NOTE: The very attractive portrait you observe to the right was obtained by squashing my face onto the platen of my scanner and hitting the 'GO' button. Isn't technology wonderful? By the way, if you really want to know what I'm like, just send me all your credit card details and I'll be sure to send you a detailed resumé by return post.
RANT No. 1
I am male. I am white. I am my own boss. I am therefore at the Top Of The Heap, societally speaking. So how come I never have any goddam money? I'll tell you why! It's because of the GREAT CONSPIRACY, that's why! That's right! "THEY" are afraid of me, and they want to keep me down! I know what they're like, but it'll do them no good, no, because I've got FRIENDS, yes I have, and they'll take care of all the faceless bureaucrats who have been keeping me from my birthright and stifling my just ambition! Oh yes, the DAY is coming, and then we'll see who has the last laugh! Oh, great will be the lamentation on that DAY in the BELLY of GOZER...
Oops. Lost it there for a minute, but I'm alright now, the pills are starting to work.
It's quite true that I'm white, male, employed, and (mostly) penniless. However, for the most part my life is pretty good. I eat regularly, which has got to be a Good Thing, and the bills mostly get paid. (Seldom on time, but they get paid eventually). I've got a motorbike which keeps me mobile and sane, though it accounts for a large part of my Lack Of Funds, and I've got a computer, which accounts for the rest of my Lack Of Funds. I've got a wonderful partner who keeps me intellectually alive and emotionally secure. I've got some entertaining friends. Thank fuck I'm not living in some fly-blown refugee camp in Rwanda or Zaire, or being shot at by drunken morons in Bosnia or New York.
RANT No. 2
What's with all the goddamn sport they show on the TV, anyway? It wouldn't be so bad, but most of it is mind-numbingly boring. Who in their right mind actually thinks that forty-seven hours of yachting is entertaining? Or cricket, for that matter -- where's the entertainment value in a game where five days of play can be summed up in thirty seconds of highlights on the six o'clock news? Motor racing is shown solely so that people can watch the crashes, so why not just show the disasters? If you include a list of place-getters at the end to give the illusion that the actual racing counts for anything, everyone would be happy. What really gets on my goat is the way that sport is given top priority for air-time, so that shows I've been waiting for months to see are unceremoniously canned so that New Zealand's moronic sportsters can watch a six-month-old video of a rugby match between Lithuania and Botswana. It's that goddamn CONSPIRACY again! What are they trying to DO TO ME!!?? Don't these people have anything better to do?
Oops, medication time again, I guess.
RANT No. 3
You know what really pisses me off? What sends me into a towering fury so intense that veins in my eyes pop? People, that's what. Not even the most worthless, most inadequate machine in weeks of failing to work, can produce the level of frustration that any normal run-of-the-mill bozo off the street can engender within five minutes of my meeting them. Why is this? Not because most people are actually stupid, per se, but because they refuse to use their (usually) perfectly adequate brains for anything except stopping their tongues from lolling out of their mouths all the time. You'd think that anyone with enough forethought to realise that walking out in front of speeding traffic was a Bad Thing, would also be able to grasp the concept that useful communication requires more than simply opening the mental floodgates and letting all the words fall out. Some people seem to think that they have to be talking all the time or else something terrible will happen — and they're right, something terrible will happen, their victims will start thinking about what they've been saying and will realise what an inconsequential little piece of dog-turd they are.
RANT No. 4
In a similar vein, one particular sort of person drives my completely up the wall. They're those people who see you reading a book and decide "Aha! There's someone who's not doing anything; I'll just mosey on over there and engage them in conversation. They're obviously desperately lonely and in need of my attention".
Don't these people actually read books themselves? Or has the exercise of moving their lips and sounding out the words as they go put them off the idea? Maybe they themselves find reading such a chore that when they see anyone else (me) doing it, they feel a powerful altruistic urge to Save Me from this hideous fate. Maybe reading really is a tiresome, unfulfilling pastime, and I just haven't learnt the lesson in all these years. Perhaps my whole world view is skewed, and a boring and unfulfilling conversation with some interfering, busybody jerk is, on some fundamental level of consciousness, supposed to be preferable to stimulating my imagination with word pictures from the pen of a great author.
I suspect not. I suspect, in fact, that reading really is enjoyable and satisfying, and that the LOSER JERKS who WON'T GODDAM LEAVE ME ALONE to do it in peace are the ones who are MISSING THE GODDAM POINT! Reading (brace youself) is an enjoyable, stimulating pastime that can be best enjoyed without some bozo yapping interminably in your ear. It requires some effort on the part of the reader, some concentration is required. It is not like TV; it isn't served up to you complete with sound and pictures, but leaves your mind free to create the images which resonate best with your own experience and the intentions of the author.
And the best thing about reading is that the characters never have intrusive, grating American accents. Unless they're intrusive, grating Americans, that is.
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