around 1500 years, Mohammed wasn’t born until the late-6th century and the Arabian tribes were confined to the Arabian Peninsula south of the region during the biblical times, so which group of people were in the area first and have really been losing land over time?  Christians predated the Muslims too yet don’t claim any part of the Holy Land, they seem very gracious about it as well.

Palestinians aren’t a race, they’re just Arabs and Muslims like everyone else in the surrounding countries so they can fit in very well in those places.  Muslims feel like they can do whatever they want without any repercussions, India is a multireligious country but they couldn’t accept that and broke away to form their own state.  They’re philistines who are intolerant of anyone with opposing ideals, that’s what happens when you let religion interfere with every aspect of your daily life — rather apt they currently occupy the land once inhabited by the original Philistines.  Muslims that are accustomed to western culture are not like that, they’re very civil and sociable, the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina being a prime example of that.

Cynicism

People seem to have a problem who are generally not happy but not me, that’s because I am one of those miserable sods.  I prefer those who are like that; they see life for how it is, they don’t feign optimism and pretend everything is a breeze.  What is wrong with moaning?  It’s like it’s our fault as to why nothing is perfect, we acknowledge that and don’t think smiling will mask the problem.  Depressives do that; pretend to be happy to hide away what’s mentally destroying them, rather than getting it off their chest.  I’ve been down that road and the problem is that there’s no one to out your troubles to, those who think they can help are patronising cunts and so don’t know how to deal with your woes without making it worse for you, you want someone who you can trust and doesn’t treat you any different than someone who thinks they know what they’re doing.

Ironically, those idealist types moan at me for moaning excessively and what should I do about it, fake my personality to appease them?  Fuck off.  Conversely, there are some who praise me for saying stuff for how it is, with brute honesty.  Would you rather be lied to be kept happy, prolonging the issue and making the situation worse when the cat is eventually let out of the bag, or be told the cold, hard truth and get it over and done with there and then?  You’d rather the latter, no one likes liars.  People who are “too nice” never appear to be genuine, they are far too impersonal and try to be intrusive into the lives of others.  It really isn’t natural to be that nice, they are either naive or masking inner problems.  Life isn’t supposed to be a cinch, that’s why we end up dying.  Cynics are funny, making light of a situation whether inadvertently or not, shame the idealists are too stupid to have a proper sense of humour and so ignore it.

Let's not fake our emotions

Forcing happiness on people makes them worse, so fuck off.

Some people in the entertainment industry have taken them to their advantage, Ricky Gervais’s uncovering of Karl Pilkington being the most notable example and less so, Jack Whitehall using his dad as a comic relief in his abomination of a chat show.  One person that is Marmite and tends to split people’s opinion is ex-footballer turned pundit and co-commentator Mark Lawrenson, you can guess what side of the fence I’m on regarding him.  He comes out with the most bizarre of rants mid-game about something like a player’s hairstyle, he’s critical in a very sarcastic manner and comes out with cheesy jokes, not to mention his off-mic laughs.  I think it is acceptable from him because he’s pushing on 60, can’t see Guy Mowbray or the coma-inducing Michael Owen getting away with it.

Lawro was one of the commentators that replaced the legendary duo of Peter Brackley and Sir Trevor Brooking in the Pro Evolution Soccer series, the commentary has never been great on PES but Brackers and Brookers have a cult following from a time when the series was good.  His role wasn’t well-received, mostly owing to the commentary being wooden and not dynamic, he was dropped after three years and was replaced by the bland Gabriel Clarke.  Despite Pro Evo going downhill during the transition from last-gen to current-gen, some of Lawrenson’s one-liners were a highlight especially when a goalkeeper concedes a schtoomer and needs his hands sewn back on.

"This is when I wish I had laryngitis, what am I supposed to say about that?"

“This is when I wish I had laryngitis, what am I supposed to say about that?”

I like cats, some people think they’re shits, I think growing up with them is maybe why I don’t think they’re shits.  Besides that, what I like about them is how they don’t give a fuck; they almost always have that pissed off look about them, they’re stubborn, don’t show much affection and can be spiteful — they are probably the animals that have come closest to replicate true human emotion.  Compare them to dogs; they are far too clingy, always in your face, slobbering over your face, under your feet, just in the way in general.  Although my Ceefer Weefer, he did miss me at Christmas when I saw him for the first time in one and a half years, he was milling around my legs and sitting on my lap when watching telly.  Cats know their limits from day one, dogs have to get old and frail before they stop being a pain.

If cats and dogs were humans, cats would be teenagers who want to be independent and out of the way, dogs on the other hand would be the über-clingy bitch who would kill themselves if they knew you couldn’t bear their presence, either that or a spastic.  I’ve been there; Hannah at school made me snap by being an insufferable prick and persistently lingering near me, like an eggy fart around a tramp, so I pushed her over a classroom table.  She tried slitting her wrists with a spoon albeit unrelated to me I think, dabbled in mild lesbianism and has now started flaunting her enhanced cleavage at every photo opportunity she gets on Facebook.  The attention seeking whore, see why nobody likes her?

Reading the Media

I can’t believe I am doing this; a piece of homework willingly, albeit three months too late.  Not been this eager to do any since were were asked to make a castle for History in year 7, two weeks we were given and I was done in a couple of hours.

This particular piece does interest me, it is how people perceive the media; whether we are slaves to it or whether it’s used to meet our needs.  It is split into three theories; the hypodermic needle, uses and gratification, and encoding and decoding:

  • Hypodermic Needle model — assumes the audience is heavily influenced by the media and it affects our behaviour. (passive audience)
  • Uses and Gratification theory — the audience uses the media to serve a purpose or fulfill their needs, whether it be to escape from the hustle and bustle of reality or for something educational, stuff like that. (active audience)
  • Encoding and Decoding model — how the audience reads the message set by the producer, whether our understanding of it is the intended message or not.  It may not necessarily be the producer’s message, it could be the opinion of someone hired by the producer. (combination of both) This is split into three further readings which I more or less explained:
    • Preferred — your reading of it is what the producer intended
    • Oppositional — your reading is the complete opposite of what was intended
    • Negotiated — you accept parts of the intention and reject the rest

Stuart Hall (not the paedo) coined the encoding and decoding model sort of as a compromise of the other two; pretty much saying we agree with it, we disagree or we do both to different aspects of it.  It doesn’t cover all bases, we can just leave the TV on for the sake of it and watch ever it throws at us and not have an opinion at all, I reckon that’s covered by uses and gratification.  In addition, you don’t need to be brainwashed by the media like how the 12 year old One Dimension fans are — the hypodermic needle model — in order to agree with it.

What can influence our opinion is how we regard this particular person; if you like them, you’re more likely to brown nose them and cling onto their every word.  If you can’t stand them, you’re more likely to dismiss everything they say.  People of reason would take away any personal feelings they have towards the opinionator, passing judgement on their words and not on their character.

The Pat Nevin 'Tactical Masterclass': Close down the winger and leave the striker clean through for an easier goal.

The Pat Nevin Tactical Masterclass: Close down the winger in possession (who went on to score from a tight angle) and leave the striker clean through for an easier goal.

So the other night, there was a programme on BBC2 called Blurred Lines: The New Battle of the Sexes, looking at sexism in the internet age.  As predicted; it was hilariously one-side and turned into a case of ‘wah wah wah women are always the victims‘, ‘men hate women even more now’ and ‘how dare men exercise their right to free speech’.  The show was pretty tedious, I think the whole point of it was to antagonise men — which is sexism in itself — and I was surprised the vox pops of the women not being offended by rude jokes weren’t cut.

It was showing skits of controversial comedian Frankie Boyle poking fun at a woman whilst ignoring any of his material on men, and similarly-proclaimed Brendon Burns talking about 21st century feminism.  To top it off, it had a clip of David Cameron quoting Michael Winner’s ‘calm down, dear’.  So all the show did was turn personal swipes and attacks in the virtual world into a matter of general misogyny, the moral of the story there being; feminists think they are sacred and are all-round better to us mere mortals, critique them at your peril.

I took this to Twitter and commented on how opportunistic feminists seemed to be and I inevitably got a reaction off women, which did nothing but bolster that theory much further.  Their 100 year old pursuit for equality has now reached levels comparable to Islamism; they can make fun of men without a fuss but vice versa, you have a deathwish.  Stand up for women’s rights and you’re a true gentleman, stand up for men’s rights and World War III is on the horizon.  Even had one telling me that 95% of objectification in the media is of women, only to be told that was just on magazine covers sans lad mags, which still seems odd.  Are they counting the little inset of Britney Spears snapped on the beach in her swimwear on the front of Now!?  What a disconcertingly vague statistic, what is the percentage of total magazines with objectifying covers?

The Islamist logical fallacy.

The Islamist logical fallacy.

As long as the two genders coexist, plus with these hip “trans” ones coming in for those who love to be marginalised by society, there will always be a rivalry between the sexes.  To put it humbly, oppositional reading happens all too often in their world and it’s followed by a mass knee-jerk reaction.  It only takes one chicken to cluck a different tune to everyone else to get them all kicking off, it’s a matter of their skewed-up word over the true intentions.  Calling one ‘love’ will result in a reaction not too dissimilar to spitting in their child’s face.

Enough of this now, covered the fallacism of feminism and its philosophy more than enough on here but it is important for the context of this post as I am going to utter three words; Grand, Theft and Auto — the idea of the feminist dystopia since 2001.  If you have been living under a rock or been comatose for the last ten years; Grand Theft Auto is critically acclaimed and is, arguably, the most popular video game franchise — probably behind Mario.  The real question is; is a game named after a vehicle crime and on its most recent release, features three guns and an attack helicopter in action on the cover really controversial?  What did you really expect from it?

I’ve been a fan of the series ever since I owned a PS2, with GTA: Vice City being one of the first games I got with it, along with Primal — before that actually, going round to my old friends’ houses to play it.  I’ve 100%’d all nine GTA games from III to V barring the two handheld Nintendo releases, I am currently one rank away from the gold ‘Above the Law’ trophy on GTA Online, I have a 444-song playlist of tracks featured throughout the series which is over a day and 9 hours long, so you already know my stance on it.  Whose opinion are you more likely to listen to on the subject; someone who knows it inside out, or someone who’s jumped on board the anti-GTA bandwagon and got caught up in the hysteria based on hearsay and not experiencing what it has to offer?

Attacking the police with a tank isn't why GTA is controversial, apparently...

Attacking the police with heavy artillery isn’t why the GTA series is controversial, apparently…

So why is Grand Theft Auto controversial among feminists?  Is it because you can steal vehicles, brutally resist arrest, rescue stranded drivers on a level crossing, slaughter animals, speed, take drugs, jaywalk, drink drive, obliterate pedestrians, collide with traffic, hijack military hardware paid for by the tax payer, take injured people to the hospital, cross red lights without turning right, start gang wars in residential districts, fire a rocket launcher in public, encroach the solid white line separating the directional flow of traffic, hit and run, put out vehicle fires, fly aircraft into skyscrapers, eat fast food, conduct heists, crash into signs and lamp posts, give the homeless money, plant an ignition bomb in an unsuspecting victim’s car, deal drugs, ride a bicycle on the pavement?  Nah, it’s because it’s sexist.

According to them, the only controversy is that you can get it on with the common prostitute and exercise your statutory rights and get a refund by killing her.  It is shocking I must say, you don’t get all of your money back sometimes although other times, you do get interest.  It is fitting that in GTA V, they have included Fear’s ‘The Mouth Don’t Stop (The Trouble with Women Is)‘ from 1985 in the soundtrack.  It is just a shame that they are too OUTRAGED to actually play the game, it is as if they are offended for the sake of being offended and aren’t offended through first-hand exposure, strange.

The programme also cried about how you can visit strip clubs like in real life, as well as the in-game media being sexist and ignoring the fact the game satirises reality.  See, spoofing Facebook and Sprite here, two birds with one stone.  Americans who love the series are oblivious that it has been taking the piss out of them and their plastic culture for 13 years.  BL: TNBotS focused on the in-game billboards for reality TV series Serious Cougar and one for perfume brand Le Chien, complete with slogan ‘smell like a bitch’.  If you don’t like being the butt of parodies or satire, even on behalf of other people, move to North Korea or Belarus.  That’s the problem with living in the west, we have this really unfair principle called ‘free speech’.

Satirical or insultive?

Satirical or insultive?

Someone was SHOCKED and APPALLED at these biased findings, taking it to Twitter to express her OUTRAGE that you can slaughter whores in an 18-rated game.  She posed the question what if there was a game you could kill animals or children, like the murder of animals is far worse than that of humans.  I think game developers don’t feature children in gun-happy games for that reason, Rockstar — the developer of Grand Theft Auto — released Bully in 2006 where you were a mischievous boy at boarding school.  No guns, no hardcore violence, just the mild stuff we see in cartoons.  As expected, it caused an outcry from the usual suspects before it was released so R* renamed it in Europe to Canis Canem Edit — which didn’t stop its original name being retained for the special edition release in the same territory.

2004’s GTA: San Andreas responded to the criticism of gamers’ voluntary reaction to the socially immoral activity of prostitution by including a pimping side-mission; where after you chauffeur a couple of slappers around one of the cities and save them from unruly and shortchanging clients, they start paying you for hanky panky instead.  There’s also a mission in the game where if you save one from a SWAT raid on a motel, you will be rewarded with a health boost, where’s the praise for that?  Oh yeah, feminists only emphasise on the negative.  Make a female-friendly game but with just a single bad act where a woman gets slapped and put in her place for being a bitch, all the feminist attention will be funnelled onto that one event and all positive aspects will be ignored.

That Emily didn’t reply to me directly on Twitter but she had the cheek to reply behind my back, saying that I should ride shotgun on the anti-GTA bandwagon with her and get offended by nonsense that doesn’t affect me.  No ta, petal, I’m able to stand up for myself and don’t want to end up as a self-victimising opportunist who can’t look at and hear anything without getting upset.  I grew up with Crash Bandicoot and later, along with GTA, Pro Evolution Soccer but you don’t see me jumping around eating fruit or playing top-level football.  GTA V was the first in the series my mates got into, not because they had enough of the controversies, but that it seemed too much effort for them to maintain the protagonist in GTA: SA‘s wellbeing by eating every 48 game hours and hitting the gym.

I like crashing high speed into oncoming traffic and killing the other driver on impact in the game, do you think I’m going to attempt that in reality?  I must add, that pastime was more fun in GTA IV, as they actually flew through the windscreen.  Saying that, I have seen the result of a head-on collision many moons ago, skipping detention for an open day at North Trafford College only for the roads to be closed off.  Games are supposed to be fun, not boring and too demanding.  If I wanted to do all this realistic and low-octane bollocks outdoors, I’ll go outside instead.

Sensationalism

This thing has been around for as long as we were able to communicate, make something more extravagant than it really is.  We do it everyday and I’ve been a victim of this, with it being made out I caused an episode in a Bradford branch of Chicken Cottage when all what happened was I ordered the same meal as someone else but with different drinks, he inadvertently took my dinner so I took his when it came and then swapped drinks.  It does miff me when someone makes glaring historical errors when recalling stories involving me or where I was a witness, I’m always there to save the day and right the wrong.

On the other side of the coin, there is presenting bullshit as fact and doing it in such a manner that people will buy into it.  Unfortunately that is quite commonplace, where no one questions the authenticity of something that seems rather extravagant and dubious.  Sometimes the bullshit is glaring right in front of you but it’s bizarre how many tread into it, other times it is in your face but you need to do a bit of work to truly smell the fishiness.  The latter is the case with “statistics”; it can be stated that 1 in 9 so-and-so, with the figures laid out underneath but when you work out the mean (the true average), the total comes closer to 1 in 5.  The issue there is the “stats” have been broken down and presented so people automatically assume the source is verifiable, also they don’t have the time or a calculator handy to do the arithmetic themselves.

It’s the European elections next month and the talk of the town has been the United Kingdom Independence party, UKIP.  All year the news outlets have been slating them and branding them this, that or the other because one of their members did this, that or the other.  So what?  We know they’re conservative Brits and therefore politically incorrect.  This week has been an eventful one for them; their new poster campaign has been deemed racist and hypocritical as one featured an Irishman — whose rights in the UK are determined by UK law and not EU law unlike with the Poles etc, a star in their latest video dissed Islam and someone else in their crew said Dudley-born hotel salesman Lenny Henry should go to a black country.  Henry said that there should be more black faces in the media and I think the UKIP bloke has a point there, this is a natively white country after all.

Why there should be more black people in the media.

The general public has been jumping on board the anti-UKIP bandwagon, well the loony left who are all for democracy and free speech, just as long as you share their ideologies.  One group I did find is Hope Not Hate who are so pathetically against them, they come up with the most ludicrous “facts” and statistics like they’re making a point.  Couple of those “points” were that UKIP MEPs hardly vote in the European parliament, the institution they are against and want to gain autonomy from and that they voted against combating tax evasion one time they didn’t abstain, as they vote against everything in protest against laws being made in Brussels instead of Westminster.

The loonies are always picking on a selection of their UK policies and some they made up themselves, which have little bearing in the party’s European pursuit.  People tend to be more radical at the European elections but are more civil in the general elections, I would vote BNP in the Euros but never in the nationals and locals.  Hope Not Hate say that they’re fighting against “racism” in politics but what have those examples got to do with ethnicity or creed?  These people are incredibly bitter, they can’t accept that others agree with UKIP’s policies and are instead shouting ‘racist’ at them, flexing their own fascist muscles.  They are the same people who think the British parliament should reflect the ethnic diversity of the country, which is a fucking shit idea.  Go to your country of origin if you want your race to be properly represented in government, stop moving to others and expecting to be given a slice of the cake.

Everyone laughed at UKIP when 26 million Bulgarians and Romanians didn’t arrive at Heathrow at the start of the year when all what the party did was note how many unemployed people there are in the EU sans Croatia, seeing that the UK became an Eastern European hotspot in 2004, not suggest how many will come over.  Europhiles are under the illusion that a UK outside the EU will fall back into the Stone Age and be isolated from the world, oblivious to massive economies like Japan and the USA not needing to be members of a power-sapping supernational economic union to be successful.

Their poster is racist, they're burning our national flag.

Their poster is racist, they’re burning our national flag.

Prime Minister David Cameron courted faux controversy by calling the UK a Christian country, which it is last time I checked.  England is Anglican, Scotland is Presbyterian, Wales was part of the Kingdom of England and Northern Ireland is split Catholic and Protestant.  The Queen is the head of the Church of England so what’s the deal?  Perhaps a meal wouldn’t be made out of it if Asians integrated into society and don’t isolate themselves and their many kids from it.  I live in a place full of Asians and one of them always shouts at her children, a horrible noise comes out of her not too dissimilar to that of Alien.  I think she has been impregnated by one and its spawn is going to crawl out of her mouth whilst she’s making that noise and’ll wreak terror in the ‘hood.

It’s just as bad in the sports world; Jack Wilshere was branded a racist last year for saying that the England football team should be for English players, which nobheads would refute that?  It defeats the point of international football if it was like club football or Qatar, buying players willy nilly and having a seemingly unlimited pool to choose from.  This all came about because England manager Roy Hodgson is misguided on the eligibility rules, he thought then-18 year old Belgian-born Kosovar-Albanian Adnan Januzaj could one day be capped for the Three Lions and the English population took his word for it.  He’s only been here for almost 3 years now, when the four UK associations have an agreement that players must have been born in, have at most a grandparent from or at least five years education by age 18 in any of the home nations before they are eligible for that particular one.

Let's keep Britain to be about British.

Let’s want Britain to be about British.

I thought this was settled when Scotland tried to cap Spaniard Nacho Novo, or when England tried to cap Spaniards Mikel Arteta and Manuel Almunia, or when Wales tried to cap Spaniard Angel Rangel.  They all failed because they aren’t British, nor are their parents nor their schools.  Blame Hodgson for being thick, not Wilshere for saying it how it was.  I think that it is dying down now in the UK, seeing English people represent Wales because their great gran once spent a weekend in Aberystwyth.  English-born pundits like Andy Townsend, Mick McCarthy and Mark Lawrenson — who were all too shit to play for England so chose Ireland — don’t know their own nationality; they still pretend to be Irish but call themselves English, I guess it depends on which one’s more fashionable at the time.

When the FA put the new England shirts on sale the other week, everyone was crying that they were £90, completely ignoring the fact that was the price of the player-specification shirts and not the replica.  Being a Man United fan, I know that Nike have been doing that quite a lot in recent years, even selling mislabelled “authentic” player-issue shirts in a neat box for £90.  Mislabelled as the proper match issued shirts shouldn’t have any labels in them at all, the wash care symbols should be heat pressed inside the shirt.  To add insult to injury and some irony to proceedings, there were times that season where United players wore replicas in matches as stocks were running low, more so when the season was reaching its climax.

At the Old Trafford museum, they hang up replica shirts in the dressing room outside matchdays so we know where each player sits, Dave the tour guide told us that the matchday shirts are far more rugged than the replicas.  Surely it should be the opposite, they only get worn for 45 minutes before never seeing the light of day again, replicas — if bought by Sunday League footballers — go through more hustle and bustle.  The worst thing is that Nike shirts are made from EIGHT plastic bottles, which are pennies to produce.  You can buy good quality unauthorised replica shirts on the online black market, they’re around £12 so you’re not getting ripped off unlike with “authentic” replicas.

Contradicting my claim from two years ago by 46.666666666666664%, I am really sorry about misleading you.

Contradicting my claim from two years ago by 46.666666666666664%, I am really sorry about misleading you.

There was another football-related shitstorm last year that everyone has now forgotten about because it was a massive non-story, which was Kyle Walker inhaling laughing gas.  You get laughing gas in whipped cream and I have a canister of that in the fridge, am I a hardline druggie now?  Laughing gas is nitrous oxide, nitrogen and oxygen are the two most abundant elements in the earth’s atmosphere so what’s the deal?  Medical professionals use the stuff to ease the pain of patients, I think it’s that the press want to shame someone for blowing bullshit out of proportion and hoping the gullible will buy into it.  What next, name and shame people taking hydrous oxide?

It’s like all this internet spying nonsense; we know our internet providers and IT technicians in buildings monitor our web activity but when a news outlet spins it because a website does all that, there’s a fucking outrage.  It is a sad state of affairs when people actually do fall for that shite and get caught up in this hysteria.  Give it all a week before everyone is bored and it’s forgotten about, when the rags witch hunt another high-profile person for being a racist anti-Muslim and anti-Semite because they ate a bacon butty, with everyone else who does it also being scums of the earth and will contract cancer from looking at it.

Living in the digital age does have its upsides — there are so many more channels at our disposal and none of them have to fulfill a news output quota so you can stick to them and can abstain from the news for weeks, all your worries about ’70s paedophilia and terrorists blowing each other up in an irrelevant land are forgotten about.  Games consoles are heavily dependent on being connected to the internet which has drastically increased their replay value, from the longevity of games to streaming services of a vast catalogue of films and TV shows.  Until you watch the news again, you realise how much you don’t give a fuck about current affairs.

Youth of Today

The current crop of teenagers are doomed, they have become severely out of touch with the world.  They’d rather talk to their “friends” (who they never met) through a headset, playing some online roleplaying game on their computers, than going outside and interact with them.  It is a bit rich coming from me though, typing this up at 4am but back in the day when I was their age, I played football on the streets with my mates, we went to the pictures sometimes, we even went out for dinner with their family at short notice — if any notice was given.  All that now seems to be confined the past and today, teenagers almost shit themselves when someone literally talks to them.  They cannot exercise their statutory rights and exchange a packet of crisps because they happened to pick up the wrong flavour, bit of a tame example but they are scared of grabbing the bull by the horns, a tamed bull.

There could be a factor of things as to why the teenagers of the 2010s are socially inept, compared to us lot from the previous decade.  Technology could be one; everything is so much advanced and like everyone, it heavily relies on the internet to function and are prone to being exploited.  It was around 15 years ago when broadband was phasing out dial-up, where simultaneously browsing the web and using the phone was seen as witchcraft.  Now, in the age of WiFi and fibre optics, dial-up might as well be reintroduced because no one uses their landline anymore.  Call me a dinosaur but we have become too connected, we don’t need to go leave the house to pop to the shops for a pint of milk.  We did have our game consoles back then and a shitload of games but we knew our limits, we didn’t become obsessed like they are now.

Another reason could be that we have become a people brainwashed by sensationalism, we should be scared and that has weakened us.  The kids are too dependent now and rely on someone to set things out for them instead of using their intuition, we have now lost our sense of community.  There was an old lady who lived down our road and she invited us into her house, we watched Fort Boyard and played this ball game in the garden where we had to guess who hid it.  We can’t do that today because kids are ordered not to go outside, in case Ian Huntley lives next door and invites them in for cake.  With all this aforementioned tech, it has made these people hate fresh air and physical activity so scaremongering may not be to blame.  The government rally on about life expectancy increasing and straining the NHS, these lot will be dead by 30, either via morbid obesity or severe malnutrition.

Split screen: The true definition of multiplayer, none of that online jazz,

Split screen: The true definition of multiplayer, none of that online jazz.

We are living longer partly because the chemicals in our food have been illegalised and been replaced by healthier and natural alternatives, it’s been 10 years now and they haven’t found an alternative for the red shoe dye in the bacon Pot Noodles, which was giving us all cancer.  Smoking’s now banned inside public places, tobacco advertising was forbidden around 10 years ago too and the age limit was increased from 16 to 18 back in 2007.   So what are the kids turning to now?  Electronic cigarettes.  Even by those who’ve never smoked a proper fag before, e-cigs are only gonna lead to harder stuff for them.  The whole point of them was to draw people away from smoking altogether by reducing their nicotine intake without going cold turkey and suffering withdrawal symptoms, not to do the exact opposite and act as a step up to tobacco consumption.

Having two brothers myself and being of different “generations”, I have been able to witness this decline in sociability — not to mention going back to college and being surrounded by 16-18 year olds.  I’m the oldest out of the lot and my next brother is like 14 or 15, with the youngest being 7 years old.  The young one is a borderline spacker, he came round for Christmas to stay with dad for whilst I stayed with mum and the younger brother.  My dad is just as bad, when I came back a week later, my dirty washing and pots were still untouched as either of them neither; have the common sense gene or have the courtesy to do some housework, even if one of those jobs takes 2 minutes max.  I would go with the former, to be politically correct, as I came back to tooth marks dug into my remote control.  They didn’t even bother washing the pots they used in that week and expected me to do it.

The 14-15 one, Will, there is something mentally wrong with him but both parents deny it.  When he gets away from his house life for a week, he still insists on going on his laptop and playing Habbo Hotel or World of Warcraft.  He is a fucking gobshite and turns into a cocky prick when you point out his shitty way of life to him, I will list why he is a terrible at being a human being:-  He’s incredibly skinny and only eats when you tell him to.  He has very bad eczema but stays in bed until 3pm and never leaves his stuffy, humid and smelly room.  He only drinks bottled water because he doesn’t like any other liquid despite not trying anything else.  He doesn’t know when he’s dirty and smelly so he never showers, unless you tell him and still he’s reluctant to get clean.  He “gets his kicks” off pictures of an anthropomorphised transsexual slug inserting its abnormally massive dick inside the dick of another tranny slug.  He still wore nappies and drank milk out of a baby’s bottle until he was like 7.

It's not long until this level of stupidity becomes the norm for young people.

It won’t be long until this level of stupidity becomes the norm for young people.

He gets so immersed in those games, he would die unless someone tells him to do normal human things like eat and shit.  Dad just reinforces his lacklustre behaviour, himself gorping in front of his screen on those Flash games with the annoying sound effects, the same person who made me play Crash Bandicoot 3 with the sound down because he didn’t like the music.  His idea of a day out is going Tesco to buy slices of ham whereas with my mum, we all went out on one of those family adventure attraction thingies in the middle of the countryside.  With the 7 year old, I just hope he can be taught well and be put off Will’s no-lifestyle.  The younger generation can learn and what’s happening now will just be a blip.

To the point in hand because my dad doesn’t like it when I talk squat about him, teens today are boring droves with no personality.  They are uncultured and losing touch with their own national identity, obsessed with Japanese cartoons they can’t understand and influenced by the American internet culture which is set out by people of a similar stature on the other side of the Atlantic.  It’s what wannabe westerners from Turkey and Indonesia, who see those Yanks as the epitome of what’s cool in the western world.  Brits don’t need to do it because we are westerners and unlike Americans, we have our own culture(s) and heritage(s).

I’ve heard British teens recently say ‘zee’ for the letter Z, ‘groceries’ for shopping, ‘cafeteria’ instead of canteen, ‘candy’ for sweets, ‘Legoes’ for the plural of Lego (which is the same as the singular), ‘season’ for a group of six episodes of a TV programme.  They also think the American Office is the original one and have never seen the original British series, although granted, Ricky Gervais has become an insufferable prick after the success of it inflated his ego ten thousand-fold — I haven’t seen the British series (nor the American one) either and it’s that what’s put me off.  There are some Americanisms which have slipped into the British vernacular in general though, ‘block’ probably being my biggest culprit as I grew up on a crescent-shaped street.  In British, it means one building but in American, it is a group of buildings bounded by roads.

10 Top Tips to Become an Animator

Late last year, MediaCityUK held a media festival which featured big names like Conor McNamara of BBC Radio Five Live and occasional Match of the Day fame, TV executives and people of that calibre.  I went to a talk entitled Ten Top Tips to get, and develop, in animation… and stay there with Justin Weyers, according to the guidebook we were given.  If you don’t know who Mr Weyers is, he produced a skit in a Monty Python documentary a couple of years back and he’s legendary in his profession — not my words nor the words of Shakin’ Stevens, they’re the words of the guide.

We were given a notebook to take notes on and I put it to good use, to take notes of the advice given from Justin.  It was a good pad, it had ‘Salford Media Festival’ watermarked on each leaf.  Don’t know why I went, animation doesn’t tickle my fancy although I did dabble in it at college, got a great stop-motion video of a Transformer-esque spartan fighting a Ugandan Stealth Force agent.

  1. CREATIVENESS
    • Perceive things differently, try to at least.  Put a different take on things, ¿sdɐɥɹǝd xoq ǝɥʇ ǝpᴉsʇno ʞuᴉɥʇ
    • Having tattoos and piercings does NOT make you creative, too many self-proclaimed graphic designers have a cone sticking out their earlobe, have their hair styled so it’s always pointing towards Hong Kong, and wear Roy Orbison specs with pieces of perspex in place of varifocal lenses or any other plastics that aid your sight.
      • Why not own a reptile in a fish tank whilst we’re at it?  Be so hip that you need replacing in 50 years’ time, they’re all fucking at it.
    • Be different to the next person along, different in any way you can.  Have a different gran or a different liver, something that makes you different from the rest of the droves around you.
  2. TWIST THE CONTEMPORARY
    • Probably for those with no creative ability without portfolio, that is what parodies are after all, happens in all or most renowned animated productions anyway.
      • ‘Animate a song line’ was what he told us and being in Manchester, someone suggested The Smiths’s ‘There’s a Light That Never Goes Out’.  That is easy for me because I remember a time when the light switch in our first house (years after we moved out of it) wouldn’t turn off, I was there when the electrician — who was only there to sort out the fuse box — ripped out the switch from the fitting and fixed it at the turn of a screwdriver.
        • That said, witness something that’s considered oddball to everyone else.  I’m sure everyone has witnessed something most of us never had, I’m sure only three of us were there at the light switch incident and I’m probably the only one who remembered it.
  3. OBSERVE OTHER CULTURES
    • Eastern Europeans laugh severely at everything, like they’re being forced, as if what they were watching was a communist propaganda video in the 1970s.  I think I was the only Manc in the room, there was a guy from St. Helens who claimed to be Irish and everyone else was from Slovakia and Bulgaria etc.  He only asked four of us where we came from.
  4. BECOME CULTURED
    • Be foreign.  Come from another country or go to one, it makes you international.  After all, Justin is Australian and was due in San Francisco the week after.
      • If you already migrated, whether for economic or political or whatever reason, you are already one step ahead of the game.
      • For people like me, who can only trace their roots back to the north of this island, the countries on equal billing to or better than the UK are:
        • USA
        • Proper Commonwealth (Australia, Canada, New Zealand)
        • Europe on the brighter side of the former Iron Curtain (AKA Western Europe)
      • As stated earlier, Eastern Europe is worth a punt, plus most of the countries there are in the EU so you don’t need a visa or a work permit.  Although they’re not as “prestigious” as those listed above.
      • Countries to avoid:
        • Ireland — too non-foreign.  Do you consider Terry Wogan or Graham Norton to be “international”?
        • Scotland — as above, if the Lord Emperor Salmond gets his way to make it no longer legally obligant to fly the Union Jack outside Holyrood.
        • Spain — too full of British chavs, on the cheap resorts and islands that is.  Nowt wrong with the landlocked cities and decent coastal ones like Barcelona, Valencia, San Sebastián and the like.  It’s places like Benidorm and Marbella I mean, full list of Spanish places to avoid here.
        • Greece — as above.
        • Cyprus — as above above, minus the detail.
  5. OPTIMISM
    • Let’s be honest, it gets you everywhere and it disappoints most of the time.  The guy was boasting how he could sell ice to Eskimos, nobody likes a showoff/bighead.
  6. AFFILIATIONS
    • Know a renowned animator, probably someone bigger than Justin Weyers, like Matt Groening.  Being good pals with one gets you into the industry like a click of the finger (should say ‘at’, but everyone means what I meant).
      • If you’re trying to get to know one, don’t ask nooby cliché questions like ‘what inspired you to get into animation?’.  They’d see you more of an advice seeker than a budding affiliate.
        • Ask mundane questions instead to find some common ground, work up a friendship from that.  Ask if they liked Pogs or something round there on the lameness scale, you will be bezzies and be within the industry in no time.
  7. SALARY
    • If you’re starting from the bottom, demand £50 a day for your work.  It’s the basic amount and it’s decent, shows you’re not needy and aren’t trying to milk the client dry.  I got paid £50 a day to decorate for 8 hours, if you want to compare it to something, works out at £6.25 an hour so it’s just above the minimum wage.  Once you make it big, you’ll be shitting out £50 instead.
  8. RESEARCH
    • Watch more cartoons, any animated films, anything not live action footage.  I recommend Waltz with Bashir, I’ve not seen it but I did review the animation techniques in the film.  It is NOT rotoscoping, they didn’t trace over live action footage but it was used as a base, much like using the landscape in front of you when you’re drawing from a hilltop.  The animation style is cel shading, which was also famously used in CBeebies programme Boo! and video game XIII.
      • Public Image Ltd. features in the film’s soundtrack, I’ve gotten into them after deciding to rip their Plastic Box box set.  ‘Don’t Ask Me’ and ‘Criminal’ are some good tunes, not their signature nor mainstream songs but still good.  They’d be underrated if their anchor member wasn’t the lead singer of the Sex Pistols and a main player in the late-1970s British anti-establishment music scene.  They may not have been underrated in the ’80s but they certainly are now, unless you’re over 40.
  9. COMPROMISE
    • If you can’t animate, do voiceovers.  They are a key role within animation, you don’t need to sound like anyone in particular otherwise that’s imitating.  Surely, everyone bar the mute can do voices?
  10. DECEIVE
    • This is here because I don’t have a proper tip to make up the numbers, I originally listed 12 but 3 of them entwined with others.  Sorry.
    • Related to this point and something I did jot down, the biggest contributor at the talk was someone sat among us, on the front row.  So… have a double agent disguised as a pawn for when audience contributions are dry, once you’ve made it big and are giving out talks on how to animate?
      • There, I deceived myself on the subject of deception.

Like all Top Tips advice on the internet, this doesn’t intend to be helpful, your ability to draw and animate plays a more essential role.

Philosophy

What is philosophy?  Can any randomer become a philosopher?  Are you born philosophically?  Have I asked enough philosophical questions?  Who decides who should become a philosopher or not?  Does this opening paragraph make me a philosopher?  Are philosophers needed anymore?  I think I proved my point, what a waste of time this is.

But seriously, where does it get you these days?  I’ve been criticised for thinking outside the box too often but I’m not boarding this shit of a train.  It was all the rage in ancient times because they needed thinkers, they started with nothing and that’s how they built up society and became civilised.  They were born lateral thinkers or with the mental essentials to become so, Plato nor Aristotle didn’t waste £8000 per annum to get a bit of paper with a holographic stamp, worth less than a 5p-off coupon for ASDA Smart Price lemonade, after three years.  They couldn’t do that for starters, it was self-taught ancient Greek philosophers who established the fundamental educational institutions for those thickie types and to share their wisdom.

Them Hellenic lot never boasted about being “certified”, nor use it as a platform to dismiss the logic of those who officially aren’t.  They’re the ones who need to be dismissed, the so-called graduates, their supposed great minds made them victims of daylight robbery.  Many of them are Ruud van Nistelrooy but assume they have the right to be Andrea Pirlo because they own a scrap of paper with no authoritative value, take a health and safety course in food handling if you want one of those.  You might as well study hair and beauty at uni, at least that would get you somewhere in life.

A 20th/21st century philosopher:- His problem was dealing with hoover dust bags and he solved that problem.

A 20th/21st century philosopher, his problem was dealing with hoover dust bags and he solved it via thinking.

Proper philosophers are pioneers and actually made breakthroughs in the fields of maths and science, in their spare time they come up with quotes that you can grasp straight away but takes snobs two hours to decipher.  Take René Decartes’s ‘I think therefore I am’, because you won’t be able to say that if you couldn’t think.  That’s the only “philosophical” quote I know, I was taught it whilst learning about 3D modelling and Cartesian coordinates — the X, Y (and Z) axes.

Apparently, something along the lines of ‘denial is the first step towards acceptance’ is one but it’s definitely not that because ‘I can’t quote philosophy properly’ according to TomboyPrincess, I didn’t know she was a moderator of philosophy.  Well what kind of bullshit is that?  How can’t you quote a concept of the mind properly?  Every quote is philosophical because it comes from the fucking brain.  I just hope she’s narcissistic enough to Google her own Twitter name, she seemed to be in a foul mood and was probably arguing for the sake of it.

The answer to most things in life.

The answer to most things in life. (Don’t fret, it’s plastic)

It all came about when she interjected an argument I was having with a self-victimising yet hypocritical keyboard feminist — which I’ve gone into more detail here near the bottom, not getting bogged down with all that again — by calling me a dick but by denying she was a feminist and seemingly sticking up for them, I didn’t get her point.  She did have the last word so she won, couldn’t really be arsed replying to ‘gosh, I’m far from big and strong and even further from classy’ otherwise things would get a lot more tedious than they originally were.

I would have replied with Alan Partridge’s ‘great, that’s something we’ve got in common’ but I feared in getting caught out quoting someone else and adding more fuel to the fire, should have done it in the end as she was recently flummoxed by Quizmania‘s Gregg Scott’s owl sanctuary reference and see where it had got us.  Anyway, congratulations, big girl.

Recycling

It doesn’t help that councils don’t use a widely-accepted colour code for the purpose of each bin, some rural councils still rely on the light blue bag for paper though many (sub)urban authorities scrapped it for a blue bin many many moons ago.  Black bins serve different purposes in Trafford and Manchester despite like everywhere, they were the solitary and universal waste bin until around 2008.  Traff changed the black bin to glass and plastics, with a newly introduced grey bin being for unrecyclable shite.

Even though the black bin takes twice as long to fill up now, it only gets emptied once a month, the green nature bin gets emptied every fortnight but that one can go two years before it actually needs taking out.  I never had to push down the contents of the green bin, unlike the others as anything hardly goes in it so as a compromise, put all the recycling bins on a 3 week rota so they all get equal billing with the grey bin going out every week.  Like it matters recycling dead plants, sticks and leftover dinner, they are naturally biodegradable and (far more) safe (than chemically formed plastics being left) to rot within the realm of the outdoors, that’s what compost is.

Leave it as it is, you can't polish a turd.

Leave it as it is, you can’t polish a turd.

Moving back within city limits of Manchester for the first time since becoming of the age of reasoning, I still don’t know the bin rota here a year and a half on.  I just go outside and see what everyone else has put out and they’re just as helpful, they don’t take any risks and put all of them out every week.  I don’t think any of mine have reached critical capacity since the first time they were emptied after Christmas, luckily it isn’t a fish that needs frying for two months or thereabouts.

In the good old days of the 1990s, my dad used to collect aluminium cans off the streets and stored them in the beast of a shed we had, think it was a converted garage.  He is a civil servant so technically, he’s doing his job after hours although waste management is not his department.  So some time after he left, mum took them to a recycling plant in town and got £36 for them all, with each can being worth a penny to them.

FUCK THE SYSTEM

FUCK THE SYSTEM

Compare that to now, you are threatened with a fine if you put a milk bottle in the plastics bin with its lid on.  If they accept plastics and glass going into the same one, two completely different materials, then they can deal with a natural product like cardboard being slipped in by “accident”.  Bin men have the right to leave bins if they get too full and councils have the cheek to charge you for an extra bin if needs be,  you chose to provide a public service so do your job properly and empty them.  Suppose it is to prevent abuse of the system, stopping people like a LAD from ordering 50000 of them and doing something LADdish like race in them down the street with his LAD mates and post a video it on Facebook, BANTER.

Bin men never have the courtesy to take the bin back to the front of your house and plonk it halfway down the road tucked behind a car, fine them for not doing their job properly, not the public who are no longer getting paid for what is now pretty much a legal obligation.  I still don’t know what to do with disputed items like drink cartons; are they paper, plastic or unrecyclable?  I don’t fucking care and put it into whichever tickles my fancy at that moment.  Items like that are easily reusable, clean them out and add a new cap and it’s good as new, no one would care it was the same thing in its former life.

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