Thursday 23 October 2008


Surround sound layout
When he looked back it would be with tears of joy and a glow in his heart. Those were the halcyon days; slouched on the sofa, a pile of DVDs on the table, a cup of tea in one hand, remote control in the other… It didn't get any better. He had to acknowledge however that there might be more to life than this. How would he ever be taken seriously when he needed 5.1 surround sound to truly experience what life had to offer?

He was half way through his week away from work and already wishing he'd booked a second week of idleness; but normal life was beginning to encroach on this idol paradise. A trip to the garden centre was, he believed, only a precursor to more uninmaginable terrors.

Doubts began to play at his mind
  • Should he have read a book instead?
  • Was he guilty of using too many semi-colons?
  • Why did his wife keep making him shepherd's pie when he'd told her he wasn't too keen? Or at least he thought he had.
  • Were Liverpool FC capable of mounting a serious challenge to the title this season?
  • Is bullet pointing just a cheap way to extend your blog entry when you've run out of ideas?
  • Would anybody notice?
Not to be continued...

Tuesday 14 October 2008

Stress relief

I acquired half a dozen stress balls from work today; or at least from the marketing department. It was all for a good cause, namely to distract my seven year old daughter whilst I settled down to the serious task of vegetating on the sofa.

"Are they juggling balls?" she asked.

"They're stress balls" I half heartedly explained, "If you find yourself getting annoyed then you give the ball a squeeze".

"Really?" Upon which she put on her best 'angry face', squeezed the ball and sighed "They're really good!"

Twenty minutes, and several stress balls flying across the room, later… "LAUREN!" I exclaim, "Calm down!"

To which she picks up a couple of the balls, walks over to me and says.

"Here you are Daddy", and handing me a ball; "You look like you're getting annoyed…"

Then she adds…

"In fact you'd better have two."

Sunday 12 October 2008

Golden (Gordon) Brown

Gordon Brown
Somewhat paradoxically, though I have little time for socialism (it's a long story) I have some sympathy for the Prime Minister - because unlike many of the sell-outs in New Labour, he really is a socialist. No really, he is; it's just he hasn't come out of the closet with regard to his feelings. He has to rely on hideously complicated tax schemes, such as family credits, to redistribute wealth and thus hint at his true nature.

Poor bloke; he hankered after his dream job for years only to find it sullied by his predecessor. The wrongs of Tony Blair were hung around Gordon's neck and the public were determined to make him pay. Thus, despite not being entirely responsible, he found himself unpopular to begin with… and it went downhill from there. The soaring cost of food and fuel, again not his fault, only served to make him more disliked; a Jonah for the nation.

Therefore, having previously been a Chancellor of the Exchequer for so long, the current financial crisis might seem like the last thing he needs; but it could prove to be his salvation. This is a crisis so large that it's managed to make us forget, albeit temporarily, about 'minor' problems such as keeping warm in the winter or how we can afford to eat. What this country needs is a saviour; someone to rescue us from this mess. We are caught in the light of a global financial meltdown and we'll kiss the feet of anyone who can pull us out of the way. Never mind that he put us there in the first place.

Saturday 11 October 2008

It is a democracy, dammit!

If you listen long enough you can hear the bleat of the political sore loser. Unable to accept the result of a past election they will scatter around terms such as oligarchy, plutocracy or even 'elected dictatorship' to decry the democracy they live in. Indeed they will do their level best to suggest it isn't a democracy at all.

I'll not deny that government can often appear by the wealthy and for the benefit of the few; but it is we the people who put them there. Admittedly some democratic systems are better than others. The 'first past the post' system of Britain has far more potential than any 'proportional' system for representation that cares more about it's constituency than the party to which they belong.

However I'm not arguing about which voting system is best. I'm arguing that we have a vote. The first vote of the U.S. House of Representatives to reject the recent financial bail-out plan is a great example of this. In opposition to an all-party leadership there were some who rejected the plan as the backdoor to socialism (God forbid!), but most rejected the bill becauseFight apathy graffiti there are elections around the corner; their electorate had told them exactly what they could do with it. I didn't agree with that initial result, but it shouldn't be sneered at - it is something to applaud.

The point is we don't just have a vote; we can let others know how we're going to use it. If there's no one worth voting for then campaign on the issue you believe in or run for office yourself. I'm not suggesting it's easy, it isn't; but before you're tempted to use the words oligarchy and plutocracy again, you ought to look up the word apathy.

Sunday 5 October 2008

The point of it all (prologue)

A man with no ideas
So it's the start of another long trying week and I've got this stupid Paul McCartney song looping in my head when all I really want to do is write. But even with a messed up economy, the looming U.S. presidential elections and the urge to write something meaningful, I'm finding it very difficult to get motivated. Despite these choice topics I can't spark myself into action; they're all too damn depressing.

I'm also finding it physically difficult as I'm having trouble breathing. I think it's some kind of mild asthma similar to that which I use to have as a child; only back then it was always after some strong physical exertion. This time it appears to be stress related; I get back home and it slowly builds up over the evening so that by the time I'm ready for bed I'm gulping in the air.

So it's the start of another long trying week and I've got this stupid Paul McCartney song looping in my head. I'd quite like to write something meaningful, but whilst I've got these loose ideas swimming around I can't seem to hook them together. I wonder if I'll ever get to part one.